Starting problems

This isn’t an exhaustive list but some advice specific to Aprilia Futuras that won’t start.

First of all, when you turn the key the bike does a systems check and primes the fuel pump for five seconds or so. Always wait for it to finish before touching the starter button (or hitting the kill switch).

DO NOT touch the throttle on starting. The bike starts on an auto choke – more accurately a fast idle – for a few seconds and using the throttle can upset this so much that the bike may not start.

If nothing happens when you hit the starter, check first of all that:

  • You haven’t left it in gear
  • The kill switch is in the ‘off’ position (if it’s engaged the EFI light will flash and usually the word OFF appears on the dash readout)

If you get a clicking sound from under the seat but the engine doesn’t turn over suspect the solenoid and associated charging (or battery) problems.

If the engine turns over but sluggishly: Suspect the charging system or the battery.

The connections on the starter motor can get rusty and benefit from a clean.

It takes 15 minutes to thoroughly check. Take the nut, washer and cable off then check for corrosion or sparking. Clean thoroughly and put back together, insulating the whole assembly from the elements by vaseline or dielectric grease.

Bad earths can also cause starting problems, especially if the battery seems to drain on hitting the starter button. The main earth is to the left of the bike and there are two more hidden away on the right hand side of the bike, secured by a single bolt. These need to be clean. See this thread for more information: Apriliaforum: Strange electrical gremlins.

If the engine turns over ok but fails to fire: If fuel is not getting through suspect the pump relay. You can hear if the fuel pump is working by listening for the whirring noise when you turn the bike on with the key. Sometime the fuel pump sticks on – draining the battery eventually – or off. In either case you won’t hear the pump.