Dodgy starts

Hello all

2010 Tiger 1050 abs

Bike generally running fine but have started to get some starting issues.

I have upgraded battery cables and a fairly new Motabatt MBTX12U. CCA200

I noticed that on occasion when everything is primed when I press the start button…nothing happens. No click, no whir, nothing.

Maybe if I randomly turn off/on the ignition, or the kill switch, it may start fine.

I thought because of that it may require a bit of WD-40 spraying in the switch, clutch switch, stand switch… Maybe that worked I thought. It did seem to start ok after.

I did notice that, on a couple of occasions this was not limited to cold start, but happened when warm as well - about 30min into a ride I had cause to stop. Upon starting the same issue. Came to life eventually.

This week, when on my morning commute (-7°!!) and starting the bike - Kept in unheated garage, again, nothing.

It seemed that if I kept the ignition pressed for…30seconds, it would try to fire for about a second then stop. I’d have to wait - ignition off and on again, then could try that again . Would try to fire for a second then stop. Repeat.

I had a heat gun on the battery for a few seconds and also just pointed at the starter motor. I don’t know why, thought it may help.

Final attempt… Keeping the start button pressed…30seconds and it suddenly fired and this time came to life.

Ran no problem.

I have been thinking that my battery and cable upgrades may not be good enough and I need a better battery, more CCA?

May be it’s the extreme cold…but it’s happened on the way home when it’s been warmer.

It also happened when engine was warm.

So, could it be elsewhere in the starting circuit I wonder?

I don’t know what that entails though.

Could it be a starter motor? A coil or something?

For diagnostic, what do I need to measure (Voltage) at what location, and expect to see? What should I be checking?
Voltage at battery?
Voltage at battery when start pressed?
Voltage at tick over - if it starts?
What else?

Thanks all!

I can’t help you with the electrickery - haven’t got a clue about that…

My Speed Triple will sometimes not start, and I have narrowed that down to the clutch switch - I wiggle that a bit and it will fire up. Must get round to fixing that, but for now it is solvable when on the road.

It can often be the clutch switch. Next time it happens, just try sticking a stubby screwdriver across the clutch switch gap and see if that does the trick.

Early Hinckley Triumph’s had problems with starter sprag clutch failures, these were largely caused by slow starting with a weak battery. To “cure” this problem Triumph have since written code in to their ecu to block starter activation if battery power is considered too low.
So check your supply to the ecu is good, connectors, fuse, wiring etc.

Put a voltage meter on your battery and hit the starter. If the voltage drops below 10v, then you need a new battery.


Some figures for you all.

Warmer today (Oxfordshire UK) and started straight away.

Battery showing 12.75v
Ignition on 12.1V
Starting 10.33V momentarily then fired up no problem.
Running 13.9V.

I will check the physical bits next…

Clutch switch and ignition switch.

Intermittent problems are always the worse to track down.
Clutch and sidestand switches are simple and relatively well sealed against the elements, but the kill/start switch is NOT effectively sealed. So on a 13yr old bike used in all weathers I’d be looking there.
I stripped and cleaned SWMBO’s switch assembly a couple of years back, it’s a bit fidly, seem to remember internal flying springs, screws and contacts at risk, but was do-able and necessary to shift the years of debris and tarnish from the contacts.
For clutch and sidestand switches, if the adjacent connectors permit then a paperclip to bridge the circuit is handy for diagnostics or get you home purposes.
The neutral switch is also part of the start circuit but unlikely to be your problem.

Thanks all.

I have spended an afternoon taking apart and cleaning the clutch switch.

It was a little dirty I guess…so a good clean with contact cleaner and a gentle emery…it all starts just wonderfully.

Was this the issue though…who knows. But another little job and tick in the box in the “I didn’t know but I do know now how it works”.

Photos below of the clutch switch…as I couldn’t find any and may be useful for someone else.

Thanks. I may be back…but hopefully not :innocent:


I stopped at “emerying” the pushrod and applying contact spray this afternoon. Worked a treat!

That was probably a fair place to finish.

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