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Could be missing teeth on Bendix. We just fixed similar problem on XL1200. Could hear starter spinning but would not crank engine. Even swapped out starter with same result. Finally took off magneto cover and found bendix missing a couple of teeth (can't see, you have to feel with fingers). If it happens to stop with missing Bendix teeth adjacent starter, it will spin forever without engaging Bendix. Beware: Although new Bendix is fairly cheap on ebay, it is a real joy to replace due to poor access (on XL1200 anyway).
 
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