Bypassing the ignition switch? - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Bypassing the ignition switch?

I've been having some problems this summer with (what seems to be) the ignition switch. When I turn hard to the right, the engine will cut out. Its an 86, and has done it since I bought the bike a couple of years ago.

Recently, while turning to the right, the bike cut out and won't come back on. I eventually traced this back to the fuse, which was blown (the main fuse).

I think there is some probably in the wires going to the ignition switch (a crack or something), because while the bike is running it will cut out if I jiggle at the wires. They all seem securely soldered to the back of the switch.

I don't know if bypassing the switch is a good idea or not, but I'm hesitant to put the bike back together and run into the same problem (I have the tank & other parts off to check the wires).

I've traced the wires back to one connector, that has 5 prongs on it:
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Like this:

1 2 3
X 4 5

And then two other wires. The two other wires seem to be the "main power". Beyond this, I've found that by connecting wires 1 & 3 I can hit the starter. By Connecting 3 & 4 it turns on the tail light. Connection 3 & 5 does the turn signals.

What I find mysterious is that connection 2 & 5 also does the turn signals. Does anyone know what these 5 connections actually do, and how to "hotwire" them so I can install a simple toggle switch (or switches)?
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 09:04 PM
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Well, first off I would not bypass the switch as it sounds like you have a shorting or bad wire in the wiring harness. thus even replacing the switch likely would not solve the problem.

The taillight on function is the "park" setting on the ignition switch..which allows you to lock the steering , remove the key but leave the ""parking lights" on.


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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-21-2008, 10:40 PM
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You are messing around with the Light Circuit. as KM says...better to find the problem...Check the left side of the neck where the wires run next to the frame before heading to the Headlight Bezel. It sounds like a short in those wires...Very common spot for them to wear through and ground out.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-22-2008, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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After much fiddling, I installed a toggle switch on the two separate wires, and then tried to use the regular switch for everything else. No-go. Flipping the toggle turns on the headlight, taillight, and dash lights, but as soon as I turn the key off it kills the motor. Back to the drawing board I guess.

The only other thing I can think of doing is trying to adjust the contacts in the switch (again), or running fresh wires from the switch to the connector down under the tank. Frustrating, I was hoping I could just bypass the switch to at least keep the bike running once it was started, but that doesn't seem to work.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 01:16 AM
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mine did the same thing... ended up burning up my wiring harness resulting in me rewiring my bike... i now have a 2 wire switch.

1990 Kawasaki Vulcan 750

.... slightly modified
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-23-2008, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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How did you end up wiring the switch in? I haven't figured out what all the wires do, or I'd do the same thing.

I'm going to fiddling with the switch again today, and also take the black coating off the wire and see if anything is worn inside. Beyond that, its either bypass the switch or look for a new bike...

Any help would be appreciated.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 11:24 AM
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Is there a way to turn OFF the brake light when I lock the steering (park lock)? Other than removing the bulb of course...
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-25-2010, 12:57 PM
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I just turn the bars to the left, turn the key couterclockwise and remove it. Doesn't leave any lights on.

I'm keepin' all the left over parts. I'm gonna use 'em to build another bike!
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Currently 23,298 miles

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1987 VN750 project bike, acquired August, 2009, 33,000 miles and balancer sticking out of the case, currently awaiting attention and parts
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-26-2010, 07:40 PM
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You might first try cleaning all the contacts. Open it up and use an eraser or something like that.
I had a Nighthawk that acted like you described, and the contacts were gummed up.
Didn't cost anything.

'95 Kawasaki Concours

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I do LOTS of dumb stuff. Riding is only one of them.
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