smoking when starting

had a nasty surprise yesterday…

Started up the VF1000R to go for a ride (last started 2 weeks ago OK), starter slowly turns engine over then suddenly smoke is pouring out of the right side fairing opening.

Hit kill switch and everything stops, smoke slowly disapears.

Have a look but cannot see anything obvious, but clearly something is not right.

I haven’t got the time to strip down to do a proper check just now (other projects in progress) but any quick pointers to the cause ?


Hi Phil,
My guess would be bad connection on either one of the battery leads or the main starter cable or the battery to earth connection. A bad connection would cause a voltage drop which in turn increases the current draw making the cable in question get very hot and start to burn the insulation (hence the smoke). Easiest way to find is try starting again (only briefly so as not to do any damage) and then go around and feel for one of the cables being hot.
Good luck.


thanks for the pointers, I’ll try and have a look in the next few days and report back.


I would try and refrain from smoking while starting the bike, doctors say it is very bad for your health.

OK, had fairing off and tried starter again.
Found problem. One of the oil supply lines was touching the starter motor wire and had been arcing against it for a while and had eroded a hole in the oil line. When starting oil was squirting onto the arcing circuit and smoking.

Now just got to find the part number to order a new oil feed line…