2001 SV650 Won't Start/Turn Over

Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
2,150
Location
Chicago, IL
Hey guys, I'm having some trouble with my bike and I'm running out of ideas. I love this SV650, I'd consider buying another one as my next bike (maybe a newer, fuel injected model?), but shopping around, used vehicle pricing is bananas right now. I bought this bike many years ago for a little over $2k, and the only listing I see in my area for it is well over $3k right now.

Background:
I've been riding this bike commuting all year up until it would intermittently not start. Sometimes, it sounded like a weak battery where it might turn over once (very labored), then stop as if it there wasn't enough current to turn the motor. However, other times (maybe even later the same day), I would hit the starter and it would spin up full speed/power, with no battery charging in between. I tried jump starting from a jump pack and even replaced the battery, but didn't make a difference.

I put it into top gear and tried a push start, but as soon as I let go of the clutch, the rear tire stops as if it's locked up. The back tire does spin freely when in neutral (or if I pull the clutch lever).

The oil level has been meticulously maintained, and has never been overheated that I know of, and the coolant level was full to the top of the radiator.

Things I've Done:
I apologize if some of this doesn't follow a logical diagnosis path, sometimes it was easier to just swap a part or test something.

Replaced the starter relay and starter motor (I thought maybe there was a bad spot on the starter).

For a while, I thought the engine was flooded, as it appears to be a common issue with the float valves and vacuum petcock failing, so I replaced the float valves and purchased an aftermarket petcock (but never installed since it didn't fit).

Regardless, I'm not concerned with a flooded engine at the moment. I pulled the spark plugs and rotated the flywheel manually and it spun smoothly (although only in one direction, which I think is correct?). I even put a screwdriver into the spark plug hole to confirm the piston was moving up and down. Still, when I hit the starter, it doesn't even start to turn over.

I thought it could be electrical, as if there was a short between the grounded chassis and the wire between the starter relay and the starter motor, so I measured the resistance between that wire and ground, and it was open (I had to disconnect it from the starter motor since I believe the starter motor is almost a dead short since it draws so much current). I haven't verified that the starter motor spins outside of the engine yet, that's my next test.

While the starter motor was out, I stuck my finger in the hole to spin the gear and it did work as expected, as in, the one way bearing allowed the gear to spin freely in one direction, but not in the other.

Where I'm at...
So, right now, the spark plugs are still out, but when I hit the starter button, I get a solid click from the relay, I can measure that the relay has switched power on to the starter, and I can measure a fairly large voltage drop (from memory, it dropped down to 6V), as if there's a dead short. The engine doesn't even start or try to turn over.

I may have left out some tests that I've done, but if you have any suggestions, I would be all ears!

I appreciate any thoughts or help.

Ed
 

EdwardC

Thread starter
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
2,150
Location
Chicago, IL
The original is the 2001 vintage. The replacement was a $60 aftermarket. I think that's my next test to see if it spins - will report back.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
319
Location
New York
Try jumping the starter directly from the battery to see if it spins - take a jumper cable and run it from the + battery post directly to the terminal on the starter. Make sure the bike's in neutral.
If it doesn't spin or it's weak, it's either the battery or the starter (which you said you've replaced? Possibly a bad aftermarket item?)
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
2,676
Location
Deep in the heart of Jersey
I would put the bike in gear and make sure the motor isn't stuck. If it turns over by pushing it, take the battery out and have it load tested. You can try to read the voltage when trying to start it, but unless you know ahead of time what it usually drops to, that won't tell you much. The battery on my bike quit after a days ride, in a parking lot. I tried jumping it and the starter would still just click. I replaced the battery, now it will start on a 40f day like it's already warmed up. Funny thing is, it was always kept on a battery tender, and the light was green the day the battery quit. I guess I got the last 4 starts out of it before it died for good.,,,
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2015
Messages
1,283
Location
Arizona
+1 need to find if the starter is ok, Directly connect it to battery to try and start. Make sure hot and ground cable on both ends gets removed and checked for loose connect or corrosion.
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
1,041
Location
A Barrier Island
My Suzuki had similar Sxs. Replaced the battery and starter, no bueno, still no start. The starter relay would click but the bike remained silent. Replaced the relay and still nothing. I had replaced the starter switch a year previously so I knew that wasn't the issue. Replaced the starter relay with another and bingo no issues. Strangely a short while later the bike quit running. I thought the electrical gremlins had struck again but the problem turned out to be a bad NGK plug, single cylinder Burgman. Never had an NGK go bad before. Scooter runs great now.

I can say that Suzuki makes very reliable bikes but once in a while they can be a problem. You might have a bad (but new) starter relay. Happened to me.

Suzukis attract attention:

1626293353792.jpg
 
Joined
Apr 18, 2018
Messages
201
Location
WI
If the battery AND starter both checked out fine, I'd check spark plugs and fuel injectors next.

Clogged fuel filter maybe? Bad fuel?
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
11,044
Location
Jupiter, Florida
Check your flywheel magnets. They can come un-glued and jam against the stator. Pretty easy to change, if that’s the problem.
 

EdwardC

Thread starter
Joined
Nov 14, 2013
Messages
2,150
Location
Chicago, IL
Thanks everyone, and sorry for the slow response! I picked up a bad cold the other week and haven't had a chance to work on the bike.

I finally got to spend a few minutes working on it this morning. While I still had the starter motor attached, I put my clamp ampmeter (Uni-T 210Eon the positive lead wire from the new/aftermarket starter relay to the new/aftermarket starter motor. When I clicked the starter, the ampmeter went over limit (when set to 100A) and it didn't turn over.

I removed the starter and it spun when I hit the starter. I didn't run it long, but it seemed fine.

Then, I remembered that I didn't set the ampmeter to DC current, so I put the starter motor back in, put the clamp on with it set to DC current. I pressed the starter switch and it turned over. It sounded a little funny, different from what I remembered, but I had the plugs out. I put the spark plugs back in, fueled it back up, and it started. The starter still sounds a little different (this is the new/aftermarket one still).

So, I assume I still have an intermittent issue... but it's starting at the moment.

@Cujet, if the flywheel magnets come off, I assume it gets lodged somewhere and it kind of locks up the motor? It doesn't sound like that would be an intermittent type issue, but may be they can move around just enough to work occasionally.

So, in conclusion, I want to eliminate the starter relay and motor (both original and new) as potential culprits, but I still don't know the cause of the issue.

I'll probably give it an oil change just for good measure and go from there. Any other input or suggestions, I'm all ears!

Thanks again everyone!
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
315
Location
MI
I had a bad/intermittent starter motor before. Sometimes it would start, but sound really weak and dim the headlight. Other times it would start fine. Then, other times, it just click and would not start. I put in a new starter and it worked great every time.

Make sure your wire connections are clean and tight at the starter, relay and battery. also inspect the big ground wire from the negative terminal of the battery. Inspect the cables for corrosion inside the wires and replace if you see corrosion. Make sure where the starter mounts is nice and clean and the bolts are clean. Most likely, you have a positive wire from the relay to the starter and the ground path back to the battery is through the mounting bolts, to the engine, to the frame, back to the negative battery post.

It is possible, however unlikely it may be, that your replacement starter is also bad.
 
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