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I'm new to riding and I have a 1983 Yamaha virago. The other morning I went to start it and the oil level indicator came on. I didn't have time to deal with it then, so I went to work and came home and went out to see what was up. When I went to start it I noticed I left the engine cut off switch in the "on" position. When I tried to start it I turned the key to on and no headlight, indicator lights came on. I tried to push start it but it wouldn't turn over. I charged the battery today and right when I plugged it said it was fully charged. I put it back in the bike, but same nothing happened...now I don't know what to do. The battery is only a few weeks old. The bike was running just fine until then. And itnyas a full tank of gas....help! Thanks!!
 

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Any time you let a battery fully discharge that battery is shot or if you are lucky which should have happened here if it truly was new, it's usable life is greatly reduced. You can try removing it and take it to a auto parts store to have them test it but I personally would just bite the bullet and replace it with a new one. This is of course assuming the only thing that you did was leave it on and it just completely discharged and that light you saw was for the oil and not your charging system to begin with. Do you get what I'm saying there? If it was your charging system light instead you probably have a short somewhere that will just destroy another battery anyway.
 

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You said,"....... I noticed I left the engine cut off switch in the 'On' position.............."

Wait a minute..........hold the phone..........are you talking about the "Kill" switch? Or rather, are you saying that you left the key in the "On" position?

-Soupy
 

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I'm guessing corrosion on the battery terminals, and/or corrosion at the other end of the cables, where one connects to a starter solenoid and the other connects to a ground. Make sure both ends of both cables are making proper contact.
 

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Well you can rule THAT out (leaving the Kill Switch on). I leave mine on all the time (I USED to shut the bike off with it, til someone in here said not to).

-soupy
 

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Save them all!
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I'm new to riding and I have a 1983 Yamaha virago. The other morning I went to start it and the oil level indicator came on. I didn't have time to deal with it then, so I went to work and came home and went out to see what was up.
It's been a while since I worked on an 80s Virago, but is this an oil level indicator light, or oil pressure light? I think it's the latter, in which case if you rode it to work and back with low/no oil pressure you should check if the engine can physically turn, or whether it's stuck.

Can you physically turn the engine over in any way?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I double checked this and the oil level light is for the oil level not pressure. It hadn't come on before that time and I made sure not to ride it before I put oil in. Also if the cut off switch doesn't run the battery then it must be a loose wire? The wires going to the battery aren't corroded from what I can tell.
 

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Can you jump it with a known good battery? If that doesn't work then you got a wire problem(broken) or connections problem somewhere. Cut-off switch would be a possible but you'll have to trace every wire and connection including fuses.
 

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What kind of condition is that kill switch in? If it's a 83 is it a CLEAN 83 or like my barn find 81 SR250 kill switch that needed to be dismantled and cleaned to be right. I'm pretty sure before I cleaned it, my kill switch sucked some juice even with the key off.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks everyone for the advice! What ended up happening was since its a new bike I didn't realize that if I turned the key one click passed the handle bar lock it turns the running lights on. I had a friend recharge the battery (draining liquid from inside, replacing it, etc) and it purred like a tiger again. But all the advice you guys gave will be helpful for the future I'm sure!
 

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What kind of condition is that kill switch in? If it's a 83 is it a CLEAN 83 or like my barn find 81 SR250 kill switch that needed to be dismantled and cleaned to be right. I'm pretty sure before I cleaned it, my kill switch sucked some juice even with the key off.
As far as I am aware, a kill switch provides an electrical ground (-)to stop the engine and will not "suck juice". I've never seen a bike with a positive kill switch.
 

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Well you can rule THAT out (leaving the Kill Switch on). I leave mine on all the time (I USED to shut the bike off with it, til someone in here said not to).

-soupy
Soupy; I've always been told that you should use the kill switch. It gets you in the habit of knowing where it is at without thinking about it, which can be helpful In an emergency situation. What was the reason given for not using it?
 

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Soupy; I've always been told that you should use the kill switch. It gets you in the habit of knowing where it is at without thinking about it, which can be helpful In an emergency situation. What was the reason given for not using it?
I was told not to use the kill switch as well, because it is an electrical component that can wear out with usage; in the event of an accident with gas spilling, fire, etc. you have less of a chance of the kill switch failing if it is new or little used. I have always just used the key since l was told that. The guy that told me that was my BRC instructor, and he used to race.
 
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