2003 vstar 650 won't start
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  1. #1

    2003 vstar 650 won't start

    Hi all, new to the forum, signed up because this seems like the place to find out about vstars.

    Been rocking a virago bobber for a minute, 1995 frame and suspension with a 1989 powerplant and tank/seat from an '82. I love my virago, she is my baby girl, but since there is no 2up chicks don't dig it.

    Decided to grab something with bags and a 2up, found a 2003 vstar 650 on craigslist for $800. Closed on it yesterday. Full fairing, purple metallic paint, comfy 2up, total chick magnet. Hell yeah. Got it from some yuppie who bought an 1100 and let the 650 sit outside for most of a year.

    When I got it the starter would click-click-click-click and the signals and headlight were hella dim so I put it on the battery tender overnight. This morning the headlight was bright, all signals worked, and the starter didn't click anymore.

    Instead when I hit the start button I hear a solid "thunk" noise from the front of the block.

    Tomorrow (Thursday) is my day off work and I plan to spend the day working on the new bike. Already grabbed the vstar 650 shop manual pdf and have it loaded on the laptop at the shop.

    Does anybody here have any ideas about what might be wrong, or what to check, or the proper order to troubleshoot the bike?

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  3. #2
    Super Moderator

    My Bike(s)
    Can-AM Spyder
    Ocala, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by Larryish View Post
    Instead when I hit the start button I hear a solid "thunk" noise from the front of the block.
    Buying a bike without seeing it actually RUN probably wasn't the wisest thing to do.

    The first thing you need to do is get a voltmeter to test the battery voltage.
    The second thing, if the battery looks good, is to take the plugs out and try to turn it over.

    You might be screwed here. The engine might be trashed.
    People unload a LOT of junk on Craigslist to unsuspecting buyers.
    Don't believe everything that you think.

  4. #3
    My Bike(s)
    1994 Virago 535, fzo7
    San Dimas, Ca.
    I would take the spark plugs out, put the transmission in 2nd or third gear and turn the rear wheel to see if the engine will turn over without the starter. Then you will know if the engine is locked up or not.

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  6. #4
    I know the guy I bought the bike from, his name is Phil and he's a Geek Squad soyboy. He knows me, too, and the chances that he would BS me with a locked up bike on purpose is unlikely. Destin is a small town, and penguins don't tangle with wolves.

    Pulled the plugs, still won't turn over. Tried popping it in 5th, no go.

    Pulled the side crank nut cover and had a go at the crank nut clockwise, wouldn't budge in neutral.

    The gas in the tank is varnishy crap, you can smell he was running cheapo 10% in it. I'm figuring the rings are rusted to the cylinder walls from cheap gas. Hopefully PB will do the job, if not I'll switch to gas/atf mixture. Bike has been sitting less than a year. Hopefully it won't need a ring job.

    If I have to order a crate for it, can you recommend any good sites?

  7. #5
    M-J Lifetime Achievement Award
    My Bike(s)
    Yamaha MT09
    Perth WA
    'On purpose' is the operative remark here..I would suspect the motor is seized...how badly remains to be seen however he may not have known about it or cared. A ring job will not necessarily be all it needs...if the rings have rusted to the bores then it will probably need a rebore new pistons and associated other stuff. A used motor may be the best option.

    good luck
    Smoke me a kipper I'll be home in time for breakfast

  8. #6
    My Bike(s)
    Boulevard C90
    South Africa
    Who buys a bike without starting the engine????

    (Moderators Note: Not sure what that first part was supposed to mean......but it sounded like an insult to somebody.....so it's gone now.)
    Last edited by Easy Rider; 09-06-2018 at 08:00 AM.


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