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If you're in the market for a new starter solenoid Caltric is one of the brands which will usually pop up in an online search (e.g. here on eBay); they're quite reasonably priced, but what do you get for your money?
First impressions are good - it feels quite solid, and is slightly smaller than the OEM starter solenoid. The rubber surround comes off:
...leaving the rest of the unit bare:
The electrical connector mates up perfectly with the OEM connector, and is keyed so you can't insert it backward:
The little rubber shield pulls up to reveal the connectors for the switch beneath:
This is a better design than the original, as it should mean that too much pulling on the wire will not snap it off internally! Not that it's easy to do on the original without being much too rough with it, but it's still an improvement. Here it is compared to the OEM unit (OEM on left, Caltric on right):
Installation is quick and easy. Remember to disconnect the battery first:
Remove the connections from the old solenoid, and they will bolt straight on to the new one:
The old rubber cover fits over just fine:
...and inserted into it's own little rubber sheath:
Connected to the starter switch:
Installation was quite painless and only took a few minutes. Happily, it worked first go - kicked over straight away as you would expect from a new unit. So far (3 months of riding) it has worked perfectly - will report back at 6 or 12 months with an update. So far it seems to have been money well spent to replace the old, broken solenoid.
6 month update: Still working perfectly.
12 month update: Still working perfectly.
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