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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if any of you Challenger owners have experienced this and if so, did it culminate in a replaced starter...

I noticed lately that SOMETIMES when starting my 2022 Challenger Ltd. after sitting for a while, so essentially a cold start (bike sits in a garage at about 55 degrees) there's an initial pause in the starter, like it's struggles to turnover, then catches and starts. To rule out the battery as an issue I just replaced it with a brand-new, dealer activated YUASA battery. This issue never presents itself if the bike is already warm.

Have any of you experienced this and of those who have, has it eventually worsened to require replacement of the starter.

Thanks!
 

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2021 Indian Challenger Limited Deepwater Metalic
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I have been as well. I replaced my OEM battery with a 500cca Ultra High Performance RG20L-WS Wicked Start Sealed AGM battery. I've been waiting until the battery voltage is displayed until I hit the starter. It hangs when the battery drops below ~10v. Doesn't do it all the time though. I'm not sure if it has to do with starter or the compression release.

My Victory bikes were cold blooded on starts; my Indians more so. But the Challenger is the worst. Has never failed to start for me though.
 
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2014 Indian Chief Classic
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Don't know if it will be the same for you as me but, my '14 Classic did the same thing for a while before the starter left me at a gas station about 3 weeks ago. I always keep my bike on a tender if it will sitting for a while and on all the time in the cold. I replaced the battery after 6 years so I knew I had a good battery, the tender got unplugged by someone mentioned in an earlier post, still it took quite a while before the starter gave up and quit. Hope it's something less expensive but you might take it to a shop and see if there's a test for it. Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Don't know if it will be the same for you as me but, my '14 Classic did the same thing for a while before the starter left me at a gas station about 3 weeks ago. I always keep my bike on a tender if it will sitting for a while and on all the time in the cold. I replaced the battery after 6 years so I knew I had a good battery, the tender got unplugged by someone mentioned in an earlier post, still it took quite a while before the starter gave up and quit. Hope it's something less expensive but you might take it to a shop and see if there's a test for it. Good Luck.
I did just that and they said starter tested fine. But like I said it was warm for them and behaves fine when warm. Too bad it’s almost hibernation time here in the Northeast… it has until July 2024 to shit the bed under warranty…
 

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Mine turns over slow in cool temps.
Seems to be struggling but has always started up to now.
Anybody have the Challenger starter fail??
 

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2021 Challenger Limited, Ruby Red Metallic
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let it sit in the garage overnight......take a video of the start as it struggles....take it to the dealer.

Many times I've taken a bike into a dealer and they "could not duplicate" the issue........video proof helps when trying to diagnose
 

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I have had a similar problem but not restricted to cold weather. I have tried many times to video the start up but never caught it happening. Very random and has done it even with a new battery, hot or cold. I hope to catch it one of these days so I can take it in to the dealer and have them watch, I hear there is a part that they replace but not the starter. I bet I recorded every start for two weeks and never had anything and then the next week when I had quit it happened twice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have had a similar problem but not restricted to cold weather. I have tried many times to video the start up but never caught it happening. Very random and has done it even with a new battery, hot or cold. I hope to catch it one of these days so I can take it in to the dealer and have them watch, I hear there is a part that they replace but not the starter. I bet I recorded every start for two weeks and never had anything and then the next week when I had quit it happened twice.
Ha… life is funny that way!
 

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2021 Indian Challenger Limited Deepwater Metalic
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Almost everyone who has started one of these bikes 111/116, PP108 has had this happen in cold weather. It's the nature of the beast
I have had similar experience with my 2010 Victory Cross Roads, 2014 Indian Chieftain, and 2018 Indian Roadmaster. However, my 2021 Indian Challenger is definitely the worst of the lot. The rest sound more like the engine was offering resistance where the Challenger sounds more like the starter is struggling. Just the way it sounds to me. I do admit that I'm not an engineer nor a motorcycle mechanic. But I have had several bikes to compare between. Not saying that it is a starter vice engine problem, just that the sound is very different than I've experienced before.
 

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Could be depending on where the pistons stop when you shut it down. On my Ducati which is a 1260 twin, certain times I swear it's not going to start because it turns over in a struggle, stops then takes off and starts. On a hot start never does it. It almost feels and sounds like the starter cannot push past the first compression cycle, pushes by slowly and when the compression releases it's able to gain speed and make the next revolution easy. It always starts and has been that way since new, two different batteries. On my chieftain when it's cold, around freezing, it acts similar.

I'd check the cables, if they are clean and tight and the battery voltage/load is good just run it. No sense chasing ghosts until they reveal themselves.... if they ever do.
 

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That's very interesting. It's like the starter got stuck or something. It would be interesting to know how much input lag there was on ride command. I saw 7.5v there for a second, that's not good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That's it!... Mine still does it after a fresh, new battery install (not factory activated, so it's fresh). Perhaps either the starter on these machines are underpowered or the cranking amps on the battery is too low...?
 

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That's it!... Mine still does it after a fresh, new battery install (not factory activated, so it's fresh). Perhaps either the starter on these machines are underpowered or the cranking amps on the battery is too low...?
CCA being low is one of the things that I suspect, the other being some kind of compression release issue. That was a new battery in August before I went to Sturgis, I was worried it was the problem and peace of mind about not dying when I was gone. The one I pulled had a date of March 2021 so it wasn't that old but I didn't want to chance it, didn't matter though cause the new battery does the same thing.
 

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Your battery voltage shows 12.1 upon powering up the bike (not started). A fully charged battery is 12.8+, per the service manual. I suspect with such a low voltage, your battery is the culprit.
I hear you about the low voltage but this is the only time I have been able to catch it on video, I tried for a couple weeks with no luck. I have seen this happen when the voltage is higher (12.6-12.7).
 

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The CCA isn’t the problem, or you’d see it happening on a myriad of Challengers. The compression release is mechanical, so if it didn’t activate during the start procedure, I can’t imagine it would cause the starter to sound like that.
 

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Mine sounds the exact same and I replaced the 1 year old OEM battery with a Wicked Start 500 CCA battery with no change.

Interesting thing is I try to always wait for the battery voltage to be displayed. When it doesn't happen the voltage stays in the upper 10 to 11 VDC range. When it does happen the volts drops to the lower to below 10 VDC range. It makes sense that the voltage drops lower under heavier load. Just not sure if it's due to compression release not opening up or the starter.
 
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