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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #9
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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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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Good point. Have you had the battery tested lately? Autozone or the like will test for free, and can even do 6 volt if that's what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the suggestions on the problem. I've been busy with other stuff and just got back working on the Royal Star today. I removed the starter motor from the bike (what a job that was) tested it on a car battery and it operates fine. I did a continuity check on the heavy lead that connects to the starter and it reads ok. I bolted the starter back on the bike and made a direct connection to original bike battery that is still around 13v, but would not turn the starter. Took the motor off disassembled cleaned, reassembled and tested again on a car battery and all good. However, will not turn when I use the bike battery. The battery on the bike is a YUASA YTX20L-BS 18AH. I think your correct by saying it is not producing the proper amount of cranking amps. I'll take it to the Pep-Boys near me tomorrow to test it. I realize that the car battery i'm using has much more (625 crank amps), but I'm puzzled why the battery show 13v, but won't turn the motor. Does anyone know how I can test the battery for cranking amps myself?
 

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You would need a load tester. I use one from Harbour Freight that was about $20 when I got it. It will prove very quickly that a battery can read 12-14v and still have no cranking amps. Sounds like a new battery is in your future.
 

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Autozone can test it for you. Just pull and take to them. It's free and simple. They'll give all the info about your battery to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks "Miescha", I do not yet have a load tester but I performed a simple load test using my Suzuki DR650. I disconnected the battery of that bike and ran jumper cables from the Royal Star battery to the DR battery leads and got no power, no lights and no start (just as it was on the Royal Star) Then I connected the Royal Star's starter motor to the DR battery and it turned over fine. Today I got a new battery and am currently in the process of charging it over night. Tomorrow I'll put the Royal Star's starter back in the bike and hopefully everything should be fine. Later this week I'll get a battery load tester for future projects. This has certainly taught me to never solely rely on a volt meter to test a battery. I appreciate everyone's input with this issue. I can now get back to the original problem of cleaning out the carbs. Are there any tricks to removing the carbs on this bike, as they are a tight squeeze between the engine and frame.
 
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