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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was riding along on my 1996 Vulcan. Suddenly it behaved like I had hit the kill switch or tuned the key off. I pow pow powed like I was push starting it with the key off. When I tried to restart, nothing. No "dash lights" or headlight. Assuming it was a dead battery I took it home to charge. When I reconnected the battery nothing had changed.

What would cause this? A fuse? The ignition switch? Other ideas?

Thanks,
Brian in New Mexico

Update: I found my fuse box behind the left side cover. No fuses appear to be blown. I can't see any damage to the wires.
 

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Don’t you need to dismantle it to replace it anyway? regardless, there are multiple possible issues that will cause the problem you described. I’d suggest doing some troubleshooting before just ordering random parts
 

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I tried all suggestions I got.
Jiggle the ignition switch is sort of the first "try it" step in case the contacts are dirty or the springs have gotten weak. Past that and you need to bust out the voltmeter, because you've probably got a broken wire or bad molex connector somewhere.
If you're good with a schematic, you can find one stickied in the verses, or there's a link to one in my bio. The battery runs to the JB, then to the ignition switch, then back to the JB, so things aren't super clear. Check your ground connection to frame and both battery terminals.
 

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Under the left side cover. It's the black box that holds the fuses, but there's also a circuit board deeper in that does some things for the bike, like the starter relay, the headlight relay, and the fan relay, and the nanny switch logic.
If everything is dead, you're probably looking at a battery connection, a bad wire between battery and JB (white/red), a bad wire from the JB to the ignition (white), a bad ignition switch, or a bad ground at frame or battery (black/yellow).
 

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This same thing happened to me just over a month ago. Freaked me out, especially cuz I was on a highway and like you described, everything just died like I'd hit the kill switch. But then, just before I'd slowed down enough to pull off the road, the bike lurched ahead and began running again. Mile later, same thing except that it didn't start running again. Once I'd coasted to a stop, I checked everything I could think of. All looked fine. I then decided to flick the actual kill switch on and off a few times just in case that might be the culprit. Well, for me at least, perhaps it was, as flicking it like that solved the issue and it's never done that again since.
 
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