Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A New "Gut" Feeling

I have this little rule that hopefully might "save" me when I am on the road someday with a mechanical problem. When I am working on the bike, I try to only use tools that I keep on the bike. That way I should always have a needed tool with me for most minor repairs. Oh, and in true Jack Riepe fashion, I always have my MagLite flashlight with me, and I used it today.

Most of the tools stored on the bike. I mostly use the screwdriver and the nut driver.
Today's mission is to investigate the wiring of the starter circuit on Max. I checked certain things such as the connection of the negative battery terminal to the grounding wire on the scooter frame. It looked okay. I thought it would.

 Max's seat can be easily removed. Easy to do.

Undoing six bolts with a 10mm nut driver is all it takes to remove the seat.
Once the seat is removed I can see the starter relay (left) and the fuses (center) on the inside wall of the scooter. I am now suspecting that the starter relay is the source of my starting problem. I don't want to replace it yet, but I wanted to see how hard it might be to swap it out if I desire to do so.

With the seat removed, there's lots of goodies inside.

In just a few minutes I was able to remove the starter relay. I temporarily violated my own rule as it became apparent that I could not get at the bolts on the relay from on top, but had to get at from the side. So I pulled out a small socket wrench to do the job. (Shame on me)

The infamous starter relay or solenoid from Max. Don't see anything wrong with it, it's all sealed.
The purpose of this "gizmo" is to provide a mechanism whereby the electricity going through the actual starter switch on the handlebar is much less than the electricity required to power the actual starter motor. I have replaced this on a car before, many years ago.

If you want to, note the small wires leading from the relay are the same color as the wires going through the starter switch on the handlebar as seen in the next picture. The bigger screw on posts on the relay are attached to bigger wires from the battery and then to the starter motor. I briefly looked at all these wires to see if they might be damaged. They all appeared to be okay.

Looking inside the handlebar at the wires leading to the starter switch.

Okay, to ease my guilt about using a tool not stored on Max, I steal a 10mm open end wrench from my tool cabinet and keep it with Max's tools.

Theft of a 10mm wrench
I then use that 10m wrench to out the relay back in the bike. I get the battery back tomorrow after an extended testing. Then I can start testing the relay and see if it is the culprit.

My "gut" feel now is that this relay is the problem to starting Max
Lets hope that it is the relay. It will be easy to replace. I might have to wait for shipment of the part since there is no dealer here in Wichita anymore, but should be easy to find the part.

Oh, and by the way, I cut myself shaving the other day.


  1. Jimbo/cpa3485:

    hope you stop bleeding soon. In the meantime, take a bandage from your scooter first aid kit and plaster it on your chin. I presume you have a tube of antisporin in that kit too and perhaps some gauze.

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

  2. It has to frustrating. Now that you can ride, you can't. But, at least the two of you are getting some quality time together.

  3. Interesting looking relay...I was expecting it to look more like an automotive relay....


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