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Old February 13th, 2018, 10:32 AM   #1
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Bad Starter is actually a bad Shorai

Caveat: Most anything I know I probably learned here.

My bike exhibited the exact symptoms of the starter failure and had been getting progressively worse over the last few months. I'd bought the replacement and was about to do the swap myself.

But since I was going to have new fork cartridges put in I asked for an estimate on swapping the starter while the bike was in the shop.

Mechanic wants to know why I think my starter is bad (this is a local independent Ducati guy who admittedly hasn't worked on a lot of HS). I explain the history of bad starters, and the symptoms. After a bit of back and forth he asks me,

"So when did you put the lithium battery in it?" I had not mentioned anything about what type of battery was in the bike.

Now I know plenty of peeps are using Shorai's with no issue, but this guy dropped about 30 minutes of knowledge on me about why he thought the Shorai was a bad idea in just about any bike with lots of electronics on it. I'm not going to get into that argument because I don't know anything.

I do know that he wouldn't even quote me on the starter install because he insisted all I needed to do was put a new YUASA back in. And so I did.

And I now have a spare starter motor that I don't need at all because my bike fires right up. Barring any sort of disaster with the fork install, I also just found the guy who will be doing anything to my Ducati that I'm not comfortable doing myself.
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Old February 13th, 2018, 12:31 PM   #2
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Great that you found an honest and knowledgeable mechanic. Always look for the cheap/easy before doing the deeper dive.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 02:58 AM   #3
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Hmm. We have a pretty extensive starter issue thread. Plus a pretty extensive battery thread.

I have a Shorai. I can say the following:
- My starter was cycling slow before I swapped stock battery
- If I "warm" the Shorai up properly - especially when cold - it starts at least as good as before the swap. Subsequent warm starts the rest of the ride day fires right up.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 03:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatdammit View Post
Hmm. We have a pretty extensive starter issue thread. Plus a pretty extensive battery thread.

I have a Shorai. I can say the following:
- My starter was cycling slow before I swapped stock battery
- If I "warm" the Shorai up properly - especially when cold - it starts at least as good as before the swap. Subsequent warm starts the rest of the ride day fires right up.
and now a thread which connects both
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Old February 14th, 2018, 08:52 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gatdammit View Post
Hmm. We have a pretty extensive starter issue thread. Plus a pretty extensive battery thread.

I have a Shorai. I can say the following:
- My starter was cycling slow before I swapped stock battery
- If I "warm" the Shorai up properly - especially when cold - it starts at least as good as before the swap. Subsequent warm starts the rest of the ride day fires right up.
Sorry to clutter up the otherwise well organized forum. Especially one so active.

Thanks for adding to the discussion, I hadn't been able to find a post that said "well my battery works!" and now I know some of them do in fact work. Even after the bikes been ridden for awhile.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 09:22 AM   #6
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Kind of the tell-tale sign of a bad starter is that it doesn't start well when warm/hot, but starts fine when cold. If it's a weak battery it would struggle more consistently.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 10:12 AM   #7
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In years past have read about quite a few bad Shorai batteries. This within the first few years after introduction to the market. But lately, not many reports of Shorai problems.
As always, YMMV. Don't know if Shorai fixed problem ... or what? Or was it consumer education?

I have a Shorai in my KTM Duke 690 ... and when COLD you have to warm up the Shorai, which to many is counterintuitive. But it works. KTM always starts well, but cold weather it may balk on first try. Leave key on (with head light) for 20 to 30 seconds ... and now instant start. All good so far.

I bought another Shorai for the Ducati, but have not yet installed it. The current Yuasa is fairly "young", working well so far. So instead, it will probably replace my aging DEKA AGM battery in my Suzuki DR650 at some point. New Shorai on work bench for now.

With Lifepo batts you have to watch voltage (or so I've heard). Running accessories like heated gear can run down the LifePo. Not good! if you run it too low it can ruin it.
Many buy a Lifepo batt that is under rated for their bike. Experts recommend going UP a size if any question.

I plan on buying the new little Battery Tender Lithium specific charger to carry on longer rides.

I run heated gear a lot, so need to be able to re-charge batt at days end if required.

OP,
On the extra starter ... can't you return it for Cash or Credit?

Last edited by Hyp Noob; February 14th, 2018 at 10:21 AM.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 11:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuksul08 View Post
Kind of the tell-tale sign of a bad starter is that it doesn't start well when warm/hot, but starts fine when cold. If it's a weak battery it would struggle more consistently.
Hot was the worst, but I also had problems cold, with or without some warm up time. The Shorai shows fully charged on the lithium tender.

I feel like I've read every thread here 3 or 4 times, and did not expect the battery change to fix anything. And yet with the new Yuasa the bike has fired right up at all temps just fine so far.

I obviously diagnosed it wrong. Or it's some strange temporary reprieve and the problem will be back next month. Or it's possible two different problems have the same symptoms... ymmv.
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Old February 15th, 2018, 01:53 AM   #9
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Looks like the hot start issue was your trigger. Mine cranks fine when warm.
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Old February 17th, 2018, 08:00 AM   #10
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Hyp noob, the only time anything should be draining the battery is before start or at idle speeds. When moving, everything should be powered by the alternator. Vehicle batteries are a secondary per source with the alternator being primary.
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