Starter Sprag Clutch
Some of you may remember I had an intermittant problem with the starter sprag clutch. You push the starter button, the starter spins, but does not engage the engine. Here is my post from a while ago and I have followed with an update.
"2 oil changes ago I tried spraying the sprag clutch with brake cleaner, ran the 12,000 mile AMSOIL till hot, drained and put in fresh AMSOIL motorcycle oil and filter. The starter worked fine for 11,000 miles on that oil change. Not sure if it was the brake cleaner or the fresh AMSOIL that temporarily cured the problem.
I tried the CD-2 (obtained at WalMart) at 11,000 miles into my current AMSOIL motorcycle oil change because the starter sprag started slipping again. It seemed to work for about 800 miles, then the starter started slipping again. I just now changed my AMSOIL and filter and will see if this alone works. My guess is that it will for another 10-11,000 miles and as the oil gets dirty the sprag clutch will again occassionally misengage. "
UPDATE: That last oil change went 13,600 miles without a starter problem. Before I began using AMSOIL, I used the BMW and Mobil1 motorcycle oils with 6,000 mile oil changes and never had a starter problem. I switched to AMSOIL for the 12,000 mile oil changes and began having the starter problems 11,000 miles into the oil changes. I guess the sprag clutch was getting contaminated and took a while for it to get "clean". I just now changed to the new MCV AMSOIL and will run it 12,000 miles and see how it compares to the old AMV formulation. My 2000 K1200LT now has 127,000 miles. And my oil level sight glass has gotten cleaner, so I am presuming the AMSOIL is cleaning up some the sludge/varnish caused by the other oils, probably the Mobil1 as my mechanic says the worst sludge he has seen in motorcycle engines has been from Mobil1, and it was my preAMSOIL oil.
My suggestion to those who have these starter problems is to change your oil immediately to a high quality synthetic motorcycle JASO MA oil (AMSOIL worked for me) and see if the problem goes away. Much better than spending all the time and money in sprag clutch replacements. If you can't immediately change your oil and the spinning starter problem doesn't go away after repeated starting attempts, put the bike in gear and rock it some. If that doesn't work, try to push start. These all worked for me. Then try an oil change.