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You can have these issues with a good battery that is charged. As swifty mentioned check all connections. You also need to check where the ground wires (yes there are more than one) connect to the frame.

Eric


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If you have a electric fuel pump it is most likely running to pressurize the system the first couple of times you turn the key on. Then by the third time the system is up to pressure and the pump does not come on.

The voltage dropping like you said could be caused by the age of the equipment, extra resistance in the wiring due to age, or a small capacity battery.

Not much you can do for the age of the parts other than replace everything.

You could clean all the connections from the battery to the starter if you have not already done so. Also find all the ground wires that attach to the frame and remove and clean those.

You may want to see if you can find a higher capacity (Ah rating) battery that is the same physical size as the one you have now. Also note the terminal locations. I would spend money on this before replacing the starter, relay, or wiring.

As for shifting,,,many answers depending on the situation. As a general rule for “regular” acceleration I shirt out of 1st around 10-15 mph then around 10 mph for the rest of the gears.

Eric


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First thought,,,having to press the starter switch several times to get it to work sounds like the switch needs cleaning. However if it works properly after the bike is at operating temp that points my thoughts elsewhere.

The starter relay,,,it is possible that it is going bad. Clean and lube the start switch before doing the below tests. Remove the cable from the relay that goes to the starter, connect volt gauge to this terminal of the starter relay. With the bike in a cold condition press the starter button and hold it just long enough to observe the volt meter. Also listen for the clicking sound from the relay, it should sound crisp and positive. It should jump to battery voltage as soon as you press the start switch. Do this several times just in case it is an intermittent issue. If the click sounds good but there is no/low/slow voltage then the relay is faulty and should be replaced.

It is also possible there are bad spots on the starter motor armature that are causing this problem. However it would be intermittent, work fine sometimes but fail other times. From what you have said i don’t think this is the problem. It is possible that the starter motor is going bad and causing it to draw more amps than the battery can supply. Hard to start cold and start ok when warm points to this.

Also you might want to check the resistance of your battery cables and the cable from the starter relay to the starter motor. Both ends of the cable need to be disconnected for these tests. You will need an ohm meter for this. With the short length of motorcycle cables the resistance should be zero or very close to it.

Diagnosing electrical issues is a big pain and takes time because there are so many variables. Do as much testing as you can before you replace any parts to try to narrow down the problem and not spend $$$ unnecessarily.

Eric


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One thing that helped my 1100's cold-start issues was to re-gap the plugs down to .028 (In hindsight, I believe the root cause was a low charging system output, battery never getting to full charge), it was just that much easier to get the plugs to fire with the narrower gap that it usually fired the 1st try. as opposed to 3 or 4 tries, then having to jump it. A combination of low voltage while cranking, a wider gap being just that much harder to get the spark to jump.

I eventually replaced the rectifier and stator, changing the gap made it work for most of a year in the meantime.( steady 14.2 voltage now unless stopped with brakelight on and turn signals going at idle, my idle is probably just too low, a 50 rpm increase gets it back in the green).

I've since realized it makes no sense to gap the plugs at the widest spec, the gap is only going to get wider as the plugs wear. (except maybe the Iridium or platinum ones, a much longer lasting material.) I did gap my Iridium plugs at .028 Wonder if mechanics always saying to gap them at the wider end of the spec was just to get you back in for a tune-up sooner?

won't cost anything but time to try and it has worked for me and others.
I have been gapping plugs to the small side of the specs for over 35 years, and i use to be a paid mechanic but mostly just mechanic for myself. As you said as the plugs wear the gap gets wider. Unless its a race engine or you have done extensive testing gap to the small spec.

Eric


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Hey Eric,

I've changed spark plugs before on a moped, never a motorcycle. In your mechanic opinion, how important is it to use a torque wrench for it, meaning to provide the proper amount of torque value ? I've heard/read a lot of mixed reviews split down the middle with hand tightening vs using a digital torque wrench.
If someone has used a torque wrench enough they can guesstimate the torque well enough. I use torque wrenches often especially when working with aluminum. If you do not feel comfortable doing it that way i would suggest using a torque wrench. I would suggest a 3/8” drive “click” type, you don’t have to have digital. If you plan to do a good bit of work on your bike it will be a good investment.

Eric


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So there's great news and wtf news.

Great news - I cleaned all the contact points of the starter switch, which was gross and covered in old sticky, tar like, grease. She now starts on the first try, every try. CANNOT thank those enough for the simple suggestion and fix.

However, I got so excited at how simple and great it worked, that I decided to do my turn signals. They get stuck often. Figured it couldn't hurt. But now my headlight, highbeam, and back blinkers don't work. It all worked before, so I know it's on me. There was a microscopic spring behind the headlight contact that I dropped and am sure it will never be found again. I guess I'll be looking for a new set unless anyone has any other suggestions.

Torque wrench will be in Wednesday for the spark plugs.

You guys are my favorites.
One extra comment on the torque wrench. There are usually two scales on torque wrenches, ft lbs and Nm (Newton Meters), make sure you are on the correct scale.

Eric


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Looks like you are on the right track. What did you gap the plugs to? The low end of the specs I hope.

I would definitely change the oil and filter unless you know the previous owner well. If the bike is all stock, no exhaust, intake, or carb mods, I would return to using the stock Honda air filter.

Eric


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