No Electrical Power when the key is turned on - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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No Electrical Power when the key is turned on

I recently purchased a 1996 Royal Star Tour Classic that was known to have a few problems. The main one is no electrical power when the ignition key is switched on. The battery is reading over 13 volts, but when the ignition key is turned to "on" I get nothing. I mean, no lights, solenoid click, no fuel pump action - no nothing. I checked all fuses, including the 30A fuse located at the starter solenoid under the battery tray. Are these bikes know to have issues with the ignition switch? When I first got the bike it all worked fine and the engine started, but suddenly just stopped running. When I turned the switch on and off, I get nothing. I tried to trace the wires from the back of the ignition switch, but it looks like the radiator has to be removed to access the screws that hold the switch in place (pretty bad design for a Jap bike). I removed the seat and tank to try and get better access, but didn't help. I tried the continuity test suggested in the service manual and it appears to be ok - but not really positive about my results. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 12:37 AM
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K.I.S.S.

1)I would start by checking the connections at the battery GROUND. Make sure connection at the battery is good and at the other end of the ground cable ( of course check the cable itself too).

2)After that start at the positive cable on battery and work your way toward the ignition switch while checking all connections.

3)Heat one (1) can Spagettios w/meatballs (or franks) adding a small touch of garlic pepper

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll double check all that in the morning.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 06:12 AM
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Had a buddy with a 1995 CBR600 with this same issue. Come to find out it was as simple as a dirty key (yeah, go figure). Wiped said key off and took the grime from the inner edge, and bike ran.

Could be grime in key or ignition switch?

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
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Good point. I did notice that the each time the key is removed, a thin film of oily stuff comes out on the key. I'm wondering if it is shorting the contacts inside the switch. Today I'm going to try and blast out the inside of the switch thru the key slot, with my compressor. Then squirt in electrical contact cleaner and blast that out. I'll let you know my results. Thanks for the suggestion.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 10:09 AM
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Don't forget to clean the key too. A good toothbrush scrub might do wonders to it!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 10:51 PM
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I don't think that bike has a chip in the key/ignition system, so you should be able to short the wires and bypass the key as a means of testing. Also, I think I would bypass most of the ignition and jump from the battery to the starter to make sure all is good.

Just thinking out loud.....


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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-07-2013, 11:35 PM
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Good idea, but I was just stating of what had happened to my friend. His key didn't have a chip in it either (it was a copy actually, since he kept the original safe), but sure enough, every time the bike wouldn't start, he'd yank the key out and wipe the groove clean with his shirt. Stuck it back in and she'd fire right up!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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I worked on the bike again today and discovered that as soon as the key is switched to the on position I get a sudden drop in voltage, when I put my meter across the battery terminals (from 13.3 volts, gradually dropping off to less than 1 volt). So I have a short somewhere in the system. I checked the solenoid, which checks out good. The next test was to do a direct connection between the starter motor and the battery, which shows the same sudden voltage drop. Tomorrow I'm going to trace the positive lead from the solenoid to the starter motor to if its grounding out somewhere. However, I'm also going to remove the starter motor and have it checked, as I think I may have a problem with the motor windings. If that's the case I'll get a new starter motor. Does anyone know what they cost for the Royal Star? I post my findings when I check the wiring and motor out.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-08-2013, 07:29 AM
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If I understood correctly and a direct lead from the battery to the starter motor (1) doesn't turn the motor and (2) causes a massive drop in the battery voltage, then I'd say either the battery is shot (even if it reads 13v under no load, it is dropping to nothing when tested under the load of the starter motor). Or the starter motor is seized up or otherwise toast, so it immediately drains the battery (which I wouldn't keep doing or the battery will be dead if it isn't already ).


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