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Discussion Starter #1
Has anybody had problems with the starter clutch? My husband's 2011 XC wouldn't start and he thought originally it was the starter but he had it tested at the dealers and it's OK. My husband thinks it is the starter clutch because it seems "seized" and slightly off-centered. I haven't had any problems with my 2010 XC but am wondering if this is an engineering weakness. The clutch doesn't look like it has much heft for the amount of starting torque this big engine has. I'm also wondering if this might be a warranty item. The bike has less than 3,000 miles on it. (He bought the bike used so no original owner's warranty.)
 

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Hope it isn't the starter clutch but if it is at least it's a cheaper fix than a starter. By any chance did he or has he used the throttle while trying to get the bike started? Coming from a V-Star owner I can tell you that practice has taken out so many starter clutches that it's tough to find anyone that has one in stock.
 

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Has anybody had problems with the starter clutch? My husband's 2011 XC wouldn't start and he thought originally it was the starter but he had it tested at the dealers and it's OK. My husband thinks it is the starter clutch because it seems "seized" and slightly off-centered. I haven't had any problems with my 2010 XC but am wondering if this is an engineering weakness. The clutch doesn't look like it has much heft for the amount of starting torque this big engine has. I'm also wondering if this might be a warranty item. The bike has less than 3,000 miles on it. (He bought the bike used so no original owner's warranty.)
Warranty stays with the bike, not the owner. thumb up
 

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Has anybody had problems with the starter clutch? My husband's 2011 XC wouldn't start and he thought originally it was the starter but he had it tested at the dealers and it's OK. My husband thinks it is the starter clutch because it seems "seized" and slightly off-centered. I haven't had any problems with my 2010 XC but am wondering if this is an engineering weakness. The clutch doesn't look like it has much heft for the amount of starting torque this big engine has. I'm also wondering if this might be a warranty item. The bike has less than 3,000 miles on it. (He bought the bike used so no original owner's warranty.)
Silly as this sounds check your battery connection and see if there tight.
You really haven't told us much other then it didn't start so I'm just guessing mind you.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I normally try to stay out of my husband's way when he's wrenching but if I understood him correctly, he could see the starter spinning (he had both sides open), but the starter clutch did not engage. Also, after taking the clutch out and holding it, it does not move. The book said it should spin in one direction and not the other (that may not be right, but I know he said it should move). Also, upon very close scrutiny it appears that some of the "knuckles" are at different angles and that on one side these knuckles can be moved in and out, but 180 degrees away the knuckles are stuck in place. He's got a new one ordered and along with some o-rings it's going to cost about $100. He's planning on calling Victory Monday about any warranty, but after reading their warranty on-line I think I need to warn him to "be nice"! He'll be nervous next time he rides, regardless of this fixes it or it needs something additional and I hope he can get over that because he's already threatening to go back to HD.
 

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He already has taken parts off the bike and has parts ordered? If this is the case why add stress by caling Victory and arguing warranty since there's a pretty good chance he just voided it?

As mentioned early using the throttle while starting the bike is what most likely caused the problem and you description of the condition of the starter clutch pretty much shows that is what happened.

IMHO replace the parts and change whatever practice that may have caused the problem and don't say a word to Victory. This way he can get the bike back on the road and not officially void the warranty.

Of course if he prefers to go back to Harley that's fine but he should keep in mind the Harleys break too and Harley doesn't jump in to fix their problems either. They had timing chain tensioner and swingarm problems for years that they did nothing about other than hope the owners traded their bikes in before the tensioners broke and fragged the engines or the faulty swingarms made them crash.
 

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Your husband has screwed him self. Victory or Harley or and others will not warranty parts or work done by any one other then a factory trained personal.
Its a shame he didn't pursue it more with your dealer.
If your husband thinks it would be different with a Harley I have a bridge to sell him.

It does sound like the clutch was bad but he went about it all in the wrong way. Eat your $100 and start riding and think twice before you pull your wrenches out again.

I have forty years experience dealing with Harley and what they will and will not do.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Starter Clutch Epilog

The new starter clutch fixed the problem. The dealer said "I won't tell if you don't tell", so I guess whatever warranty existed still exists. I usually get a guilty conscious about things like this, but their mechanic had told my husband that the clutch wasn't the problem and to put it back in the bike. I think we'll be going to a different dealer for service. (After reading Victory's warranty, it doesn't sound like it would cover much of anything short of a certifiable quality issue. Typical of any warranty these days.) Out of curiosity my husband slammed the old clutch on the work bench a half dozen times and it finally broke free. He's also found out how to start these cold blooded beasts without blipping the throttle while starting. This worked on both our Cross Country bikes: Before touching the key, twist the throttle 2 times and then start as usual....they both fired right up:) It was in the 30's overnight but warned up and we took a 155 mile ride yesterday-went the Park City (KS) Chill. Fantastic to get out of town on two wheels in February!
 

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Glad to see the replacement worked and that a solution to "blipping" was found. Twisting the throttle a couple of times before hitting the starter button does help and if it's being really stubborn trying turning the ignition on and off a few times. Every time you turn on the ignition the fuel pump is primed (you should hear a click/whirl noise); priming it twice won't hurt it and ensures the fuel is all the way to your injectors.
 

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Unless this guy is all wet, there is no "clutch" on a Victory starter. Not saying he's right and your wrong but it does leave me baffled a little as to this clutch thing.

 

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Glad to see the replacement worked and that a solution to "blipping" was found. Twisting the throttle a couple of times before hitting the starter button does help and if it's being really stubborn trying turning the ignition on and off a few times. Every time you turn on the ignition the fuel pump is primed (you should hear a click/whirl noise); priming it twice won't hurt it and ensures the fuel is all the way to your injectors.
What you may be experiencing is if you're trying to crank the starter to quick when you first turn on the key the fuel pump may not have the pressure primed up that fast. Cycling the throttle may not have anything to do with anything except doing this is giving the fuel pump time to build the pressure it needs. Try turning the key on and listen to the fuel pump without doing anything else. You will hear when it shuts off after it reaches pressure and THEN crank to start.
 

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I'm not having any problems with starting the XR but I had to be careful with the V-Star as it has carbs and a low pressure electric fuel pump. V-Stars are infamous for fragging starter clutches if you use any gas when you're trying to start them as it causes more kickback.

Apparently Victory is not immune from the same problem so I suggested turning on/off the ignition system a couple of times because it works for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
According to the 2010 Cross Roads, Cross Country Service Manual published by Victory, page 9.27, it IS called a starter clutch....it looks like a bearing. Clockwise it slips. When spun counter-clockwise it engages the primary drive gear. (Yes, I'm reading from the manual. I'm not the mechanic, but my husband has torn apart and rebuilt more motors than even he can count in his 58 years of wrenching.) Here's a bit of trivia. Some early washing machines had one cylinder, gas, kick start motors. He thinks he was about 10 years old and that was the first motor he tore apart!
 

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Just replaced

My 2012 Hardball has 3200 miles on it and the starter clutch was replaced. Started it up getting it ready for spring. Motor quit after about 5 seconds, I hit the starter and it spun free, not turning over the motor. So pissed
Local dealer picked up the bike (no charge) and had to replace it, all under warranty.
Im curious to know if yours failed in cool/cold weather? It was about 30 degrees in my garage when this happened.
 

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According to the 2010 Cross Roads, Cross Country Service Manual published by Victory, page 9.27, it IS called a starter clutch....it looks like a bearing. Clockwise it slips. When spun counter-clockwise it engages the primary drive gear. (Yes, I'm reading from the manual. I'm not the mechanic, but my husband has torn apart and rebuilt more motors than even he can count in his 58 years of wrenching.) Here's a bit of trivia. Some early washing machines had one cylinder, gas, kick start motors. He thinks he was about 10 years old and that was the first motor he tore apart!
all starters have to have a clutch of some kind. whether it is called a clutch or not.
 

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Tips!

XC Girl,
My 2011 Victory XC is my main means of transportation, so I ride to work every day (120 miles round trip). Temperatures here in the Texas Hill Country during winter mornings have been between 20 and 40 degrees.
My process: Bike in neutral. Turn key on, wait about five seconds, hit starter, kicks over first time, every time.
Remember there are many variables, to ensure a bike is reliable: healthy battery (trickle chargers), electrical system, quality fuel, motor oil, clean air filter, etc...
As far as your dealership, if you have the option (other Victory dealer), get a second opinion. If you do not, insist that you speak to manager and or owner, so as to get results.

**********************************

Most reliable motorcycles
Japanese bikes have fewer problems than BMW and Harley models!

Consumer Reports magazine: May 2013

Yes, the artfully sculpted lines of a BMW motorcycle and the throaty rumble of a Harley V-twin motor can stir your senses. But they’re often accompanied by more problems than Japanese motorcycles from Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. Those are the findings from our first motorcycle reliability survey, conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, in which we asked subscribers to tell us about any serious problems or repairs they had experienced with their bikes in the previous four years.

As more people take up motorcycle riding, whether to save gas or simply pursue a new or rekindled passion, those new findings can help you avoid problems when you shop for one.

What your mechanic wants you to know
Motorcyclists could easily prevent many of the problems they encounter. That’s the unvarnished message we got from motorcycle mechanics from around the country who discussed common problems they see in their shops. Here’s how to prevent unnecessary expense and downtime:

1. Stay on top of maintenance. What makes mechanics shake their heads are the regular and egregious examples of neglected maintenance: brake pads worn down to the metal, drive belts and air filters with holes from rocks worn in them, and long-overdue oil changes.

"Preventive maintenance is definitely the key to motorcycle longevity and keeping your maintenance cost down,” says Joe Dane, master Harley-Davidson mechanic at Motorcycles of Manchester, in N.H. In addition to engine oil, that includes changing brake fluid, which can absorb moisture; lubing chains; aligning wheels, steering heads, and drive belts; and cleaning or changing air filters.


2. Keep your tires properly inflated. Each mechanic mentioned low tire pressure as a consistent problem. When tires are underinflated, “handling gets really hard, steering gets hard, and the bike doesn’t want to lean,” says Mike Franklin, owner of Mike’s Garage in Los Angeles. “It causes all kinds of problems.” Check the tires’ pressure weekly.


3. Check the brakes. Motorcycle brake pads cost as little as $50, says Dane, but once they’ve worn too far, “you have to replace the rotors and everything else, and the bill jumps up enormously.” Franklin adds, “When the [brake pads] get down to metal-on-metal, they make an unholy grinding noise. And yet people just continue to ride them.”


4. Inspect your bike regularly. “Really check your bike over before any long trip,” Dane says. A lot of maintenance is simple stuff that you can easily see: lights, forks, and belts or chains. “Make sure you have no leaks,” he adds.

Jon Roppe, chief Harley-Davidson instructor at the Motorcycle Maintenance Institute in Phoenix, says, “Everybody wants their bike to look amazing, but they tend to really lose the safety aspect.”

5. Store the bike properly. Motorcycle storage is a big issue. “It’s the guys who let their bikes sit for weeks and months at a time that run into problems with failures,” Roppe says. His advice: Use fuel stabilizer to keep filters, pumps, carburetors, and fuel injectors from clogging. Lift the tires off the ground to prevent cracking and flat spots. Put a tender, or trickle charger, on the battery to keep it charged. And if you can, store your bike in a garage or under a cover out of the wind.
 
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