Honda Shadow Forums banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My girlfriend has a 2008 Shadow Spirit 750 that she purchased this last spring. A few days ago she and I were going to go ride one last time before winterizing our bikes. She turned the key to ON, and everything was normal (headlight and proper indicator lights on the gas tank cluster all came on). However, as soon as she pressed the starter, everything went completely dead. No lights, no starter, nothing at all. My first thought was that the battery was shot (even though it never gave any indication of a problem prior to this), so I hooked up the battery tender. The battery tender went through all the proper sequence of lights for a battery that is completely charged, as is normal (i.e. it became solid green within a minute). For those that are unfamiliar, battery tenders have the following indications:

Red light flashing: improper connections
Red light solid: battery charging (less than 80%)
Green light flashing: trickle charger (80-100%)
Green light solid: float charge (100%)

So I appear to have a good battery. I looked at all the positive and negative connections, and everything is secure. Seeing as it acts as though the key isn't even turned on, I thought maybe it has something to do with the ignition switch. With the battery tender hooked up and indicating solid green, I turned the key to ON. The BT immediately went to flashing red. I turned the key to OFF, and the BT cycled from solid red, to flashing green, to solid green. I repeated this multiple times, each with the same results, which to me indicates that the ignition switch is in fact operating, as it is obviously having an effect on things.

I then popped open the cover for the fuses and checked all six. If memory serves, there were five 10A and one 20A, all mini fuses. They were all good. I then noticed another fuse box connected to the positive cable. It had a normal size 30A fuse, and it was good as well.

At this point I don't know what else to check. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears, but please keep in mind that I am no mechanic by any means (nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night), so keep that in mind with any suggestions / explanations you may have. I have a digital multimeter, but I did not have it with me when I was at her place looking things over, nor am I real proficient at using it yet.

Thanks!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,686 Posts
Have you looked at the sticky up above on this page "what to check when my motorcycle won't start"? Also, "switch cleaning 101" might be of some help. Chances are, you need to clean inside the starter switch housing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,192 Posts
Test it by jump starting it from a car. If it starts up your battery is toast. My 08 Shadow Spirit battery did the same thing and it was the battery. Sorry, but I can't explain the battery tender indicators OK reading.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the quick replies. I read the two suggested threads. I plan to go back over later today and try jump starting it. I never would have thought about a surface charge fooling a battery tender, but I suppose it's possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,131 Posts
Starter switch wouldn't have anything to do with it being completely dead. I would try jumping the bake as suggested and if it starts get the battery load tested. Battery tenders can be fooled by a battery holding only a surface charge.

well actually it can, not saying it is but next time you start your bike check how all the lights die while the starter button is pushed if that doesn't reconect at the starter switch it will appear dead (depending on models, some differ)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,131 Posts
I would be pulling the battery terminals of to ensure thy have no oxidization under them as well as load testing the battery as my first things to do.
 

·
Registered
2017 Indian Roadmaster
Joined
·
983 Posts
I had a similar issue. It was my switch. What it sounds like to me is that you have a short (electricity going to ground where it is not supposed to), or an open (electricity not going where it is supposed to go) in the switch...either of which can be caused by a dirty switch. You could try "feathering" the start button in and out a bit when trying to start the bike. If the bike turns over, the switch is dirty. Feathering the switch (meaning slightly pushing in and letting out of the switch while keeping it mostly pushed in) may allow clean portions of the switch to come into contact. If that is the case, then:

1) Take the switch housing apart and clean the switch. There is a sticky around here somewhere that details how to do it.

2) Check the battery cables for corrosion, and then for tightness. Loose cables can also cause your problem.

3) while you have everything apart, might as well take the battery to the shop and have it tested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,525 Posts
well actually it can, not saying it is but next time you start your bike check how all the lights die while the starter button is pushed if that doesn't reconect at the starter switch it will appear dead (depending on models, some differ)
Could have sworn I said that about the battery?:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,131 Posts
Could have sworn I said that about the battery?:)

"Starter switch wouldn't have anything to do with it being completely dead"

you also said it would not be the switch...and it can be they have a cutout built in on most models that can fault causing the same symptoms as the battery connections... just battery connections is easier to check first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
If you find out what it is I sure would like to know! I've had a similar problem after doing a repair. Couldn't get past everything going dead after pushing the start button. Then something changed and I don't know how or what and I could get the starter to turn, but didn't have any spark. I checked all sorts of connections and cleaned switches and connections and finally got it to fire. Went for an hour long ride. The very next day it all went dead after hitting the starter button.

I think Kitulu is probably closest to your problem. I'm pretty sure I'm getting a short somewhere, but I have no idea where. Maybe I'll take a closer look at the switch as well. Somewhere my ignition circuit is grounding out as soon as I hit the button and somehow after I fiddle with who know what I can get the lights and all to come back and push the starter button with some kind of hope that something good will happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,352 Posts
remove the seat, locate the thick wires from the battery make sure they are tight on the battery..then follow the black wire from the negative side to the frame and make sure that end is tight...next follow the red wire from the positive side to the starter solenoid and make sure it is also tight..

If they are all tight get a pair of pliers or thick wire and link across the starter solenoid from the wire you have just checked to the other very thick wire.. this should turn the engine over.. if it doesn't you have a either have a flat battery or a fault with the starter..it may just be a loose connection at either end of the wire from the solenoid to the starter..

John.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,076 Posts
Swap he's and her's batteries, if they fit in one another's battery compartments. If they don't fit, and you have jumper cables, take your battery out of your bike and disconnect the dead bike's battery's cables and connect your bike's battery to the dead bike's *cables*.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,525 Posts
well actually it can, not saying it is but next time you start your bike check how all the lights die while the starter button is pushed if that doesn't reconect at the starter switch it will appear dead (depending on models, some differ)
You'll still have some lights on the dash if it was the start switch.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,129 Posts
All kinds of suggestions, but keep it simple starting with removing the battery and clean the battery terminals and cable connections from any oxidation with sandpaper till shiney. Then check the electrolyte level on the battery and add distilled water to each cell to bring it up between the bottom and top marks on the battery. Then put the battery on an automatic battery charger, not a tender, and let it fully charge at 2 amps. If your battery is good you should have a voltage reading of 13.3 or better volts using a volt meter. Less than that means you have a dead or weak cell(s) in your battery which will power your lights but not enough to start. Battery tenders only keep the battery voltage up to snuff when the battery is charged and operational.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,122 Posts
my Laptop diagnosis begins here

My girlfriend has a 2008 Shadow Spirit 750 that she purchased this last spring. A few days ago she and I were going to go ride one last time before winterizing our bikes. She turned the key to ON, and everything was normal (headlight and proper indicator lights on the gas tank cluster all came on). However, as soon as she pressed the starter, everything went completely dead. No lights, no starter, nothing at all.

This symptom appears to be a faulty connection

Red light flashing: improper connections
Red light solid: battery charging (less than 80%)
Green light flashing: trickle charger (80-100%)
Green light solid: float charge (100%)

So I appear to have a good battery. I looked at all the positive and negative connections, and everything is secure. Seeing as it acts as though the key isn't even turned on, I thought maybe it has something to do with the ignition switch. With the battery tender hooked up and indicating solid green, I turned the key to ON. The BT immediately went to flashing red. I turned the key to OFF, and the BT cycled from solid red, to flashing green, to solid green. I repeated this multiple times, each with the same results, which to me indicates that the ignition switch is in fact operating, as it is obviously having an effect on things.


Did you check connections throughout the starting circuit?
Including the starter switch and ALL connections along the battery to starter...
I agree with you, the ignition switch appears to be operating correctly...
I then popped open the cover for the fuses and checked all six. If memory serves, there were five 10A and one 20A, all mini fuses. They were all good. I then noticed another fuse box connected to the positive cable. It had a normal size 30A fuse, and it was good as well.

Did you check this 30A fuse and others with a meter?

At this point I don't know what else to check. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm all ears, but please keep in mind that I am no mechanic by any means (nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night), so keep that in mind with any suggestions / explanations you may have. I have a digital multimeter, but I did not have it with me when I was at her place looking things over, nor am I real proficient at using it yet.

Thanks!
A few pointers...

Clean & tighten all connections, check fuses with a meter > they can appear good to the eye...
 

·
Registered
1999 VT1100C2 A. C. E.
Joined
·
9,253 Posts
A few pointers...

Clean & tighten all connections, check fuses with a meter > they can appear good to the eye...
And get the battery load tested (as jpr1968 posted yesterday) -- it can put out 12 volts with insufficient amperage. Most auto parts stores will do the test for free. There are ways to do it at home -- but using a Battery Tender is NOT one of them.

Load testing the battery is vital before any testing -- though checking for loose/dirty connections can be first because it takes little effort. Diagnostic tests, though, are a waste of time with a bad battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,122 Posts
Diagnosing electrical problems, it is advisable to start with a KNOWN GOOD & FULLY CHARGED battery...

This First step, has been pointed out several times in discussion...
 

·
Registered
1999 VT1100C2 A. C. E.
Joined
·
9,253 Posts
This First step, has been pointed out several times in discussion...
Surely you don't mean THIS discussion. There have been more "clean the switch" posts than there have been "verify battery is good" or "do that first" ones.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top