Starter Clutch Issue?

If it's broken or just needs tweaked

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Joined: Tue Sep 13, 2016 11:26 am

Starter Clutch Issue?

Postby Zepar » Wed Sep 14, 2016 11:26 am

Hello everyone,

I recently acquired a Honda CB650 Nighthawk SOHC 1982 as my first project motorcycle. I'll probably be asking for quite a bit of advice in the next few weeks, but the main issue I have is that the bike is a non starter.

At first, after fixing all of the wiring and getting everything working, the starter motor still wasn't engaging. Upon getting it off the bike and opening it up, I found it to be completely full of dirt and dust and crud, bearing in mind that the bike hasn't been running in about 5 years or so. I cleaned it all up and put it all back together, and refit it on to the bike.

Now however, the motor spins but doesn't seem to engage the starter clutch. Taking the starter clutch cover off, I can see that when the starter motor is first engaged and you can hear it spinning quickly, the visible gears are jutted round slightly but otherwise remain stationary. Checking the spark plugs, they have slight spark for the first quarter of a second of turning over, and then have nothing.

I'm wondering if this is a starter clutch issue, still a starter motor issue (worn splined on the shift of the motor?) Or some other issue, if anybody might have ideas. I've found a tutorial for trying to replace the starter clutch assembly which doesn't require splitting the engine (thank goodness) though I'll still be calling in help to do it. Just wondering if there's anything else that's a bit easier that I might try first before trying this job, and trying to find somewhere to order a replacement starter clutch assembly.

Any suggestions on what might cause this issue will help this complete amateur hugely!

Thanks guys!

Add on: for whatever reason, the neutral light, oil light and main beam lights aren't coming on, despite the wiring being connected and the bulbs working. Bit confused by that one; dash still lights up. In any case; would the absence of the lights being on cause any issue with it starting? The starter still turns over which I don't believe it should with no neutral light on?

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