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Discussion Starter #1
Bike has been running great up until a couple days ago. Now I'm not getting any power from the main ignition switch--no lights, horn, etc. Battery is fully charged, fuses are all good, and most of the electrical connections I've been able to check and clean *seem* to be good. Bike is kick start only. I'm new to motorcycle repair and would really appreciate some advice if anyone has anything to offer.
 

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Welcome to the forum. We'd appreciate an intro in the new members section. Pics of your bike would be nice too. Check your main ground at the battery.
 

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FIRST, make sure the battery terminal bolts are tight.

Ground is important, but also, get a test light. Test Battery (+) to Battery (-), the light should light. Then check Battery (+) to the frame. the light should light...That verifies the ground.

then, check the red wire on the back of the ignition switch...The is 12V (+) from the battery. It should light when the test lamp is grounded and connected to to the red wire. Then check the black wire out of the ignition switch, if you had power to the red wire, then the black should have power when the switch is on...If not, bad/dirty ignition switch.

Let us know the results. We can go further if this doesn't narrow the issue down.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks to both of you for the response. I've checked the battery with a multimeter...would that confirm about as much as using a test light? I'm unfortunately working too much in the next couple of days to check the ignition switch until wednesday. Thanks a bunch Mydlyfkryzis for giving me some direction in steps to take to solving my problem. I'll respond on Wednesday or hopefully before when I get a chance to check the ignition switch wiring.
 

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Multimeter is good too....I have about 8 multimeters, including a Oscilloscope model...But sometimes a test light is a little better as it has a much bigger load....Sometime the meter says there is voltage, but when a load is on, nuttin'....I also have wire piercing probes, comes in handy to check wires that are no where near a connector, and come in handy if checking while running....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
UPDATE:
Got a test light and checked the battery and ground--both are good.

With the main switch in the "on" position, connecting the ground to the red wire coming out of the main switch did not light the test lamp. The ground to the black wire didn't light the test light either.

However, with the main switch in the "ignition" position, connecting the ground to the red wire coming out of the ignition DID light the test bulb. Ground to black wire with the main switch in the "ignition" position didn't light the bulb though.

I've also noticed that the brake light is turning on with the main switch in the "ignition" position. I've never started my bike with the switch in the "ignition" position, as when I would turn it to "on", the neutral light would illuminate, and all the bikes other electrical functions would work, so I'd start it like that. Not sure if that's relevant, but seemed worth mentioning.
 

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the switch has the positions. Off/On/ emergency , which just lights the tail lamp in case you're on the side of the road. The bike will not run in that position, but it does mean you have power to the keyswitch. what's your battery voltage
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Battery is at 12.6v.
My main switch reads "off/ . / ignition". Sounds like the setting that reads "ignition" on my bike is the emergency setting. Thanks for clearing that up.
 

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Red wire is the wire from the battery....should be hot 12V all the time....But that is the harness wire color...if you have an aftermarket switch, the color may be different under there.....
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The battery is above 12V as I recently charged it. I haven't hooked the multimeter from the ground to the red battery>igniton wire yet though.

I believe the switch is original. I can post a picture tomorrow to determine if so.
 

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I've seen solder on back of switch fail. Very unusual but it does happen. Most common is wrong switch position though
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Alright so I realized I was checking the wrong cable--the red wire from the battery to the ignition switch is good- the black one isn't. Is there a way to clean out the ignition switch?
 

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the black is the hot wire when the bike is 'on'. if it does not light in any position, the keyswitch has failed
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I feel like an idiot--when I originally checked the ground, I didn't test positive terminal to the frame--I touched it to hardware instead. After connecting the positive terminal to the frame I realized that the problem is with the ground. I've cleaned the **** out of the battery terminals, but can't quite access where the ground wire connects with the frame. It seems like I'm going to have to pull the gas tank off or something just to get in there. Is there an easy way to get at the wiring where the ground wire connects to the frame?
 

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Ground wire usually connects negative battery terminal to an engine mount bolt....Often the upper rear one...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It seems like the ground terminal wires go straight into the headlight.
After some more cleaning and testing, the black hot wire will now light. The red battery to ignition wire will not light. I still can't verify the ground and the main fuse will not light either.
 

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Sensei
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The Black (power when key is on ) wires GET that power FROM the RED wire, through the main fuse.....No power in red wire and fuse means no power in any black wires unless a jump of black to battery positive was made...IF this is the case, your coils have burned out after about 15 minutes....But red wiring between battery and fuse should still (always) have power.....

Phoning me while at the bike with a multimeter and a 3 ft length of wire with alligator clips on both ends may solve this......540-525-5199...Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Steve helped me out a bunch on the phone--together we found out that a solder on the back of the ignition switch had fallen off. As I'm not the best at soldering, I decided to wire up a toggle switch to start the bike in the meantime until I can find someone who is good enough at electrical work to reconnect the ignition.
The bike now turns on--as soon as I got the switch to work, I started up the bike, which was a bit tougher than usual. The engine would turn off after a bit of idling, but I eventually ran it for enough time for it to idle without turning off. While starting the bike, I noticed some the exhaust sputtering and coughing. I got on and rode about 3 miles down the road--the engine sounded a little weak but was working alright. As soon as I downshifted the bike shut off and wouldn't start back up again.

Now, I can't even get the bike to idle. Could this be from the lack of a stable electrical connection? The toggle switch is being held on with a so-so wire crimping job. Any other suggestions on where to go from here?
 

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Sensei
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Sounds to me like the battery was low from prior "playing" with the switches......
Another possible is you left the new switch on without the engine turning over (or running) long enough to burn up a coil or drain the battery....

Try charging the battery before attempting any restarting.....
 
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