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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1984 VT700

I'm a new street bike owner, but have had dirt bikes in the past.

It started with my neutral light only working some of the time. When it's working, the bike starts normal. When it's not working, I have to engage the clutch lever then it starts fine.

Yesterday, I stopped to get fuel and the bike would not start back up. I have power to everything and I know the battery is fresh (I had it on a tender)...it's as if the starter isn't getting the signal from the start button. Eventually I was able to compression start it and rode it home. Once I got home, I shut it off and turned it right back on...worked fine. I let it sit for an hour then it wouldn't start again.

Note: while i was futzing with it, once it tried to start with the kill switch in the off position.

My rookie opinion makes me think the run/off switch is bad. Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Sounds like the switch. That's how I got my bike. The previous owner couldn't get it started. Got it home, opened up the starter switch unit on the handlebar and got it running in 5 minutes.
Crack it open and clean it out. Clean your connections and all that jazz. Try that. It worked for me with similar symptoms.
 

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Those handelbar switches are the most neglected maintenance item on ALL motorcycles. Clean the ones on the other side also. Acid is not the first person to get a bike, probably at a very good price. That just needed to have $5 spent on contact cleaner and dielectric grease.
 

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Awesome. It really does sound that simple. If you turn the key and you've got lights and signals, but the starter does absolutely nothing, check that the kill switch isn't off, make sure your neutral and kickstand is good....
Then by process of elimination, you can assume that it's the starter switch. Easy to open, easy to clean. Let us know how it goes :)
 

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Useful links in the technical stickies, starter switch/rattlebars link is there with detailed instructions...
Good Luck,
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I opened up the housing to clean the switch and it was clean in there. No corrosion and the only thing I could see in there was a couple pieces of lint. Arrrgg.

I went as far as removing the run/off switch and taking a close look at its connections. It seemed to have a bronze-ish color at the contact point, but it was discolored where the two points actually connect. First I thought there was some buildup on there, but after scraping it with a small screw driver, I think it has just been worn down over time.

My next guess would be to change out the actual switch, but after that I think I'm over my head. Any suggestions?
 
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