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Bike won't start, dealer not sure


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I've been riding my bike regularly and after 10K miles, needed a front tire. Rode my '96 R11rt into the dealer thinking in and out in hour but was called back and was told they couldn't get my bike started. I walked back, and told them they had to pull the clutch in because the failed neutral light situation but when I did it nothing. The dealer hooked up the computer but still unsure what the problem was but did say my rear light was stuck on. They think the brake sensor could be the problem but had to order. I'm not sure if someone has run into the same problem but to tell you, I ride almost everyday and now it goes to the dealer, bingo - won't start. I shouldn't point the finger as better to fail there than on the road.

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Afternoon Schwie


What a useless dealer. If they can’t figure it out I sure wouldn’t take a biker back there.


Not sure on your rear light but that shouldn’t effect the engine starting as it is on a different circuit. (unless they somehow jazzed up you handlebar switch with tie down straps or other damage)


On your starting question: You didn’t say if it will not crank (starter works) or will crank but engine won’t fire up?


I will assume it won’t crank over—First question is the kickstand all the way up?


Is the kill switch on?


Otherwise maybe a failed clutch switch now or they somehow pulled a wire loose or ran the battery down.


If nothing else maybe just it at the starter rely or the starter itself to see if it is capable of cranking.


About all a person can do is work back from the starter solenoid until the open/disconnect is found.



Added: if no smoking gun found maybe check (wiggle vigorously) the main wire harness where it runs along the frame at the steering head area near the first tie strap. That is somewhat of known problem area for broken wires.

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Thanks Dirtrider - yes the side stand was up as the rid would not come on. The board is lit and juice is flowing. No it won't crank at all, I had the clutch pulled in (as normal) and the ensured the side stand up and nothing. I didn't look to see if the kill switch was on but I guess a was more suspicious and pissed off than understanding with the guys in the back.

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As DR suggests, look under ignition switch, check wiring from the switch into and along its loom. See the cable ties? are they too tight? have they caused a problem?

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That sounds like the clutch switch has also gone bad. The simplest fix is to cut the wires to the switch and wire them together. Here's another little trick. Get a 2" piece of wire, bare at both ends. Take the seat off and remove the starter relay. Turn on the key and jump hole 2 to hole 6. Vroom!! Off you go.

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Not to hijack the thread, but I have observed that if the handlebar is fully turned to the left side, my bike will not start...


Should I get a new key cilinder along with harness for replacement? Will the issue become worse uin the future, like not allowing the bike to start at all ?


Also, how hard is to get the key cilinder out and can I do something to keep the key since it also works for the 3 cases: side and top bag?



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Hi Dan, it looks like a hijack to me!

However, I'd be inclined to look at repairing the loom. Maybe strip off the outer PVC covering, establish which wire is damaged, and do a very neat in-line splice to repair the broken/breaking wire. Replace PVC sheath with similar, but larger loose fitting sheath that has been split along its length.

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Morning Dan


That really depends on IF your problem is in the wire harness to lower ign switch itself or IF it is in the main wire harness near the steering neck first tie strap.


If your main harness has a fracture then a new ign switch or harness won’t so anything for you.


Maybe try wiggling the wire harness at the neck are next time it won’t start.


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