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help needed: 1999 Aspencade electrical problem

1536 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Constable
My bike recently went in to a dealership for servicing to change steering bearings and change the timing belts. The bike was extensively dismantled. About 300 km after picking up the motorcycle a weird electrical problem has developed. As of now it is mostly a nuisance but I returned the bike to the dealer to get them to fix it. I suspect it was caused during the previous maintenance action but they say it is a coincidence and that they had nothing to do with the problem. At this point they have not found out the cause and they assure me they are working with Honda to solve the problem. I am hoping someone can help me troubleshoot this.

Here is a description of the problem: after the bike has been started, as soon as the clutch lever is depressed, the two turn signal indicator lights on the dash illuminate dimly. Activating the turn signals with this condition will result in fast clicking of the lights on either side. Depressing the clutch for shifting will erase this condition momentarily until the clutch is released again. If the turn signals are functioning at this time the turn signal frequency returns to normal while the clutch is depressed and will resume the fast clicking as soon as the clutch lever is released. This repeats through to the OD gear.

In overdrive, under steady state, the dash lights may revert to normal of its own. However, if I depress the foot brake pedal it may force the dash lights to return to normal. The normal condition will stay until I stop and engage the clutch again resulting in dim lighting of the turn signals. I suspect a wire is leaking to ground. This ground does not appear to affect the bike when stopped. I have not notice that the battery drains when the bike is parked overnight.

Has anyone ever dealt with such a problem? Perhaps someone can help.

Best regards,
Ottawa, Canada
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The quick-flash and dim dash-indicators are nearly always a bad ground (inclusive of failed bulbs and corrosion).

You may want to run your turn-signals and walk slowly around the bike checking for some asymetry in the lighting between left and right indicators (the 4-way flashers can help a little to isolate bad bulbs and/or corroded sockets, but do check and compare the left turn to the right turn).

If nothin annomolous is seen, and given the recent work performed, I would pull the key-surround and roll back the rubber cap from the steering stem to ave a good look at the turn signal canceling connection -- (Indeed, I'd suggest that you get under the bike, pull it out and re-verify that the connection is clean and well made)

After that point, you would be chasing grounds, and while the signal lamps all eventually return to the G100 ground (main groun under the right inner fairing just above the oil dipstick), you'll probably find a weak or dirty connector somewhere in one of the circuits, and there are many to choose from.

I would like to offer a thought -- as your inspecting the white turn signal canceling connector (inside the steering head), you should see a Blue wire with a black stripe. If you choose to offer a GOOD GROUND to that wire, and all correct operation is restored, then you can narrow your search to the cancel unit or the 14-pin ORANGE connector on the left side of the fuel tank (a multi-ground connector; I believe ALEX BERECZKY has a good post on correcting failures in this 14-pin connector...)
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Great input Satan

Thanks Satan.

The dealership says that they isolated the problem to a brake circuit relay corrosion issue. This relay apparently is under the seat. I don't have much information because this was relayed to me by service desk personnel reading the work order. I will report back as soon as I have complete information.

I also want to review the wiring diagram to try and understand how this relay can interfere with the turn signal system and how it relates to the clutch release system.

I'll be interested as well, though I suspect that this "relay" is actually a connector, or "under the seat" is a broad definition ...

Glad to hear that they're getting this narrowed-down for you.

As a general thought on how the clutch interacts here: The Clutch Switch (all the way in; allows you to start the bike in gear, but NOT with the sidestand down) offers a ground to the starting safety system through the Reverse Diode Assembly. Given the fast flash and dual indicator glow, and the missing ground from the signals, the switched ground through the clutch switch (when pulled in) is filling in for a weak ground elsewhere in the loop. In this case, if you lower the sidestand, the clutch lever wouldn't affect the turn signals (stand up = removed ground from the clutch switch). Postulating on the "relay under the seat": the Reverse Switch Relay is about the only relay under your seat (right side next to the 65A reverse speed limiter fuse), and this relay is activated when the reverse lever is in the 'forward' position... Yep, to supply a ground through the Reverse Diode Assembly from the Neutral position of the Gear Position Switch... (think that the Clutch Switch allows you to start while NOT in neutral and the Reverse Switch Relay allows starting in Neutral only) -- these controls share a function through the contacts of the relay where your clutch switch would be offering an improved ground to a failed/weak ground. (interesting test is to try the signals in neutral, and/or with the side stand down)...

Generally, it's easier to mention that there's a bad ground (inclusive of failed bulbs and corrosion), then have folks do a full bulb test (4-ways) and a symmetry test (turn signals on opposite sides) to eliminate the bulb grounds... ;)
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I appreciate all the time you are devoting to this problem of mine. I am attempting to follow your reasoning on the circuit layouts for the 1995 Aspendade that I found on the internet.

My question is whether the 1999 follows the same circuit architecture as the earlier model. Unfortunately if the bike is effectively repaired I will not be able to run any further diagnostics to verify your theory.

I am currently awaiting confirmation that I can pick the motorcycle at the dealer.

Again thanks Satan.
...dim dash-indicators are nearly always a bad ground... 14-pin connector...
I'll be bookmarking this one ! (as referenced above) :readit:

The '95 and '99are essentially similar for the systems involved...

glad they got'cha going!
I have developed the same problem with my 1999 gl1500 SE I would love to know if the dealership solved your problem and what they did, I give up.

There is a 22-pin white connector under the seat (left rear side). Check that connector (especially the green ground wire). For a test, connect a ground wire to the "green ground wire".

There have been known problems with the "green ground wire" at that 22-pin connector.

Note: For the SE model, that connector is Blue.

The turn signal switch and all ground wires for the turn signal bulbs are grounded at the radiator (near the thermostatic fan motor switch). Make sure this ground point is clean and tight.

If the connector in the steering stem is totally disconnected, the turn signals will not work at all. Don't ask how I know...........!!

Let us know what you find.
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I have an intermitting problem with my gl1500. At times and only when in gear, kick stand up the turn signal indicator lights will light dimly when the brakes are applied and the clutch is being let out along with this the turn signals will blink fast and will blink normal if I depress the clutch, also if the cruise control is turned on the light showing that the cruise is on will light, but it wont engage. I have checked all lights and micro switches along with fuses. I think this happens after the bike has been run for a while and gets good and hot but I have not confirmed this for sure. Im thinking a relay possibly sticking. Has anyone else had this happen and if so what was the fix, I know it sounds like a ground problem, but why does it come and go ? This condition started a few days ago out of the blue and is really making me angry. PLEASE HELP
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