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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There have been several posts recently about bikes suddenly dying. It happened to me this past weekend.



I took the naked GL650 on a 250 mile loop ride in the north Georgia mountains on Saturday. About 50 miles from home the bike would quit running every time I let the clutch out.



I found that if I revved it high, I could let the clutch out and once moving with the clutch completely released it would resume running and stay running. It got progressively worse but I was able to limp it home this way.



Once the bike was in the garage and on the center stand the problem would not repeat. I checked grounds, connections around the solenoid and main fuse, etc but there were no obvious problems.




So tonight I let it run for a while to get good and hot, and then backed it out of the garage, making a sharp turn, to go for a test ride. As soon as the clutch was let out the bike died. Sitting still, I noticed that with the ignition switch still turned on and the engine not running, the oil light would go on and off as the handlebars were turned. Aha! At this point I pulled the bike back into the garage. There is no need to work on it while it's hot, and there is now enough information to replicate the problem.



Now things are making sense - releasing the clutch cable must be causing a cable harness to flex somewhere around the steering head. The problem is likely a connector, a switch, or even an internal break in one of the harness wires. I'll post the exact cause once I track it down in the next day or so.



In the meantime, if I feel I absolutely must ride it I'll hotwire the bike.
 

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Ug. I've tracked down a fair number of electrical problems with this bike, so I feel your pain. Luckily it sounds like you may have some symptoms id'd. do you think it is shorting something out? I am trying to think of any wires that would kill the bike, and can only think of the ignition, and the kill wire.



Mike
 

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I'm not great @ electrical problems, but....isn't there a pair of wires coming from the handlebars near the clutch lever. A safety starting switch so that the bike is either in neutral or the clutch lever is pulled in before starting. I guess that is the first place I'd look to see that everything is connected and intact. Could be a bad connection that jiggles enough.
 

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I'm not great @ electrical problems, but....isn't there a pair of wires coming from the handlebars near the clutch lever. A safety starting switch so that the bike is either in neutral or the clutch lever is pulled in before starting. I guess that is the first place I'd look to see that everything is connected and intact. Could be a bad connection that jiggles enough.


Yes there's a small plunger switch which allows you to start the bike in gear if the clutch lever is pulled.They are a PITA to replace/setup right.I've bypassed one of mine with a little bit of wire

tucked into the switch to short it across.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
And the culprit is (drum roll)..................the ignition switch, found to be guilty using a cheap multimeter. There was an intermittent connection between the red and black wires when the switch was turned on. It would come and go as the ignition switch cable was flexed at the rear of the switch.



After tracing out the problem I removed the switch and disassembled it. The contact area had some old grease that had dried and become gummed up with age. But that is only part of the problem.



The moving contacts sit in a round piece of plastic that rotates as the key is turned. A small spring is installed between each moving contact and this plastic piece, which makes the contacts spring-loaded for a better connection. Pretty clever guy, whoever designed this.



The main power moving contact had overheated at some time and some of the plastic had melted where it was mounted. This caused it to bind so it was effectively no longer spring-loaded. I trimmed some of the melted plastic away and now it moves freely as it should.



One of the three plastic tabs that hold the switch together broke when I took the switch apart. So now I'm looking at various options for dealing with that. More to come later.
 

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I used some form of glue to hold in an area where one tab broke off. I think it was gorilla glue.



I think Larry also did a similar fix so maybe he can say what he did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It looks like the GL1100 ignition switch base is still available.







There's a good chance it can be trimmed with a dremel tool to provide the space for the cable to exit. I've ordered one and will try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The replacement switch base arrived today. Its Honda part number is 35102-431-007 in case anyone wants to order one. An equivalent aftermarket part is also available.



The replacement base is on the left and the original is on the right.





The original base had two indentations cut on the inner wall.





This is how the replacement base looked after a few minutes with the dremel tool. The center area had to be cut to provide clearance for the wire leads.





After trimming, the fixed contact assembly fit snugly in the switch base.





It all snapped together and appears to be very solid.





The switch tested fine using an ohmmeter. The hole where the bare soldered wire is visible will be plugged with an insulator and the switch assembly will be installed on the bike tomorrow.
 

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Nice job! My GL did the same exact thing. I replaced the switch with an after market one down on the fairing. You hooked it up.
 

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Dave, my switch was doing that cutting out thing last summer. The bike would just die at the most inopportune times, like when pulling out into traffic etc. By pushing down on the key I could get it running again. One day it would not start at all, no matter how much I fiddled with it. I happened to be at a small county park, and I disassembled the switch in the parking lot. Needless to say I spent a fair amount of time crawling around on my hands and knees looking for all the small parts that had dribbled and sprung out of the assembly. I managed to clean it out and get it put back together, only to discover the battery was dead (bad cell), and that I needed a new battery. But at least my switch works now! Good tip on the replacement switch base, I have a broken tab on my switch base. You are a talented dremel man.
 
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