Bike Not starting: Electrical?
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Thread: Bike Not starting: Electrical?

  1. #1
    Junior Member PixieBoy's Avatar
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    Bike Not starting: Electrical?

    I have a 2009 TW, about 1800 miles on it. It has a shorai battery, so I doubt the issue is battery-related.

    Friday the bike would not start, no sound, no turn-over, nothing at all. Rolled it out of garage, put up kickstand, held in clutch, and miraculously it started perfectly fine.

    Tried to go for a ride yesterday, it again would not start. But the same efforts as Friday did not fix it this time. Just does nothing.

    I read up on this forum that it could be the sidestand switch, so I got some wire and will attempt to bypass it this afternoon. I read it could also be the neutral safety switch or the clutch safety switch, but could not figure out how to access those to bypass.

    Possibly related: a year ago I crashed the bike at low speeds trying to stop for a red light on a wet road, it hit the road on the left side. I was unharmed, the bike got a new front tire (tire was worn out anyways, but the crash seemed to have unseated the tire a bit, it was wobbling and unstable) and new turn signal bulbs and otherwise seemed fine.

    I need this bike, its how I commute and is my only transportation, and I'm heartbroken that it isn't running. If it was anything but electrical, I could probably figure it out. But electrical stuff stumps me, I'm totally clueless about that stuff. Any help would be much appreciated

  2. #2
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    First off, take the battery out and take it to a auto parts store and have them load test it. You are always better off checking the battery first, before starting to trouble shoot other problems. Often times, it is the battery.
    1st John 1:9
    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 3:17
    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

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  3. #3
    Junior Member PixieBoy's Avatar
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    Well, it isn't the sidestand safety switch. At least, I think it isn't. I removed it and used a 14g wire to jump across the posts on the connector, the bike clicked but nothing else, did not start, did not turn over, made no indication that it was even trying to start.

    Reason why I doubt its the battery is it is one of those fancy shorai less than a year old and this past Friday it started perfectly on the first spin, but of course I don't know that much. However, since the TW is my only transportation and buses don't run much where I live, I have no way of taking the battery to get tested until next Friday at the earliest.

    Could someone help me with finding and bypassing the clutch or neutral safety switches? That I should be able to do, keeping my fingers crossed that its that simple and my bike will start and get me where I need to go by Monday.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member fishguy's Avatar
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    Have you tried to "push start" it? (Why would any one build a motorcycle without a kick starter?)

    With only 1800 miles, I doubt anything REALLY serious is wrong. Start with the basics: Gas and spark. Don't do anything until you know if there is gas in the cylinder and spark at the plug.
    Last edited by fishguy; 05-11-2014 at 05:16 PM.

  6. #5
    Junior Member PixieBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishguy View Post
    Have you tried to "push start" it? (Why would any one build a motorcycle without a kick starter?)

    With only 1800 miles, I doubt anything REALLY serious is wrong. Start with the basics: Gas and spark. Don't do anything until you know if there is gas in the cylinder and spark at the plug.
    Oops! Missed a zero. It's got just over 18000 miles... It just had a valve adjustment, soon due for an oil change, and hasn't had any serious problems until now (aside from when I crashed it, obviously, that was more my problem).

    It isn't the clutch safety switch, found it and bypassed that too, and bike still won't start.

    There is gas, the fuel lines are clear and the inline fuel filter is not clogged. Spark plug looks okay, my maintenance records say I last replaced it at 9118.4mi. Probably due for a replacement, but it looks fine. How do I see if the spark plug is generating spark? And, what would that tell me given that the last time the bike started it did so without any problems, ran without any problems?

    Just a note, I am seriously not trying to be a smart-ass at all (sometimes I know I come off that way based on how I ask questions). I just don't know shit and I really don't know what that would tell me. I'll put the bike back together and see if push-starting it down the driveway does any good. Installing a kick-starter is on my list of things to do, still looking for a good mechanic that I'd trust to do that since I don't think I can do it myself.

  7. #6
    Junior Member PixieBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croatoan View Post
    If it wont even turn over then you can't check to see if it has spark. It is electrical, and some connection some where is not making contact.

    That's what I thought but I was only guessing.

    The lights come on when I turn the key, the kill switch is set to on. I flipped it back and forth to see if it was just stuck or something, but didn't help. Can I bypass the kill switch, at least temporarily? If so, how do I do that?

    I also have yet to check the neutral safety switch, not found that one yet, think that's the last one I have yet to find. Sorry, I know I'm fixating on the safety switches, but with my previous bikes those were always a source of frustration.

  8. #7
    Senior Member 671tdub's Avatar
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    Sound like my bike. It was jus the battery.
    2006 tw200

  9. #8
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    I'm not saying that it "is" the problem, but any electrician would start with a "known" good battery before testing anything else.

    It is simply step number 1 in the process of elimination

    Always start with a known good battery when troubleshooting your bike for problems regarding: starting, charging, lighting, etc.
    1st John 1:9
    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 3:17
    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

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  10. #9
    Junior Member PixieBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littletommy View Post
    I'm not saying that it "is" the problem, but any electrician would start with a "known" good battery before testing anything else.

    It is simply step number 1 in the process of elimination

    Always start with a known good battery when troubleshooting your bike for problems regarding: starting, charging, lighting, etc.
    I was pretty sure it was a known good battery. But my housemate has just agreed to take tomorrow off work to drive me to get it tested. Could have something to do with him coming home finding me with my arms around my bike crying... In any case, guess we shall see tomorrow.

    I did read through the other thread that was linked to here, and it gave me a few other ideas to try, more places to look for loose connections, but it still won't start. I think I've exhausted my electrical abilities, if the battery checks out fine. If so, I'll have to figure out how to get the poor bike to a real mechanic.

    Thanks for the help, everyone, it is much appreciated. Especially since I'm new here and my first post was all demanding assistance and not even a hello. I swear I'm not so rude normally!

  11. #10
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
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    Welcome Pixieboy to the forum!

    Glad you are getting it checked out. So many members here start with replacing parts they think might be the problem. It can take countless hours and $ to find problems this way. Always, start with checking the battery first.
    1st John 1:9
    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

    John 3:17
    For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

    Hidden Content <<<Click here. Hidden Content

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