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  #1  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:39 PM
acanforam acanforam is offline
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bike wont start

I bought a 1980 xs1100g last month and it has been running beautifully. Yesterday I went to start my bike and nothing happened. I turned the key and all the lights came on and looked good but I push the start button and it doesn't make a sound. I did some reading on forums and thought it might be the solenoid so I ran some tests. I bridged the gap between the two bolts on the solenoid and the bike cranked right away and sounded ok. I then replaced the solenoid and pressed the starter, again the bike did not make a sound. I am now in the process of taking apart the start switch and kill switch on the handlebars. I have discovered that the plastic housing the kill switch was all broken inside so I think this may be the reason for the no start now. Is there a way that I can temporarily bypass the kill switch so I can see if the bike will start once that is replaced? Is there something else that could be wrong with the start system?
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Last edited by acanforam; 06-28-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:51 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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If the kill switch is broken, that's probably the issue. Put both wires under one screw for temporary, it that fixes it there you go...
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'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

Other current bikes:
'93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
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  #3  
Old 06-28-2012, 12:52 PM
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GLoweVA GLoweVA is offline
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There 2 things going on here.
The start button is what is used for the starter solenoid to work. It basically grounds the hot lead to the handlebar to energize the solenoid.
The Kill switch is used to interupt power to the ingition system.
You can bypass the kill switch and it if your start button is still good, then it should work.
The easiest way I would do this would be at the right hand switch connector, but if you unplug it to jumper out the kill switch, then you'd disconnect the start button wire.
I suppose if you're planning on getting a replacement right hand switch, then cutting into those wires isn't an issue, then you can cut and connect the 2 wires for the kill switch together and bam, done. (and still use your start button)
I think MikeXS's right hand switches will work just fine. You may need to play around to make the connector work. (or you can get one from someone here or ebay)

edit: Steve is a fast typer. I didn't think about putting both wires under the same screw! quick and easy 'temporary' fix.
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80G (Green paint(PO idea))
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  #4  
Old 06-28-2012, 01:07 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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Ahhhhhh.........you DO have the kill switch in the run position, right?
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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

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  #5  
Old 06-28-2012, 01:20 PM
acanforam acanforam is offline
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Yes I had the kill switch in the run position

So i opened up the start box on the the handlebars and took the kill switch off and bypassed it by connecting the two wires with a small piece of brass. i hit the start button and still got nothing. is there any reason why I would have to put that box completely back together before I try to start the bike? if not what else could be causing this lack of reaction to me hitting the start button? again it cranks fine when i bridge over the solenoid with a screwdriver
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  #6  
Old 06-28-2012, 01:21 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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The switch has to be assembled onto the bars to get a ground path for the start button. If it's off or loose, no start....
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Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

Other current bikes:
'93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
'86 XL883/1200 Chopper
'82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...
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  #7  
Old 06-28-2012, 01:46 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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Actually Steve I believe the 78 was the only year that the switch grounded to the bars. Tha later bikes had a ground wire running up to the button. No sense in leaving it apart though.

Check and make sure all your fuses are good and making good contact on both ends especially if you have a OEM fuse block. I got fooled by a fuse that looked good but wasn't making contact inside where you couldn't see.
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Greg

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.

Visit XS11.org too......
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  #8  
Old 06-28-2012, 03:17 PM
acanforam acanforam is offline
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I checked the fuses and wrapped the two wires from the kill switch together with some copper speaker wire, still no crank when I hit the button. the start button itself looks good. what else should I look for? is there a way i can completely bypass the start button and kill switch at the solenoid? that would at least help me to isolate where the problem is? Im really just looking for a next step in troubleshooting.
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  #9  
Old 06-28-2012, 04:43 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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The kill switch is the main power supply for both the ignition and starter circuit. First, make sure the power is getting through your temp repair. Check for battery voltage at the TCI 'big' plug on the red/white wire. If you don't have power there, then check for voltage at the repair. Still none? Then it's at either the plug where the handlebar contriols connect to the main harness, or at the fusebox. If you find power at one point but not the next one in line (fusebox to kill switch to ignition/solenoid) then you have a bad wire. Got power all these places but it still won't crank? There's a blue/white wire at the solenoid, touch that to ground. If it won't crank, you have a defective solenoid. If it does crank, then the problem is in that blue/white wire which goes the starter button, or the button is failing to go to ground.
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Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

Other current bikes:
'93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
'86 XL883/1200 Chopper
'82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...
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  #10  
Old 06-28-2012, 05:12 PM
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Cobia Cobia is offline
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I think most handlebar controls ground through the bars. I restored an F and replaced the bars with set that were powder coated black and ran into the same situation. Had the bike running great and after I replaced the bars.... nothing. After much research, I ran a temporary ground wire from the control module to the frame and the starter worked and it fired right up. I then installed a permanent ground wire and the problems were solved.
So, if if you're expecting the starter function to work without grounding the control box/module/cluster...... It's not going to work.
BTW - This holds true for my G as well.
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Last edited by Cobia; 06-28-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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  #11  
Old 06-28-2012, 05:44 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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My SG and my SF both have a ground going back into the harness from the start button.

2 red/whites, a blue/white, and a black.

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Greg

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.

Visit XS11.org too......
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2012, 06:34 PM
acanforam acanforam is offline
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my bike just has two wires a blue/white and a red/white, no black ground. when I opened up the starter box there was no ground in there either, is the box itself supposed to be the ground? I just went and bought a voltage reader, any hints on what mode I should be reading on and what kind of numbers I should be getting?
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  #13  
Old 06-28-2012, 07:11 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Greg, apparently not all switches have the ground; maybe that's a 'Special' thing? I've got several 'standard' switches here and none of those has a ground. If there isn't a ground wire, the switch housing has to be in contact with a metal part of the bike for the start button to work...
__________________
Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

Other current bikes:
'93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
'86 XL883/1200 Chopper
'82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...
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  #14  
Old 06-28-2012, 07:16 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acanforam View Post
...I just went and bought a voltage reader, any hints on what mode I should be reading on and what kind of numbers I should be getting?
Look here: http://www.xs11.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35339

At the bottom of the first post, there's also links to two other tech tips that may be helpful...
__________________
Fast, Cheap, Reliable... Pick any two

'78E original owner - resto project
'78E ???? owner - Modder project FJ forks, 4-piston calipers F/R, 160/80-16 rear tire
'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

Other current bikes:
'93 XL1200 Anniversary Sportster 85RWHP
'86 XL883/1200 Chopper
'82 XL1000 w/1450cc Buell, Baker 6-speed, in-progress project
Cage: '13 Mustang GT/CS with a few 'custom' touches
Yep, can't leave nuthin' alone...
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  #15  
Old 06-28-2012, 07:56 PM
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BA80 BA80 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acanforam View Post
my bike just has two wires a blue/white and a red/white, no black ground. when I opened up the starter box there was no ground in there either, is the box itself supposed to be the ground? I just went and bought a voltage reader, any hints on what mode I should be reading on and what kind of numbers I should be getting?
??????? There should be at the very least 2 red/white wires and the blue/white. Set it on the 20v setting to check voltage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy steve View Post
Greg, apparently not all switches have the ground; maybe that's a 'Special' thing? I've got several 'standard' switches here and none of those has a ground. If there isn't a ground wire, the switch housing has to be in contact with a metal part of the bike for the start button to work...
Maybe......... I have some standard stuff out there too I'll see.
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Greg

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.

Visit XS11.org too......

Last edited by BA80; 06-28-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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