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Kickback vs Starter Motor

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Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: benpineapple » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:53 am

Good morning,

Bought a brand new USA-made 4-brush starter last month at a local shop, and it blew up. Bike has been starting and running flawlessly, no issues. I go to start it, and it starts cranking the motor, then stops and the starter just starts spinning. Not like a relay feedback kind of spinning.

Long story short, the output shaft exploded right after the planetary gears in the nose of the starter. Bendix is fine.
IMG_5279.JPG

I contact the manufacturer, and here's what they say:

"Good Morning,

Unfortunately that type of damage is not covered under warranty as it is not a manufacturers defect. That type of damage is caused by what is known as "kickback". Kickback is caused by the engine timing be off and/or an issue with fuel/spark delivery. If the issue with the application is not addressed you will continue to have this problem. We will be happy to help you get a new order placed, please give us a call at [XXX-XXX-XXXX]."

I thought the whole sun gear/planetary gears are supposed to spin to prevent kickback damage? I had not modified the starter in any way, had not done Doc's fix where the sun gear is screwed into a stationary position. My understanding is the friction of the starter case bolts are supposed to hold it relatively tight but not 100% tight. I can't budge the sun gear, or remove it from the nose. Oh, and I checked the timing, and everything looks fine at TDC. Can't guarantee there wasn't a fuel/spark delivery issue, but I felt nothing wrong while riding.

What's your take on this? My fault?
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: Hellgate » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:50 pm

No one in the USA makes a starter for the XV. They are from Taiwan, the vast majority are from China.
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: Hellgate » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:56 pm

Oh, I've been through 5, yes 5 starters in the last year. All with different failures. Planetary gears broken, ring gear cracked in half, 2 burned out windings. Most recently the armature unseat itself a took out the brush tray.

I suspect there is a "new" manufacturer who is making this garbage. They in turn are sold to a variety of distributors and retailers.

These things are sh*t.
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: Artie » Wed Aug 24, 2016 7:57 pm

mate, im not rying to be a smartarse, so bear with me... but given that youve had so many failures, while im still using the original starter on my original bike and the others in my shed all look original as well.... and the impression that many others on here are not having the same issues as your machine... maybe there IS an issue with your ride?

Kickback, yeah it happens, and yeah the starter is supposed to be able to deal with it..but my old Duke, when it hiccuped during a start, almost always cost me a sprag clutch....well, not always, but often enough.
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: DGA » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:02 am

My guess there is the shaft hardening caused a crack and it broke from that. The engine should be able to kick while starting, but not backwards, if that didn't happen then it was just a manufacturing flaw. You got unlucky and it broke, most don't it seems, unless you have more compression and spark timing etc.
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: Hellgate » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:45 am

Artie wrote:mate, im not rying to be a smartarse, so bear with me... but given that youve had so many failures, while im still using the original starter on my original bike and the others in my shed all look original as well.... and the impression that many others on here are not having the same issues as your machine... maybe there IS an issue with your ride?


Enlighten me.
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: benpineapple » Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:26 pm

Hellgate wrote:
Artie wrote:mate, im not rying to be a smartarse, so bear with me... but given that youve had so many failures, while im still using the original starter on my original bike and the others in my shed all look original as well.... and the impression that many others on here are not having the same issues as your machine... maybe there IS an issue with your ride?


Enlighten me.


Hard to believe a bike can just randomly without warning, grenade a starter. And it's not like the bike is shattering the output drive every time. Random components failed means poor quality starter right? Definitely going to go over everything on my bike again before reinstalling the new starter.

UPDATE: The company (Discount Starter and Alternator) is refusing to honor the 1-year warrantee, so I ordered a new 4-brush starter from a different company. They were really rude about this too. Don't give them your money, $150 for a starter that blows up after a month? Hmm...Seems not worth it.
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: Artie » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:55 pm

Hellgate wrote:
Artie wrote:mate, im not rying to be a smartarse, so bear with me... but given that youve had so many failures, while im still using the original starter on my original bike and the others in my shed all look original as well.... and the impression that many others on here are not having the same issues as your machine... maybe there IS an issue with your ride?


Enlighten me.


Not trying to enlighten you mate, and, like I said, nor am I trying to be a smartarse...just making the point that you seem to have more trouble over a very short period of time than most.... a heartfelt good luck in getting it sorted.
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: Hellgate » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:16 pm

Artie wrote:
Hellgate wrote:
Artie wrote:mate, im not rying to be a smartarse, so bear with me... but given that youve had so many failures, while im still using the original starter on my original bike and the others in my shed all look original as well.... and the impression that many others on here are not having the same issues as your machine... maybe there IS an issue with your ride?


Enlighten me.


Not trying to enlighten you mate, and, like I said, nor am I trying to be a smartarse...just making the point that you seem to have more trouble over a very short period of time than most.... a heartfelt good luck in getting it sorted.

Right. Point being the OEM starter is a quality made, Japanese unit. The current 4 brush starters from China are hit and miss at best.

The most recent starter, all have come from Rick's, is of much higher quality and currently has 20 successful starts on it as of yesterday. The prior lot was junk. Hopefully the current one is good.

If you are a regular here you'll see I'm not the only one with bad luck with Chinese junk starters recently.

Again, I fail to see how the bike caused the armature to unseat itself and destroy the points on start number 2. That is pure and simple poorly made junk.

And I'm not working with shade tree mechanics (that's what I am) but automotive engineers from MIT.

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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: benpineapple » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:23 am

DGA wrote:My guess there is the shaft hardening caused a crack and it broke from that. The engine should be able to kick while starting, but not backwards, if that didn't happen then it was just a manufacturing flaw. You got unlucky and it broke, most don't it seems, unless you have more compression and spark timing etc.


DGA, yeah I've been checking system after system out to see if there is something seriously wrong with my back, but I think I did just get unlucky. Everything I've checked so far looks good (all valve clearances, spark, carb system, compression). I'm thinking maybe there was some water in my fuel, and somehow that caused kickback.

Anyways, I was super itchy to get back on the road, we only get 4 good months of riding here in Michigan, so I ordered a new starter on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KG ... =UTF8&psc=
At $75, it's hands down the cheapest 4-brush starter I've seen (this one is made in Taiwan). Works perfectly so far, and is notably quieter than my other "USA" made starter. We'll see how it holds up. Currently ~20 starts in.

Thanks all for the input.
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: CX Rancher » Wed Aug 31, 2016 10:27 pm

benpineapple wrote:Good morning,

Bought a brand new USA-made 4-brush starter last month at a local shop, and it blew up. Bike has been starting and running flawlessly, no issues. I go to start it, and it starts cranking the motor, then stops and the starter just starts spinning.

I contact the manufacturer, and here's what they say:

"Good Morning,

Unfortunately that type of damage is not covered under warranty as it is not a manufacturers defect. That type of damage is caused by what is known as "kickback". Kickback is caused by the engine timing be off and/or an issue with fuel/spark delivery. If the issue with the application is not addressed you will continue to have this problem. We will be happy to help you get a new order placed, please give us a call at [XXX-XXX-XXXX]."

What's your take on this? My fault?


Nope not your fault. No problem with the bike would cause this except hydrostatic lock or mechanical interference somewhere imo. If this was the second or third broken starter they could have a point but this is not the case.

The shop that you purchased it from should have warranted it and or at least gone to bat for you and or even ate it themselves. Some states have a minimum warrantee on automotive parts for 90 days and 4,000 miles mandatory. Usually backed by the selling vendor. There is no maintenance required for this part, so you did not fail any maintenance schedule.

If you paid by credit card there may be leverage to recall the payment through your card servicer.

I am a critic of bad service whether its automotive, home repair or doctoring and the best way to make their services better is to make an appeal with facts and civility. and repeat and repeat and repeat.

Hope you get some consumer satisfaction in the end.
G'Luk !
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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: dennist » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:09 pm

The starter you bought from Amazon is labeled by DC Electric Model SMU0072. I emailed them, DC Electric, and asked what was the country of origin/manufacture of this starter and they replied "China". I was set to buy one but not now. Am going to investigate shops that might do a good rebuild on my stock starter motor before I buy one of these knockoffs, if it can be successfully rebuilt. Do you think that the added strain put on the starter motor account of the crummy starter clutch gear set up is effecting the operating of these new Chinese starters? Not a mechanic so do not know, just wondering why they don't seem to be reliable and last very long.

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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: dennist » Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:35 am

Further comment from DB Electrical today: "We have a 3% return rate. We offer a one year warranty with free return shipping for the first 60 days". I just might spend the $75 bucks and get one to try it out, that amount is not breaking the bank. Bike is a converted cafe racer type and is not a primary bike so not used very much. We will see and will report back later with results.

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Re: Kickback vs Starter Motor

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Wed Oct 11, 2017 6:01 am

Semi-off point...but this is also why I don't find locking the ring gear solidly in-place as a fix. These starters were design to have "some" give in the case of a rare kick back. Seen too many exploded noses/rings that have been welded, or set-screwed into place. That's alotta torq to suddenly stop and/or reverse and have no where to go. Torq will also tranfer back into shaft causing lot of unwanted twisting.
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