Bike won't start

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  • Bike won't start

    This is a 2006 ABS GL1800 with about 130K miles on it. The other day I went to start the bike, and hit the starter, and it just 'clicked', but did not turn over. Bike had been sitting for about a week prior to this happening. The battery is almost new(maybe a year old). I did the cursory checks. Bike in neutral(on center stand). Neutral light on. Side stand down(aftermarket 'fin' side stand with the oversized foot). Clutch not engaged. I tried again, still just a click. Lifted side-stand, and tried again. Bike started up. Put side stand down, and bike stayed running. The part I don't understand is the side stand light was on when down, and off when up. Is this a two-stage switch that can show the side-stand up, but not be completely disengaged?

    My first guess on this, and reinforced by a reputable Goldwing mechanic on THIS board was that the side-stand switch might be bad, and am planning to replace it anyway, but was looking for any other thoughts on this. Recently we had issues with the cruise control engaging, and replaced the switch for the brake and clutch, as well as replaced the bushing on the clutch handle, which resolved that issue. I'm thinking that based on age and mileage, the switches may just going bad. Basically, if there are multiple switches I might need to replace, it might make sense to order them all, and replace them all as preventative maintenance. This would save on shipping for each item, and speed the repair process to one day instead of 3 or 4 different attempts. The problem is not consistent, and though we experienced it twice before we left for the day, the rest of the day was uneventful. Well, other than about 300 miles of fun riding around southern California in some of the best weather you could ask for.

    Costa Mesa, CA
    2012 RED GL1800

  • #2
    There is no way to accurately predict a problem or solution on a forum, BUT, I do not for a fact that switches do go bad. Just about every warranty repair I had on my 2007 Goldwing was related to a bad switch.
    Save $1000 a year in labor by doing your own maintenance!

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    • #3
      Since the part is $31 at partzilla plus 5.99 shipping, I was looking to see if there are multiple parts I should order at once to keep the shipping costs down I'm willing to go that route. With 2 GL1800's in the garage, most parts will fit both bikes, and spares are not necessarily bad to have 'just in case'. Even if I swap the parts one by one to determine the bad part, that's OK. Even a used part that is still functional is good to have as a backup.
      Costa Mesa, CA
      2012 RED GL1800

      Comment: (For off-topic replies)

      • #4
        glarson3, I have to concur with the "wise one" that it really sounds like a switch. You are on the right track, is a small tip to assist you in the future.

        I too have owned a 2006 Wing, as well as an '03, and an '04, and now this '13 F6B. On all of my bikes, I will clean and lube the handlebar switch units once a year, or more often, by spraying the heck out of them with WD40. If I ever have a need to open one of the switch units up, to move it, to loosen it, whatever, I spray inside the switch unit with WD40 before I close it up. Some folks like to use white lithium grease on some of the moveable parts inside the switches. I find that the WD40 does the same things, but also displaces any moisture, while keeping electrical parts working good.

        This can also be done to the sidestand switch. Which, I think we can all agree that it is most likely the culprit here. Until you get the new sidestand switch....(which, I would simply spray the old one with WD40,, and call it good)...all you really need to do is actuate the old sidestand switch a couple times...sidestand UP...sidestand DOWN...sidestand UP...sidestand DOWN...and that will be enough to actuate the switch a couple times, and allow the bike to start.

        To me, this sounds like the same issue one would have with a bike that has been sitting for a period of time, and the CLUTCH needs to be actuated a few times, to free itself from the engine. I have taught my wife to actuate the clutch lever on her Magna a few times, before starting the bike.

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        • #5
          Thanks MMR. I'll give that a shot.
          Costa Mesa, CA
          2012 RED GL1800

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          • #6
            It seems to me that if you are hearing a click that it is probably not the side stand or any other safety switch as I would think that they would disable the relay that you are hearing, but I am 90 miles away from my bike so I can not test this theory.

            You mentioned that the battery is new, but have you checked your actual battery voltage? If you have and it appears to be good, you should next check it while you push the starter button. If the voltage is still good there, I would find the source of the click you are hearing. My guess is the starter relay. Swap it with one of the other relays and see if it will start then.

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            • #7
              Two cents worth here regarding WD-40. DON'T use it. Yes, it does work for a while - BUT - it is a slovent and water-displacement spray, not a lubricant per-se. Get some Radio Shack tuner spray (cleaner and lubricant), or some lubricant with Teflon in it. WD-40 will gum up over time. And yes, switch maintenance is first on the "things to do with your bike" list. jmohme's comments are excellent advice..

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              • #8
                You have to use the right WD-40..

                I find it's a better product than the Radio Shack Cleaner/lube.

                Life is Tough, But It's Tougher If You're Stupid: "John Wayne"

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