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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Yesterday, I jumped on the bike, hit the starter, and nuthin happened.
Clock is working and the aftermarket radio lights up but doesn't show station and no sound.

No other lights except aftermarket cruise control. I checked voltage and fiddled with the main fuse. All good. I also checked the additional 30A fuse installed when I did the ignition wiring mod due to high charging voltage.

SEE: And go to the latter part of the thread for details of the mod.

So, after some fiddling, I switch it on again and all is well. I figure there must have been a dirty or loose connection and the bike hauls me over to Wal-Mart, starts fine when I'm done shopping and brings the groceries home without a sputter.

This morning we're back to no juice. So, I figure it is either the switch or the wires I installed, detailed in the above thread. Oh, and the bike is still charging in the 15 to 16 volt range.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So, I go out to see if I can come up with an idea...and everything seems to be working again.

I fear I'm gonna need a lot of help with this one. . o_O
 

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Sounds like the ignition switch or connections to & from it to me.
 

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Just one of the guys
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All I can offer you is sympathy, as a technician the worst word that can be heard when someone is
describing a problem is ”Sometimes”.
 
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1988 Honda GL1500
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I agree with bad switch contacts or bad connector plug and the sometimes problem is 1000% worse when electrical, remember you cant see,smell or taste normal electric but it bites!
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well, my first suspicion was the connection I had made when I did the mod, back in November of 2020. And that was backed up by your posts here. So, that's where I went first and it "seems" to be correct. I unplugged the wires plugged into the main black wire from the ignition, connected said black wire, and the switch "seems" to be working as it should.

Of course that doesn't mean it will work tomorrow morning, just that it's working tonight.

So, if it does seem to hold, I'll have to decide whether to keep the modification or go back to stock.
Or, maybe try a new regulator, or, win the lottery and buy a new bike.

You can see there's no room to work in there as the black wire has been cut out of the harness. I did however install the plugs so they could reconnect said black wire. Sorry about the pic quality, it's a crop.

Bag Automotive exterior Electric blue Auto part Electrical wiring
 

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If that fixes it the relay you installed or one of those crimp connections may be faulty.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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23,638 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well,so far it's holding, put back to the stock configuration. Of course it's charging 16.6 volts again, too.
Is that that much worse than 15.6 volts?
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, with the mod out of the circuit, the bike blacked out again. So, I plugged the relay back in.
Now I don't know what to do. A bike that runs when it feels like it doesn't get ridden much.

I don't do electrical. I'm color blind and stupid to boot.
So, first thing I'm going to need, I guess, is one of those troubleshooting books. Anybody know where I can get one?
 

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Check your PMs. It still could be the switch or a connection elsewhere in that black wire. Check the power going in & out of that relay and to the fuse box and regulator.
 

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Check your PM.

Have been following your dilema. It's interesting because your bike has always been a bastion of hope - always starts and goes. I would do as my father used to tell me, go back to the beginning. You've disconnected one mod, how bout the other?

When you turn on the key, where is there power? Should have power up through the key and to the electrical system. To check this, I would turn the key on, and check power at the starter relay. To do this, find the yellow/red wire at the starter solenoid. It will be the lighter coloured small wire attached to the starter relay. The darker coloured small wire - green/red is a ground wire. The larger wires are red and red/white and are power wires from the RR and to the ignition switch.

When you have located the lighter coloured wire - yellow/red, turn the key on, have the multimeter attached to this wire, press the start button and see if there is power there. If not, no power is getting to the key. I use this to check for power because this wire goes from the start switch directly to the starter solenoid, nothing else on this circuit.

There is no fuse on the large, red wire to the key switch.

I've attached a diagram of the electrical for my '85 fi model, but your electrical system should be close for the starter/power distribution system. It can be a start.

Schematic Font Parallel Map Engineering


You mention having in excess of 15 VDC in the electrical system. Electrical components are rated for 14.2 VDC give or take a bit. The reason for this is the RR reference voltage is 14.2 VDC, and the RR regulates the electrical system to its reference volatge. As mentioned, having considerably more voltage in the electrical system and things can happen, and not necessarily in your favour.

If you have in excess of this, the RR needs to be checked. The voltage can be less becasue of the RR/stator/rotor design, but should not be more. You need to get the voltage to the correct level.

You can check the RR, procedure is well documented in these forums and the service manual(s). If you have trouble deciphering the colours, have a friend help and label the wire colour(s).
 

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Another suggestion regarding wire colours. Use wire marking labels, come in books. When you know the wire and its colour, mark the wire with a number from the book and keep a list of what numbers are for what. Works well. Great for when you do a mod, can keep track of what wire is for what.

Writing implement Font Musical instrument accessory Electronic instrument Musical instrument
 

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Yesterday, I jumped on the bike, hit the starter, and nuthin happened.
Clock is working and the aftermarket radio lights up but doesn't show station and no sound.

No other lights except aftermarket cruise control. I checked voltage and fiddled with the main fuse. All good. I also checked the additional 30A fuse installed when I did the ignition wiring mod due to high charging voltage.

SEE: And go to the latter part of the thread for details of the mod.

So, after some fiddling, I switch it on again and all is well. I figure there must have been a dirty or loose connection and the bike hauls me over to Wal-Mart, starts fine when I'm done shopping and brings the groceries home without a sputter.

This morning we're back to no juice. So, I figure it is either the switch or the wires I installed, detailed in the above thread. Oh, and the bike is still charging in the 15 to 16 volt range.
When this happened to me, the kill switch was dirty. I cleaned it with some electrical spray cleaner and the problem went away.
 
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