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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Okay, incredibly intelligent friends, I have an electrical riddle for you. Need some ignition help. We put a new wiring harness on our GL 500. Wired up the ignition circuit and hit the starter button and the starter turned over, so we called it a day. The next chance we had to work on the bike, hit the starter button and nothing happened. We hadn’t changed anything. We’ve traced everything. Power is going to the solenoid (which is brand new), but it’s not tripping to pass juice to the starter. We replaced the solenoid and still nothing. We took the starter off and went straight from the battery to the starter and the starter turns just fine. We took both solenoids and put them on another bike and they work just fine. We’ve traced connectivity through out the system and all of the grounds are good. We even replaced the plug on the solenoid and put a brand new starter switch on. In desperation we took the wrap off the wiring harness and inspected every inch of the wires. When you hit the switch, electricity makes it to the functioning solenoid, but doesn’t make it to the starter. Battery is fully charged. I’ve run out of ideas. Any thoughts? It seems like physics is failing.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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The solenoid consists of a coil and a set of contacts. When power is applied to the coil a magnetic field forms that pulls a shaft attached to the contacts into the coil, closing the contacts.
If I'm reading you correctly you have established that there is voltage at one end of the coil when you press the Start button but you didn't mention whether there is continuity between the other side of the coil and the battery's negative terminal.

As shown in the drawing below, the are 2 possible paths to ground (& thus battery negative), through the Starter Disconnect Switch (mounted in the clutch lever perch) or through the diode and the Neutral Switch (back of the lowest part of the motor, opposite side from the gearshift shaft).
I would recommend starting by making sure that both of those switches are connected and the diode is in place (plugs into the harness near the rear of the tank or front of the seat IIRC).
If they are all present and working try measuring the voltage across the solenoid's coil while pressing the Start button

BTW: You still haven't added your location and your bike's model and model year to your profile. Please take a few minutes to follow the instructions in the Forum Settings link in my signature.

Rectangle Schematic Font Parallel Slope
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks you, you've given me a lot to think about. When you say "mounted in the clutch lever perch" there are two contacts on the clutch lever on the handle bars which I've jumpered closed. Is that what you mean by the "clutch lever perch"?
Baffled by why it worked the first time. ;-(
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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The clutch perch is the bracket that attaches to the handlebar and provides the pivot point for the clutch lever. I think the "two contacts on the clutch lever" you are talking about are the terminals of the switch. What you need to connect together are the wires that plug onto the switch; They should come out of the cable that runs to the left handlebar switch assembly where it enters the switch assembly.

It is likely that something was not connected solidly enough jiggled apart between the attempts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The clutch perch is the bracket that attaches to the handlebar and provides the pivot point for the clutch lever. I think the "two contacts on the clutch lever" you are talking about are the terminals of the switch. What you need to connect together are the wires that plug onto the switch; They should come out of the cable that runs to the left handlebar switch assembly where it enters the switch assembly.

It is likely that something was not connected solidly enough jiggled apart between the attempts.
Okay, did that. Will troubleshoot the rest and report back. Thank you so much!
 
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