Jan 2010 Vol10 - No 1 Print
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Saturday, 27 February 2010 10:34


Hi everyone,
It’s a new year! Here’s hoping for a great 2010, filled with new riding experiences and opportunities to make new friends, too. This month’s newsletter has a really informative article on bike starters, supporting your local dealerships, and also takes a look at the Brazilian Star Riders Charity event. Happy reading!



My V-Star by Alex Ford
First, I like my V-Star 1100. Like most cyclists, I'm happiest when it is running perfectly and smoothly and I don't have too many pending projects on it. So far, that hasn't happened, so my, "freedom," which my machine helps to provide, at least so far, has some glitches in it.

What is it that connected me to ISRA? In my case, it normally resides in my garage. That's a place with a concrete floor and on one wall resides cupboards and next to them, some tool boxes that never seem to have enough tools in them. That provides me an excuse to buy a new tool, and while I'm at it, buy some other tool in case it might ever be needed in the future. The purpose of the garage during the colder months is to hold the bike (sometimes cars are parked in there). That bike is a 2005 V-Star 1100 Classic, California edition and it’s pearl white, or whatever that particular color is called and it’s stock. I like chrome and all of that, but I've stayed away from chroming the side covers and the front neck covers, mostly because I like to keep the engine as one of the two focal points of the motorcycle, because that's one of the pieces of the art of this machine that I like.


Having heard that the V-Star 1100 was originally designed by a person who did work for Harley, I'd like to know who that person is and talk to him a little bit. This is because the closest thing I ever had to a Harley is a Sportster with a chain after the evolution motor started, but before all the changes. Once, I tested a Harley semi-tourer and liked it and I liked the Road King. Strangely, I didn't like the Heritage Softail as much. From all of this, one can guess that I like the V-Twin configuration on motorcycles. I also like clean lines and classic-ness and air spaces in certain locations, because these have a way of saying, "freedom." Even though "clutter is bad," and, "less is more," sometimes artistically, and aesthetically, one just cannot say "no" to a little more chrome.

I was recently successful in talking a friend into buying a V-Star after he sat on all of them and researched them and then bought a Raider S. He didn't have a license, so he let me ride it home from the dealer.

That was totally fun. We were supposed to go riding today, but the weather has taken a turn away from spring conditions and there is fog and moisture everywhere and he doesn't want to get his new ride dirty. He's also awaiting his new seat and backrests.

Like so many of the now-partially-defunct V-Star 1100, the best thing I ever did was to put an oil relocation kit on my motorcycle. The second best thing I ever did was to obtain a Maxaire Pro Kit and then put it on myself and thus learn a little about carburetion and the importance of product builders and testers making available a kit that can be perfected by someone who is only a willing mechanic and not an expert one. I hear the kit also improves the sound of the V-Star 1100.

Each Star owner has his or her own fantasy. Mine is obtaining a black one and building a style chopper, while leaving my 2005 pretty much like and FLH style machine. That way I can look at each of the two machines and see to which of them I gravitate on a daily basis. I imagine the chopper would get the nod, though over long distance, I might choose the 2005. Who knows. Mine’s currently a bagger with a clear windscreen from Yamaha, paint matched.



Brazilian Star Riders Bring Holiday Cheer to Children


In July 2009, I sent an email to my members here in Goiania about performing some service to our community. The idea was to pick an institution and help them with donations. Time passed and by the end of year, nothing happened so I sent another email and announced it for 2010. End of the story? No, God writes right for lines not so right.....

In the middle of December appeared to me an institution. A missionary that helps 40 children with food and some education was going to have to close because it had insufficient funds to stay open sent another email to my members explaining the situation and in about a week, we filled a van (kombi) with donations. To my surprise, everyone supported this effort with several donations: money, food, computer, shoes, clothes, etc.   We set up a trip for delivery of the donations on almost 20 star motorcycles and 4 cars. When arrived at this institution, the children were waiting for us outside.


When they saw us, man, I smiled inside my helmet and the emotions were wonderful. The children were smiling and the missionary of the institution cried. When she tried to speak again, cried again. It was very emotional.

Well, later in my bed I thought: The best ride of my life and we set another for the end of March. If you are curious about how great this adventure was, see our video!!


Best regards,

Shark, President Brazilian Star Riders


Your Dealership needs your support by Ben Harper

In my travels across this nation, I am constantly reminded by fellow riders about “mail-order” parts suppliers who advertise discount prices

and greater variety in available products. I have also seen Star riders actually act as a decoy for such internet and mail-order sites in the parking lots of dealerships to other Star riders. And, while these individuals may have unselfish motives, these actions are exactly the opposite of what we as ISRA members should be doing.
Most mail-order sites need only a warehouse and a computer to sell products to the public. Dealerships are an entirely different matter.
In order to keep a dealership running, the owner must have a retail site, complete with advertising materials, Yamaha factory accessories, and people who are qualified to install them. Further, the Dealer needs a parts department capable of recommending various custom and performance parts which work together.
Behind the scenes, the dealer also needs an administration staff to keep the doors open, handle warranty claims on both the motorcycles and any and all accessories and parts sold through the dealership. Just try finding a mail-order site that will go the length for your needs the way the dealerships will.
The biggest issue, though, is the reality that if dealerships go out of business, there will be no facilities to install parts, perform service tasks, and sell new machines. Although there are many Star motorcycles from the 1990’s still on the road, sooner or later these will need to be replaced, and only a Star dealership can do that.
Finally, please remember that your local Star dealership is your focal point for your Constellation to gather and learn more about new products. If we are to expect the dealers to aid us, we need to support them in return.

So the next time you see a great price on a tire or a helmet via some internet site, please remember that it is the dealer that handles your warranty, installation, and performance recommendations. Without the dealers, Star Motorcycles would likely fold up, and then we would all be out in the cold with no support for the fine motorcycles we enjoy.


Starter How To’s for Beginners by Dave Wolf
So recently in the cold weather I have had starter motor difficulties.
About a year ago, I was so enthused with Green Grease, I decided to pack the starter motor planetary gear assembly and all wearing points with the Green Grease.
If you have never heard of Green Grease, it is the tackiest, most tenacious grease you have ever felt. It sticks to everything and it's synthetic. I love it and use it everywhere I can. But I have learned that in cold weather, this molasses-thick grease turns into…well, frozen molasses.
Even after I first put the Green Grease in my starter in warm weather, it turned over noticeably slower. I knew trouble was brewing, but I wanted to wait to see how it would work out. I knew better. Recently, with the change of my motorcycle to gravity feed, my bike was down, so I decided while it was down I should do some work on the starter motor.

What I found was earth-shattering, and I believe Obama is talking about it in Copenhagen.  Just kidding. I found that the seal that isolates the starter motor planetary gear assembly had failed and that motor oil had gotten into the starter. The oil went *everywhere*. It diluted the grease and caused an awful mess. So, I was forced to clean the starter motor completely. I used brake cleaner, various wire brushes, a bunch of rags and a copper rifle wire bore brush for a .243 rifle. I don't own such a rifle, but it came in handy for cleaning the areas the wire brushes couldn't reach.

The first thing you want to do is document where every part went. I am going to provide a picture of, well, more or less how everything goes back together, but you still need to know what washer goes where. Try and keep the respective washers attached to the respective components. Once you get the assembly apart in sections, you will see that it is actually really not that complicated. And for a $400 part, you will want to make sure it is greased up and lubricated right.
I like to start with the tail end. This allows you to inspect the alignment tab for bending due to kick-back, which is another article altogether. My starter motor tail end was absolutely caked with grease, oil, and brush dust. It was an awful looking situation. I'm sorry I didn't get a blurry cell phone picture of it for you. The commutator grooves were 100% filled and caked with a mixture of grease, oil, and brush dust.
The commutator is the portion of the motor assembly that includes copper tabs. You will recognize it, because the brushes make contact with it. The armature is the entire rotating assembly that also includes the commutator. One end of the armature resides in the bushing in the tailpiece, and the other end drive the planetary gear reduction assembly. Whew!

I also believe this was largely due to me using a device that is slightly larger than the commutator grooves to clean the grooves. This raised the edges of the grooves slightly, which caused a lot of brush wear. This time, I used my head, and used the back of a small utility knife. It fit perfectly. Then, I took a large wire brush and cleaned the groove out. You want to do this, because if there is any resistance between the grooves, you will cut the power of our motor sometimes significantly, and will contribute to accelerated brush wear. I had no raised commutator groove edges, which is perfect.

When disassembling the rest of the motor, you goal should be to use a lot of worn Tshirts to clean as much as you can WITHOUT using the wire brushes or the brake cleaner. Why? Because one the grease gets stuck in the brushes, it doesn't like to come out. It takes longer to do this, but the result is so much better.
When cleaning the bushing in the tailpiece, I used a lot of Q-tips and brake cleaner to get the bushing and its cavity very clean. You want the cavity clean so you can put a lot of grease into it, and so that the old grease doesn't contaminate the new grease ESPECIALLY if they are different brands, like I am using. The bushing should be cleaned after the tailpiece has been cleaned on the outside, to prevent dirt from falling in. I Q-tipped it until I saw no dirt on the Q-tip. This takes a while but is worth it.
Next, I removed the nose piece. Lots of grease in here. The grease wasn't discolored like the stock grease was, which was grey (white grease with metal shavings). In fact it looked pretty good. The metal components indicated zero wear, even with all of the abuse I have put it through. When I originally used the Mobile 1 synthetic grease I had similar results. No wear, no metal shavings.
The planetary ring pops out easily. But there's a trick: Use a piece of wood against the tail of the armature, and tap with a hammer while holding the motor housing until the planetary assembly pops out. Do NOT deform the tail of the armature as it is inserted into the bushing cavity in the tail piece. Do your best to preserve the way everything went back in, although not many pieces will come out.

I will admit, the only way to effectively clean the planetary gears, the planetary ring, and the armature was with my fingernails, one groove at a time, several times. The first time I used just a rag, same with the second, and the third and forth times I used a rag with brake cleaner. The final time I used a wire brush with brake cleaner. The end objective of this exercise is to get all the parts down to the bare metal, just like in the factory, before everything was assembled and greased. This reduces cross contamination of the lubricants and ensures that all dust, dirt, oil, water, and everything else is removed.

The drive portion of the armature is rather difficult to clean, but it can be done. I used a bunch of fuzz-less Q-tip, brake cleaner, and a jet of hot water. I also blasted out the holes in the armature, where the windings overlapped, because a lot of goo was trapped in them. Watch your eyes with the brake cleaner. Many of the holes actually went through to the other side. Don't despair, take your time.
The armature can be removed, but be warned, it is held in place by a powerful magnetic force, and may need to be pushed out from either end. It tends to want to go flying when the exerted force overcomes the magnetic field. Just think chain gun. But catch the flying armature, or have it pointed toward a mountain of pillows. Do not point it at anything you do not intend to destroy.
You will notice that under the planetary ring gear is a plate what separates the planetary gear assembly from the back half of the motor. Inside this plate is a bushing. Be aware that there is a washer stuck to the protruding portion of this plate. This washer needs to be retained. Also, on the armature itself there are washer/shims that are around the collar of the armature drive portion. It sounds more complicated than it is. This entire write up makes it sound much more complicated than it is. All these washers should be removed. How? The same way porcupines make baby porcupines: Very carefully.

At this point, you should be doing a mental recap as to how everything goes back together. I hope you have a large work space so 

that you can sort of make an "exploded view" of the entire assembly. However, with a little deductive reasoning, you can figure out which washers went where. It's not rocket surgery, or brain science.
Next up is the nose cone that is inserted into the motor. You will need circlip pliers. First, remove the outer circlip. The engagement gear slides off of the shaft without much fuss. The engagement gear splines are most easily cleaned with the brass brush. You will notice after the gear is removed that there is a ball bearing and another circlip. Remove the circlip. You are going to have to gently tap the shaft out of the bearing. Be aware that the end of the shaft is connected to a large round portion with two protrusions that the planetary orbital gears are slipped onto. In other words, when you tap the shaft out, the assembly will drop free. Use a piece of wood to prevent marring the shaft as you tap. This is not a press-fit, but it is very snug.
Once the shaft is out, you will notice a backwards seal. This seal was damaged. Let's talk about this seal. The size of this seal is 17x32x7mm. I called every automotive store, every motorcycle dealer, and nobody could find it. The best part was that the motorcycle and automotive dealers were unable to look up a seal by the size of the seal alone!! Talk about frustrating! The seal is an SKF seal, part number 562993. It took me a lot of research to find this out and it is not included in the dealer microfiche. Yamaha wants you to buy a new starter, not to repair it. Applied Industrial Technology saved the day with this one.
To remove the seal, use a small flathead, and go in from the planetary side, and tap the old seal out. This will destroy the old seal, so have the new one already purchased! Also, do not nick the sides of the nose cone housing.


On the shaft assembly, there is another washer. Be sure to keep it with the shaft.
At this point, the parts should be individually cleaned. The final cleaning should be done with brake cleaner, as it dissolves oil and grease. I apologize, I do not have a workbench, or even a garage. I have a floor. Part of surviving in the desert is making do with what you have.
Pics, finally!!
I will start with my "exploded view". I included the bore brush, the wire brush, the brake cleaner I used (I used half a can total) and my preferred grease.
I felt it fun to arrange the components in a sort of "order of assembly".
Once everything is cleaned (I know I should have bought that parts cleaner! But you can do it with rags, brushes, and brake cleaner), the re-assembly and greasing must commence.
I began with the tailpiece. I used a Q-tip to put grease into the cavity of the bushing. I made sure ample grease was inside the cavity, but not so much that it would ooze out when the cap was inserted onto the armature end. Whenever you are greasing something, grease both contacting parts. This prevents a temporary lack of lubrication during initial startup. Put a light coat on the end of the armature as it is inserted into the tailpiece.


Be sure to place the two end thrust washers (Which also should receive a coat of grease) over the armature shaft tip. I cut up some fabric to act as a sort of fibrous sealing washer of this area. Only time will tell if it will actually work.
Next, I used some RTV (Room temperature vulcanizing) silicone to seal the portion of the starter where the + connector from the battery is connected. This is exposed to the elements and needs a good sealing. Notice the stamped marks on the tailpiece and the motor housing. Align these marks.
I also assembled the brush insulator assembly, and the positive brush brackets, as well as the bolt that holds it all in. I tried not to get any RTV between the bolt head bottom and the positive brush assembly. RTV is a great insulator, but honestly, the mechanical compression of the two would negate any isolative effects of the RTV. I just was careful not to get any on those two surfaces anyway.
Next comes the hard part. But, it doesn't have to be that hard. This is what I did.

Before the brush plate is inserted of the commutator, align the brush plate as it goes onto the motor body. Using one brush at a time, in a circular motion (meaning going from one brush to the brush to the

right or left of it in a circle, not across), secure one brush against the plastic ring on the end of the commutator. Once all 4 brushes are making contact with the ring, be sure you apply ample force to prevent the brushes from popping back out.
Once you reach this point, you are almost done. Simply repeat the process for the plastic ring for the actual commutator. This makes it an 8 minute job instead of a 3-4 hour job. It reduces cussing and the chance that the entire assembly may become airborne and strike something in the room where you are working.
The rubber gaskets that go between each half of the motor on my starter had been long destroyed. I believe it costs $30 to replace them both. If you have $30, I recommend doing it. I used RTV silicone and two different sized O-rings. For this rear portion, you will need a thin O-ring. If the O-ring fails, I still have the RTV silicone.
Next, we have the actual starter output shaft and nosecone. Note the washer, it must be put around the shaft before it is inserted into the nosecone. Grease up the inside of the nose cone, but get no grease anywhere where the starter motor is inside the engine to prevent cross contamination of lubricants.


These parts are shiny and show no signs of wear, because I like to use good synthetic grease. When you replace the seal, use only the oil you use in your crankcase, and oil the seal up, being vigorous on the sealing portion that makes contact with the output shaft. With the shaft inserted into the nose cone, and the washer around the shaft before it was inserted into the nose cone, the bearing must now be tapped onto the shaft and into the nose cone. To begin this process, use the engagement gear to get the bearing started. This will ensure straight starting.
Be careful to STOP tapping when the shaft starts to become flush with the engagement gear you will risk deforming the tip of the output shaft. When you get to this point, simply use a socket to tap the bearing the rest of the way. I originally used a socket too small, and it made contact with the shaft face. I thought I had done something wrong. Please be sure you are using a socket that will clear the shaft diameter, but still safely contact the inner race of the bearing. You may also put the large sealing O-ring around the nose cone. Use plenty of oil to do this, don't chip the O-ring.
Re-insert the plate that goes behind the planetary assembly. Make sure the washers are also around the collar of the output shaft of the armature. Also be sure you have greased the collar, and the bushing in the plate. Note that there is a groove in the plate that must correspond with the protrusion in the motor housing. The same with the outer planetary ring gear. Place the two small orbital gears on the output shaft planetary half.


I also used RTV silicone and a larger diameter O-ring to seal this half of the motor. Again, if you have the $30, buy the proper sealing gaskets.
I also heavily greased this area. There are many reasons that I hold for this. If you want to use less grease, go ahead. If I was you, I wouldn't waste my time doing this if I was just going to put in non synthetic grease. Why waste my time? Sorry, that's just me. I have had good experiences with Mobile 1, which is what I was originally using. The factory included a very small amount of grease, and the metal shavings I found in it worried me.
Now, you are going to try to align the two halves. This may take several tries, because they have to be inserted at exactly the right point to go together. Notice the marks in the motor case and the nose cone. Try not to overthink this. It took me two tries, but in the past has taken a few.  Now, friends, you are done! That's it! Not that hard, was it.
Now, the starter motor spins MUCH faster when cold, lending to much faster, easier starts.
Dave Wolf



That’s it for January’s edition folks! See you next month!
Last Updated on Saturday, 27 February 2010 12:03