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Believe it or not... starting trouble

Started by jcbrnld, April 15, 2024, 05:29:38 PM

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Hello all,
In general my '99 girly is dead reliable and quite a dream machine.
There is just one little issue that I have not been able to figure out.
It started slow. Occasionally I would have to push the starter button a few times to get the engine to turn over. Then some days it would turn over with the switch and others it would not. For the sake of simplicity I added a separate momentary switch providing 12 pure volts directly to the starter solenoid. This bypasses everything and allows the engine to turn over every time as long as the clutch is pulled.

Now that momentary switch is having internal issues so I am motivated to try to fix the OEM system too.

Here's the issue:
Everything seems perfect, except no power makes it to the solenoid.
All lights come on, fuel pump primes, headlight cutout relay clicks and dash lights dim slightly when starter button is pushed. Just no power at solenoid.

When I provide power to the solenoid separately it starts and runs perfectly... carried me through an iron butt ride no problemo.

It seems like an issue in either the headlight cutout relay or the starter switch itself. Both give signs of life so idk which to pursue first.
I did test the cutout relay back when all this started and all seemed good there... maybe it's worth a replacement anyway.

Any insight or helpful advice would be much appreciated.


Realistically with these sort of issues, its probably best to try to link out individual items rather than loading the parts canon. Are you saying that if the solenoid is given 12v, the starter fires, ie its the control side, such as dirty contacts etc, or does it need the load side of the relay shorted to work properly. Your description suggests the starter switch neds looking at for corrosion or bad connections.  I've seen issues with the engine kill switch causing starting issues, but this can also cause sudden engine stop, so maybe start with the switch?


When the signal side is given 12v (starter button input) it fires.
The switch works at least to some extent because lights dim when it is pressed.

the slow heart

Here is how I messed up with the loom  :m,17268.0.html

Too much contacts/ connections on both plus and minus side of the chain to the starter/ solenoid.
I cleaned thoroughly all of them and had the problem two times more,
one with the lights in the dark rainy night abroad, and one with the solenoid in a chilly morning also abroad and away. My conclusion is that the installation is old and all sockets/ connectors pins seats get weak and develop some slack. Contact is lost from time to time, irregularly, due to vibrations and bumpy rides, but not only. The perfect cure is to replace all sockets/ plugs/ connectors with new one, watertight. It is not an easy fix but is reliable. The walk around is to 'cure' the pin seats inside connectors. Most of them are small and fragile, so pinching is not good. You could use multi-thread thin copper wire to cut small U-shaped wires and to thick in each pin hole a couple of them ( depending how thin are the cut out wire pieces ). When plugging in the connectors after, noticeable effort should be felt, corresponding to the tighter fit of each pin in the socket. Best sockets/ groups to start are the alarm connector inside the tail and both connectors from the handlebar controls ( behind the headlights ). Emergency solenoid power line of course won't harm  :augie


A bit of a stab in the dark, but could it be a bad earth somewhere?

I say this as my current project, a Daytona T595 has a very intermittent start circuit, sometimes press the starter& it'll turn the engine over, sometimes it doesn't. My issues aren't identical, I have a lot more electrical gremlins that just the one, but they seem to be earth related.

It may also be relay related. At one point the only thing that worked when I turned the ignition was the fuel pump and a click from the ECU, everything else was dead. I replaced all the relays & while it didn't cure everything, I did manage to get the engine to turn over & most of the light to do what they're meant to.
No matter how smart you are you can never convince someone stupid that they are stupid.