Oh huh – the bike won’t start and you look at the electrical system, and all you see is some pretty colored spaghetti... and lots of nasty ‘crimp on’ splices to highlight the previous owners handiwork. This is not unusual, and it can be challenging to know where to start if the bike doesn’t run – but that is why we are here.
Z1 Enterprises understands the electrical system is critical to getting the bike running. That’s why we stock a massive amount of electrical system parts. From the terminal connectors and wire, to regulator/rectifier units, stators, batteries and ignition systems, we have what you need.
If you have electrical ‘challenges’, make sure your battery is healthy BEFORE you attempt to diagnose anything.
Do NOT charge your battery with a car battery charger; you will destroy it. Motorcycle battery chargers are much lower amp units. We stock them; get one. A great tool for prolonging the life of the battery as well – use them when the bike is sitting for more than a few weeks.
The bike runs, kind of, sort of – it spits, it coughs, it splutters – must be carbs right? Not necessarily…
For the ignition system to provide a strong spark, the coil needs to get enough juice to fully energize them – if you short change the coils of their juice, they short change your spark! That can lead to misfires.
You need a test meter reading in Volts DC to test this. With a fully charged battery, you should see 12.75 volts across the battery terminals. The key is how much of the 12.75 volts is making it to the coils? Under the fuel tank, you should see two wires going to each coil. One comes from the ignition. The other is the one you want – the switched power supply. This feeds power to the coils when the ignition switch is turned on, and the kill switch is set to run. Insert one of the test meter probes into the switched power connector, the other onto the negative terminal on the battery. Turn the ignition on, set the kill switch to run (Don’t leave the ignition on for more than a few seconds – you can burn out a coil). What voltage do you see?
You need a minimum of 11.75 volts to get a decent spark. Anything over 12 volts good, anything less than 11 is bad. So who stole the juice? The harness has numerous connections – bullet connectors, connector blocks, the contacts inside the ignition switch and kill switch. You need to carefully connect, clean and reconnect the connectors. Then retest. It’s difficult to clean the contacts inside the ignition switch, but sometimes sweeping the key or knob from side-to-side will help clean the contacts inside. Once you have done this, recheck the voltage to see the rewards of your labor.
If this doesn’t work, you may well need some new items, so please browse through our stock.
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