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  #1  
Old 4th October 2006
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Default No Power and Bike Won't Start Problems

I've been seeing a lot of threads recently about bikes with no power and bike won't start. Then the poster goes on to describe that the turn the key on and the lights come on, but when they hit the starter, they hear a click and then nothing. No starter. Sometimes even the lights go dead after this. I thought I'd make a sticky that gives some troubleshooting pointers (and possibly a solution) to these problems.

First, check all battery connections to make sure that they are tight and clean. This means the connections at the battery, frame (negative), and starter (positive). Also, give the cables a tug to make sure that they don't pull out of their connections due to the cable being broke under the insulation.

Next, check the fuses and ckt breaker which is located behind the triangle cover to the rear of the battery (may be different on 04 and up bikes).

Lastly, have the battery load tested. Many of the auto parts stores can do this for you.


If anyone has anything to add to this list. Please feel free to post.
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Old 4th October 2006
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GREAT post Doc.

People (myself included) are too inclined to jump the shark on these sorts of problems.

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS test electrical problems logically.

If the bike won't start - what are the symptoms

1. NO POWER AT ALL - there are only a few things that can do this and it's all in the Battery and the wires that connect the battery (cables) and lastly the switch that turns it all on (Ignition) and any relays or fuses that enables.

2. POWER TO THE LIGHTS, but NOT at the starter - now you've got different symptoms, troubleshoot accordingly.

But the first step is ALWAYS the battery cables.

Kev
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Old 4th October 2006
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Like KevM says, test logically. I would add, start with the easy stuff first. Look for the obvious, like corrosion, a connector hanging loose or a broken wire. Don't just start replacing stuff unless you've looked at everything else. You can typically narrow things down to just one or two items if you attack the problem logically.

Schematic wiring diagrams, (for those who can read them) are invaluable.
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Old 4th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torxster
Schematic wiring diagrams, (for those who can read them) are invaluable.
A lot of people are scared of diagrams.

But there is no reason to be.

Don't look at the whole thing and try to understand it, you'll drive yourself nuts.

Look at the little tiny pieces.

Remember a circuit ONLY works when it is complete (when it makes a circle, from the positive side of the power source, through a load and back to the negative side of the power source).

The load is anything that does work, a motor, a relay coil, a light etc.

The negative side of the circuit may be a ground (a common attachment point like the motor or frame, that connects to the negative side of the battery).

So when trying to read a wiring diagram, sit down with a photocopy of it and some highlighters, then trace the circuit in question until you can see the whole circle.

Then look for places it might be broken and check each one.
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Old 4th October 2006
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Just thought of another example:

If you hit the start button and you get this horrible clicking noise, have your battery load tested BEFORE you blame the starter. Happened to me in June. Thought I had a bad starter, but after the load test, determined that the battery was bad.
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Old 4th October 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc
Just thought of another example:

If you hit the start button and you get this horrible clicking noise, have your battery load tested BEFORE you blame the starter. Happened to me in June. Thought I had a bad starter, but after the load test, determined that the battery was bad.

Great example, and even then, it could also have been the cables, with excessive corrosion or a loose connection causing resistance in the circuit to shoot to a point where not enough amperage was avaialble to engage the solenoid and crank the motor.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev M
Great example, and even then, it could also have been the cables, with excessive corrosion or a loose connection causing resistance in the circuit to shoot to a point where not enough amperage was avaialble to engage the solenoid and crank the motor.
Yep. That's the first thing I checked. Then, I called my Indy and told him what was happening, and he said bring me your battery (of course, I took him the whole bike to go ahead and do the conversion). The rest is history.
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Old 23rd October 2006
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I quite often got to my bike in the morning and get nothing or
'click-click-click'. It's ALWAYS a loose terminal or battery strap. How the hell she loosens it off by herself overnight I'll never know!
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Old 23rd October 2006
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And if you find one loose battery connection you better check the rest , friday I had a loose positive conection tightend it up tok off for a ride and kept seeing the engine light come on and go back off so i naturally assumed it had something else wrong besides the battery. the next day I discovered the negative lead was loose at the battery and at the attachment point to the frame.
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Old 11th November 2006
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Thanx to you guys, ive fixed the only problem ive had with my Sporty
I had the classic, Hit Start then hear a Click then no power , so i read this thread & found my problem to be a very corroded + connection on the starter motor, i replaced it & the problem has gone & the headlight seems brighter & the bike runs a lot smoother too Woo Hoo.
Thanx guys for all your invalueable knowledge on the these Great Sportys.

Ride Free

aPoPhus
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