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Starter clutch or something else? (SOLVED)

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Starter clutch or something else? (SOLVED)

PostAuthor: IanP » Wed May 12, 2021 6:17 am

Hello fellow Viragoers.. I'm losing my enthusiasm for this damned bike already - only owned if for 2 months but had to work on it more than ride it so far ('classic' bikes ... who'd have them!) :;:

Before I go ordering parts and ripping into my bike (probably making things worse as normal)... can I check the symptoms of a starter clutch which is failing / failed?

I hit the starter button, the starter motor spins but consistently - does not sound like it is turning the engine. it's a "vrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" sound, rather than "vrrr, vrrr, vrrr, vrrr" (know what I mean?)

If this is the starter clutch, what bits do I need to order to sort it out? I see the starter clutch for sale on ebay - but are there other bits needed (or does that depends on an inspection and what looks to be broken)? I see somewhere I may need pullers also?

What threw me was that the bike was starting just fine ... I striped the carbs, cleaned jets, etc ... and could not start the bike directly afterwards - so put it down to me messing something up in the carbs - but I've double checked and carbs have gone back together just fine... I managed to get it to catch and started yesterday, then started multiple times when warm. From cold this morning, started "instantly",... left if for an hour, tried again and just the constant starter noise - will not start now at all.

Thanks all!

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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Wed May 12, 2021 6:42 am

IanP wrote:Hello fellow Viragoers.. the starter motor spins but consistently - does not sound like it is turning the engine.


Starter clutch would be my first guess..at this point. One, or more of those catch/lock'n rollers isn't holding anymore. I'm going to assume you're talking bout the 88'/535 you use to have listed (?). I've never take'n one of them off, pretty straight forward.

Such as: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-qMPvhQXb8 Or one of a thousand other vids.
Last edited by Flyingdog on Wed May 12, 2021 6:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: IanP » Wed May 12, 2021 6:52 am

Hi there. thanks for the feedback. No, this is a '93 535. where did you see the '88 listed?? It might have been my old bike I listed when I was last here in the forum 11 years or so ago - sold it 12 years ago and just (2 months ago) bought another... wish I'd have bought an SV650 instead! :bg:

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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Wed May 12, 2021 6:55 am

Got that year look'n back at your earlier posts. Didn't look at the yr., just saw the bike. Doesn't matter (88 or 93)...same setup.
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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: IanP » Wed May 12, 2021 7:07 am

Ok, thanks. I've see "Starter clutch repair kits available, so as long as the bolts look ok, and nothing obviously wrong with the clutch physically - would it be normal to simply use one of these kits to fix it? obviously depends what is wrong - I get that... but how would I go about deciding if I just need to clutch repair kit of the full lot?

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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Wed May 12, 2021 7:25 am

IanP wrote: obviously depends what is wrong



Whelp..you got it. So..sorry..can't help ya any farther. I'm going to back out and let someone who owns one of those bikes. Mainly cuz..me..I'd just replace the whole clutch. Cuz I never combine new with old. Unless, it was designed that way. Most of the time, anyway. Specially on internal stuff that's probly one of the hardest working and most abused pieces. AKA: remove all guessing games. Good luck.
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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: 1982 virago 750 » Wed May 12, 2021 4:23 pm

My 82 750 is doing the same thing and the only thing I did to have possibly caused this was change the oil. Not to sure maybe I put the wrong oil in it causing things to slip.

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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Jake » Wed May 12, 2021 5:32 pm

IanP wrote: No, this is a '93 535. where did you see the '88 listed??


I suggest you add the year and model of your Virago in your profile.


Add the info at this link to your User Control Panel
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It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Kithal » Tue Aug 24, 2021 8:07 am

I am currently working on my starter clutch on my 93. The only way to know for sure is to drain the oil and crack it open. The starter clutch is mounted between the Flywheel ( Silverish bowl on crankshaft) and the larger gear behind it. You can reach your fingers in and see if it is loose. If so, it definitely needs to be changed. If not, like someeone else mentioned, one or more of the bearings may not be engaging. They are cheap enough to just replace the whole clutch. I got a clutch and the gasket on Ebay for like $35.

Hope this helps anyone else that may need the info.
Last edited by Kithal on Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Flyingdog » Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:46 am

1982 virago 750 wrote:My 82 750 is doing the same thing and the only thing I did to have possibly caused this was change the oil. Not to sure maybe I put the wrong oil in it causing things to slip.


Whole different ball game, there:

https://www.yamahapartshouse.com/oempar ... ter-clutch

https://www.yamahapartshouse.com/oempar ... ter-clutch

Besides..4 months ago..he probly just threw in the towel.
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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Billll » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:51 am

I now seem to have the same problem after 2 years of hard starting, the starter clutch seems to have worn out. My question is do the rollers ride on some part of the alternator, or on something else? My old Laverda had a similar starting system, and I needed to repair it several times over 55,000 miles. Got pretty good at it. Is it just the rollers that need replacing or is it the contact surface as well?

OK I looked. The contact surface is on the large sprocket that is driven by the starter. I can get both clutch parts and a gasket for $95 or the sprag assembly and gasket for $33. Rather not have to do this twice even though it doesn't look like all that hard a job. So does the sprag assembly alone generally solve the problem?

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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: blackiex » Sun Sep 26, 2021 3:51 pm

Impossible to tell without having a closer look at the engagement surface on the large gear beforehand.
The 6 roller, heavy duty starter clutch is a better design, that should last longer. Sold on ebay. Just search for "heavy duty" 535 starter clutch. A tad more expensive but a stronger design. The stock one is prone to failure.
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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Billll » Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:48 pm

That 6-roller unit looked nice. I ordered the 2-piece set with gasket anyway as I know the inner surface is prone to wear as well.

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Re: Starter clutch or something else?

PostAuthor: Billll » Thu Oct 07, 2021 12:45 pm

Billll wrote:That 6-roller unit looked nice. I ordered the 2-piece set with gasket anyway as I know the inner surface is prone to wear as well.

Replaced the whole thing, problem solved.

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