Dead bike...well not really, maybe the ignition switch.
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Thread: Dead bike...well not really, maybe the ignition switch.

  1. #1
    Member glas482's Avatar
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    Dead bike...well not really, maybe the ignition switch.

    Yesterday morning I went out to hop on the bike for a run down the street. I disconnected the battery tender pushed it out of the garage and turned the key. The neutral light came on but there was a little click in the switch and it went dark. No lights, horn, starter etc. I checked the fuse, it was good but replaced it anyway. Checked the battery, fully charged. All connections seem tight and clean. So of course I came in an searched the forum. Today I went out and disconnected the lead from the ignition switch and after about 20 kicks (it was cold this morning) the bike started up and ran fine. It runs with the kick stand up or down, clutch in or out.

    With the key in the on position and the bike running I plugged the ignition switch back in and the lights work and neutral light lights up. Signals work but no horn. If I turn it off and back on the lights don't come back on and no starter etc. I can kick it over easy and seems to run fine.

    To me this is saying the ignition switch needs rebuilt/replaced. Is my thinking correct? Any suggestions if not?

    Has anyone tried to rebuild an ignition switch?

    Thanks
    Matthew
    littletommy and Badgerflorida like this.
    89 TW200
    08 V Strom DL650
    71 Honda CB350

  2. #2
    Senior Member GCFishguy's Avatar
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    Not sure what years will run without a battery (I bought a new batter for my 2015 and it died in less than a month, went to start in the middle of a ride and it wouldn't even light up a bulb).
    Anyway...the symptoms you're describing really sound like a poor connection on a hi-current cable. Back to mine, with a battery in it that would not even light up a bulb, I could push start it and it seemed to work fairly normally (with the exception of the signals flashing a bit 'off'. So, by kick starting, you're doing essentially the same thing.
    You didn't actually SAY that you could kick it over and it would start with the ignition switch plugged in, but that's what your 2nd paragraph said to me.....

    I guess it depends on what works and what doesn't, but it sounds like a poor hi-current connection. They'll be okay for a low amount of current (think of only 1 strand out of 20 in a wire making contact..)..enough current to light the lights will pass through a poor connection, but as soon as it tries to haul the amps needed to crank, it 'overloads' that single wire and burns it and the connection is now open. Same with a battery terminal that's a bit corroded and only making contact in one small spot.
    I'd go over the battery connections and follow the cables (ground and hot) and open up, clean, and secure each connection one at a time.

    If I didn't get what I thought out of your description, well, clean the connections anyway. :-) It's the Step 1 of electrical troubleshooting that everybody skips because 'they look fine'...somewhere around step 8, you end up back at Step 1 and realize you could have fixed it hours ago.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    What he said ^^

    As far as I know, on all years of the TW production, the ignition (CDI) takes its power directly from the magneto - all the key switch does is engage the lights horn and indicators, and the various cut-outs

    This means that even if your battery is FUBAR, you can still start the engine - provided the rest of the bikes wiring is intact post ignition switch .......
    (Warning - Forum may contain nuts) ...... Hidden Content

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  5. #4
    Senior Member imlost's Avatar
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    I agree - It sure sounds like the battery and cable terminals need to be cleaned.

  6. #5
    Member glas482's Avatar
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    Ok, I'm in the process of cleaning all the battery connections. Sandpaper and wire brush to make them nice and clean. I'll let you know the outcome.

    Thanks.
    89 TW200
    08 V Strom DL650
    71 Honda CB350

  7. #6
    Senior Member imlost's Avatar
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    If that doesn't work...
    My experience with some batteries that are about to die: You can get a 12v reading, but there's just not enough amps to do the job. You may want to try another battery, or try some jumper cables from another battery/vehicle.

  8. #7
    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    Too bad kickstarters are so expensive and hard to find. Another “saves the day” story. Hope you get your problem solved easy and quick. Cheers
    01 SOLD
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  9. #8
    Member glas482's Avatar
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    Starting with the battery I worked my way down checking and cleaning the connections. The positive connection was a little suspect so I pulled it apart, cleaned, re crimped and re soldered it. Continued down the line. When I was done I turned the key and you guessed it...Nothing! After a few minutes to regain my composure I grabbed another battery and some little motorcycle jumpers I had made and hooked it up. Turned the key and everything glowed as it should. How can it be the dang battery!?!

    I went through my file and found the paperwork for the BikeMaster Platinum II sealed battery. I installed it 3/16/16. It reads fully charged on the meter and when I put the charger on it it steps right up to fully charged and shuts off in about 20 minutes. I had this problem with my Vstrom awhile ago also. Battery is relatively new, seems to charge and stay charged but won't even click when you hit the starter. I'm not buying the most expensive batteries but I'm not buying the cheapies either. Very frustrating.

    Thanks everyone for your advice and help.
    89 TW200
    08 V Strom DL650
    71 Honda CB350

  10. #9
    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glas482 View Post
    Starting with the battery I worked my way down checking and cleaning the connections. The positive connection was a little suspect so I pulled it apart, cleaned, re crimped and re soldered it. Continued down the line. When I was done I turned the key and you guessed it...Nothing! After a few minutes to regain my composure I grabbed another battery and some little motorcycle jumpers I had made and hooked it up. Turned the key and everything glowed as it should. How can it be the dang battery!?!

    I went through my file and found the paperwork for the BikeMaster Platinum II sealed battery. I installed it 3/16/16. It reads fully charged on the meter and when I put the charger on it it steps right up to fully charged and shuts off in about 20 minutes. I had this problem with my Vstrom awhile ago also. Battery is relatively new, seems to charge and stay charged but won't even click when you hit the starter. I'm not buying the most expensive batteries but I'm not buying the cheapies either. Very frustrating.

    Thanks everyone for your advice and help.
    Wouldn’t mind seeing a few pics of your red bike when you get some time. Glad it’s fixed, albeit puzzling. Cheers
    littletommy and maddawgj like this.
    01 SOLD
    96 SOLD
    89 restored SOLD
    89 (restoration in process)
    05 (restoration in process)
    03 SOLD
    04 in great condition

  11. #10
    Senior Member SportsterDoc's Avatar
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    What is battery voltage?
    a. Key off?
    b. Key on?
    c. While trying to crank?
    Badgerflorida and littletommy like this.
    2014 Honda CB1100
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    1976 Honda CB750F
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    1970 Yamaha CT1
    1972 Yamaha CT2
    1972 Yamaha AT2/CT2
    1970 Honda SL350
    1970 Honda CL350
    1967 Honda CL160
    1967 Honda CB160
    1962 Honda CA110

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