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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i have an 86 suzuki intruder vs700. When i hit the starter button, most of the time, nothing happens. it's worse when the bike is cold. if i get off the bike after it's been running, shut it down, and hit it, starts right back up. if the bike has been sitting for a couple hours, i only have to hit it a couple times, then the starter goes fine. if i leave it over night, or for a few days, i have to hit it over, and over and over again. sometimes i hit the button and hold it, and it will start 3,4,5 seconds after.

the starter is strong, just by hearing it, and the battery is fine. it has to be an electrical issue. sometimes i try and rub/rotate the button to make the connection stronger. just out of desperation. Not sure if it's the best way to find the problem!

the bike hasn't left me stranded, as i've been doing push starts after trying for a while. if it makes any difference, the warning lights dim as does the headlight when i hit the starter button, so i think the connection at the button is ok.

i'm narrowing it down to the solenoid, wiring to the starter, and/or both.

any ideas guys? this has been going on for a while and i'm tired of looking like a dope.
 

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You can short the connection from the solenoid to the starter button to eliminate the switch wiring as a problem.

Check for good connections and undamaged wiring from the battery to the starter. Also check the main ground wiring from the battery.

That's a few things to start with, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks dodsfall -
i'm thinking it's connections? and for damaged wiring. when you mean "short", you mean a direct wire right?
i've almost run out of ideas with this bike and the starter problem. i don't currently have a workshop, and usually run back and forth between my apartment and overpriced parking spot
 

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The switch on the clutch lever could need cleaning and lubrication. Also, the run/stop switch. The run/stop switch has also been known to lose spring tension, and go intermittent.

Test the clutch switch by unplugging the wires and jumper them together.
 

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I had a similar issue on an old VW. It was the wires. A bad wire or ground can cause to much resitance and the power is not enough when it gets to the starter to get it to move. Shorting it as was mentioned is a great way to test.
 

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when you mean "short", you mean a direct wire right?
Yes. Start at the solenoid to eliminate that as an issue, then work your way to bypass the other switches that could be causing an issue. Possibilities could be the kill switch, the clutch switch, the starter switch and the neutral switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys

Well I eliminated the clutch switch because it starts without even touching the clutch. Also the run/stop switch, because the bike never shuts down once it's started. I'm going to try your guys suggestions of jumping the circuits and see what happens. I'm leaning more and more towards a solenoid and I might just replace it just to eliminate it. Thanks so much for the help guys and I'll let you know how I make out!
 

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The solenoid does sound like a possibility--Here's my guess why. Inside the solenoid are magnets and springs. Hit the starter button,and the magnetic coils are activated,and the switch 'innards' slide up to meet [and join together] the large poles that run from the battery to the starter + cable. If that switch is guncked up inside with old oil or grease, the sliding action may hang up.When your bike is hot,the solenoid is hot,and the grease inside is thinner,so the thing operates. You could try to get some penetrating oil inside the solenoid. Use the good stuff like PB blaster,or better yet,Kroil. Kroil is mail order only,but it is well worth the price. Anyway,this is a quick cheap thing to try.....
Testing the solenoid is usually done by applying current to the coils and listening for the clicking sound when the poles connect. The starter switch on my bike is simply a ground wire to the handlebars,if that helps. It just quit working one day,and I hooked up another 'secret ' switch ground because I did not want to disturb those old wires.
 

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I'm leaning more and more towards a solenoid and I might just replace it just to eliminate it.
I don't like where this is going.

With a simple voltmeter or even a test lamp, you can determine where the voltage IS and where it isn't.
That will allow you to find the real problem and fix it......instead of guessing.

While the start button itself and the solenoid are the most likely causes.....and both can be "tested" by "jumping", you can do a similar test with a meter and be safer in the process.

The next most likely culprits are bad connections at either end of the main battery cables and the battery itself. Connections sometimes are bad even though they look and feel solid. Batterys sometimes have intermittant open connections INSIDE the battery.

Doing just a tiny bit of testing while it's in a failure mode can save you a LOT of time and money.
 

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Can you audibly hear the solenoid click when you hit the start button and nothing happens? If so its probably as slumlord said and the is junk inside the solenoid prohibiting the contacts from touching. If you cannot here the solenoid, its likely the starter switch on the handle.
 
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