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Thread: xb12s sometimes doesn't start

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jurrien View Post
    I don't know how old the battery is. I think it is just the regular one. It is fully charged and when the bike does start like normal (which it does most of the time) the engine cranks over with a normal speed and starts how it should.
    So my guess is that the battery is not the problem, right?
    What is the "regular one" ? Make sure it is a good battery for your bike. It must be more than 200cca, should be AGM not liquid as it does not stand streight. You'd better have the original one which is the HD part OEM 65948-00A B or C. This battery is AKA the DEKA ETX14.

  2. #12
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    Wow thanks for all the replies!

    Quote Originally Posted by lunaticfringe View Post
    1-look at your original post. you described instances of what i deemed "compression bump" ions ago on here. it's where 1 piston is nearing TDC on compression stroke and the starter motor does NOT have sufficient power to push said piston past that point in its stroke to start the rotating motion required to start the engine. always a sign of either one or more loose/corroded battery cables...or a weak battery.
    No, I am sure it was not a compression bump. Even with a compression bump you should hear some clicking noise from the engine. In this case I hear nothing at all from the bike. Not a single click.

    Quote Originally Posted by lunaticfringe View Post
    2-i know you're in NL so don't know where you sourced your battery BUT if it is Chinese or Taiwan it is garbage. try and source either a Deka brand or Yuasa if possible. minimum 220 cranking amps. Deka is manufactured by East Penn Manufacturing right up the road from me. they were the OEM issued battery manufacturer for all Buells and Harley-Davidsons and continue to be. superior batteries for a multitude of reasons. Chinese/Taiwan junk have arbitrary CCA ratings on same. all meaningless...all highly inflated. source # is ETX-14. do NOT purchase an L model. they are AGM meaning "absorbent glass mat". the XB angled placement...heat...vibration doesn't bother them.

    3-Buells are, simply put, hell on batteries. they are also notorious for electrical gremlins and maladies as they age. most are directly attributable to a battery and/or battery cable problem. that's why you check there first.
    I checked, I have a Yuasa battery in the bike. Couldn't read any specifications though. I have no idea how old the battery is as it came with the bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    I read this as the engine wasn't cranking at all (so not the "compression bump"/ weak battery issues).

    and "Then when I turn off the ignition key and switch it back on, most of the times it does start and after that all is normal" also suggests it's not a weak/old/corroded battery.

    Both of those well described situations (THANK YOU, Jurrien) sound like the starter solenoid is NOT getting the +12v signal it needs to activate the starter from a healthy battery. Even a corroded battery connection usually 'clicks' before it doesn't crank.
    Yes, thank you. This is exactly what I meant.

    This is what I am going to do, in this order:
    - Check all ground contacts and make sure they are all ok. (I have already read that a lot of Buell problems are related to grounding issues and I have never looked at those connections at my bike)
    - Have a look at all the mentioned contacts in the starter circuit, like described in this topics and the linked topics (switches, relays, fuses) as I also did not have a look at them myself.
    These two actions will cost me no money and seem like a good check anyway. After that I will work through all said in the (linked) topics and the Buell XB Models Electrical Diagnostics Manual.
    I'll keep this topic updated.

    What I definitely learned from this topic: don't get the cheapest battery (like I normally always did with my others/previous bikes) but get a decent one. And that a healty battery is needed in a Buell.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Exactly, you should be well sorted in no time I like the suggestion from 34:19 as well
    Post up what you find!

  4. #14
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    No, I am sure it was not a compression bump. Even with a compression bump you should hear some clicking noise from the engine. In this case I hear nothing at all from the bike. Not a single click.


    Not necessarily. The battery could have enough amperage to hold the solenoid closed, just not enough to get past the bump.


    I checked, I have a Yuasa battery in the bike. Couldn't read any specifications though. I have no idea how old the battery is as it came with the bike.

    All the more reason to get it checked out at a battery shop (not necessarily an auto parts store)

  5. #15
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 34nineteen View Post
    All the more reason to get it checked out at a battery shop (not necessarily an auto parts store)
    Be wary having the battery load tested at a basic auto parts store. They use a little digital thing that does NOT read motorcycle batteries accurately

    Besides, you have a load tester already. It's in your motorcycle, called a starter Put a voltmeter on the battery, it should stay above 9.6V while cranking to be considered good. Done and done.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 34nineteen View Post
    No, I am sure it was not a compression bump. Even with a compression bump you should hear some clicking noise from the engine. In this case I hear nothing at all from the bike. Not a single click.


    Not necessarily. The battery could have enough amperage to hold the solenoid closed, just not enough to get past the bump.
    Ok. I think you're wrong. But maybe I am wrong. Please tell me.

    Before the bike has a compression bump, the pistons have to build up compression. Because compression have to be created out of piston velocity, compression is not present in a engine that is not running.
    So before the bike has a compression bump, the crankshaft has to have a velocity. Right?!

    And according to what I read in the 2008 Buell XB Models Electrical Diagnostics Manual, the starter slides gear number 3 in gear number 15 when you push the starter button. And I assume this is a sound I should certainly hear. Right?!

    So logically, with those two points described above, I should at least hear a click before there can be a compression bump. Right?!


  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    Be wary having the battery load tested at a basic auto parts store. They use a little digital thing that does NOT read motorcycle batteries accurately

    Besides, you have a load tester already. It's in your motorcycle, called a starter Put a voltmeter on the battery, it should stay above 9.6V while cranking to be considered good. Done and done.
    Thanks, great advise, I like to be able to do it myself.
    I am not sure my volt meter is fast enough to spot the voltage drop. But I can give it a try.
    When I get my battery tested, should I go to a local motor store in my town (mainly Japanese bikes) or is it better to go to a Harley dealer or even to a Buell specialist?

  8. #18
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurrien View Post
    Ok. I think you're wrong. But maybe I am wrong. Please tell me.

    Before the bike has a compression bump, the pistons have to build up compression. Because compression have to be created out of piston velocity, compression is not present in a engine that is not running.
    So before the bike has a compression bump, the crankshaft has to have a velocity. Right?!

    And according to what I read in the 2008 Buell XB Models Electrical Diagnostics Manual, the starter slides gear number 3 in gear number 15 when you push the starter button. And I assume this is a sound I should certainly hear. Right?!

    So logically, with those two points described above, I should at least hear a click before there can be a compression bump. Right?!

    You are overthinking this, let’s try again...

    Not necessarily. The battery could have enough amperage to hold the solenoid closed, just not enough to get past the bump.

    For example, the 4-5 year old battery in my Sportster is starting to get weak. If I put the battery on the charger, on the first compression stroke it struggles to get past TDC, but it does eventually and slowly. Even though it does NOT click, it does not mean my battery doesn’t need replacing. If I let it sit for a month off the charger, and try to start it, it will do the same thing, but now it will click. The starter motor is drawing enough current, that it draws the battery low enough, eventually the solenoid doesnt have enough energy to stay energized, it clicks as it releases and the removes the load from the starter. Now since the load from the starter is released, the solenoid will click on and try again, and the sequence continues.

    So, we are back to...

    Not necessarily. The battery could have enough amperage to hold the solenoid closed, just not enough to get past the bump.

    You are right about the piston needing velocity, but it really needs the velocity to “maintain” the compression pressure. The simple task of the piston moving upward in the cylinder is creating the compression. The velocity is just needed to work against air leaking around the rings, valves etc. If the chamber was perfectly sealed airtight the velocity would not really be needed to maintain the pressure.


    The brand new 360cca battery in my S1 doesn’t even know what a compression bump is.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurrien View Post
    Thanks, great advise, I like to be able to do it myself.
    I am not sure my volt meter is fast enough to spot the voltage drop. But I can give it a try.
    When I get my battery tested, should I go to a local motor store in my town (mainly Japanese bikes) or is it better to go to a Harley dealer or even to a Buell specialist?
    It's just a battery. Same as every bike.

    If your bike starts fast enough a DVOM can't read the voltage then your battery is in great shape

  10. #20
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    Ok. I'll leave the battery discussion for what it is.
    I had a day off work today and spent some hours looking at the Buell.
    All the connections and ground points seem to be in great shape. No corrosion, all were protected with some white grease (Vaseline we call in the Netherlands. I don't know how well it is known around the world).
    Also, I tried to reproduce the problem. Because I wanted to be sure. Until now I only experienced it with riding gear on and being eager to ride.
    So it happens a lot less then what I thought. Or maybe that is because I pulled all fuses and relays and put them back. Anyway, I think I've switched the ignition switch maybe two hundred times. Only ~five times the problem occured. But what I noticed now and hadn't noticed earlier is that also the fuel pump is not running.
    The procedere is: I switch the ignition key on, fuel pump does not run, starter does not respond to starter button.

    Then I looked trough the manuals and searched some on the web but couldn't find this exact problem. Most of the times the fuel pump doesn't work, the bike still cranks but just doesn't start.

    So I hooked up the Buelltooth but there were no errors.

    Then I pulled the relays one by one to see if this reproduces the situation. And yes, when I pull the KEY SW (Key switch?) relay it is exactly as described: no fuel pump running and no reaction at starter button.

    I put back the relay, switched the ignition switch a couple of times to see if the problem occurred and yes it did. And at the moment I tapped the key sw relay with my fingers it reacted and the full pump began to run.

    So my next step is to replace the relay.
    I'm curious anyone has any other thought about this.



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