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Thread: Buzzing starter relay - bike won't start. Relay and battery are ok though...

  1. #1
    apriliaforum Member Kristian_AUS's Avatar
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    Buzzing starter relay - bike won't start. Relay and battery are ok though...

    Iím in the process of building up my 02 RSV Mille again having completely stripped it down a year ago. Everything went well until today when I tried to start it. The starter relay buzzed, but the engine didnít turn over.

    - The battery shows 12.9V, but it was enough to start my other bike (an 05 RSVR Factory)
    - I swapped the relay for the one in my 05. Same result.
    - All fuses are ok.
    - Bridging the starter relay terminals doesnít do anything.
    - When I connect the connectors to activate diagnostics Code 1 comes up which is apparently normal when everything is ok.


    I did notice something a little out of the ordinary. If I remember correctly, if the red ignition button was off and I turn the key, then press the red ignition button the fuel pump spooled up. Now it doesnít. But if the red ignition button is on and I turn the key the pump spools up.

    Otherwise Iím a little stumpedÖ the parts stood in the garage for a year, and Iím a little worried that I may have been a bit rough on the wiring harness when installing it on the bike.

    Iíd appreciate any help you guys could give me. I have to sell the bike asap and need to get it runningÖ. Iím moving from Germany to Southern California in the very near future

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert Bill in OKC's Avatar
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    If you are sure the battery and relay are OK, it could be a ground cable not connected or not making good contact. Was the wiring harness removed completely?

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristian_AUS View Post
    ...I did notice something a little out of the ordinary. If I remember correctly, if the red ignition button was off and I turn the key, then press the red ignition button the fuel pump spooled up. Now it doesnít. But if the red ignition button is on and I turn the key the pump spools up...
    The fuel pump is on a three second timer if the engine is not running. Key on starts the timer regardless of kill switch position. Fuel pump will not run with kill switch in off position.

    Why don't you test the starter circuit in isolation. First put the transmission in a high gear and turn the engine via the rear wheel to make sure it is free. Return to neutral. With the key off run a small jumper wire from the red wires at the relay connector to the battery positive. Do not disconnect relay connector. The starter should turn the engine when you connect the jumper.

  4. #4
    apriliaforum Member Kristian_AUS's Avatar
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    @Bill: yes, the wiring harness was removed completely.


    @kzmille: what I'm saying is, if the ignition is on and you put the kill switch in the on position the fuel pump should should run for three seconds but it doesn't. If the kill switch is on and you turn the key on the fuel pump runs for three seconds.
    While installing the sprocket the engine turned so it's definitely free. I'll give it a try with the jumper wires tonight - thanks.

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kristian_AUS View Post
    ...what I'm saying is, if the ignition is on and you put the kill switch in the on position the fuel pump should should run for three seconds but it doesn't....
    When you turn the key on the timer starts. If you wait three seconds or more after switching on and then arm the kill switch the pump will not run. If you arm the kill switch after turning the key on, the pump will only run if less than three seconds has passed and only for the remaining time, not the full three seconds.

  6. #6
    apriliaforum Member Kristian_AUS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kzmille View Post
    The fuel pump is on a three second timer if the engine is not running. Key on starts the timer regardless of kill switch position. Fuel pump will not run with kill switch in off position.

    Why don't you test the starter circuit in isolation. First put the transmission in a high gear and turn the engine via the rear wheel to make sure it is free. Return to neutral. With the key off run a small jumper wire from the red wires at the relay connector to the battery positive. Do not disconnect relay connector. The starter should turn the engine when you connect the jumper.
    Double checked the engine and it's free. Is what you're saying basically equivalent to bridging the terminals of the relay with a screwdriver? If so, it didn't do anything.

    Btw, I armed the kill switch within three seconds of turning the ignition on and the fuel pump spooled up. I could have sworn it didn't do that last night...I'll have to blame it on my slow reflexes at these freezing temperatures.

  7. #7
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    So, you bridged across the relay terminals and absolutely nothing happened?

  8. #8
    apriliaforum Member Kristian_AUS's Avatar
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    Yup. Nothing happened - the starter / engine didn't turn. Power was flowing between the terminals as I saw a small spark or two.

    I'm going to inspect the harness in detail again to double check if there's any visual damage and make sure the connectors are joined properly.

    Before I got this far I did have the diagnostics connectors joined together but they've been disconnected since the problem with the buzzing relay started.

  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    Connect a volt meter to your battery and bridge the relay while watching the volt meter.

  10. #10
    apriliaforum Member Kristian_AUS's Avatar
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    The battery was reading 13V and dropped about 0.4V when the terminals were bridged. I stopped bridging the terminals after a few seconds, but after the initial drop the voltage continued to drop slowly.

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    It does not sound like the starter is being energized. Have you checked all battery cable connections including the ground to frame connection and the starter cable connection? Make sure starter mounting bolts are tight too.

  12. #12
    apriliaforum Member Kristian_AUS's Avatar
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    The cable that goes from the rear cylinder to the frame (where the sub-frame attaches) was a little loose, but after re-crimping the connector the relay still buzzed. Starter cable and all other connections running from the battery seem to be ok. The starter is firmly mounted too.

    Very frustrating...

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert kzmille's Avatar
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    Possibilities

    Bad battery
    Bad connection
    Bad relay
    Bad starter
    Bad starter button circuit



    My guess is it's the battery. Thats about the only thing that will cause a good relay to buzz.

  14. #14
    apriliaforum expert meanstrk's Avatar
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    Either that or the starter is not energizing. The relay could buzz, but if there is no connection to the starter, or the starter is not spinning up, then the relay buzz is all you will here.
    Ron
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  15. #15
    apriliaforum Member Kristian_AUS's Avatar
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    Something a little embarassing...the clutch switch kept on falling out last year so I got used to starting the bike without pulling the clutch in. I put the switch in properly when building up the bike and didn't pull in the clutch when trying to start it...

    But, instead of buzzing the relay just clicks once now.

    Theoretically, if it is the battery then it shouldn't be able to start my 05 Factory should it? Or does the 05 require less juice to start?

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