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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This problem had been ongoing since Christmas or so and of course it was impossible to troubleshoot as an intermittent. It finally became permanent last week which led to a solution. One of the 4 magnets in the little permanent-magnet starter motor had unglued itself from the case and had shorted some of the armature windings. Fortunately, neither the magnet nor the armature was damaged beyond repair. I took the armature to a local electrical shop and they rewound it for about $100 (1 hour labor plus sales tax). After cleaning up the motor case, I cemented the magnet back in place using high-quality epoxy. The worst parts of the repair were (1) tearing down the bike to get to the starter, (2) the burned-electrical smell which permeated everything after I started disassembling the starter, and (3) keeping the 4 brushes pulled back when reinstalling the armature (I used hemostats and needle-nose pliers as shown in the photo). You can push in a brush and then clamp the copper wire to the frame which holds the brush in place.

We worried about valves out of adjustment (not the problem but good to adjust them anyway), faulty battery (replaced but the old one seems to have plenty of life remaining), starter relay, etc. Next time this occurs, I'll go directly to the starter again.
 
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