83 interstate starter problem

Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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Posts: 20
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:12 pm
Location: Greenfield, IN
Motorcycle: 1983 GL 1100 Interstate

83 interstate starter problem

Post by edr421 » Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:32 pm

when i try to start my interstate all I get is a click. Have gone and downloaded the service manual and tried jumping from post to post on the silinoid with it taken off the bike and connected direct to the battery. also tried it when on the bike nothing. but when I push the starter button with everything connected it cliks. it has a new battery and same thing.

also what is the difference between a starter and an starter motor as advertised on ebay.

any help would be appreciated as the local dealers won't even talk to me about it.

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Re: 83 interstate starter problem

Post by thrasherg » Tue Apr 20, 2010 8:39 pm

If I understand your description, with the starter motor of off the motorbike and connected to a battery, the motor does not turn. When you connect the motor to the motorbike and push the start button you get a click. Is that correct? If yes, there are 2 parts to a starter system, there is the starter motor and the starter relay. The relay is what switches the power to the starter motor. When you push the start button, it operates the starter relay (which goes click) so the starter switch is working. As the starter motor does not turn, you either have a bad starter relay or a bad starter motor. To tell which it is you will need to get a multimeter (voltmeter). Connect the black wire of the voltmeter to the exterier body of the starter motor. then take the red wire of the voltmeter and make 2 measurements. Find the starter relay (sometimes called a starter solenoid) and find the main connection that goes to the positive terminal of the battery. put you positive lead on here and make sure you have 12 volts or more. This confirms current is arriving to the relay, then put the positive wire of the multimeter on the other big connection that goes to the starter motor. You should have zero volts. then push the start button and hold it in, you should hear a click and the voltmeter should show 12+ volts for as long as you hold the start button. If you see zero volts then it should mean the starter relay is dead, it you do see 12+ volts then it would suggest the starter motor is defective. depending on what is wrong, I would get a new starter relay from Honda if it is dead, to be absolutely sure you can connect the two large terminals on the relay together with a screwdriver and see if the starter motor starts. If it's the starter motor that seems dead then I would see about getting your's reconditioned or buy a second hand one, these are very expensive from Honda.. Hopefully this will help find the problem.


Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:49 pm
Location: Ottawa, ON
Motorcycle: 1983 GL1100I

Re: 83 interstate starter problem

Post by bigbrown » Wed Apr 21, 2010 3:30 pm

If you have bench tested the starter, that is when the starter was out of the bike and you have connected a set of jumper cables to your battery and the positive to the post on the starter and the negative to the body of the starter and the starter did not turn, then the problem is in the starter. These can be refreshed by cleaning them up and replacing the brushes if that is the only problem. There are some good articles on here to do a refresh. I just bought a new starter on e-bay from "discount starters and alternators" for $89 and change. This comes wiith free shipping by UPS ground anywhere in the continental US. The new starter is in my bike and working. What more can you ask for. New honda starters are out of this world in price. $90 for this one is a damn good deal .

aka Big Brown

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