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Bought an 87 Intruder a few months back. Bike has ran great since I bought it, ride it regularly. Yesterday I was out riding it and went to the store, when I came out of the store and went to start it, the starter button didn't do anything. I mean nothing, no click, no noise, no flicker, just nothing...similar to if the engine stop switch was in the off position. The lights all come on just fine, they're not dim. After turning the key off and back on and pressing the start button over n over it finally fired up as normal and I rode home...no strange noises everything seemed as it should. I went home and shut it off and about an hour or so later tried to start it again and it did the same thing...tried to bump start it but I just get a soft rumble and it just putters out within a couple seconds, like it's not getting spark or fuel...Lights all still work when I turn the key...
Im really bummed, any help is appreciated.. ?Thanks
 

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Does the starter have a solenoid on top of it? or a starter solenoid elsewhere? If it has solenoid on top of starter, it does two things, 1 energizes coils in solenoid to complete circuit to starter motor. 2 pushes starter motor pinion gear out to mesh with large gear on clutch. The battery cable comes down to one side of the solenoid. A heavy copper link from other side of solenoid goes into the starter motor. A smaller gage wire is in the 'start circuit' and 12v + must be sent to solenoid through this wire, live only with ignition sw. on and engine run sw. on and starter button thumbed. The other solenoid could look very similar to type used on automobiles, small black cylindrical with a mounting bracket at least one small terminal and two heavy brass bolts, one on each side. one side of the solenoid coil is most likely grounded to mount bracket. 12 v. + applied to sol. coil closes heavy contacts to brass bolts and starter gets current.

I would make a long jumper wire, go from Bat+ to the terminal screw or connection to small wire on solenoid, by-passing ignition sw. engine run and starter button. Or jump bat. side of solenoid to small screw with piece of wire or screwdriver,If when system does not work as it should, hook jumper to bat+ other end to sol. screw with small wire. if sol. clicks and starter cranks engine, then there is an intermittent open in the starter circuit, also if the engine run sw. is bad, it could cause no power to go to the ignition circuit. What happens is a hot wire or 12v+ goes to engine run sw. when 'on' it sends power to two places, one of those places is the coil and points, the other place is one side of the starter button, when starter button is thumbed, power comes out of its other wire and over to the solenoid coil.

On some bikes, safety interlocks are in series, kickstand must be down and/or clutch must be held in, these switches if broken or not activated will/could keep starter from cranking the engine.
 

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The starter button goes through the switch on the clutch, which hangs out in the weather and gets dirty. If you decide to try cleaning it, it comes apart fairly easily, but you have to be careful with the little plastic bit that sticks up into the lever, as it breaks easily. It could be that bit has already broken; in that case, either replace the switch, or unplug the wires from it and jumper them together.

Also, the battery has an odd connection method, involving little spacer blocks bolted into the battery terminals, and the cables bolted to those blocks. On many Intruders, some of those bolts were about 1 thread too long, and don't really tighten the connections before hitting bottom; for those, star washers are recommended to take up the extra, and improve connections overall.
 
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