Starter Motor - Valeo Alternatives

The inevitable eventually happened and my Valeo Starter Motor died.

Could service it myself, but I would rather let someone else have the hassle.

I can get a new Valeo (D6RA210) for just over £200 allowing for trading in my dead one for reconditioning.

Alternatively I can get a new PlusLine D6RA21+ equivalent with 2 year warranty for just over £50. Tempting!

Has anyone any experience of the PlusLine :question:

The Bosch alternative (BOSCH 0001157016) is ridiculously priced and was substituted using Valeo by Guzzi.

Are you sure it’s the starter that is dead? The starter relay wiring can be troublesome
What are your symptoms? What have you checked?
I do know of someone who has fitted one of the cheapy £50 brand off Ebay new starters & he says it’s great.

It is definitely the starter.

I did

  • the battery state check,


  • the engine not stuck check,


  • the try-it-on-the-key check,


  • the starter wiring continuity check and finally


  • the direct battery to solenoid and starter check.

The solenoid rattles around, but does not engage. The motor does not spin. Checked the motor brushes which are fine. Inside of the starter motor is pretty mucky & carboned up.

I have bitten the bullet and ordered a PlusLine from https://www.autodoc.co.uk.

Feedback & report in due course.

So much for my confidence…

The new starter is fine, but although the solenoid clicks and the starter spins it will not engage. (Checked and the size and rotation are identical).

I cleaned up the old starter and it runs OK on the bench, as does the new one. (At least I have a spare in-hand)

I now suspect wiring, but not the usual candidates. Shorting direct from the battery to the starter terminals energises the solenoid and spins the motor. It just wont engage the starter ring or turn the engine.

  • Poor ground point/negative return for the engine?


  • Dying battery? (Last Year’s Lion, charges just fine on a dedicated smart charger).

Any suggestions gratefully received.

Is the starter engaging with the flywheel?

Don’t reckon so. Just spins free.

Did a quick check on the starter pinion; seems fine. Also turned the engine from the back wheel by hand. It moves.

My tests for a starter motor is the short an open end across the 2 large terminals on the end of the solenoid. It should spin the motor without engaging.
Secondly short from the upper terminal to the spade connecto on top of the solenoid, it should spin and engage.
These tests rule out all of the bikes wiring.
You don’t say what bike it is.
The starter relay wiring is notorious for giving starter problems, you just hear a slight click from the starter relay (a seperate box from the solenoid)
Have you got a spare battery you can try on the bike or a local battery shop that will test yours? I’m a bit of a neanderthal and prefer to stick with older technology, I have only just progressed up to an AGM type of battery! Never had any dealings with a Li-on type, I have read they require a different charging set up, certainly compared to the older Tonti bikes and Bosch electrics.

My tests for a starter motor is the short an open end across the 2 large terminals on the end of the solenoid. It should spin the motor without engaging.
Secondly short from the upper terminal to the spade connector on top of the solenoid, it should spin and engage.
These tests rule out all of the bikes wiring.

Done that. On the bike it just won’t engage. On the bench the solenoid moves and the motor spins nicely.

You don’t say what bike it is.

Cali 1100i first registered 2001, but manufactured 1997 as far as I can ascertain. Mk1 Injection System.

The starter relay wiring is notorious for giving starter problems, you just hear a slight click from the starter relay (a separate box from the solenoid)

As you say the direct wire from the battery should eliminate that. Swapping the starter really should be simple enough to do.

Have you got a spare battery you can try on the bike or a local battery shop that will test yours? I’m a bit of a neanderthal and prefer to stick with older technology, I have only just progressed up to an AGM type of battery! Never had any dealings with a Li-on type, I have read they require a different charging set up, certainly compared to the older Tonti bikes and Bosch electrics.

My next thing to do. I will have to use a Heath-Robinson lash-up and have taken the Lion battery off for the moment. I use a dedicated smart charger (Suaoki). If the worst case arises the battery is just over 2 years old and with a 3 year warranty; yet to be tried. (Shido Suaoki LTX16 - https://www.sportsbikeshop.co.uk/motorcycle_parts/content_prod/248811 ). I tried to get the LTX20, but it became unavailable. One of the strange characteristics is that recommended capacity (Ah) is much less for Lion than AGM or SLA for any specific application. The LTX16 charges well and the self-test LEDs light up fully. It has never been over-discharged and has protective circuitry to prevent that happening. However, my son bought one around the same time for his V1200 Sport and it was DoA!

I also should check that the direct battery to starter cable is sound, although it tests just fine with the multimeter i.e. virtually zero Ohms.

It’s not usually the starter relay that fails, but the tortuous way it is wired. The power feed that is activated by the relay is run through the loom, through various connectors and the ignition switch. Any poor connections along the way and it doesn’t have enough energy left to activate the solenoid. It just clicks the relay.
The answer is to run a feed wire direct from the battery to the relay (Preferably with an inline fuse) Look up Guzzi Click no Crank and you will find plenty of comments on Google.
To eliminate the possibility of battery failure, have you got a pair of jump leads? Jump it of another bike or car.

Alternative battery produced the same results. Confusing.

Then I “twigged” :bulb: that the one thing that I had not checked was the ground connection from battery negative to engine. Using Jump Leads I connected the spare battery (too large for the Guzzi Battery tray) to the Starter Motor Bolt head and tried again. Success! The engine turns!

Not out of the woods yet as the battery may still be failing to provide the necessary Amps under load, simply aggravated by the poor Ground Connection. On other bikes (Notably the Aprilia ETV Caponord) I have “solved” this by running additional Ground Connections direct onto the engine casing.

I think that the logical place on the Cali would be the Starter Motor Bolt Head itself, but the cable route is tortuous and I wouldn’t want to accidentally short the battery. Best kept physically well-apart. At the same time I could easily run a smaller ground cable to the front of the bike to support maximised charging volts, but I would want to put starting current through that alone.

Where is your Battery Negative/Ground connected to? Mine is to the frame on the nearside on the front+rear pedal brake distributor bracket.

PS: strange that the fault occurred suddenly instead of gradually becoming weaker on startup???

Interesting that the solenoid is able to run the starter motor, but not engage the pinion. Didn’t expect that.

Yes. Just enough current to make the solenoid move, but not enough to engage into the flywheel ring and allow the power contacts to make.

The starter motor ran “light” when free i.e. when direct feeding from the battery as per the Guzziology No-Crank Test described by others previously in this thread.

New crimp terminals ordered, but I am tempted to do a clean-up and test before that (what? me impatient?) :open_mouth:

Update: Cleaning up made a big difference and it goes on the button now. I will still improve the connection to the frame if I can identify a better place to connect an additional ground wire further forwards…

Seems from the parts diagram that the battery grounding cable item 11 was meant to be connected to the mudguard support! Perfect location foir corrosion. There is another loom connection to the frame just under the regulator.
WiringLoomComponents_page140.jpg

My battery earth lead is onto one of the bolts holding down the battery tray, so it screws down into the top of the gearbox. That makes a great connection to the starter motor.

I like it. Probably going for a ground link cable to the front of the bike as well - belt & braces.

Cutting, crimping and threading session is imminent. (I invested in a good ratchet crimping tool a few years ago. Much better than the Halfrauds offers).

Thank everyone.

I have also run earth cables between earth points on the frame, in the headlamp, under the tank and to the main battery earth, as Don notes above, bolted into the gearbox. I did this originally as I didn’t want to scrape of loads of powder coating off the frame. The frame earthing points are now free of paint but get a coating of copperslip before bolting up the earth leads after they get (an irregular) cleaning.

Overkill? I agree that earthing becomes a problem after power coating the frame. However, once a good circuit is made then simple front and back earthing (making sure of a good, high-current route to the starter) is plenty. In addition to the battery plate to gearbox+engine connection I have located a spare threaded lug next to the brake distributor which is going to get the clean-up and earth strap treatment. That deals with the main frame. Only needs a decent cable to the instrumentation so that I am not depending on the fork bearings for electrical continuity.

I am afraid that you may well be disappointed with copperslip, as it isn’t especially conductive despite the name. Best kept to stop bolts and screws seizing into alloy casings. (I found this out when solving earth return problems on an aluminum body Jaguar). I did look at metal compatibility and local galvanic corrosion; zinc plated HT bolts and screws are best (not stainless).

So I now have a spare starter, but that is always potentially useful. Into the “box”!

Also if anyone else has trouble locating one in future the number to google is “D6RA210” or “D6RA21”. (Is there a parts equivalent sticky?)

Not overkill in my opinion as it works well and as there are not many earth points and the cable lengths are quite short it is not a lot of work to do.

Can’t do any harm. After doing my earth connectors and fixing my megger (the battery carrier split!) the return resistance is as good as I can get and, after correcting for Test Lead Resistance less than 0.2 Ohm. (That is the starting point prior to corrosion. Never ending job eh?)

Even after that the engine turn over is sluggish. The battery is not beyond suspicion yet. After a couple of tests on the key the battery condition drooped to “Low” on self test, recovering within a minute to “Good”. Put it back on the smart charger and it took an hour @ around 1.0 Amp to get to “Full”. Might be a combination of Lion Batteries and Low Temperatures, but I suspect that the battery is simply under-sized for the application; only 6 AH. I am going to swap it for an AGM 30AH and see the difference.

My Lion Battery Experiment is heading over a cliff. :astonished: Feedback in due course.

Update 13th December 2021: Frustrating eh? My Next Day delivery of a replacement battery ordered early last week is wandering around the country in a Yodel Van :exclamation:

Update 17th December 2021: Tayna were good enough to send out another and recall the one still in Yodel’s possession. Yes, it was a dying Lion Battery. They are not really suitable for such a large lump, and I was unwisely advised by the supplier that the “LTX16” was specified. I wanted and ordered the “LTX20”, but they had gone into unobtanium mode. The Shido lasted just over 18 months. Given the price it was clearly a failed experiment. Back to AGM.