Breva 1100 won't start

I have a Moto Guzzi V100 Breva. I have a problem that I think may be the starter motor although I am not a mechanic.
The bike started and I took it across the road and switched it off, to get ready. It sounded like there was a loud whirring noise when it started like when you try to start a car that already has the engine running.

When i went back a few minutes later, as the start button was pressed there was a very loud click but nothing happened.
I tried rocking bacward and forward when in gear to free it but no go.

I have checked the battery and that seems good. It is very easy to remove the starter so I removed it. It spins freely one way, but does not turn the other way.
I put it back but no change.

Any ideas guys I’m no mechanic but can do simple stuffRoPro2013-08-26 17:16:14

Okay found a bit in FAQ I was looking for.
Bridged across large terminal and the smaller one just below it. This turned the engine over. So tried again and this time engine started!! but with I guess is being decribed as the clattering noise. Killed engine and pushed out of garage as I didn’t want to fill it with exhaust. This time it started on the button but again with the accompanying clattering.
Okay so does this mean I need to replace the relay and where is it?

Doubt a clattering noise is a relay. Can you tell where the noise is coming from? A long screwdriver held with handle against one ear and blade touching various parts of the engine and starter motor will help.

If it actually started with the clattering noise evident, it won’t be the solenoid machine gunning due to a low battery.

A clattering noise sounds more like the solenoid not managing to pull
the starter drive into the ring gear and spin the engine over all at the
same time. More likely to be a low battery, or loose terminal
connection between battery and starter or battery earth come loose.
Check these over then get the battery tested. Has the bike stood a
while as alarms etc can take there toll if left for a couple of weeks or
so?.The single click is the sound of a dodgy relay and it is well
worth while doing the relay wiring modification also mentioned in the
FAQ section.There was quite a recent thread on a similar problem here:-Clattering starter motorMost car accessory places should be able to put a battery tester across the terminals to check it out.Make
sure the various connections onto the battery etc are good and tight as
that can slow everything down and loose you precious volts.How old is the bike / current battery? If 4 or 5 years, it is probably on borrowed time already.

If it’s machine gunning due to a low battery, then the starter motor won’t be turning so neither will the engine. If the engine is turning and starting then the solenoid must be engaging the starter pinion into the ring gear.If the noise continues after the engine has started and the start button released, then it is possible that the pinion is not disengaging. This you could find out with the long screwdriver stethascope.But well worth getting the battery checked while you are at it.

Thanks guys,

Tonight I went around and made sure everything was tight, Didn’t actually find anything but still.
I had forgotten to put it back on the Optimiser but gave it a go. It started up no problem. It still seemed to make a noise but def not machine gunning. Think maybe I am paranoid now. It was more of a sort of roar that stopped as soon as it fired up. Sounded different to before.
Its back on optiniser now so I will look see if it is showing up a fault or is good.

Once again thanks for the help.

Try the screwdriver stethascope trick, you will then be able to locate where that noise is coming from.

Have a starter motor built from 3 others, problem was the tin guard behind the epicyclic gearing in the nose of the starter is only a push fit and the large magnetic field in the rotor windings can pull this cover back until it contacts the windings. When starting, the windings rub against the cover, causing a rattly noise and removing the insulation from the winding wire which then shorts out on the cover, burning holes in it and stopping the motor from functioning. This had happened on all 3 motors.Cheers, Gerry.

What make starter motor is it? It could be either Valeo or Bosch. Which were yours Gerry?

Twas a Valeo, as fitted to most French cars and Toyotas, still a rubbish design.
PS all the later (Carc) Guzzis have Valeo starter motors.Duffo2013-08-30 17:50:15

Not true, my 06 manufactured Norge has a Bosch starter.

Thanks for all the comments

Mine is a Bosch starter/solenoid. I think the problem is in the solenoid part as bridging the starter motor will start it when I just get a loud click from the start button. I did this a couple of times and then it started working off the button but failed again yesterday and had to bridge the starter motor again. As I am going a way with wife as pillion on Friday for a long weekend I have ordered a new unit. It will hopefully arrive and get it fittted on Thursday.

When you say bridging the terminals, are you shorting across the 2 large connections on the end of the solenoid? or from one of the large terminals onto the small spade connector?It may be different on the newer models but the older ones, when you short between the 2 large terminals the starter spins but does not engage. Only when you put power onto the smaller spade connection, does the solenoid flick the starter gear into the ring gear on the flywheel. With mine, if I got the relay click and no start, a quick spin of the motor across the 2 large terminals would free things of and it would then start on the button.Sounds like you may need to do the standard wiring mod to the relay. Details hereAlthough this does not explain the strange noises from the starter.

One good thing about Bosch units is they can be refurbished by a local Bosch auto elektrikery shop. I found one in Leicester that did refurbish my starter motor for LESS than the flippin’ parts would cost from Guzzi I am well capable of doing it myself BUT to get a top job done for less than I can buy the bits it is a no brainer, I know other local Guzzisti have doen the same with starter motor and altenator, some are easily able to do it themselves BUT why bother when you can get it done, warrantied and back for less than you can get the parts for.???

Don, the newer ones work just the same.There is a topic in FAQ on how to test a starter motor.I would be surprised if it was the solenoid. Even though I have done the wiring mod on the Norge, and cleaned out the sticky grease round the solenoid plunger, I still got the click no crank issue last week at the V Twin.I disconnected the feed to the start relay then operated the start button several times. It’s worked fine since, so I suspect a dirty contact in the relay.

“It spins freely one way, but does not turn the other way.” The pinion is on a sprag clutch that free-wheels in the opposite direction, this prevents the flywheel trying to drive the motor around when it starts but is still engaged. But if it’s not budging in the other direction suggests something is binding inside, hence the noise, a la Duffo’s example (?)