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I own a 2006 Honda Rancher ES and while out riding in a rally on Saturday and about 10 miles into the rally, I rode over a hill and when heading down, all of a sudden my starter began being turned by the motor.

We tore it down on the trail and removed the starter, but that wasn't the problem. Could feel the gear inside behind the starter and it wouldn't move either direction - should only be fixed moving one way.

The starter clutch causes the gear on the flywheel to turn with the engine direction, but is supposed to free wheel the other way so once it starts it doesn't keep moving the starter. Hard to explain, but normally when the starter clutch lets go it will not turn the engine the over.

This time, it seems like it has seized and won't freewheel when the engine is running so it tries to keep turning the starter over - not a good sound.

Anyway, I googled this all over the place and can't seem to find anyone ever having this specific problem in the past.

So now after going through both my Honda Service manual and my Clymer manual I have come to the conclusion that it has to be the starter clutch = unfortunately this requires/ may require engine removal to fix. It is located behind the recoil starter and alternator and is attached to the flywheel.

Anyone ever had or heard of this problem?

The machine has a whopping 12 miles on it - US model - no warranty (I live in Canada).

Well, just thought I'd ask to see if anyone has seen this before - starting the tear down today.
 
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