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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, I'm appealing to the Tdub braintrust for help!

I have a 1991 TW that spent most of its life in a forest service ranger cabin. The valves have been replaced, new timing chain. New starter, coil and starter relay. Started second kick and I was running down the road from my house and at about 45 mph it died. The lights were still on but no starter (not even an attempt to crank), and no spark. Would not start with any amount of kicking. Pushed it home.

Now the wiring on this bike is ugly and brittle in places.

Battery is good (new and fully charged.)
When I kick it over, there is spark at the plug.
All the head-tail-blinkers and idiot lights work except the neutral light.
I've been reading other TW electrical woes and saw that you could test crank by bridging the + and - on the starter relay -- did that and my starter started cranking strong.
I swapped the black and white relays and there was a faint glow on the neutral light but nothing else. (corrosion noted on the black relay.)

My guess is there is a short inside the left engine cover, the switch is bad, or the relay itself is bad.

I am tempted to just ditch the neutral switch at the white relay -- at least for now -- and getting it running.

I found this write up for ditching the relays on a xt225 -- looks like the same setup - with the same wires going into similar looking relays. ( The official XT225 thread! | Page 138 | Adventure Rider ) (scroll down a bit to see the pics)

I'm planning on doing this -- ditching the two relays.

I have a few questions:

1) Any differential diagnosis I'm overlooking based on the information above?
2) Has anyone ever completely scrapped their wiring harness and just built a new one? I think I can get this beast running but I'd be worried taking it too far up into the woods with the dodgy wiring.
3) Will the wiring harness from a newer bike work without modification? (say a 2008 TW)
4) Is the process of eliminating the relays the same on the TW as on the Xt225?

Any help would be of much appreciated. Want to get some fall riding in!

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Discussion Starter #2
Did the switch bypass last night -- at the bike starts right up!
 
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When a bike stops running the first thing I do is switch the petcock from run to reserve. 98.5% of the time that cures the problem.

Spark on the TW can be next to impossible to see. Pour a little gas in the spark plug hole and kick it. If it starts it is not ignition problems.
 
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