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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1985 VT700 project bike that I have been working on for about a year. I cleaned the carbs, put it all together recently and took it for a ride of about a 100 miles today. When almost home, it started losing power and fiercely, rapidly backfiring. Bike died and I pulled over. I found that with the bike in neutral, it started right up and I could give it throttle, no problem. BUT, when I put it in any gear, everything died ... all electrical went dead and of course it stalls. With engine off, if I put in neutral, lights, etc. come back on. As soon as I put in in gear even with engine off, all the lights go out. Any ideas what might be causing this? I am hoping it is simply a loose wire. As always, I appreciate the help.
 

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I think I would take a hard look at the kick stand switch, you can check it out by hooking the 2 wires together there fore bypassing the switch, if that cures then it's either out of adj or bad.
 

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Thanks. I think I removed that switch and jumped it out, but it is a good idea to check the wiring there nonetheless.

Do you think it could be one of the gear indicator lights or some sensor that runs those lights showing it from neutral to 1st, 2nd, etc. gears? Perhaps there is a short there?

Are there any other ideas of things I can check? I think it is probably electrical.

I will check the kickstand switch wiring and bounce back.
 

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"Do you think it could be one of the gear indicator lights"

No, they nothing more than a indicator, if one burns out life goes on.
running out of gas will cause popping and sputtering but that has no relationship to the lights going out, it run for quite some time so we know things were working, the only thing I can think of that would cause everything to shut down is the ignition system which the kick stand is in, it could be the switch, it could be a bad ground to the frame or the batt, it's something that is shutting all power off so I guess your going to have to just nose it out, turn on the ing and start wiggling wires, the lights will tell you when something is happening.
 

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This is a great mystery!!
The only thing electrical you're changing is the neutral light. I would guess it had to be a mechanical short or crossed connection.

BTW: 85's don't have kickstand switches.

Can't wait to hear the answer!!!
 

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Posted: Sun Jun 01, 2008 6:30 am Post subject:

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Thanks. I think I removed that switch and jumped it out,
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So I guess the question is "What was that switch"
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry it has taken me a while to bounce back. Thank you for all of your responses, I really appreciate it. I finally found the time to do some investigation and I think I have fixed the problem.

I believe it was the main ground to the frame that was loose. The bolt had come loose while riding. Once I tightened it down, everything seemed fine again with the electrical system. I am planning to do a test ride tonight.

Okay, I think I owe a bit of an explanation as to why I was guessing on the switch. I did figure out that it was on my Volusia that I jumped out that switch and not this Honda. Anyway, I mentioned that this was a project bike, so I have done a lot of modification to it -- see picture below. That is why I was guessing on the switch. I really should have waited until the coffee kicked in that morning before responding :)


 

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Wanderer....

Glad you figured it out.

Great mods on your bike. What did you do with the fuse block and start/kill switch. No tach or speedo?

Homer
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks. I basically chopped off everything except that needed to go or stop -- I put the fuse box and all the electronics in a box under the seat (changed the air filter system to be only a couple of air filter pods directly on the carbs. The starter / kill switch is jumped out (so not there). The speedo and tach are gone (never used them much anyway, but could put speedo back on easily). The high/low beam switch is down by my left leg just below the seat. Relocated the clutch lever similarly to make the bars clean. The moto is really light now, so fairly fast and fun to ride.

It is a work in progress.

 
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