Author Topic: XBR500 starting problems  (Read 378 times)

richardeblack

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XBR500 starting problems
« on: August 30, 2021, 04:00:44 PM »
Hello All,
yet more problems with the XBR!
I have now got it finished and it runs really well and looks lovely.
Problem is starting.
It won't start on the starter, just on the kickstart.
When I put a meter across the battery, using the starter drops the voltage down to 10 volts.  My first thought was that it wasn't enough to trigger the CDI unit but have, on looking at the wiring diagram, found that there is a coil on the stator to supply the ignition (like a magneto).  It will start without a battery connected (no rev counter or warning lights) so I can't see why a voltage drop would cause a problem. 
I have tried a different starter motor but no different.
I'll have another good look at the wiring diagram but am at a bit of a loss.
If anyone has any ideas I would be grateful.
I really want to get it sold but obviously can't if it won't start on the starter.
Thanks for looking.
Cheers,
Richard.
ps. it is a new battery and I have the same issue with a car battery connected.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 04:02:52 PM by richardeblack »

Rossco500

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2021, 10:53:46 PM »
Bit of a long shot Richard but it might be related to the CDI unit. I recall that some owners replaced the CDI unit on the XBR with one from an XL600R which livened up the throttle response, however it meant that the electric starter wouldn't operate. Might be worth trying one of your spares (if you have one)

Regards

Tony

richardeblack

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2021, 07:32:56 AM »
Thank you Tony.
I have swapped out the cod unit with the one off my main XBR and also swapped the started with a spare in case it was that. No good unfortunately.
I looked at the wiring for the XL600R and it obviously doesn't have the red and white wire from the starter button feeding into the cdi which the XBR  does. I'm tempted to disconnect this and see what happens.  I don't understand what that does though as it only feeds power to the cdi  when the button is pressed. It gets its power from a separate coil in the the alternator (as does the XL) and, as I said, works perfectly with the kick start even with the battery disconnected.
The odd thing is that it has been a gradual thing as it was working perfectly to start with and has now stopped altogether.
If I wasn't selling it I'd Just blank off the starter hole and kick it.
Thanks again.
Richard.
Ps. The voltage across the battery is about 13.8 at 3000rpm rising to 13.9 at tickover which seems odd.

richardeblack

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2021, 09:47:00 AM »
Well, just spent a load more time with a fully charged battery and I'm beginning to suspect that the new battery (a sealed "Powerline " one from Tayna ) is just not holding power long enough and just not turning it over quick enough. Maybe it's worse with this XBR because it has compression unlike my old 124000 mile one.
It is starting ok as long as it starts straight away. As soon as it has turned over a few times it is too slow to start.
Any suggestions for a good battery other than a Yuasa for £47? Are sealed ones as good as old fashioned ones?
Looks like I'll have to splash out on a better quality battery.
Many thanks
Richard.

themoudie

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2021, 09:59:17 AM »
Richard,

A dumb question or two! Have the brushes given up in the starter motor? Have you tried making a new separate earth strap directly from the starter to the engine of main earth point of the machine? A failing/failed earth strap might give the same result. It could also account for the rapid drop in the batteries ability to turn the starter.

Battery wise, I have found that a Motobatt sealed battery gives a significant increase in cranking speed and duration, over conventional plate batteries. The Honda Bros can be cantankerous if left for a wee while (fuel pump is now vacuum instead of mechanical) and fuel can take a while to fill the carb float bowls.

I have used this supplier: The_Battery_Shop, but others maybe cheaper, so worth a search.

Not owning or ever having been in the guts of an XBR means that this is purely guesswork!


Good health, Bill

mthee

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2021, 12:32:43 PM »
As you may already know, cold cranking amps (CCA) is the figure to look for on your new battery 👍🤞
Fear of the unknown does not mean the unknown needs to be feared

SteveC#222

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2021, 01:35:39 PM »
Bit of a long shot Richard but it might be related to the CDI unit. I recall that some owners replaced the CDI unit on the XBR with one from an XL600R which livened up the throttle response, however it meant that the electric starter wouldn't operate. Might be worth trying one of your spares (if you have one)

Regards

Tony

Yes, if you have an XL600 CDI fitted to an XBR the main fuse will blow if you try and use the electric starter. As you can start it on the kicker it probably isn't that.

It seems old XBR wiring can be a bit tricky - mine has had an intermittent starting problem when it starts fine for months and then is dead  but that seems to be a faulty wire/connection in the headlamp.

Is the starter turning the motor or just dead?
Growing old is inevitable, growing up is optional!

richardeblack

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2021, 02:48:17 PM »
Thanks again All.
I'm sorry for the delay in thanking you all but my comments didn't go.  Here goes again.
I checked the starter motor that was on it and all seemed ok with lots of life in the brushes and no discoloration or dead or shorted coils. Now put the one off my old XBR on it after checking brushes and coils.
It seems to crank fairly quickly but won't start from cold on the starter.  It seems to start reasonably well when warm but not immediately.  In both cases, so long as I haven't been cranking it for a while, it will start on the kick starter first kick. 
I haven't checked the earth that well as it is a direct cable from the battery to the engine.  I did wonder if it was the starter solenoid but am fairly sure not.
Just had a look at the Motobatt and a bit too much to try on the off chance.  I am thinking of just getting a Yuasa from Halfords which is £47 in case the sealed Powerline one is causing my problem.
I bouught the Yuasa from Halfords.  dead flat and wouldn't take a charge.  Load test shows less than 3 volts. Spotted the activation date, November 2019! Took it back and was refunded after thorough checking of the battery and no apology.  Not rude, just not very good.  Checked their shelves and three other batteries with even older activation dates.  Not going there again.
Anyway, had even more trouble yesterday, not even starting well on the kick start, especially when hot.
Does anyone know what the resistance and output voltage should be for the energising coil in the alternator rotor please.  My next try will be to transfer that from my old XBR.  Soon I won't have anything left on it!
Thanks again for all your replies.
Richard.

blew

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2021, 06:03:33 PM »
My XBR has an XL600 barrel and piston,and the compression ratio is quite high. A Motobatt battery will start the bike from cold,usually,but it only turns over a few times before giving up. Luckily,the bike starts easily (thank you,Honda,for the decompressor),otherwise it would be a real pain. I have once bump started it in third down a long hill,but it usually locks the rear wheel. I'm quite happy with the Motobatt,nothing else seemed to work.

Itsme

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2021, 07:07:28 AM »
Hi Richard

Probably not much help but my XBR wouldn't start on the button if there was the merest hint of low voltage in the battery. I know that isn't very useful but it does seem to indicate a model specific characteristic.

Spartacus

richardeblack

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2021, 07:25:43 AM »
Thank you both for your suggestions.
The bike finally reached a point where it wouldn't start at all.
I swapped the alternator stator from my old XBR and it now starts straight away on the button, both cold and hot. I put the suspect alternator on my old bike and no spark, or not good enough to start it. Sadly my stator stock is dwindling now. I think I only have two good ones left!
I suspect other XBR starting problems linked to slow cranking may be duff exciter coils in the stator.
I don't really understand why it didn't just fail rather than gradually deteriorate over a couple of weeks.
Thanks again and sorry for slow responsees.
Cheers
Richard.

Itsme

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2021, 06:59:51 AM »
That's good to hear Richard as there are few things in motorcycling more infuriating than a bike that won't start.

Sadly, dwindling stocks of parts will affect many of us as our bikes of choice become more aged. I can get just about anything I need for the GN250, but much of it is made in China. I might risk £15 on a Chinese CDI, but there's no way I would put a Chinese crankpin, big end and conrod in my motor even if it does only cost £40.

I guess keeping an eye out for bargain second-hand genuine stuff or NOS parts is our only answer.

Spartacus

richardeblack

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2021, 07:43:57 AM »
Absolutely right Spartacus
I so nearly bought a rough XBR for £620 the other day but just stopped myself.  I just don't have any room even for the spares I already have.
I must build another shed!
Cheers.
Richard.

Itsme

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2021, 07:40:25 AM »
My plan has always been to try to acquire a spares bike for any older or unusual bike I have owned. The only risk is then selling the actual running bike and being left with a load of spares for a bike you no longer have (50% of a Honda CBF500 anyone?). However when having a bike that is destined to become a long-term bike it certainly makes sense.

The other thing is that sometimes parts from one bike do fit another, e.g. The Mighty Midget now has a front brake fluid reservoir and master cylinder and prop stand from a Honda CBF500 which both fit nicely and do the job better than the originals.

Spartacus

richardeblack

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Re: XBR500 starting problems
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2021, 09:28:49 AM »
True, of course, on all counts Spartacus,
I really ought to think about shifting some of my spares while they are still worth anything.
Usefully, Honda use quite a few parts across models, eg. discs are the same as CBR600, Transalp and many others, making them easy to get for the XBR.  I also believe some of the conrods are interchangeable in some of the other RFVC engines.
Cheers,
Richard