Ducati ST2 Starter Issues - Ducati.ms - The Ultimate Ducati Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2018, 5:21 am Thread Starter
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Ducati ST2 Starter Issues

Hey all,

I've been looking through all of the posts here regarding bad starters but haven't been able to solve my issues yet. The result is that I have been push starting my 1997 ST2 about two to three times a day for the last 6 weeks. Issue started very suddenly. I pulled off the toll road, the man started talking to me so I shut the engine off and when I went to start again it just made a click. Been basically the same ever since. I've probably taken the outer part of the starter apart around 8 times, including a brush swap. The first time I attempted a start after swapping brushes it started turning and there's been nothing since. I've tried shorting the solenoid many times. Just received a Denso replacement motor in the mail today (took forever to receive from USA) and tried to bench test it. Got a couple sparks after touching it directly to both battery poles but no spinning. Hopefully this is just a fluke and when it's installed it will work properly. Will be getting a time to have it swapped at the dealership sometime next week.

Does anyone know any other things I could attempt to try to get this thing running? It's getting harder and more embarrassing with every push start on campus, and I'm tired of bruised shins from hitting the foot pegs. I'm also a broke exchange student who can't afford to pour money into a motorcycle right now Thanks!!

Japan Spec 1997 Ducati ST2
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2018, 5:41 am
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I'll assume you've checked the battery's charge, completed a battery load test, and have also checked the quality of the connections at the starter's positive terminal, POS and NEG battery terminals and engine block ground?

Even though you've shorted the terminals at the starter solenoid, you still need clean and well connected grounds at the battery and the engine block, as well as a good connection at the positive battery post. Shorting the solenoid only closes the path to the starter from the positive battery lead. A good check, but it really only isolates the starter button and solenoid circuit.

Unless you've already checked those items and found them to be good, it is a fair bet all you needed was a new battery and/or some simple connector terminal maintenance. Could very well be the starter, but that normally comes as a last resort as it is expensive and a lot of work to replace. You have to drain oil and coolant to pull the generator side cover off...
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2003 ST4s (The Truck)
1995 916 (Junk Yard Dog)

Last edited by SS904; Jun 15th, 2018 at 5:48 am.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 15th, 2018, 6:11 am
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+1 on SS904's answer.

Check right through the connections.

The little white push on terminal on the solenoid comes loose regularly if not zip tied on.

The terminals on the starter leads can be loose and come off if you give them a wiggle (mine had that issue when I bought it). The earth at the back of the engine and the one from the ECU needs to be clean and tight enough.

But number one (as said) is to make sure the battery is good and terminals well secured (try swapping it and see?).

2000 ST2Nudo
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2018, 12:16 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips! I've checked all the terminals for corrosion but there wasn't anything I could see. Maybe I'll try removing, sanding and tightening all the connections next? Battery seems to be running well, it's a Shorai lithium. It easily runs both headlight and high beam with the bike off with very minimal change when pressing the starter button. I think something to note is that the old starter definitely had some issues to work out. I thought it was electric at first but it does seem like it was the brushes in the end. Something must really have gone wrong during the replacement.

The local dealership quoted me at ¥20,000 (US 180) for the replacement given the parts I've purchased. I think that's reasonable since all my tools are still back in America... If cleaning the connections before replacement works, I might just have it swapped for peace of mind that it'll start well in the future... I'll keep this thread updated when I try something but until it's fixed I'll be getting some more leg exercise in!

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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2018, 1:26 am
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As battery is a Shorai have you tried turning the lights on for a few mins before trying to start it?

Re the dealership I'm surprised they have agreed to change the starter motor without diagnosing the issue themselves. But good luck, hope it goes well and keep us updated.

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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2018, 4:46 am
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The "head light" test is not very valid, especially with a Lithium battery. You need a meter on it and you need to read the voltage drop off when you press the starter button. A simple thing for you to try is a jump start from a car battery or one of those tiny booster packs that have become popular. You want to be very careful to not reverse the jumper leads!

Decent price to change the starter. Is this from a Ducati dealer? If not, are they aware of the scope of work involved? Two of the three bolts are under the left side cover. That has to come off. That means oil and coolant drain and there are some pitfalls. Hidden bolt behind the clutch slave, for one. Straight forward work, but not a quick in and out.

Good luck!

Dan. "Painfully mistaking my big talk for the truth" Samantha Fish.
2003 ST4s (The Truck)
1995 916 (Junk Yard Dog)
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2018, 1:24 am Thread Starter
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I tried running the lights for a few minutes with no effect. I actually went on a little ~250km two-up road trip yesterday despite the starter (never had a small issue stop me before). Ran nearly perfectly after a push start. Even after running for 2 hours, the starter does nothing immediately after stopping the bike. Pretty busy this week but I'm going to put a multimeter to the battery ASAP.

The quote was from a Ducati/Triumph/Aprilia dealer, though the mechanic knows Ducati well. He's done work for me in the past and was very knowledgeable and honest about what really needed to be done without trying to sell me on additional parts. The other Ducati-only dealer nearby quoted me around 30,000 yen (US 270) which is a bit much for me, and they would take a week rather than a day to do the swap. I'd love to do it myself but since all my tools are in the states, by the time I have a torque wrench, sockets and a puller I'll be getting close to the price of the dealer. Sadly there's no harbor freight here in Japan...
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Japan Spec 1997 Ducati ST2
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2018, 4:17 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas Gudmundsson View Post
Sadly there's no harbor freight here in Japan...
LOL. Topic for a different forum

Let us know how it turns out!

Dan. "Painfully mistaking my big talk for the truth" Samantha Fish.
2003 ST4s (The Truck)
1995 916 (Junk Yard Dog)
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2018, 7:41 am
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One thing that can go wrong with a starter is the internal fixed magnet can come loose.
I don't know if this is possible with a Duke as I haven't held a Duke starter in my hand yet, but I once had a problem with a Yamaha starter which turned out to have a loose magnet when I dismantled it. I used red Bearing Mount Loctite to glue it back in place as it was originally fixed to the casing with some kind of glue. I hope Dukes aren't done this way as I found it a very cheap construction method, but when you get the starter out it will be easy to dismantle to check it right out. Fit new bearings and brushes while you are at it.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2018, 10:51 pm Thread Starter
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dewcatty, I've had the visible outer casing of the starter off more times than I wish to remember trying to diagnose the problem... All 4 magnets were fixed properly around the perimeter, and I had new brushes installed. After my first reassembly with the new brushes is when the starter spun once or twice and gave out again.

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