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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,

Yesterday I went out to my 72 Honda CB500, turned the key, and got no power, not even lights. My battery was getting old, so I just went ahead and put a brand new one in, still nothing.

I read online that someone suggested the ignition switch is the culprit. They get old like everything else and stop working. So I'm thinking about just ordering one off ebay, but I wanted to check here if anyone has suggestions on how to test my current ignition switch, or even something else it could be that's keeping the battery from getting juice to the bike.

Thanks!
 

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I had an 82 GL500 that did that, if it were not for being in a semi dark garage and seeing the flicker of light when I twisted the key I would have be doing exactly what you are doing but first check the fuse-able links at the solenoid or fuse I forget if the older ones had fuses or not.
 

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First check to make sure your new battery has a charge.

Then check the main fuses or whatever your bike is equipped with.

I'd then make sure you have voltage to the ignition switch. Good? Then check for voltage from the switch into the ignition circuit when you turn the switch to the on position.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, Thanks for the responses, guys! I replaced the only fuse I know of. It's the small glass cylinder type (I attached a photo of what the piece that it sits in)

But are there fuses that I'm missing? I'm not quite sure where the solenoid is that you are referencing.

Thanks, guys.
 

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Down and dirty way to results

http://www.vsource.org/VFR-RVF_files/HondaWireColors.htm.

by using this chart,it might get you there faster. The red wire on one side of that fuse goes directly to the battery, but goes to the magnetic start relay [solenoid] first. use a multimeter to determine the hot side of the fuse. If you cannot find a hot side, that means that there is a fusible link before your fuse. You probably can find it [if it is there] because it is a very sort run of wire
https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrB8p9HtBZVhjAAqXKJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTIyOG0xbzA2BHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM5ODJiZDNjNDhiYjEyNWE2MTBmZDM4YWQ5OTk2NmU0NwRncG9zAzIEaXQDYmluZw--?.origin=&back=https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?_adv_prop=image&va=honda+motorcycle+fusible+link&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&tab=organic&ri=2&w=225&h=169&imgurl=thumbs3.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mumZiOzvzgXKZh9qlUDmS3Q.jpg&rurl=http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_kw=honda+amp+fuse&size=+5.9KB&name=PACK+OF+30+AMP+NEW+OLD+STYLE+<b>HONDA</b>+<b>MOTORCYCLE</b>+FLAT+BLADE+FUSES&p=honda+motorcycle+fusible+link&oid=982bd3c48bb125a610fd38ad99966e47&fr2=&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&tt=PACK+OF+30+AMP+NEW+OLD+STYLE+<b>HONDA</b>+<b>MOTORCYCLE</b>+FLAT+BLADE+FUSES&b=0&ni=160&no=2&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=11hgotghk&sigb=14sqgre20&sigi=11r2tgtf9&sigt=12c9u3mia&sign=12c9u3mia&.crumb=lG7ysNBXj0m&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla This is what they look like.
You can skip all the wiring between the battery and your red wire at the glass fuse by using a test lead and hooking it to the + battery side of the glass fuse you replaced. At this point,there should be +power coming to the ignition
switch. turn on the switch and you should see 12+ volts at the black wire exiting the switch, and also at the brown wire with white stripe exiting the switch. When you turn the switch the rest of the way, the first wires will go cold and the solid brown wire going to the parking lights at the rear will energize.

Honda wiring colors are consistent on all the bikes I have from 1970 to 1985, so that is the basis for my test procedure. I recently had a bike on the lift that kept blowing the main fuse. I used a jump lead [just a piece of stranded wire jammed between the disconnected ign. switch plug] from the switch to the bwown/white and no problem, but when I added the black,the short was found. Looking at the wiring chart, it is easy to see that the black switched lead goes only four places. The black lead to the voltage regulator was unplugged and revealed the source of the problem. Knowing that the power was flowing FROM the switch TO the regulator was the thing that determined the steps I should take

I plan to laminate a version of the wiring color chart and keep it under the seat. To me it is a more efficient., form of a wiring diagram from the shop manual. Using the chart and the manual together is still the best way to get at some problems
 

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The solenoid is for the starter, does it have one? On the Blackbird the solenoid went bad and killed off the main run circuit and ergo nothing happened on the bike. If there is no starter it would be a little different set up but would still have a main line for electric on street bike to the battery.
 

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http://www.vsource.org/VFR-RVF_files/HondaWireColors.htm.

by using this chart,it might get you there faster. The red wire on one side of that fuse goes directly to the battery, but goes to the magnetic start relay [solenoid] first. use a multimeter to determine the hot side of the fuse. If you cannot find a hot side, that means that there is a fusible link before your fuse. You probably can find it [if it is there] because it is a very sort run of wire
https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrB8p9HtBZVhjAAqXKJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTIyOG0xbzA2BHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZAM5ODJiZDNjNDhiYjEyNWE2MTBmZDM4YWQ5OTk2NmU0NwRncG9zAzIEaXQDYmluZw--?.origin=&back=https://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search?_adv_prop=image&va=honda+motorcycle+fusible+link&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla&tab=organic&ri=2&w=225&h=169&imgurl=thumbs3.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/mumZiOzvzgXKZh9qlUDmS3Q.jpg&rurl=http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_kw=honda+amp+fuse&size=+5.9KB&name=PACK+OF+30+AMP+NEW+OLD+STYLE+<b>HONDA</b>+<b>MOTORCYCLE</b>+FLAT+BLADE+FUSES&p=honda+motorcycle+fusible+link&oid=982bd3c48bb125a610fd38ad99966e47&fr2=&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&tt=PACK+OF+30+AMP+NEW+OLD+STYLE+<b>HONDA</b>+<b>MOTORCYCLE</b>+FLAT+BLADE+FUSES&b=0&ni=160&no=2&ts=&tab=organic&sigr=11hgotghk&sigb=14sqgre20&sigi=11r2tgtf9&sigt=12c9u3mia&sign=12c9u3mia&.crumb=lG7ysNBXj0m&fr=yhs-mozilla-002&hsimp=yhs-002&hspart=mozilla This is what they look like.
You can skip all the wiring between the battery and your red wire at the glass fuse by using a test lead and hooking it to the + battery side of the glass fuse you replaced. At this point,there should be +power coming to the ignition
switch. turn on the switch and you should see 12+ volts at the black wire exiting the switch, and also at the brown wire with white stripe exiting the switch. When you turn the switch the rest of the way, the first wires will go cold and the solid brown wire going to the parking lights at the rear will energize.

Honda wiring colors are consistent on all the bikes I have from 1970 to 1985, so that is the basis for my test procedure. I recently had a bike on the lift that kept blowing the main fuse. I used a jump lead [just a piece of stranded wire jammed between the disconnected ign. switch plug] from the switch to the bwown/white and no problem, but when I added the black,the short was found. Looking at the wiring chart, it is easy to see that the black switched lead goes only four places. The black lead to the voltage regulator was unplugged and revealed the source of the problem. Knowing that the power was flowing FROM the switch TO the regulator was the thing that determined the steps I should take

I plan to laminate a version of the wiring color chart and keep it under the seat. To me it is a more efficient., form of a wiring diagram from the shop manual. Using the chart and the manual together is still the best way to get at some problems
That is a pretty handy chart my friend, thanks!
Wonder if he got his bike running?
 

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Ok, Thanks for the responses, guys! I replaced the only fuse I know of. It's the small glass cylinder type (I attached a photo of what the piece that it sits in)

But are there fuses that I'm missing? I'm not quite sure where the solenoid is that you are referencing.

Thanks, guys.
That is the only fuse. I got tired of it losing contact, and replaced the fuse holder with an in-line blade type; much better, and more reliable connection.

As far as the ignition switch goes, the wires are soldered to the back; I had to touch up the solder on mine, as it cracked on the main power lead.
 
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