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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning! About a month ago I bought a 2003 VL800. I have had two other Intruders both bought new, a 2002 VL800 and a 2003 VL1500 so I am familiar with the brand and have been very happy with the bikes. My 1500 had been in 28 States and had 64K miles on it when I sold it.


Anyway, so I bought this VL800 and have ridden it about 400 miles so far when yesterday on my home from the studio it died at a traffic light. No mechanical noise, no warning, nothing. Just died. It has lights and power but the engine won't crank. It just doesn't do anything. I am going to check the obvious this morning and make sure the battery is okay and all the connections are tight as I do suspect it is something electrical but I don't know what.


Are there any other problems that are inherent with the VL800 that I should also be aware of? She has some other issues that I need to address as well, none of them related to this, but I want to try and fix them myself. Not because I am a great mechanic because I am not. But because I really want to learn all I can about the bike so I can properly care for her.


Thank you for any advice you might share.
Ride safe,


-David
 

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Discussion Starter #6
One thing to check is the kickstand switch. They've been known to get a weak spring and the stand will move and not hold the contact.

That was of the first things I looked at. Had some crud on it that I cleaned off but otherwise it seems to have good tension. Tried the battery this morning. Check to make sure everything was tight, checked the Main fuse while I had it out. Even tried to jump it from the car (car not running of course), nothing. All the lights come on but the starter won't engage. Still trouble shooting.
 

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Flip the kill switch off and on a couple of times. It could just be a bad connection. If still a no-go, then it could be an electrical problem elsewhere. Does your headlight go out when you hit the start button???
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Did the clutch slip at all? If yes, have it checked, it may be burned out.

No the clutch came out normally. Just started to accelerate away from the light and it was like it stalled and then nothing. Checked the battery today, all connections were good and reading 12.51 volts. Checked the continuity on the clutch safety lever and it was good. Still have to check the kickstand safety and then last the neutral sensor. After that I am out of ideas. I still suspect it is something electrical but at this point I have no idea.
 

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As asked before, does the headlamp go out when you hit the starter? Are all the battery connections tight? You mentioned jumping it, but did you check for voltage drop when you hit the starter? If the circuit is good, when you hit the starter, the voltage will drop. If one of the switches are bad, or if there is anything else in the wiring preventing the circuit from transferring current to the starter, the voltage will not drop. The battery should have 13.5-14.5V at rest, so <13 could be an issue, especially if you have resistance or bad connection somewhere. What seems weird is that you stated the bike was running, and then stalled after you started out. To me that indicates a bad/poor connection triggered the stalling. Did you check all the fuses? More than one person has had bad kill/kickstand/ignition/clutch switch connections, or chaffed harness wires that short and blow fuses.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
As asked before, does the headlamp go out when you hit the starter? Are all the battery connections tight? You mentioned jumping it, but did you check for voltage drop when you hit the starter? If the circuit is good, when you hit the starter, the voltage will drop. If one of the switches are bad, or if there is anything else in the wiring preventing the circuit from transferring current to the starter, the voltage will not drop. The battery should have 13.5-14.5V at rest, so <13 could be an issue, especially if you have resistance or bad connection somewhere. What seems weird is that you stated the bike was running, and then stalled after you started out. To me that indicates a bad/poor connection triggered the stalling. Did you check all the fuses? More than one person has had bad kill/kickstand/ignition/clutch switch connections, or chaffed harness wires that short and blow fuses.

The headlight does not dim when I try to start it and there is no drop in voltage.

All the battery connections are tight and terminals are clean. Battery is about one month old.
The Suzuki manual I have say's voltage should be between 12.3 and 12.6 volts, mine is reading 12.51 on the multi-meter.


I was on my way home and had ridden about 20 miles. I was stopped at a traffic light and everything seemed fine. I eased out the clutch when the light changed and it started forward and then she just seemed to stall and die. I pulled the clutch back in and hit the starter button and nothing. The bike didn't even try to crank but all the lights were on and working. I let my small momentum I had carry me off the side of the road where I put it in neutral and tried again. Nothing. Starter didn't event try to engage.


I checked the continuity in the clutch switch yesterday and it read fine. I wanted to check the kickstand switch, the kill switch, and the ignition switch yesterday (Sunday) but as the bike is currently outside on my front patio the rain stopped me. I don't have a garage but I have a 10X12 steel building behind the house I had built about 20 years ago where I have always kept my other VL800 and my LC1500.


I have not checked all the fuses yet. I hope to do all that today providing the weather cooperates.



I agree with you that it sounds electrical it is just going to be a process of elimination. I am a fair wrench but by no means an expert. I do all my own maintenance and can trouble shoot minor problems but when trying to find electrical shorts, bad switches, etc. this is new territory for me and I am quite the rookie.


I appreciate everyone's feedback and input to help me diagnose this problem. I'd like to try and fix it myself if possible and not have to find a way to get it to the Stealer, er, Dealer. But I am also old enough and wise enough to know it may be beyond my capacity.


Some background on the bike:
It is a 2003 and I am the third owner. The first owner had it for 3 years and only rode it 3,000 miles before a back injury at work prevented from riding and more.


The bike sat in his garage for several years before the guy I got it from bought it. He took meticulous care of it and rode it for 25,000 miles. So the bike now has 28,000 miles on it and other than the normal wear and tear is in very fine condition. I have ridden it about 400 miles in the last month and other than needing some carb work it has run perfectly so far. He had the bike jetted at the dealer for Cobra pipes but then didn't like them so he put the stock pipes back on. It tends to pop a bit sometimes on deceleration but nothing I felt was serious and an issue I was going to address when it got a little warmer. Up until now the bike has always been garage kept and I always keep it covered when not riding.


Don't know if any of this information is helpful or not but I thought I should include it should it help in finding a cure to what ails my Volusia. I do so love these bikes. I had my LC1500 in 28 Sates and rode it for 64,000 miles before I sold it.



-David
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Okay, so tests so far are kill switch, battery, and clutch switch. All read normal. Unplugged the kickstand switch and can't get a read on it at all. It acts like it's not even connected to anything. Will a bad kickstand switch give a null read on the continuity tester?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Okay, so I got another pair of hands to help me out holding the plug for the kickstand switch and I finally got a resistance reading of 650. Anyone know if that is good or bad. I have no idea what it is supposed to read.
 

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An easier way is to push the plunger in and hold it while someone hits the starter. If it works, then bike will start and you know you need a new kickstand spring. If it doesn't start, then I'd worry with the continuity test. I'll try to find what the reading should be.
 

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Any closed switch should be near zero. A few ohms is no biggie. An open switch should read infinity. SO, Kickstand up: Zero or close to it. Kickstand Down: Infinity.

Try cleaning the switch with contact cleaner. Then checking it again.

FYI: Mine shut down at a red light. Looked down and it was the kickstand... My own fault though, I never made sure it was fully up.
 
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