Need advice on no spark problem - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Need advice on no spark problem

Here is the situation.
2007 Vstar 650 classic with 9300 miles
I have had the bike for 4 years, the first three years no problems.
The bike had to sit for the last 14 months in a relatively dry garage.
The bike sat with a full tank (with stabilizer) and the battery was left connected with no charger...not smart but that is what happened.
The first thing I did was try to charge the battery....would not charge.
I replaced the battery, changed the oil and tried to start her.
No start,no popping or any sign of fire.
Checked and I am not getting any spark!

Question: Could a battery (about 1 year old when I parked it) short out while draining down over months.
If so what kind of problems can that cause and where to look first.
I did not check the old battery for a short...just assumed it was dead and traded it in for the new battery.

I have not worked on bikes before but I do have mechanical knowledge. Electrical problems are not my thing but I intend on fixing this myself. Just received a Clymer manual to help with the fun.
After I get spark then Im sure I will have fun getting the carbs to function again.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-18-2017, 08:47 PM
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How did you check for spark? There are several ways to check, here's a few.
1. Plug out of bike grounded with wire on.
2. Wire on spark checker.
3. At coil?
4. With meter.
Which did you use or did you check an other way. Knowing how you checked it will help diagnose your issue.

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 08:04 AM
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...Also how long did you crank it with the new battery before you checked for the spark?

With electronic ignition on the 650 there is a voltage threshold the battery must stay above for the ignition to fire. If you have a weak battery, or you crank a good battery down, then while cranking the starter if the voltage falls below the threshold the ignition will not fire - you will have no spark.

If your bike was running normally when your battery went soft you can usually push start the bike to get it going, because the starter puts a huge load on the battery, and will pull a weak battery down while cranking, but if you push start it the ignition does not draw very much current.

A good indication is to look at the neutral light on the bike and your headlight - if they both go very dim or go out while you are cranking the starter, your battery is not holding up. It could also be due to a bad connection on the battery, or the ground wire from the battery to the frame of the bike being corroded.

To answer your question, a battery going dead on the bike will not do any harm to anything on the bike, it went dead on its own from sitting for so long without being recharged from time to time.

Its also very unlikely for the ignition on a 650 to fail - they are very simple and very reliable. So before you start pulling the ignition parts off the bike make sure you really do not have any spark.
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Last edited by KCW; 12-19-2017 at 08:07 AM.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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The bike was running fine when parked.
I was pretty sure the old battery would not be good after sitting 14 months but was wondering if it might have actually shorted out while going into deep discharge sitting that long. It was a cheap battery.

When I installed the new battery (new Yuasa) I first charged on a smart charger until it was in float mode all night long.
I tested for spark by "Plug out of bike grounded with wire on".
All running lights and neutral light shine bright and horn is loud.
One thing...KCW, you mention the headlight...the headlight IS NOT coming on when I turn the key on to run (I always leave kill switch on)
Is the headlight supposed to come on before startup or after the engine is running?
I thought is used to come on before startup....a clue perhaps.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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OK, so I just read in the owners manual:
"The headlight comes on automatically when the engine is started and stays on until the key is turned off even if the engine stalls". Guess the headlight not coming is not a clue.
More info:
I tried starting bike with the new battery the first time for about 15 minutes. After hearing no signs of fire I checked for spark. I charged the battery to float mode again and checked for spark again....no spark with fresh battery. Motor turns over well and sounds like a good strong battery.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 03:15 PM
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I can check my 650 when I get home tonight but Im 99% sure the head light should always be on when the ignition key is on, whether you have started the motor or not. If your is out either the headlight is burned out, or something else is going on. But that should not prevent the bike from starting.

Just to be clear, because a lot of people search these forums later, to check for spark you have to ground the plug to the case of the engine with the spark plug wire on it, as you said, then you have to crank the engine and watch the plug for a spark. Sorry if this is obvious, but some people might think the plug sparks 'all the time'. Also if you are in open sunlight the spark can be hard to see.

If the plug is all black with carbon on the center white cone, it might be fouled out and that will short the spark through the carbon. If the plug is nice and white and you cant see a spark while cranking in a fairly dark location then you need to trouble shoot the ignition system.

On this bike a common error is the bike will not run with the kickstand down if the bike is in any gear other than neutral. If the neutral green light is on it should be ok - the bike will not crank either if the kickstand is down and the bike is in gear. In general its always good to sit on the bike and put the kickstand up anyway whenever you are starting it, just in case the bike drops into gear while its running, so it wont fall off the kickstand. But again, if the bike is cranking its not a kickstand or 'kill switch' issue.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 03:25 PM
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also there is a fuse for the ignition circuit, they are behind the same panel as the battery, and the ignition fuse is #1. I dont think the starter would crank if that fuse is out, but its an easy thing to check.

Also there are a couple connectors you usually have to separate to get the battery out - make sure you put them all back together when you replaced the battery.

Last edited by KCW; 12-19-2017 at 03:31 PM.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 04:27 PM
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checked my 2005 Vstar 650 Classic in my garage - headlight goes on when the ignition key is turned to run.

If your headlight is not working it might be a connected failure - power not going where it needs to from the key, or blown fuse, or the headlight is blown.

In 99% of the time, if there is a problem with a bike its all tied to a single point failure - its usually one bad ground connection, fuse, or one unplugged connector that is causing all the failures.

Last edited by KCW; 12-19-2017 at 05:30 PM.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks KCW for checking on the headlight.
I could have sworn the headlight use to came on with the key switched to on. Sort of contradicts the wording in the owners manual. I wonder if it is a difference in year model 05 vs 07.
I am going to order some new plugs...old ones don't look too bad for 9000 miles on them.
Pretty sure they are not the problem but the manual says change at 8000 miles.

I am not a big believer in coincidence so I'm thinking its tied together.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-19-2017, 07:32 PM
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Just spent some time looking at the 650 wiring diagram. I will second KCW on possible bad ground. The ignition shows a separate ground from the starter circuit. A ground wire will easily corrode over time enough to cause issues. There have been many electrical issue posted here that turned out to be nothing but a bad ground. I ride an 1100 but both bikes are very similar so can't speak directly to all electrical connections. I would start checking all grounds for corrosion. You have several ground wires connected to frame on your bike. Google Vstar 650 wiring diagram if you don't have one. Keep us posted on progress.
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2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home

Last edited by lesblank; 12-19-2017 at 07:34 PM.
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