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Author Topic: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing  (Read 1753 times)

prof_stack

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HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« on: January 17, 2011, 07:06:25 PM »
Bike on center-stand, kick-starter up, neutral, key on.  NO lights, nothing.

Pull clutch in, no change.  No fuel pump whine.  No power.

Battery measured 13.4V, as expected with Battery Tender doing its thing.

All 20A fuses are fine. 

The C5 stays in the garage.  It's been moist in there lately with all the rains the NW has been getting. 

Any ideas?  Thanks!
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Blltrdr

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 07:18:51 PM »
Grounds clean and tight? Trace your voltage from your battery. Do you have a schematic?
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prof_stack

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 07:52:32 PM »
Ducati Seattle owner Dave responded, on the shop's day off, to my email. 

He suggested checking the battery terminals (they were tight) and then wiggling the wire bundle under the headlamp.

Nothing happened until I REALLY wiggled it.  Then all the lights, and the fuel pump, came roaring back to life.  I will let the shop inspect further, to make sure it doesn't happen again.
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ScooterBob

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 08:14:33 PM »
Ducati Seattle owner Dave responded, on the shop's day off, to my email. 

He suggested checking the battery terminals (they were tight) and then wiggling the wire bundle under the headlamp.

Nothing happened until I REALLY wiggled it.  Then all the lights, and the fuel pump, came roaring back to life.  I will let the shop inspect further, to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Pull the headlamp and check the connection at the key switch and both handlebar switch modules. Be sure the pins are pushed ALL the way in and the connectors are snapped together. Also check the harness where it goes around the right side of the steering neck .... the VIN number pad is abrasive and could possibly have "bitten" a wire.
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r80rt

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 09:34:58 PM »
I'm sure it won't be any thing terrible
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clubman

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 09:58:00 PM »
You don't mention the kill switch. Just a thought.

Oops - just seen your second post.   :-[
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 10:00:34 PM by clubman »

prof_stack

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 10:33:15 PM »
Yeah, with a wiggle of the wiring all was fine.  It sure was fun riding it again.

I took it to the shop (closed on Mondays).  Mechanic Marty showed up and put it inside.  They'll look at it tomorrow or Wednesday. 

A full report is forthcoming.  Thanks for the replies!
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saint45

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 05:54:12 AM »
Hey Prof-
Had a similar thing happen to mine. A break inside one of the cables was the problem. Munroe motors fixed it(great dealer if you are in the ca. bay area), now better than new! also had a wire on one of the fuse boxes rubbing against metal. hope this helps.....

ROVERMAN

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 03:50:30 PM »
Don't suppose Enfield wiring has any connection to Land Rover wiring? Just wondering that's all.
Robert.

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 09:29:40 PM »
Don't suppose Enfield wiring has any connection to Land Rover wiring? Just wondering that's all.
Robert.

Yes - yes they are of similar English Heritage and require the same maintenance ....... you have to have one of these on hand at all times:

http://www3.telus.net/bc_triumph_registry/smoke.htm

 ;D ;D ;D ;D
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ROVERMAN

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2011, 03:47:00 PM »
Ahh,precious S.B. ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D.

GreenMachine

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2011, 03:57:14 PM »
lucas ....notorious for gremlins in their wiring (brits call it electrics)...I could never understand why they didn't just upgrade their wire gauge, etc once they knew it was problematic from the beginning...Why did they continue to just keep steering straight and off a cliff is beyond me...i guess they had to maintain the eccentric qualities of their machines...Don't we know...
Oh Magoo you done it again

ScooterBob

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2011, 05:09:30 PM »
I've always found Lucas wiring to quite sound in design and manufacture - where it all falls apart is the total lack of attention that most of it receives - until some extension cord havin' HACK dives right in and starts re-engineering.

Case in point - I had a very early production MGB that had only amassed about 50K miles on the clock due to "continual electrical problems" according to the previous owner. Once home with the car, I removed enough speaker wire, lamp ballast wire, Romex (!) wire, Scotch-Locks, wire nuts, toggle switches, HOUSE light switches, balls of masking tape, balls of electrical tape and random other bits of sh!t to fill a milk crate. Once back to the original wiring, cleaned, repaired and checked out - the ONLY fault was that the grommet on the left front inner fender, where the wiring passes through to go to the headlight, was displaced and the high-beam (blue / red trace) wire had rubbed on the cars body creating a short to ground. This was the ONLY problem that I found with the harness - other than the jackass that had BEEN working on it ........

It's a known fact that Lucar connectors are a bit sketchy - and that every termination that ISN'T a little tiny brass screw will turn green if the humidity is above 4% ... but the REST of the stuff is pretty good ......  ;)
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gashousegorilla

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2011, 05:43:19 PM »
 Yes, and not to mention, alot of guys get into trouble not realizing or understanding that alot of that stuff is POSITIVE GROUND.
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

GreenMachine

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2011, 05:56:53 PM »
okay I stand corrected...Maybe I'm thinking of something else or something I read in those Brit Bike mags...So the grounds need a little maintenance and the connector can use a occasional cleaning /replacing...I'll keep in mind the positive ground too..
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Vince

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2011, 06:18:57 PM »
     I have to agree with Greg. A store I worked at in the '70's carried Triumph and Norton. 99% of the electrical problems. were customer induced. Everyone "knew" that Lucas wiring was trash, so everyone and their buddy "fixed" it. No one could understand the concept of positive ground. "Those Limeys are DUMB, man." The finned Zener Diode in the breeze under the head light was "ugly", so it was often removed or put under a side cover. It regulated voltage by dissipating excess voltage as heat. The wiring was fixed with house and/or speaker wire. Connections were twisted together with house wire nuts, or taped. Left stock, with clean tight connections, the Lucas system was pretty good. Not as good as modern Japanese stuff, but good enough.
     Even on modern Enfields, most of the electrical issues I get are a maintenance issue. As part of my PDI I tighten and clean connections. When I modify something I use proper gauge and type wiring with quality connectors or solder.
     Taken a step farther, most of the electrical issues on the Japanese bikes I get through here suffer from the same customer induced "fixes". I don't know how some of these bikes avoid lighting on fire.

prof_stack

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2011, 07:25:43 PM »
OP here.  The problem with my C5 was not owner induced.  The wire bundle under the headlamp box needed a firm "wiggling" to get the power to come back on. 

Two things come to mind about this situation:
1 - Recent rains in Seattle made my garage pretty damp.  Moisture maybe?  It was 2 weeks since the previous ride.
2 - The shop put the 7-inch headlamp in place and commented that it shorted out when they first installed it.  Apparently there is not much room for the wiring.  Being the first customer at Ducati/Royal Enfield Seattle makes my Bullet their "test mule" as they learn more about it first hand. 
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2011, 07:59:55 PM »
I've heard elsewhere that the clearance is tight with the 7" headlamp.  Don't worry about being the test mule, you get perks for that as well.  Vespa PDX treats me very well. :)

Scott

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2011, 11:34:41 AM »
Vince - I had forgotten about the moved Zener diode with the five feet of double extension cord wiring -  carefully twisted and scotch taped together ... Hahaha!! Unreal .... And GHG - and I quote "Paw-see-teef ground?? Why hail - the leck-trissidy will go BACKWERDS in that sumbitch ...."

Yeah - I loved English stuff (still do) because they are made to be repaired easily - by someone with a few kidneys between their ears .....  ::)
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r80rt

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2011, 01:56:52 PM »
Zenier diodes? thanks for that horrible memory :P  I found The lucas stuff was pretty good, the connections were the weak link to me.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 02:02:40 PM by r80rt »
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gashousegorilla

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2011, 03:47:35 PM »
l .... And GHG - and I quote "Paw-see-teef ground?? Why hail - the leck-trissidy will go BACKWERDS in that sumbitch ...."

Zenier diodes? thanks for that horrible memory :P  I found The lucas stuff was pretty good, the connections were the weak link to me.
You were there Scooterbob, when I saw my first triumph? Probably peek'in in the garage window and snicker'in  :D
 r80rt, thank the almighty for that Tympanium gyzmo ;)
And to be honest, the vintage Honda charging system and connectors were no better. I think because it was a negative ground system, and guys in the states were familiar with the system, that it did not get a bad rap. Bad grounds are a common problem with the the old CB's and etc.
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Ducati Scotty

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2011, 04:01:29 PM »
IIRC, the Honda v45 had a dodgy voltage regulator and bad oil supply to the rear camshaft which was sloppy anyway because the journals weren't milled on the engine.  Even Honda had a few lemons.

Scott

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2011, 08:18:27 PM »
Zenier diodes? thanks for that horrible memory :P  I found The lucas stuff was pretty good, the connections were the weak link to me.

Usually the smoke would escape from the green connectors ....... green doesn't seem to be able to retain smoke as well as shiny brass or gold .....  ::)
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prof_stack

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #23 on: January 22, 2011, 09:41:52 PM »
Conclusion to this thread:

I picked up the C5 this morning.  The wiring was checked for connections and all things were then snapped tight. 

Also, the front brake caliper was lubed and massaged to keep it from sticking open and continually braking. 

A 20 mile ride confirmed all is well.  Now, after lunch and warming up, another ride is in order!
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enfield freddy

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2011, 11:04:51 PM »
Vince - I had forgotten about the moved Zener diode with the five feet of double extension cord wiring -  carefully twisted and scotch taped together ... Hahaha!! Unreal .... And GHG - and I quote "Paw-see-teef ground?? Why hail - the leck-trissidy will go BACKWERDS in that sumbitch ...."

Yeah - I loved English stuff (still do) because they are made to be repaired easily - by someone with a few kidneys between their ears .....  ::)

scooterbob , just for you , http://www3.telus.net/bc_triumph_registry/smoke.htm


i need 2 ???
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GreenMachine

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #25 on: January 22, 2011, 11:05:50 PM »
what was their final conclusion??  NTF...Glad to c they lubed your front brake cable..
Oh Magoo you done it again

prof_stack

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2011, 01:28:29 AM »
what was their final conclusion??  NTF...Glad to c they lubed your front brake cable..
It was the CALIPER that they lubed.  The cable is fine.

100 miles for the day.  My old m/c mittens got me an extra 50 miles compared to my thick gloves. 

Bike is running sweet.  So nice to be out again.

Photo shows the Duwamish river with LOTS of water due to our rains lately.
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ScooterBob

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2011, 05:11:36 PM »
scooterbob , just for you , http://www3.telus.net/bc_triumph_registry/smoke.htm


i need 2 ???

Hahaha! I posted the same link in another thread ..... Who ever thought that up is a TRUE believer in the British Way of vehicle maintenance.  ;) I learned through the years of repairing British stuff (and I quote the ScooterBob Theorem of English Vehicle Repair)

"That on the English vehicle, each part is composed of yet three smaller parts - two of which will be available at your local hardware store and the third will never have been worn out."  ;D Proof of this is my old trusty Triumph bike - it has probably 200K miles on it and LOTS of regular maintenance ... and it's still going. Gotta love that.
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singhg5

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2011, 12:19:05 AM »
I picked up the C5 this morning.  The wiring was checked for connections and all things were then snapped tight. 

A 20 mile ride confirmed all is well. 

@Prof:

Glad to hear that your bike is back and running well.

What was the cause of power failure ?  Where was the loose connection ?  Did it cure itself because it has magical powers  :D?
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prof_stack

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2011, 12:51:52 AM »
@Prof:

Glad to hear that your bike is back and running well.

What was the cause of power failure ?  Where was the loose connection ?  Did it cure itself because it has magical powers  :D?

I guess when I tugged on the wiring harness that the loose connection magically got tight again.  The shop went through it and made sure all was correct. 

I carry my cellphone with me on all rides, just in case.   ;)
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JohnofDelph

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2011, 06:06:56 PM »
I had a related problem on my Woodsman. The neutral light and fuel pump whine were erratic when first switched on. Also, once I had started the bike, putting the lights on would kill the motor. I would have to wait a few minutes before switching them on. Battery leads were tight and the battery was fully charged, but I eventually traced the fault to the earth lead to the top of the electric start which was slightly loose. I tightened the nut and have had no further problems. :)

kiamarider

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #31 on: February 19, 2011, 05:04:20 AM »
The same no power etc etc happened to me Dec` 23  09 when i picked up my new black C5.from the dealer in Australia . About a 60km ride home and stopped to smell the flowers half way on  a very rural road. Time to start - nothing. The dealer-Jetsport sent out his mechanic.. Battery fine, terminals fine, lets shake under the headlight-YES. Believe was wire connected---just- then when handlebars put to one side just enough the dislodge a little. Now up to 7400km and rides like a dream: had 150km ride this morning- all hills/dairy farms/twisty roads/forest:- had a ball. :D

clubman

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #32 on: February 19, 2011, 10:13:03 PM »
Same thing happened to me a few hours ago. The bike started, I switched the lights on, put it in gear, pulled away and it cut out. I put it down to the cold weather and went to start it again at which point I realised that there was total electrical failure. It being cold and dark I cut my losses and got the train home - 55 miles. I knew there was this thread here but I couldn't remember what it said so now I at least have a few ideas when I go back tomorrow. And recovery if all else fails.  :(

prof_stack

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #33 on: February 19, 2011, 10:14:41 PM »
Too bad.  I just tugged on the wire bundle under the headlamp and power was magically restored.  Been fine ever since.

... where is some wood to touch?  ...
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singhg5

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #34 on: February 19, 2011, 10:29:39 PM »
Can we then SUMMARISE -  

1.  TUG THE WIRES BUNDLE UNDER THE HEADLAMP.

2.  SHAKE UNDER THE HEADLIGHT.  

3.  TIGHTEN THE EARTH WIRE TO ELECTRIC START.

New addition, after Clubman found real cause that blew his motorcycle fuse -

4.  CHECK THE BATTERY AND ITS SURROUNDING WIRES.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 01:04:08 AM by singhg5 »
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ScooterBob

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #35 on: February 19, 2011, 10:49:14 PM »
To quote Hollywood Holt from his video .......

"If the headlight's broke, just jiggle the cord ......"   ;)
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clubman

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2011, 06:10:28 PM »
An update on yesterday. I got back to the bike and took the headlight rim off for full access but couldn't see any loose connections, frayed wires or anything else suspect and decided to call recovery. Someone was there within a reasonable time and started checking for continuity from the battery onwards. It didn't take long to see what had happened. A screw had fallen out on one side of the metal clamp that holds the battery in place. The battery was therefore free to move out a little bit and in doing so pushed one of the surrounding wires against the side panel so the insulation was gradually worn away until the wire shorted against the side panel. This in turn blew the fuse related to said wire. All is now fixed and the bike is now running again with lessons learned. He secured the clamp back in place with a cable tie which I actually think is a better option as it won't fall out. I shall also secure all the loose wires in that area from movement by simply sticking them to the battery with gaffer tape.

People post here on a regular basis about checking nuts and bolts and I always thought that I did so when I clean the bike (which is regularly) and that I seemed to be immune to this problem. Typical that it's something you can't see that comes off!

r80rt

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2011, 06:22:06 PM »
Glad to know it wasn't a big problem.
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ScooterBob

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2011, 08:35:04 PM »
Glad to know it wasn't a big problem.


You know ........... MOST electrical problems aren't huge - unless a LOT of the smoke escapes. Most of them are what I call "5-15" problems - Five days to FIND it - fifteen minutes to FIX it - Hahaha! Fortunately, the harness isn't but barely two meters long, so diligent work will usually find a problem in short order.

And Clubman - you are SO right about bits that you can't see causing all the problems! I think that is one of those "rules" that's written down somewhere - sort of like "The likelihood of the bread falling onto the carpet with the peanut butter side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet ......"  ;)
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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #39 on: February 20, 2011, 08:59:20 PM »


I think that is one of those "rules" that's written down somewhere - sort of like "The likelihood of the bread falling onto the carpet with the peanut butter side down is directly proportional to the cost of the carpet ......"  ;)

 ;D Right!

Btw, the recovery guy didn't clock that it was a new bike. When he put the cable tie in place he said "So sorry to be putting a piece of plastic on the old girl!" Bless!

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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #40 on: February 21, 2011, 12:59:24 AM »
A screw had fallen out on one side of the metal clamp that holds the battery in place.

The battery was therefore free to move out a little bit and in doing so pushed one of the surrounding wires against the side panel so the insulation was gradually worn away until the wire shorted against the side panel. This in turn blew the fuse related to said wire. All is now fixed and the bike is now running again with lessons learned.

He secured the clamp back in place with a cable tie which I actually think is a better option as it won't fall out.

I shall also secure all the loose wires in that area from movement by simply sticking them to the battery with gaffer tape.

@Clubman:

Glad you have found the real source that shorted the fuse.  

Recently, I had replaced the screws that hold the clamp (to keep battery in place) with Phillips head screws so that I can use one screw driver to open the battery clamp and the batter terminals (I have Yuasa battery that has Phillips head screws on terminals).

At that time, I installed LOCKING washer (split washer) on the screws, so that the vibrations of motorcyle may not loosen the screw.  These locking washers act like a spring and push the screw head - hopefully that keeps them tight.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 01:05:36 AM by singhg5 »
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Re: HELP! Full battery but NO lights, starter, nothing
« Reply #41 on: February 21, 2011, 06:59:30 AM »
Had the same problems you experienced.New bike: showing it off to my friends.
Embarrassing AS HELL WHEN THE BRAND NEW BAVY won'y start !
Turned aa the switches, keys etc. ect.
Then I got smart and retracted the sidestand, and the motor roared to life.
Safety lockout swithch is closed when the stand is up
Good luck              ED