What Do I Check When My Motorcycle Won't Start? - Page 3 - Honda Shadow Forums : Shadow Motorcycle Forum
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post #21 of 88 (permalink) Old 06-02-2008, 01:52 AM
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Bike won't start ...

Greetings everyone,

I/m reposting this due to lack of replies ...

My 1987 VT700C has trouble starting when the temperature outside is anything less that balmy. I could not start the bike one evening a week ago or so, but the next day, when the temp was in the 70s it fired up instantly. This morning its breezy and chilly (by Los Angeles standards) and after several attempts the bike will not start.

I am totally new to the bike, and to motorcycling in general. Is this a normal thing with all bikes? Or a normal thing with older bikes? I can't always rely on the weather being perfect, even in southern California, I don't have a garage, so, what can I do?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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post #22 of 88 (permalink) Old 06-22-2008, 07:17 PM
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try pulling out the choke and starting, let it warm up a minute?

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post #23 of 88 (permalink) Old 07-03-2008, 10:22 PM
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Need some help

Rode my '01 Shadow 750 ACE to work and back today - no problems as usual. Got on it later and would not start. All indicator lights, horn, etc. working fine. Starter never turns at all. Sure that starter not getting power at all. Checked all switches, kickstand, etc. with no luck. Did finally notice that the headlight is also not working. Pulled the headlight and the bulb looks fine. Checked battery and 12.5V, so good there. Not sure what to look for next. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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post #24 of 88 (permalink) Old 07-22-2008, 04:54 AM
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One more thing ...a biggy

Everyone here is neglecting the obvious. One more VERY IMPORTANT thing to check when your bike wont start. .......Is the condition of your WALLET/PURSEsee I even got that gender neutral.

88 VT1100, 08 HARLEY FAT BOB (traitor) 87 700 intruder, 85 700 MAXIM, I ride the Harley mostly but "still" prefer to hang with metric riders because they're not stuck up. OOps, keep forgetting, AINT stuck up
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post #25 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-06-2008, 05:29 PM
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Add to battery

Seems quite a few have problems starting their bike but the starter turns.
make sure you test the battery to see if the panels inside might be broken.
You can check this by checking the voltage while you try to start. If the battery falls below 10, your battery is more then likely shot.
Doessent helt if its 12,8 when not using, cause it cant take load.

Just hook your multimeter to the battery, put it on the seat and try to start.

1985 VT700C, ready for duty.
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post #26 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 07:52 AM
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Couple comments on 2 different sub-threads.

The main post was fantastic, and we should all print it out, but there was one minor omission. When you remove the plug, then check the ignition by grounding the plug body and cranking, make sure this is far away from the plug hole. If fuel is actually being delivered, and the spark is present, it'll shoot a magnificent flame out the spark hole. So I've been told. In that case, the plug wouldn't ignite the misture under pressure for some reason. Without the pressure, it was one hell of a nice display.

The manual says to kill the engine with the key. I think the reason is that, if you use the kill switch, you might forget the key, and run the battery down via the headlight. I had a mis-set kill switch once, but I was right at the dealer. I went back inside for help, and it's the first thing they check.

The Goog
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post #27 of 88 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 07:55 AM
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I forgot one thing - on two occasions, about 3 years apart, I've had the bike (99 shadow spirit 1100) crank nicely, but not start. In both cases, it was an old battery. It almost seems like a fuel problem, but it's the battery. Yhey last about 3 years. Period.

The Goog
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post #28 of 88 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 08:08 AM
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One correction. The standard wisdom is that if the engine cranks, the battery is good. Supposedly, if the battery has enough juice to run the starter motor, then there should be enough juice to power the spark.

On two occasions, I found that the engine would crank, but a new (and recharged) battery fixed the problem. At the time, the batteries were about 3 years old. I ride a '99 Shadow Spirit, and it's now on its third battery at 44,000 miles.

There are two possible explanations. First, the starter motor draws the batterh voltage down enough that the ignition system won't function. Second, the ignition system on some bikes isn't enabled unless the engine rpm is above some threshold (150 rpm?). I read this somewhere (here?), and I think it prevents backfires while starting.

Whatever causes it, a cranking engine may still need a new battery.

The Goog
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post #29 of 88 (permalink) Old 03-02-2009, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ElBando
If you ride a Goldwing check the reverse button, if it is accidently bumped in the starter will not engage.
Also check the TIP sensor, I'm not sure what years it was on, but my uncle GL1500 had one and it was cuasing all kinds of weird problems.
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post #30 of 88 (permalink) Old 03-03-2009, 07:39 PM
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bike wont start

i have a 84 shadow vt500 and it wont start. 3 days ago it was riding fine and when i tried to ride it yesterday it would not start. the battery was dead so i connected my trickle charge at 2v overnight and now the battery is good but it still wont start. i did the ignition check and i saw sparks jumping out and the air filter is good. the gas is a week old. when i try to start it all i hear is a clicking (like an electrical ticking sound) sound but no turn over. i think it could also be burning oil because i checked it and it was way low. a friend mentioned something about carbon build up causing starter problems because it runs when i push start it. could it be a starter problem?

1984 Honda Shadow VT500
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