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Discussion Starter #1
I have recently bought a 1999 Suzuki Marauder VZ800 around a month ago. Everything has been fine until two days ago here's what happened...

Well, first I should say this as it may or may not effect the reasoning behind my problem. Tuesday night I went to my buddies shop to do some maintanance and a couple little things on the bike. There was a good amount of play in the chain (irrelevant to my problem i believe) and then I changed out the handlbars with a set of Harley bars.

Now, fast forward to Wednesday morning. I take off on the bike and am driving it around pretty my all day from like noon until 8 at night. Then, around 11pm I go to start the bike, everything starts as normal, and then as I am sitting on the bike letting it run, about 45 seconds later the bike shuts down completely (lights, engine, everything).

At that point I did not know what to think, other than the battery may have died. Now it gets tricky and weird (so it seems to me).

First, I checked all my fuses and battery terminals which were fine. Then, before I even connected the battery to the trickle charger or did anything mechanical whatsoever, I was sitting on the bike and flipped the key to the on position. Once again, nothing happened as no power at all it seemed was being relayed. Well, I was talking on the phone during this, still sitting on the bike with the key at "on" and about a minute later the lights and everything come on. So, I hit the ignition button and as soon as I do I hear a clicking sound coming from the battery area and once again there is no power.

So, I have since tested the battery, taken the starter button assembly appart and cleaned everything, checked all wiring and cables and still have the same problem.

The wierdest part to my is that still, every time, if I turn the key to On and wait 1-2 minutes the lights and bike come on as normal but never immediately, only to be killed again with a touch of the ignition button.

Please help with any advice! I've searched around but have not found anyone with the same problem as of yet. Best things I've read about that seem to be what could be causing the issue are possible the relay or the solenoid.

Has anyone had this exact problem and/or know what the issue is before I have to spend more hours upon hours figuring it out?

THANKS SO MUCH!

Dave
 

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Dirty or loose main ground or battery connections?

Loose or bad wiring from the handlebar swap?

Internally faulty ignition switch?

Defective main fuse?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Uncle Krusty:

That's another detail i forgot to mention...When I tested the battery it read 12 volts as it should with the key in the off position...however as soon as I turned the key to the on position the battery reading dropped to .02 Thoughts?
cmonStart:

Ha nice name that's great....I have thought about a couple of those possibilities...I am somewhat new to the motorcycle repair/work game, so are there ways to check all of those problem areas (well ignition switch and fuse mainly) without replacing them to find out it is not the problem?

Thanks for the help guys. My bike is my sole source of transportation at the moment (yup, its great) but when it breaks down like so I just don't have the time to spend countless hours troubleshooting things unless of course absolutely necessary as I need it fixed asap as well...so thanks for the tips!
 

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Did you test the battery at the terminals? If yes, and the voltage dropped to .02V, then it is time for a new one.

If you checked somewhere else, then the connections between where you tested and the battery are also suspect; go directly to the battery and measure there, then move along the connections in the wiring diagram to where the Voltage is lost.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That was my initial reaction...however why would it then cut on randomly? I will try a new battery but it was tested as ok. After I did some more research I found that it may be the kill switch that has gone bad so I am going to try and bypass that first and see if that helps.

Thanks for the help everyone!
 

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The reading at the battery should be at least 12.6 volts. At 12 volts, it's about 50% discharged. If the voltage is dropping to almost nothing under load, it's either got a really bad short in the starter circuit or the battery is toast.

Since the wiring was recently changed at the handlebars, that would be the biggest suspect for a short.

Like mentioned above, check for snugness at the battery terminals first. Loose connections are most likely culprit for intermittent power being delivered.
 

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The reading at the battery should be at least 12.6 volts. At 12 volts, it's about 50% discharged. If the voltage is dropping to almost nothing under load, it's either got a really bad short in the starter circuit or the battery is toast.

Since the wiring was recently changed at the handlebars, that would be the biggest suspect for a short.

Like mentioned above, check for snugness at the battery terminals first. Loose connections are most likely culprit for intermittent power being delivered.
Agree with all of the Above to check first but didn't see the possibility of the Starter might be locking up in the drive somewhere because not turning the Engine over ..
 

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That was my initial reaction...however why would it then cut on randomly? I will try a new battery but it was tested as ok. After I did some more research I found that it may be the kill switch that has gone bad so I am going to try and bypass that first and see if that helps.

Thanks for the help everyone!
OK, where are you reading the battery Voltage? If the battery is really dropping to nearly 0V, you have a major short, and should have smoking wires and a very damaged battery. Also, define 'cut on randomly'. Do you mean the bike starts sometimes? If so, you probably have an intermittent connection from the battery to the rest of the bike, very likely the ground connection between the battery and frame. Or, it could just be the battery terminals. The kill switch will prevent the engine from starting and running, but would not affect your battery voltage readings; again, where did you measure the battery?

Looking at the parts fiche, the bolts holding the cables to the battery could be a bit too long, and not really tighten the cables to the battery; the solution is star washers under the bolt heads. I suggest this, because Suzuki did the same with the battery terminal bolts on my VS800.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok guys, I have narrowed it down some more, however still to no avail.

It is definitely not the battery. It is slightly weak, however nothing to constitute this sort of problem. Now, other than a short in the wiring the only other thing I've came to believe is it could be a faulty kill switch so I'm about to bypass that and pray to god it works!

If that is the case, any advice on the best way to go about checking for/locating a short or break in the wiring? Would you really have to strip down the wiring cables on each component and Check them all individually the length of the wire or how else would you know where the short is? Please tell me here is some witch doctor or "motorcycle whisperer" I can hire to tell me if that's the case!

Ha, preciate it everyone! Back to the wrenching....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh and also I already have metal spacers in my battery terminals to tighten down the connections...

Ugh I just want to ride!
 

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Volts.

If the battery only has 12 volts, that is not enough. See Dods post, you need at least 12.6 volts. 12.75 would be peachy. Volts while charging can be up to about 14.5. After charging let the battery sit for a while and check again.

Check the volts at the battery. A red wyre will likely do a loop through all the things that need to be connected for it to start.
Could be a side stand switch, neutral indicator, key switch kill switch, and a bunch of connections. For this I like to use a light indicator, the ones with the pointy end. With the point in the wyre and the other lead to ground would can wiggle all the above, especially the connections, and easily see if the light is going on and off.

The kill switch will likely have some small corroded pieces in it. You could take it apart and clean it, or bypass it, or put a new kill switch on the bars.

But I would still be concerned about the volts going to zero. You have two things to consider here. Ignition, and the starter motor. Volts dropping a lot is more likely the starter motor and or other bits in that circuit like the solenoid relay. The red wyre for those, is usually bigger than the ignition wyre.

Good luck. Unkle Krusty*
 

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A kill switch is not going to make the bike not be able to crank. All it does is kill the spark making ability at the spark plugs.

You are getting plenty of suspicions from the guys on here about a weak battery. Take the battery out of the bike and connect cables to your bike battery cables from a known fresh lawn and garden battery or even a car battery. If using such a big battery freaks you out thinking it will explode your bike, you could include a 20 amp inline fuse in the equation.

A bike with wiring in good repair will have no issues at all with a car battery. However, if you use a car battery to jump a weak motorcycle battery, yep, that can explode the weak battery. So take the battery out of the motorcycle and jump directly to the bike + and - cables.
 

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With batteries a lot of the time, a little low is enough to cause what's being described. I would start there before tearing into more difficult, more expensive stuff.
 

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I personally think its time you got an auto or motorcycle electrician involved.

My guess is movinvg the handlebars disturbed some wiring which is now shorting out your system, and killing the battery.

Its an intermittent, which means a lot of jigggiing of wires will be required to locate it..

Most of the follow-on symptoms you describe could be the result of the battery draining.

I would remove the battery and charge it. Remove all the fuses ffrom the bike. Reconnect the battery THROUGH an ammeter. You should hae lesss than 30ma drain with everything OFF. Jiggle wires..

Re-insttall fusess one at a time while jigglingg the haandnlebar wires until you identify the circcuit providing current to the short.

Remove all fuses again, put a 10A fusse inlline wwith your meter, then turn on the ignition. re-install fuusess one at a time again.

Or get an elecctrician to complete this in 1.5 hhourss and save yoursself the weara an tear.

the Unfused circuits that can get you are the starter and alternator.

One of your handlebar switches mmay have shorted duee to tuggng on the wiress.

good luck
 

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Is it possible you have a direct short? Do you have aftermarket power outlets or anything else installed that may have wires that chafed?

Sent from my LG-E980 using Tapatalk
 

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I currently am having the exact same issue. I initially thought "weak battery" so I charged it to full capacity and tried again. Same thing. Hit the starter, everything turned off with a single audible click. At the beginning of Spring, I had the bike serviced because it would not start at all even with a new battery. The mechanic took all electric switches off of the handle bars and cleaned them thoroughly. That did the trick and I have been happily riding all season long, until today that is.
 

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FYI: I had the exact same issue on my Suzuki GS 750. Voltage seemed fine - battery carried 12,9V. However when I switched the kill switch from off to run, lights turned off (not pressing the starter button). It seemed like there was a short.
Anyway tried replacing the battery before anything else. That did indeed the trick.
Battery could no longer carry the amp needed. And apparently when kill switch is set to run, starter relay or something else require additional power (even without pressing the strter button).
 
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