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Discussion Starter #1
Okay,

So I have a 81 Yamaha Virago. When I bought it, the bike was in good working order, had a few cosmetic issues, apparently though while sitting in my garage a gremlin broke in and ruined it, or I am just very unlucky.

So basically my bike wont turn over, click, chug or start for that matter.

Things I have already done...
  • Kickstand is up
  • In Neutral
  • Kill Switch is in the "run" position
  • Battery is charged: Checked it with a Voltage meter reading 12.2
I have dug into the rats nest that is front headlight dome and began my amateur attempt at discombobulating and installing a new Tachometer, Speedo, and instrument Panel. All this stuff is hard to install though when you can't be sure your even getting power.

I'm a novice at this stuff, so go easy on me.

Any thoughts?
 

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12.2 is low for a motorcycle battery. Try a charge at 1 amp for a few hours and see if you can get it above 12.6.

It's also possible to show plenty of voltage from the battery, but it doesn't have enough amperage to turn the starter. The next step would be to test the battery with a proper tester.
 

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I'd take the battery down to the auto parts store and have it tested.

12.6 or above is fully charged, 12.2 is like 80% discharged. And SITTING discharged kills lead-acid batteries faster than anything else.

Batteries are like a swimming pool, as they age they fill up with silt and hold less and less total charge, AND the pipes clog so they can't DELIVER that charge fast enough to crank the bike.

After you've got a known good battery, if still won't crank, let us know and we'll take you to diagnosis stage 2.

Or search on this forum "diagnosing no crank"
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback guys, I took it in and had the amperage tested, they said it's putting out 100ish amps. Not sure if it's good or bad, but did a quick search on google, and it said that on an automotive battery 200 is low. Gunna do some more searching for a definitive answer, but in the mean time what do you guys think? is my battery the culprit here?
 

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First step (after knowing you have a good batter) in an electrical problem. Make sure your connections are both clean and tight. Battery terminals, undo them, clean them, snug em up. Along with your ground, starter solenoid, starter. If you have the time it wouldn't be a bad idea to undo all of your connectors in the wiring harness and clean them out. Look for loose connections everywhere. It could be something loose on the tinest little box with two wires going into that just happens to be the clutch safety switch.
I'm in an electrical mess myself so I feel your pain. Your not alone here.
:coffee:
 

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check your fuse box first. then any electrical that connects to the starting system(get a good manual. great investment, better tool than a cresent wrench.)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, so I finally found the accessory fuse box, I didn't realize it was hiding behind the emblem on the front of my bike... I replaced a bad fuse, I also replaced the starter solenoid.

Got it all put back together turned the ignition, and had power. Then pressed the start button & got one click. And not power, checked the fuse again, it was fine, but replaced the fuse again just to be safe. I went to press the button again. No click. Perhaps I installed the solenoid backwards?
 

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Quick test for the starter itself

Find the terminal that runs from the starter solenoid TO the starter and disconnect it. Use a jumper cable from the positive battery post and touch it briefly to see if it cranks.

The purpose of the test is to see if perhaps the starter itself has bad brushes or some other issue. Usually that would be the starter dragging or a poor main ground wire from the battery[negative] to the bike frame.

Re-read wade's post and the included link.
 

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Do you have a no-crank or a no-start condition? For NO CRANK, go to:

http://www.motorcycleforum.com/showt...ght=diagnosing

For "No Start...."

First, check the fuel tank make sure it's not empty. Or just add a gallon of fresh and then you don't have to think about whether there's "enough."

Next, get a can of starting fluid (ether), brake cleaner, any FLAMMABLE aerosol...

Take off your air filter, spritz some in as you crank the bike. If it catches and starts, you've got a lack of fuel problem. As long as you keep spritzing the motor should continue to run.

If it doesn't start on faux fuel, stick a screwdriver into the spark plug boot and hold it 1/4" from the plug as you or someone else cranks. If you don't see a spark, you've got an ignition problem.

Do TRY and hold the screwdriver by the insulated handle....

You can also use any of a dozen different spark testers, or a timing light, anything that confirms existence of spark....



Got spark but still no start? Pull the plug(s) out. If its wet with fuel, dry it in the sun or with compressed air. Wire brush any carbon off, check the gap as long as you've got it out.

Check the gap as long as you've got the plug out, or replace it with a new plug, and check the gap on the new one ESPECIALLY if some fool tells you they come pre-gapped!

with the plug still out...

Put your finger over the hole and crank. You should feel it trying to blow your finger off the hole as it comes up on the compression stroke. No compression? Try a squirt of oil down the hole and crank again.

Still no compression? Possibly a stuck valve!

Air, fuel, compression, well-timed spark, those are the things an engine needs to start.

Determine which one you don't have!

Other possibilities: Water in bottom of tank....only THINK your engine is getting "fuel"...
 
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