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Hi Everyone,

Obviously I'm new but I hope to stick around here for a while as it seems like a pretty big community and lots of useful knowledge floating around, but here's what I'm starting with:

81 Honda CM400C. A ladyfriend of mine bought this bike not quite 2 years ago, rode it for a few months, left it with me for a few months while on tour (singing in a band), kept it out front of her apartment in west Baltimore for a couple more months unlocked and uncovered until one day in the spring someone rolled it away in the middle of the day. It was recovered 4 months later about 5 blocks away. Cut to the chase:

It ran great before and now won't spark. I bought it off her for $300 on the gamble that it's only something really simple keeping it from sparking. All I've done since is try a new battery. It's too cold out to be messing around aimlessly. The lights all come on when the key is turned. When I hit the starter the lights dim and it drains the battery but no sparking whatsoever. The plugs look fine.

Some wires have clearly been tampered with and it looks like they tried sticking a butter knife or something into the ignition, it's all dented in. Before I start pulling wires I thought I'd come here and see if anyone could give me a stupidly simple suggestion on where to start checking. I have a feeling that some doofus tried to hotwire it, failed, hooked the wires back up wrong and left it in their backyard for 4 months.

Any thoughts? I've messed around with other bikes a bit but wires have always been a thorn in my side.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Welcome to the funny farm(at times) from Texas. You will need to get a wiring diagram. Then search for a thread started by wadenelson that describes how to test for just your kind of condition. Maybe someone else actually has that thread bookmarked and can post a link. But there are a lot of good wrenches here. Just do what they say and be patient. They have real jobs.:thumbsup:
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Welcome aboard. Hog gave you a good place to start.
 

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Looks like these guys sent you in the right direction. I can second.
Find an accurate wiring diagram, start tracing wires.
I'm not a super electrician but I'd start with the wires coming off of the starter solenoid, if they knew anything about getting a bike to crank that's where they would start.

Bikes have stupid amount of wires, a lot is not necessary to get spark.

This is a very simple wiring diagram I made for my bike to get spark, there are no extras. So you can use this so you can narrow down what wires you actually need to look at.
 
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