Yet ANOTHER Question..? No Start

BLIMEY…! This is becoming a habit, sorry about another question, but that’s the kind of lad I am…

Took Thunderbird 5 for it’s MOT today, passed and happy, BUT, at the MOT the T5 failed to fire up…? When the kickstart button was pushed with me thumb, the only thing I got was a clicking from the starter motor…? So I dropped it into gear, wiggled it back and fourth and eventually, it fired up…

Now I’m thinking it’s been standing a bit, while I’ve been fettling, and being a softy these days, if it’s wet at the start of the day, I go to work in the tin box. So as it’s been raining for weeks, I suppose the bike’s been stood for weeks, if not a couple of months even…!

So perhaps damp is getting into the starter and causing me new problem…? What’s the thoughts of the team…?


(Moved to tech Ken )guzzibear2014-01-13 21:55:37

My Lemon used to do that. A whack with a hammer soon showed it who’s boss!

if its a valeo starter motor
strip the solenoid out and clean it, plus rub graphite on the piston

Not too sure WHAT starter motor is fitted, it started to rain and I just threw it back in the fettling shed, but I’ve a ‘Feeling’ its a Bosch starter…?

Don’t fancy whacking it with a mallet, last time I did something like that, I broke something…

Sounds like you need to do the clunk no click upgrade.It’s all to do with the wire to the starter relay, that goes from the battery, three times up and down the bike and back before getting to the relay. the little electrons have run out of puff and can’t turn things over.You need to run a new wire from the battery to the starter relay. Keith will show you which one for the price of a burger (now he’s unbroken!)

Have you still got the original cartridge type fuses? An Arkright j.j.j.jiggle may give a quick fix. I used to leave a sachet of silica gel in the fuse box of my old Spada before getting fed up and replacing the whole lot with modern blade type.


Had this more then once here is the check list buddy

It should be a BOSCH starter on the T5 BUT could have been changed to Valeo.

That said:-

Easiest to check are the fuses, the ceramic ones do sometimes corrode on the ends I replaced my alloy ones for copper ones a quick fix is just run a finger up them so they rotate it cleans the ends, The alloy ones sometimes do corrode so that there is no contact as the alloy dissapears therfore they LOOK ok but there ishardly any contact.

The battery connections do the same pop them off clean the terminals and apply Vaseline

Squirt some contact cleaner in the start button if you do not have servisol then WD40 will do the job …not as good but I have used it many times.

BUT most likely it is the start relay as has been said get the alternative wiring diagram and DO IT best replacement is one of the relays (buy a set) from “Pyro dan” in the USA cheap and will handle up to 30A the spares can be used for other htings like headlamp relays and spotlamp relays as well as they are smaller so easy to carry a spare.

You can get a 30A accesory relay with a built in fuse from most car accesory shops, I must have replaced this 4-5x over the last 20 yrs they get sluggish then fail completely.

If it fails out on the road a screw driver across the small tag to the start big + bolt will throw it over IF that does not do it then it starts to get a bit more complicated/expensive IF you can’t or don’t want to refurb the starter yourself (By the way Valio rebuild in this months Gambalunga) The nearest Bosch auto elektrikery shop can refurb them at less than a 2nd hand one OR send it to Exsmokingbiker and he can.

99/100 on my v1000 and T5 motor it has ALWAYS been the start relay

THIS is the most likely culprit every time.

Only ONCE has the small braided cable from the solenoid to the starter 1/4" long was cracked THAT caused me a head scratching did that BUT that IS a rare one.

Hope this helps

Click – no Crank?

More or less all models of Guzzi may suffer from this at some time in their lives. You push the starter button only to hear a small click, and nothing else happens.
It is mainly due to the strange wiring used, where the high current which is required to operate the starter solenoid has to pass through the ignition switch contacts, which are rarely designed for this.
The cure is to do a small modification to the wiring of the start relay, found amongst the relays on all models.
In essence you need to remove the wire connected to pin 30 on the relay, ensuring that the loop to pin 85 remains intact and still connected to the loom. Then run a new wire from battery positive via an inline fuse of at least 15A back to pin 30 on the start relay.Be aware that the numbering on the diagram is wrong, swap 30 for 87 on it.

The same problem also seems to surface on the new 750s and CARC models. However different relays are used so the numbers above don’t work.
On the new models this picture explains what to do.


Remove yellow wire from pin 3 and tape it up. Then add new connection from pin 3 to battery positive via a fuse.

One advantage to doing this is that the yellow wire you remove could be used as a switched power source for any accessory.
This mod also bypasses the fuse which sometimes blows when hitting the start button.
Beware, this mod alone will not work on some of the later cali models - post '93 - where the headlight is switched off when the starter is pressed.
On these you would also have to remove the lights relay and bridge across what would have been the relay contacts, otherwise the relay is energised all the time and will discharge the battery.Edited by Brian UK - 12 Oct 2013 at 10:47

Brian UK2014-01-29 22:30:30

NEVER hit a Valeo starter with anything apart from your hand. You will most likely break the field magnets away from the casing, in which case you will have wrecked the starter completely.

chances are if you have to tap (yes tap not thump pooh out of it) you have sticking brushes a tap frees them off and they make contact with rotor then starting it

Either that or a sticking solenoid.
It can also be as simple as the gears not meshing, so the solenoid will not pull in fully.Brian UK2014-01-14 08:55:05

I think the Valeo starters are very prone to the magnets becoming detached anyway and hitting the casing with a hammer will only accentuate this.

Mine failed due to this exact fault last summer in France.

An easy DIY job replacing the starter motor BUT very expensive when you are abroad and don’t have time to shop around

DazGuzzi2014-01-15 15:31:13

Piece of wire 6’’ ong.Strip both ends and crimp an insulated female spade to one end.Then remove the female spade to the solonoid and replace with this.Peel back the rubber boot on the starter motor and short the other end to it by hand.This bypasses all the dodgy connections etc and if this don’t sort it you have definitley got a starter motor problem.A Bosch dealer will fix better than new for £90.00 was last quote.If Valeo the Damien Lockley (now that is the baddies name in any book) has an article in the latest Gamblungino.

Good tip Ian. What Ken & ExSB said, feasible brushes are worn or stuck so bad contact, but implies starter is old / been used lots. Starter overhaul instructions here (with pix):

if you get stuck I can fully recondition it for you by post or if you want to drop it off

In 25 yrs I only had my Bosch starter refurbished ONCE however the start relay is replaced every 2-3 years THAT is what I would tackle first.

Also on older Tonti framed bikes ALWAYS fit the Bosch starter it will stand the extra churning a carb bike often requires to get it fired up. Valeo for the FI bikes are OK BUT they state a burst of NO more than 5-8 seconds to fire a bike…THAT is unlikely to fire an old Tonti bike on a cold morning when you are low on fuel and for some reason let it run once the taps have been shut emptying the carbs.

Cheapest fixes first is the best rule…look at the click no start thread above very easy to do


Thanks lads…

Right, this is what I’m going to do, first bung in a new relay and see what happens…? Then if that don’t do it, I’ll whip the BOSCH starter motor out, and have me a look see. The bike’s been sitting in a damp garage for over 20yrs, so I really don’t suspect worn brushes, but I DO suspect them being stuck. Might just be a clean up and away we go…?

If all else fails, I’ll be giving that Ex-smoker lad a shout…

Can’t be harder to work on than a BSA Dynamo, can it…?

Sorry for the late update, there’s a steering wheel that needs attending too…

There are a pair of contacts within the solenoid of the Bosch starter that can get iffy. To check and clean them you do need to un-solder 1 connection on the back of the solenoid housing in order to take the end off.It’s not difficult to do. If the starter solenoid i.e. the tube piggy backed on top of the starter motor, has been clicking as opposed to the starter relay under the sidepanel - then maybe the starter relay is okay!
Normski2014-01-17 20:06:36

Also check the actual fuses anyone with a Tonti with ceramic fuses it is worth seeking out copper ones and taking the alloy ones out yearly to check if they have corroded… once they go they cause all sorts of silly faults and are a total git to nail down.