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Thanks in advance for any help! This forum is awesome...

I have a 2003 TW with 207 original miles on it. It was stored in a shipping container for the last 8 years. I just finished a carb rebuild, new carb boot, cleaned tank/petcock, new fuel line + 90 degree filter, new battery, and today was my moment of truth to see if she would fire up!

I got a new battery and it is fully charged (verified) and when I installed it and turned the key nothing happened. The bike is completely dead, no light, nothing. I triple checked to make sure that the polarity was correct on the battery and checked the fuses.

One thing to note is that it was really weird when I installed the battery. When I was screwing in the positive terminal it started sparking like crazy. I disconnected the negative and then proceeded to lock in the positive with no problems. Re-attached the negative and no sparks.

But...when I touch a screwdriver to the screw on the positive terminal is starts sparking. I have owned a lot of motorcycles and changed a lot of batteries and have never seen such behavior?


The battery that I got was from a local store here in SF called Batteries Plus. Here is the link to the battery XT7C-A Xtreme Battery - 200CC 1987 to 2007 - Trailway 200 - Yamaha - Motorcycle - Batteries Plus


I had a blue 15amp on top and a gold 20amp on bottom, both fuses are good. Are these the correct fuses to be used? I read on here that most people have 20's?

I checked the bike pretty throughly to see if there were any blatantly disconnected/corroded wires and everything looks intact. I was thinking that because it sat for so long that maybe all of the connections have corrosion and contact is bad?

Where would I start? I am an OK mechanic with fuel, air, spark but pretty terrible with electrical. I also found it very odd that my bike does not have a kick starter? Do all of the TW's not have kick starters?

Thank you for any help!
 

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It sounds like something might of been turned on when you connected the battery ,or you have a dead short .Place a test light between the battery positive post and the positive battery cable ( disconnected of course ) ,and start unplugging things until the light goes out .As far as I know ,they stopped installing kick starters in the late 90's .Also ,you might try push starting your bike if you really want to see if it runs ,you don't need any battery power to do that if I am not mistaken .
 

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Check your fuses with a meter, don't rely on sight alone. As for the kick starters, they quit installing them in 2001, it's easy to install one though.
 

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But...when I touch a screwdriver to the screw on the positive terminal is starts sparking

Can you explain that a bit more ?
When you touch a screwdriver? To loosen the screw ? to short the battery to ground ? hopefully you have fixed your problem by now

I am with SKYKING on the ignition switch . Check it out though , big $$$ check Ebay under "TW200" for used

Kick starts $200 and your free labor . Lots of links for changing /adding a kick starter

Anyway I guess you know why ii was stored with low miles
On the battery . I think you may still have a short but the positive Battery terminal is broken inside the battery and when yo wiggle it it makes connection and it sparks . If not the negative would have sparked too . Just a educated guess . You might take it to wall mart and have a load tester put on it . Unless like me you have one. Why do I have one? Because of a problem just like yours . Battery was new and seemed good and I chased the prob around for days. BAD BATTERY . Now do not go throwing $$ at this thing on suggestions . Remember "ITS EASY IF YOU KNOW HOW" young grasshopper
 

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Sounds like a bad ignition switch, or a connection to it. Pull the headlight, and have a close look at all the connections behind the cowl. Hit em all with some WD40. If that doesn't work try some duct tape, or maybe a bigger hammer. (Just kidding on the last two). I don't think I would push start it until you find the problem. Check the starter. You've got a bad short somewhere, and it needs to be found before you run it. I would think that the short is on the positive side of one of your major positive wire connections.
Let us know what you find. I have an '03, and I'm very interested to find out what you find.
 

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Thanks for all the help. I was out of town for the week and now am back on the project. I will let you know what I find!
 

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With the key switch on, there should be continuity between the blue/black wire and the blue/yellow wire, and also between the solid red and solid brown wires. My bike was doing the same thing the other day, so I tested it and the switch was bad. I took the switch off and took the bottom of it apart, and found a brass plate with a bunch of contact points on it which connect when you turn the key. They all had a bit of grime on them, so I clean them off, and scratched them up a bit and it works great now. Maybe that's all that is wrong with yours.
 

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Hello all,
New forum member who has just been lurking for years. But now, I fear I have the issue Zack described above. I was not aware that the 'main switch' can be disassembled and hopefully restored but that may be where I am headed with this.

My situation: I bought my 1997 TW200 brand new. Used very little off road and used it for commuting when I worked in town. It has under 2,000 miles. 5 years ago, my job moved me 4 miles away on a 80 MPH commute so I stopped using my TW in lieu of my 2000 Aprilia Pegaso. My neighbor always was interested in my TW and helps me out a lot so I offered to let him use my TW. He did for the first year then it sat. So, I just got the TW back. Battery shot of course so I got a new battery. it tried to start but would always stall. Disassembled the carb and washed everything in ultrasonic cleaner. Bought new carb kit (moose racing) and just used the float valve, float seat and pilot screw (after figuring out it was hiding under that brass plug and removing the plug). Put the carb on with new 90 deg. fuel filter and overflow hoses and she fired right up. 1.75 turns out with the pilot and she runs great. After a short ride, I took it to work on the death highway the next day. It ran great, touching 70 MPH a couple times but cruising along at around 62 MPH. Pulled really well, even up hills...but there was no confusing it with the Pegaso 650, that thing is a beast. Anyways, same result on my way home that night, ran great.

Here's where my joy ceased and Mercury in retrograde took over. I had ordered a new air filter for my TW so I had to stop by the shop to pick it up. But when I went to leave the shop to head home, I turned the key and no lights, horn, starter, nothing worked. Tried a couple times just to make sure I'm still insane trying the same thing searching for a different result but nothing. Then, for some unknown reason, I flipped out my kickstarter, gave it a kick and she fired right up. I was able to driver her home without incident and the bike still rode great.

I got home, shut the bike down, took the seat, side covers and tank off. Checked the fuse (but not with a meter yet but visibly it was not damaged but I will check continuity when I get home today) and wiring. Everything 'appears' to be in good shape. Battery is a brand new Duracell from Batteries Plus and shows 12.7 VDC. I tried the key switch again and it's still dead. I took the headlight/gauge bracket off so I could get to the key switch. I disconnected the harness connector from the key switch and my meter shows 12.7 VDC going into the key switch.

That is where I stopped because the mosquitos were barbaric.

Anyways, I appreciate all the help from tw200forum. From oil changes to pending upgrades, I love this site. I am promising now, that I will provide details along the way so the next poor soul that encounters these symptoms will have some hope of a resolution.
 
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I'd start by load-testing the battery. I encountered a battery last week that showed good voltage, but the instant you turned the bike on it went dead. If you can kick-start it, that seems to suggest the wiring and charge system are working, assuming you had lights operating after starting. Also, double check the battery connections. It's possible to have voltage showing, but not getting enough current to energize the lights and starter.
 

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Update:
- fuse continuity good. (I figured as much as I had 12.7vdc getting to the ignition switch)
- Key switch removal complete.
Key switch inspected. See picture. I did not clean anything as it looks great to me. I think ithe contacts have dielectric grease on them from the factory.
Multimeter/continuity test complete: Key OFF: Red/Brown wires circuit interupted (no BEEP) ; Key ON: red/brown wires circuit complete (BEEP)
I conclude my key switch is good, but I'm not a auto mechanic, just a tinkerer/hacker.

TW200-main-switch-inside.jpg

- Battery removed and load tested. It was good as it should be. Brand new Xtreme AGM XTAZ7S from Batteries plus. Yes, before I installed the new battery I wire brushed the battery cable crimp terminals as they were 'darkish' but nothing alarming. they shined brightly when I was done wire brushing them. I also cleaned up the crimps on the trickle charger battery cable.

So, it seems to me everything is good from battery past the main/key/ignition switch.

I'll snoop around the wire loom some more. So far, everything looks in good order. I'll try some continuity tests and such.

Question: the owners/service manual only shows one fuse. Anyone know if a '97 only has one fuse?

Any clues to likely culprits I should focus on? The electrical system just up and died after a 30 mile high speed run to the parts store. It died at the parts store, in a panic, I tried the kick starter and the bike fired up on one kick, i got it home and there has been no sign of life since.

This is frustrating as I just took the bike out of mothballs. It is in great condition, always stored indoors, never out in the rain that I recall, and scheduled maintenance followed. Just a new battery and carb kit installed and the thing fired right up and was a blast to ride. I miss that joy and need to bring it back! Then, I can do fun tasks like adding the JNS led light, rear rack and soft tailbag.

I'm likely going away this weekend so I probably won't have another update for a few days unless I get some time tonight after work. Like any of you, I'll be obsessed with solving this mystery problem until it has been solved.

Thanks to all and keep the rubber side down
 
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TeeDub lives! But I don't know what the problem was/is. Tonight after work I got out the multi meter and tested power leads from the front of the bike because I had already chased it up to the headlight and that was fine. All tests successful from the front. Unsure what to do next, I put the bike back together, turned the key and JOY....dash and head lights again. Start button spun the starter. Sent

So, some type of bad connection???!!! I'll be sure to reply again if a similar problem arises.

To celebrate i treated the bike to a JNS led headlight that I just ordered for night safety.
 
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Happy to hear the problem is resolved!

My best guess is it is/was a flaky ground to the battery. I used to work on print systems that had more wiring than the space shuttle, and the three issues we encountered were:

1) ground corroded.
2) flex stress/break in a wire.
3) high resistance short, the worst to diagnose.

Enjoy your rediscovered friend!!!
 
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