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Discussion Starter #1
So I have had my 81 gl500 silverwing for a couple months now and have not had any issues untill this morning. When I turned my key to the "On" position nothing happened. No lights or any indication that my bike had any power. My initial thought was that the battery was dead until I turned the key to the "Park" position and everything lit up as it should. I then started the bike with no problem and I even drove the bike to work in "park" (is that bad?) Anyway I looked at the fuses and there is no visible damage to any of them. All the lights work and the bike is totally operational in "park". I turn the key back to start and everything dies. I did have the bike on my battery tender all night last night for the first time could this have caused the issues I'm experiencing?
 

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No, the battery tender couldn't cause the problem and yes starting in Park is bad. In fact, it should not be possible.

I would start by looking at the keyswitch from behind. It sounds like the switch part and the key part have rotated relative to each other but I have never heard of that happening before.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So there have been some developments. Today I drove for about 30 minutes in "park"and after I got home I turned the key to "off" but as I was passing "start" I noticed that it now worked. So I started the bike in "start" ,as one does, and it functioned without issue. So now I have a bike that runs and drives in both "start" and "park." What can I make of this?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Upon closer inspection I have come to realize that the "on" selection only responds when the motorcycle is in neutral. But this still doesn't explain why it also functions in "park." I apologize for any lack of knowledge as I am very new to motorcycles.
 

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i have seen cobbled repairs that cause this
i wonder if your harness has been tampered with near the neck? does it look taped up
or if you have a fairing are there any extra wires?

i have had a gl 650 that at some point the switch started going bad and the tail light (works thru the park contacts ) must have gotten intermittent
so the PO jumped the tail light wire over to the key hot ignition wire

this was done with a small piece of wire to connect the wires

low and behold if you wiggled the switch just right you could get the park contact to work on the key switch and the bike would run

just check your wiring harness and see if you can fine a jumped connection

then get a new switch or switch base
 
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