Join Date: May 2013
Location: Penticton, BC, Canada
You don't say how many km are on either the bike or the battery. Batteries are the obvious first step, if you want to find out if it's the battery just jump the bike from your car. Be careful and connect the bike first to avoid metal to metal, ideally you'd have a set of cables with smaller clips - there are some monster ones out there. If it starts easily with the big car battery connected, then replace your battery.
The multi - any big twin - is a tough nut to crank and is hard on batteries. If you take a lot of short, around-town trips I have found that the battery doesn't last more than a couple of seasons as it uses more charge starting it than gets replaced on a 5 minute ride. I plug mine into a trickle charger when I get home from a short-trip day - it's only about 5-7 minutes for me to ride to work for example.
As others have noted, make sure your battery connections are CLEAN, both POS and NEG on the battery itself and also follow the fat wire from the NEG to where it bolts onto the top of the engine or frame. Take apart this connection and clean it up with emery paper so that you have shiny metal surfaces. Check the connection of the fat wire on the starter - this is down low so if you do any rainy riding the rubber boot on the post on the starter can accumulate moisture. Be really careful if you need to take this connection apart, use two wrenches to avoid spinning the post which will render the starter useless.
If it's not the battery, try running some injector cleaner in a couple of tanks of fuel. Just a little buildup will adversely affect the injector's ability to atomize the fuel significantly.
My '09 starts hard BUT... I discovered that if, while it's cranking over, I just barely crack the throttle - and I mean BARELY TOUCH IT - the bike starts pretty much immediately. If you look for posts under my name you will find one about hard starting - there are a few theories about the inlet tract getting gummed up, etc. but I haven't looked at mine and probably won't unless the throttle crack trick stops working.
If you've never changed it, the fuel filter may be getting a big plugged up, or you also may develop a small crack (which will get bigger) in one of the fuel lines inside your tank. Replacing the filter and hoses isn't a terrible idea on an 11-year-old bike, and the fuel line is cheap. If you do this buy yourself some decent connectors and a tool - like the metal ones that are on it now. Zip ties are not a good long-term solution.
One last thing is spark plugs. They can last a long time, but performance can become degraded. Also cheap, you should replace them periodically if you haven't done so recently.
'09 Multistrada 1100s
Last edited by dspear99ca; Aug 2nd, 2019 at 11:34 pm.