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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday my bike started this weird lurching and sounded like it was completely missing a spark or two. It went away shortly after the engine warmed up and I forgot about it.

Today it happened again but it was after the bike warmed up and while I was on the interstate in the fifth lane :shock:. I quickly signaled my way over to the shoulder, but I noticed my signal was acting sporadically. The bike died and I shifted in neutral to coast better. My green neutral indicator light was also flickering and I noticed that my headlights and tail lights were cutting on and off as well.

My first thought was that I had a loose battery lead, but they were both solid. From there, I'm pretty much at a loss. I obviously have a short somewhere. I'm going to give all the main wiring a good check tomorrow, but I wanted to know if there are some other things I should check.

Since all of my power is failing, this must be a short before or near the main fuse right? Could this be a result of a failing fuse? Are there other explanations?

I don't know if this is important, but it seemed that once the bike was at rest and in neutral, I could start the bike up. Revving the bike in neutral produced no power outage, but once I tried to put it in gear it would start to misfire and lurch. Is this just from the motion of the bike, or would the strain of putting it in gear cause something to fail?

Thanks in advance.
 

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It sounds like an electrical short to me. They always seem to show up once underway because of the vibrations while riding (hitting bumps, etc.) so you will want to check any lose wires that could vibrate and cause the short. Start at the battery and go thru all the wiring with a fine tooth comb. Most times it's usually where the wire goes thru the fender or is up against a metal surface and rubs off the insulation, causing a short.
Keep us posted when you find the problem. Thanks.
 

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Did you check the battery leads at the other end. They can be loose there as well as at the battery. Check the negative wire to the frame and also the positive to the starter solenoid. Could be loose or corroded. Remove and clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I started up my bike and shook every bit of wiring on the bike I could find. However, there was no sign of a loose connection anywhere. Everything seemed real solid. I took it out for another spin again today.... UGGGHHHH same freakin problem. Lol I guess I shouldn't be surprised since I didn't fix anything, but I guess I was just hoping it was just the gremlins or the rain or something self-rectifying... no luck. I guess I'm going to have to remove all the connections clean them and put some dialectic grease on them.

I just did this with all the connections in the head light casing... maybe I did more harm than good...
 

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What model and year bike are you talking about?

Sounds like you have an electrical open caused by corrosion or loose connections. A short will blow fuses.

Your gona have to pull the tank and seat off your bike, and disconnect your main power and ground feeds. Clean them, and re install them tightly. This includes the connections on your start solenoid.

Often the ignition switch can act intermittently like this. They are sorta tedious to clean, but can be done.

Clean connections are key.
 

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I have had this problem a couple of times.. if as mentioned above items do not work you need a volt meter to check your battery AT THE TERRMINALS when this happens. Sometimes and more so on bikes with firm suspension the battery plates can touch each other and short out the battery from the ride wearing out the dividers. It is similar in symptoms to bad connections only worse.. you can go from a fully charged battery to zip and it will also cause your bike to crap out as you mentioned while riding. Again if it aint the terminals and you begin pullin hairs check the battery. BTW this happens a lot to cheaper batteries like walmart types
HTH
 

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Just a thought from left field...

I had an old surround sound amplifier that would act like this. I'd get about 20-30 minutes into a movie and suddenly the speakers on the right side would start "flickering."

Turns out that as the unit got hotter, something would expand JUUUST enough to break one of the badly soldered connections. A few hours with a soldering gun and a steady hand took care of that.

That being said... Since this happens once the bike is warmed up, somehow this is heat-related. Something is expanding just enough to break a connection somewhere.

You say that the battery connections are solid -- did you undo the terminals and make sure they were clean? Maybe there's some corrosion or something between the terminal and wire and you're getting a bad contact.

I'm still new to Shadows, but I've been working on cars for over 20 years now. Many Asian cars have a "fusible link" built into the positive battery cable which acts as a main fuse of sorts, yet you have no way of knowing for sure if that's the problem or not.

Would it be worth it to swap out the battery cables (maybe you could borrow a set for diagnostics) or use your multimeter to test the resistance of your existing cables?


If not for the funky electrical symptoms when the engine dies, I would suggest vapor lock.
 

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Check the junction box that's under the fuse panel for a loose plug to the ignition switch.
Also check where the wiring harness connects to ground - it's under the seat.
If those look good, take apart the ignition switch.
 

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I started up my bike and shook every bit of wiring on the bike I could find. However, there was no sign of a loose connection anywhere. Everything seemed real solid. I took it out for another spin again today.... UGGGHHHH same freakin problem. Lol I guess I shouldn't be surprised since I didn't fix anything, but I guess I was just hoping it was just the gremlins or the rain or something self-rectifying... no luck. I guess I'm going to have to remove all the connections clean them and put some dialectic grease on them.

I just did this with all the connections in the head light casing... maybe I did more harm than good...
Looking and shaking is not going to get it (see Shatenreiter post). Take the terminals loose and sand the contacts with emery paper and re-install. Especially the negative ground lead from the battery. Check your Stator to Recitifier connection under the seat ( 3 yellow wire connecto) and have your battery checked and verify the voltage at idle and about half throttle while you have the voltmeter out.
 

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Just a thought from left field...

I had an old surround sound amplifier that would act like this. I'd get about 20-30 minutes into a movie and suddenly the speakers on the right side would start "flickering."

Turns out that as the unit got hotter, something would expand JUUUST enough to break one of the badly soldered connections. A few hours with a soldering gun and a steady hand took care of that.

That being said... Since this happens once the bike is warmed up, somehow this is heat-related. Something is expanding just enough to break a connection somewhere.

You say that the battery connections are solid -- did you undo the terminals and make sure they were clean? Maybe there's some corrosion or something between the terminal and wire and you're getting a bad contact.

I'm still new to Shadows, but I've been working on cars for over 20 years now. Many Asian cars have a "fusible link" built into the positive battery cable which acts as a main fuse of sorts, yet you have no way of knowing for sure if that's the problem or not.

Would it be worth it to swap out the battery cables (maybe you could borrow a set for diagnostics) or use your multimeter to test the resistance of your existing cables?


If not for the funky electrical symptoms when the engine dies, I would suggest vapor lock.
Vapor lock? Are you serious?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sorry for the delay. I usually like to post the resolutions to my complaints quicker in case there are others with the problem.

As it turned out, it was the main connection to the battery terminal after all. I had bought a new battery which came with some sort of adjustable terminals. In other words, you could change their shape/configuration by screwing three metal elbows in different ways. The lead was securely attached but one of the elbows was loose even though it appeared secured. Part of the problem was that it was too large for the side cover to fit properly and the squeeze was displacing the terminal. I think this is why I had trouble recreating the effect with the cover removed.

Anyway, I removed the extra links so the cover fits easier and tightened everything. I haven't had a problem in weeks. Thanks everyone for the input.
 

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What model and year bike are you talking about?

Sounds like you have an electrical open caused by corrosion or loose connections. A short will blow fuses.

Your gona have to pull the tank and seat off your bike, and disconnect your main power and ground feeds. Clean them, and re install them tightly. This includes the connections on your start solenoid.

Often the ignition switch can act intermittently like this. They are sorta tedious to clean, but can be done.

Clean connections are key.
I'd still like to know what bike your riding?
 

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Check your Stator to Recitifier connection under the seat ( 3 yellow wire connector) and have your battery checked and verify the voltage at idle and about half throttle while you have the voltmeter out.
A culprit that alot metric bikes have had or going to have. Solder or butt splice the 3 yellow wires. Be sure to wrap them or shrink tube the connections good after redoing. May not be problem but will eliminate a future one.
 
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