1983 Starting Issues

GS01

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Hi Everyone,

New to the group. Working on bringing this thing back to life as the previous owner had it sitting for the last few years. So hears my issue. I bought a brand new wiring harness to replace the current one that was on there. Also bought a brand new battery. I’ve installed the new wiring harness and I get power to the turn signals and horn. When I press the push start I don’t get a click at the starter solenoid or anything. I’ve removed and reattached my connections. I cleaned up all the existing attachments to make sure it wasn’t dirty. I even bought a new right handle bar push start, a brand new starter solenoid (tested both the old and new one separately not on the motorcycle by test jumping it to make sure it clicks) I even replaced the rectifier. I checked all my fuses to make sure each one was intact. I checked to make sure my wiring had continuity throughout and it did. I’m currently at a loss and not sure how to trouble shoot from there. I’ve read a couple of the forums and still wasn’t able to get it to start. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Jim

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There's a blue wire going to the solenoid... might be blue/white. That's the ground wire that energizes the solenoid. Jumper that to ground and see if it clicks and the starter spins. Let us know and we'll go from there.

Prolly goes without sayin'.... make sure the tranny's in neutral first.
 

JJames

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Just curious. Have you tried to kick start the bike. If you can kick it to life it would at least let you know that your new parts and wiring are mostly OK and narrow down starter issues. Like Jim says, make sure it's in neutral. Seems like the neutral safety switch could be involved. It's the wire with a rubber boot on top of the case and below the left carburetor. Maybe someone can explain how it works.
 

GS01

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Hi James,

Yeah, I tried to kickstart it a few times. Bike was in neutral as well. The neutral safety wiring was cut from the previous owner so I was able to re-wire it with the new wiring harness. I thought that was the issue before too and even tried disconnecting to see if that would start it but nothing. Sparks have been changed even the ignition coil has been changed along with the seal caps and wiring. I tested them previously to make sure I was getting the correct resistance. Just not hearing anything from the starter when I press the push button. Not even a click. Power is on as my lights and horn work just fine. I though maybe it was the right handle bar controls and not getting proper ground or maybe it was just dirty so I had it replaced with a brand new one but that still didn’t do the trick. I still have yet to try what Jim mentioned and hoping maybe I’ll get somewhere with that.
 

Jim

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So... it won't run? Neither kick or elect start gets it going?
 

GS01

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Yeah that’s right. Previous owner said he’s never kick started it just electric start but never rode it so it sat. When I first got the bike and replaced the battery and fluids it did start for a few seconds with the electric start . But ever since replacing the wiring harness I haven’t got it to start anymore. I checked the wiring diagram and did my continuity test and all seem fine.
 

Jim

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OK... wasn't aware it wouldn't run. Got the impression from your first post it was just an electric start issue. Not running is a whole 'nother ballgame.
You say the headlight comes on. It's not supposed to on an '83 until the engines running... so there's another problem.
Lets start with some easy checks.... and just to confirm, I assume you're using the stock TCI ignition?
Easy checks...

Key on:
Does the neutral light come on?
Do you have 12v at the big terminal of the starter solenoid... the one the main batt terminal connects to?
Key off:
Disconnect the TCI box.
Disconnect the red/white wire at the coil.
Key on:
Check for 12v on the red/white wire at the TCI connector?
Check for 12v at the red/white wire going to the coil?

Just copy and paste those into a new post and add your findings
What we're trying to do is find out if you have an ignition problem or a power problem. Those checks will get us started.
 

GS01

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Sorry I should’ve been clear. Light as is turn signals and brake light turn on when pressed. No headlight. The previous owner didn’t have any of the wiring to the gauges or headlight. I wired the neutral light on the gauge and the turn signal to it for now just to make sure it was working. Was hoping to wire the rest of that when I eventually get it to start.
Thanks for help Jim! I’ll try that and let you know. Waiting for it to warm up a bit where I’m at, -30 so
my garage is pretty cold to do any work right now lol.
 

5twins

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It seems you haven't done the simple check-for-spark test? Remove one of the plugs (or use a spare), stick it in the plug cap, ground it against the cylinder fins, turn the key on and kick. See if the plug sparks.

Your '83 had a couple more added safety relays compared to earlier models. Either or both of those could be contributing to your problems if they're not connected or disconnected properly. There's a safety switch and relay for your sidestand. The sidestand needs to be up or the bike has to be in neutral or the relay will ground out the ignition black box, killing the spark. The other safety relay and switch are for the starter, not allowing it to work unless you're in neutral or the clutch lever is pulled in.
 

bosco659

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Welcome GS, where in Canada are you? Looks like you need to go back to the basics to troubleshoot it: spark, fuel as per the suggestions above. If you're close by maybe I can help, but judging by your -30C you must be quite far away.
 

GS01

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Is there a proper ground wire somewhere ? on my 80 there is a short wire from battery minus to the metal that is not perfect sufficient for the Boyer ignition
please check that one and ensure proper grounding

https://www.xs650.com/threads/grounds-so-important.41775/

post # 2 item 7
Hi Jan,

I have the same short ground wire from the battery to the frame. I removed it and cleaned it off with a wire brush to remove any debris. There’s another ground wire connected to the frame by the ignition coils.
 

GS01

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Welcome GS, where in Canada are you? Looks like you need to go back to the basics to troubleshoot it: spark, fuel as per the suggestions above. If you're close by maybe I can help, but judging by your -30C you must be quite far away.
Hi Bosco,

I’m in out in Durham region. Been super cold out here with the wind chill lately and the snow storm we had. Hoping to get this bike going to ride this summer. I’ll try to do what everyone’s suggested. Everyone’s been super helpful.
 

bosco659

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Hi Bosco,

I’m in out in Durham region. Been super cold out here with the wind chill lately and the snow storm we had. Hoping to get this bike going to ride this summer. I’ll try to do what everyone’s suggested. Everyone’s been super helpful.
Ok you’re not so far… im in Oakville if I can help with anything. Good luck with your project!
 

Team Junk

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New Harness? Where did it come from. There are issues with some of the aftermarket harness's . Don't recall exactly what. There are threads here about them.

First check I would do is look for 12v on the red/white wire on the the starter solenoid. Power goes through several relays to get there.
 

GS01

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Ok you’re not so far… im in Oakville if I can help with anything. Good luck with your project!
Thanks Bosco. Appreciate it. Will definitely need more advice once this thing gets going.
Buddy and I plan on doing a Motocamp trip this summer and would love to do the Georgian bay run on this. I have my sport touring I’ve used before but this will definitely be more comfortable.
 

GS01

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New Harness? Where did it come from. There are issues with some of the aftermarket harness's . Don't recall exactly what. There are threads here about them.

First check I would do is look for 12v on the red/white wire on the the starter solenoid. Power goes through several relays to get there.
Hi Team Junk,

I’ve been ordering all my parts from XS650direct. Thanks for the advice. I’ll let you know what I’m getting.
 

OLD ROOKIE

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Just like 5twin says. I put a new Mikes wiring harness on and had problems.
I re-installed all the safety switches PO had wired around.
That did it for me.
 
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