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142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Had my first problems with the bike today. She sputterd for a brief second at around 55mps but then came back to life. As I was pulling her into the garage, she flat died. I restarted with no problem and pulled her in. As I cranked the bars hard right, she died again. Humm!! I set the bike up on the center stand, started her up and cranked hard left, no problem. Cranked hard right slowly, and just before she was full right, poof....died.

I checked the wires under the cluster to ensure they were not streatched to the limit and it looked fine. Started again, cranked right and poof.

Here is the weird part......I turned the key itself a tad counter clockwise but still in the run position, started, hard right again and she purred like a kitten. Turned the key a tad clockwise, hard right again....poof, died.

When I bought the bike last month, the previous owner only had one key, and it was slightly bent (I had new keys made now). I noticed a little slop in the key in the run position, and thought perhaps it was normal (first vn for me).

I've read the versus on the ignition and it looks simple enough (probably just jinxed me). A couple of questions:

1) Are ignitions still available for this bike and how much roughly am I looking at?

2) Could this problem potentially be the issue of the sputter and intermittant cyl miss that I get at higher RPM's (it comes and goes)???

Thanks and respects to all....

Premium Member
3,505 Posts
Niterider's right, the ignition wires run up under the tank, and if they get snarled along the way, they'll be too short. Pull the tank and trace the wires to the bracket that sits on the frame - should be able to see if you have a loose connection. Also, if the switch is giving you troubles, pull that out and give it a good sploot of PB Blaster. That may help some of the crankiness.

Switches aren't too expensive, especially off of eBay. I've got a spare, just need to solder the ground wire back on. But it sounds like yours may just be a placement issue.

Good luck!

and the Adventure Cycle
6,141 Posts
1) Are ignitions still available for this bike and how much roughly am I looking at?
Ron Ayers has them new, but at $72.18, like Cindy said, ya may want to consider eBay instead, if you can find one from a newer bike. There's one on there now from a '92 at $19.95 w/ $9.50 s/h HERE.
Also, Ron Ayers only has them listed for the VN750, so I don't think the switch from any other model would fit (but that's not to say another couldn't be made to work)

The switch may just need a good cleaning. Just take your time if you disassemble it so you know where everything goes when it gets reassembled.

Search Goddess
2,002 Posts
From the Yahoo group files



My 1991 Vn750 developed a "dead spot" in the ignition switch
which would cause the dash lights to flicker or go out completely.
For two years I lived with this problem and temporarily solved
it each time it would occur by slightly turning the key towards
the off position. It worsened to the point where the defective switch
would cause the bike to begin stalling - something had to be done. A
new switch is about 70 bucks, plus I didn't want to have to
deal with having to re-key my bike.


10mm socket/drive or nut driver
13mm wrench
12mm wrench
#2 phillips screwdriver
medium sized jewelers scredriver
6mm Hex driver/hex key/allen wrench
contact cleaner
small needle nosed pliers


1. Remove the windshield (if applicable).

2. Remove the headlight.

2a. Remove the 2 phillips head screws that hold the front portion
of the headlight to the bucket - the screws are located about 4 o'clock
and 8 o'clock (be sure not to mess with the adjusting screw located
around 8:30).

2b. Remove the headlight lens and trim ring from the bucket - pull
the bottom free which should allow you to "un-clip" the top portion.
Disconnect the three prong connector from the lightbulb and place
the lens assembly somewhere safe.

3b. Using the 12mm wrench on the nuts on the insides of the bucket,
remove the 10mm hex headed bots that secure the bucket to the ears.
Carefully allow the bucket to hang down from the wires.

3. Remove the instrument cluster/gages.

3a. Remove the 2 bolts (1 on either side) of the "lights cluster".

3b. carefully remove the gauges and cluster
(allow to dangle from the wires).

3c. Remove the black rubber boot from around the outside of the
ignition switch post.

4. Remove the switch assembly - there are two socket
head cap screws under the top fork clamp - after removing the
bolts you should be able to "fanagle" the switch out of the fork

4a. ***UPDATE***
It has been brought to my attention that if the handlebars are turned to the full left position, it is much easier to remove the switch without "fanagling".

5. Remove the two brass colored phillips screws from the plastic
body of the switch. Separate the electric switch portion from
the mechanical portion.

6. Carefully snap the plastic cover off the back of the switch -
check each of the solders carefully to make sure none have broken free.

7. While holding the switch "circuit board side up" carefully pry the
plasic body away from the circuit board where the little tang locks the

8. Take the switch portion (should now be free from the bike) to a
suitable location to work on it (ie. workbench).

9. One at a time, remove the contacts from the switch and slightly
stretch the compression spring open a little bit.

10. Use contact cleaner to clean each of the contact points as well
as the contact paths (on the circuit board).


1. Do everything you just did in the reverse order.

Hope this helps someone - kent4chaos

142 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Much appreciated. Looks like I've got myself a little project over the holiday weekend. Something to give me a little space from the in-laws :doh: (If the wife is reading this....just kidding dear):)

142 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Just a quick follow-up and thank you to Dianna for the step by step instructions. The ignition job took less than an hour and went smoothly. Found some corrosion on one of the contacts that was likely the problem. Put everything back together and it solved the issue. Had so much time left over, that I cut a bracket and relocated the r/r as well. Thanks to all.
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