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Discussion Starter #1
My '95 is in the shop, but I anticipate a "cannot duplicate problem" response for my problems. Any suggestions that I could get would be greatly appreciated. Here's my problem description as best as I can describe it:

The engine is cutting out intermittently with no common speed or action

Ø It has happened at idle, and at various speeds

Ø The tachometer instantly drops to zero and the bike loses speed quickly



If the cutout is short, the bike will jumpstart itself at driving speeds. Other times the bike will just roll to a stop and the ignition will need to be turned off and then on again.



The starter does not start the bike when this is happening, stopped or moving



When the bike is dead, turning the ignition off and then back on corrects the problem and allows the bike to be started with the starter.

Ø When dead, with the ignition still on, the lights (oil, blinkers, etc.) remain on as though the ignition is on. However, the starter won’t work, and the bike won’t jump itself if moving in this condition.



The length of the cutout varies from a second or two or sometimes until the ignition is cycled off and then on.



Sometimes the bike can be driven for miles without problems. Other times the problem has happened repeatedly within a very short distance.


Thanks in advance!!
 

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AMike...
Your symptoms sound like 2 potential issues..the starter switch or the igniter.
In the past, I've had somewhat the same experience when moving..it would just cut out, lights on, no go. Try sprying some contact cleaner into the key slot. Works wonders for me. Also, I've heard abt the leads from the starter being kinked or strained and cutting off when the bars are turned, esp to the left. Check this out on the centerstand...see if you can duplicate the problem by turning the bars.
The tach dropping instantly to zero w/ a rapid loss of power has happened to me also...when my Dyna2000 ignition module failed. Have your techs do the resistance measurements on the igniter....
Keep us posted...
 

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I had the same condition on my 2001. I took the ignition switch apart, cleaned and burnished all the contacts and stretched the contact springs just a bit. not much or they will lose their springiness. Be very carefull not to lose anything and pay close attention to which contacts go where. Pretty much cured the problem, but it will still cut out every once in a while when I turn the bars all the way to the right. I just wiggle the key a bit and it's OK for a while.
 

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Ratbiker
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Seems I have the same problem. It's happened briefly now and again for the last few years on my '86 VN750. Happened last week big style. Cutting out, usually when I revved it, lights on, tach dies. Eventually I couldn't bump start it and rolled to a stop. Turned everything off, wiggled a few wires, restarted and it was fine.

When I got home I took the seat and covers off, started the bike and wiggled and pulled on every wire I could find expecting the engine to die but no luck. Sat with the wiring diagram a while and eventually plumped for switches (since the ignitor would be $450 anyway).

The kill switch I took apart and cleaned. It was slightly discolored on the contacts and had grease on it. I squirted contact cleaner into the ignition switch (cos I was too lazy to pull it apart). On seeing this post I realize that I have way too many keys hanging from the ignition swition. I guess I should pull it apart this weekend.

One thing you might try (I will too). If the bike dies and won't bump start, flip the two switches off and on to see if it recovers right away (assuming u have time before u grind to a halt!) Wish I'd thought of it when it failed last week!

Ride on

GP
 

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When this happened to me, it was shortly after replacing the battery. I only tightened the terminals with a screwdriver and they came loose – had to use a socket/wrench to get them tight enough. Another symptom was my headlight would be out.
 

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Ratbiker
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53 Posts
OK, said I'd reply when it happened again. The problem must be worse because it cut out again last week. Doing 45-50 on a long downhill grade (great place for debugging :D ) and the engine died and the tach dropped to zero.

Wiggled the key - nothing
Flipped the kill switch - nothing
Turned key off then on - hey presto, it's alive!

So I need to tear down and clean the switch. I think my minor chop this winter will include removal of the key switch and replacing it with a simple toggle switch. Besides, no ones going to steal my pile of crap!

GP
 
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