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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm quite new to this forum and quite new to AT community itself. Previously a Transalp owner, i bought a lovely 1994 AT from Austria (yes it's THE austrian "restricted" type) and in the beginning it seemed really flawless (except for an occasional Tripmaster hiccup due to bad connectors).

However i now have a serious problem, i guess, and i don't know really where to start (again, saying i'm quite new to AT mechanics). Today after a whole day's ride my engine just cut off. It happened when i was slowing down for a traffic light and changing from second to first while holding the clutch. I wanted to start it again, but except the "click" nothing happened, the starter motor didnt turn. Then i push-started it and it worked normally. After some normal riding (10km and normally switching the engine on and off) it happened again. Same scenario, from second to first, clutch on. But this time when trying to start it again the starter motor first turned, but the engine didnt turn over (no spark?). After another try with the ignition switch the whole electricity just died completely. Turning the ignition key off and on didnt help. Nothing worked, no lights, controls, nothing. It was night and i was close to home so i just pushed the bike to my garage :(
Any direct ideas what is going on before i start going step by step by the book??
Fuses? Starter motor? Relay?
The fact that it died between second and first and not regularly, but only sometimes, boggles my mind. And the fact that now there is no power at all!

Many thanx in advance and sorry for my first post is asking for help :)
Ales
 

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Premium Member
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Check the main 30 amp fuse, and it's connections, which are under the red connector on the starter solenoid.

Also check the battery terminals, and earth to the frame/loom


Bob :thumbup:
 

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Hi Ales, welcome to the forum. Don't despair, it's probably just a bad/loose connection. Since it affects so many circuits and appears intermittent, I'd start with the battery connections. It's unlikely to be sparks/CDI, as these wouldn't stop the engine turning over and wouldn't affect the lights. If they are OK, follow the power feed circuits to starter relay, fuses and ignition switch. Check the main earths to frame and battery, it's easy to overlook the return leg of the circuits. Do you have a multi meter? If not, a 12v bulb on flying leads with croc clips will help, but a meter is so cheap and useful, I'd urge you to get one.

The failure between 2nd and 1st makes me think the neutral switch may be involved, but I don't see how that would affect all the lights, etc. Might just be coincidence, but worth checking. Do you have a wiring diagram? I don't know the wiring for your model (mine's an 07a) but there are plenty of helpful chaps on here who do.

I'd also check the connectors from alternator to reg/rec; not because I think they are at fault, but because they are known failure points and you might as well check them while you are in there. Look for corroded or cooked connectors; if they are OK, put some anti-corrosion grease on, open a beer and count yourself lucky.

Good luck, Tim.
 

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Hello El3s,

Welcome to the forum. The Africa Twin is a nightmare for electrical problems.

The other guys have mentioned it all really. Start at the battery. Check for loose connections. Then when you're there check the 30amp fuse and starter solenoid. Check the Reg/Rec is okay. Check the engine cut out switch, fuses, ignition barrel, side stand switch, neutral switch, earths etc. I think there is also a switch on the clutch lever if I remember rightly? Just check one thing at a time. If all connections are fine then suspect switches. You can take most apart. Spray some lube into the switches to see if it makes a difference. Does the neutral light come on when in neutral? I'm sure you will soon sort it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey thanx guys for such a quick response!!:thumbup:
My friend is bringing me the multimeter tonight so i'll start with that tomorrow. I also already have the wiring diagram...
Today i had a whole project of taking off the rear left and right panels - the screws are obviously rusted. It seems that no-one was touching the bike for a loooong time now.
Will keep you posted!

Man i hate electrical problems:angry5:
 

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Wing Commander
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I know this numpty stuff but as everyone has said, check for loose connection. The multimeter won't spot that. Disconnect, clean and reconnect everything, doing it all up tightly - starting with the battery. The solenoid and main fuse are notorious problem areas, with wires earthing and melting. Replace anything that looks heat damaged. If no luck there, take the front fairing off and check all the wiring under there - it's like a plate of spaghetti. The other possible cause is a previous owner cutting into the loom to add accessories so look for any tape, soldering, scotch block etc.

But honestly, the last time this happened to me it was the negative battery connector a tiny bit loose. I fixed in by the side of the M25.:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So today i finally had some time and finally got the multimeter to get into the problem spotting.
At the end I think i could call this a day of Murphy's law :angry4:
First, I still couldn't get one screw of the rear left panel. Sprayed it with WD40 and another quick-release solution, tried with all sorts of tools - nothing. So i could work on the bike with the panel partly on. Or break the plastic. I decided for the first option.
Checked the battery, looked ok. Took the multimeter and....surprise: the battery in the multimeter is dead! Wow, what else could go wrong?
I was left with a more rudimentary check of the connectors and bike's battery. The fuses are all OK, the relay and it's connectors look good, sprayed everything with connection spray. I tightened the battery screws and...now the bike has el. power and starter motor and the engine's turning over when starting, but the engine still wont start! Did the spark plug test and it works normally.
What now? The manual says i should check all the fuel lines and breather tubes but i think this is rather unlikely cause, especially considering other simptoms that have ocurred. Carbs should also be fine. Fuel pump?
I know i'm not such an experienced mechanic so any ideas would probably be better than mine :)
cheers!
 

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If you're not sure of the fuel situation, feed a small amount of fuel through the air-inlet (will have to remove the aircleaner). If there's a bang/pop/cough, then look into the fuel situation some more. AT fuel pumps are notoriusly unreliable, but you should be able to get the bike running under gravitational feed if the tank is >2/3 full.

Also check the sidestand switch. It has a return fault circuit that cuts the engine (but I think it removes the spark, so if you've checked for spark it might not be this). And the neutral switch- same deal.
 

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Bypass the fuel pump with a straight bit of hose and fill the tank to the brim with fuel. The bike will run without the pump. If you're getting a spark and it turns over then this test should show if the pump is inop.
 

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Wing Commander
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O, cheaper, I have a length of fuel hose attached to a Sccotoiler bottle with the bottom cut off. I can attach the hose to the fuel pump and cable tie the bottle to the handlebar, then run the bike with the tank off. As has been said, if your fuel pump is bust, the bike will start if the fuel is higher than the carbs, it will cease if the fuel is lower than the carb - as this is when the fuel pump starts to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanx for the tips guys!
I filled the tank almost completely full. Tried to start the engine and same thing: turning over but not starting. Can i assume that the fuel pump in this case is OK?
As I really needed the bike to run (and i still CANNOT get this one f***ing screw from the rear LHS panel!) i decided to try push-starting it in 2nd gear. It worked! There was a bit of popping from the exhaust, probably from so many starting tries in my cold garage. But then the bike ran normally and smoothly. Yesterday i started it from zero again. No problems!
Am a bit confused now. I still would like to know if this may be smth connected with fuel pump. I would like to take it off and inspect it, just to be on the safe side. Does anyone have a good pic of those faulty connections/switches on the fuel pump?
 

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Just filling the tank and doing nothing else will, I'm afraid, only make the tank harder to remove. It won't help you diagnose a possible faulty fuel pump. To do that, you really need to either bypass it (the fuel pump) or use someone else's.

There may be another way, those are the only two I know about.
 

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Thanx for the tips guys!
I filled the tank almost completely full. Tried to start the engine and same thing: turning over but not starting. Can i assume that the fuel pump in this case is OK?
As I really needed the bike to run (and i still CANNOT get this one f***ing screw from the rear LHS panel!) i decided to try push-starting it in 2nd gear. It worked! There was a bit of popping from the exhaust, probably from so many starting tries in my cold garage. But then the bike ran normally and smoothly. Yesterday i started it from zero again. No problems!
Am a bit confused now. I still would like to know if this may be smth connected with fuel pump. I would like to take it off and inspect it, just to be on the safe side. Does anyone have a good pic of those faulty connections/switches on the fuel pump?
You can inspect the contacts in the pump by removing the pump. Remove the screw and pry the cover off to reveal the contacts.
Quite often you will see them pitted and burnt. They can be replaced separately and even modified to prevent arcing or you can
go with a solid state fuel pump such as the Facet as option.

An OEM fuel pump with the cover off.



 

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Check your battery- next time she doesn't want top start, try jump-starting it. If you can run-start it, but it won't start off the starter, it sounds like you don;t have enough cranking amps.
 

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Check your battery- next time she doesn't want top start, try jump-starting it. If you can run-start it, but it won't start off the starter, it sounds like you don;t have enough cranking amps.
+1 I had this problem. Took off the battery to charge it over-night, noticed that 2 of the water cells were half empty, threw in some distilled water, charged up over-night and now it's stronger than ever.
 

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Space Emperor
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Let's not forget the evil sidestand switch. I had the exact same problems, and then had that switch nutered ...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey,

Replying after some time of silence...Thanx everyone for the answers and advice!
Since the weather was really bad and those cold rainy days dont really motivate one to ride, I have gone through some quick servicing (oil, filters, spark plugs etc). I've also removed the tank, which wasnt that easy, but not because of the weight, but because of the old rubber hoses that wouldnt come off the tank :)
Anyway I took of the fuel pump as well, ordered a news "service kit" for the fuel pump contacts and replaced them. I didnt bother with doing all the fuel pump tests since i knew i will have to service the fuel pump one time or another... It seems that the fuel pump contacts WERE in bad condition and so I'm happy to have done it. While replacing the fuel filter, i have also noticed a small crack/hole in the tube coming from the tank...wow...also my previous filter was not positioned right - it was upside down! It seems that the previous owner tried to service the bike himself but was not really accurate abut it...:cussing:

I'm planning to go deeper during the winter and check also carbs, valves and other parts that might have not been accurately serviced...

will keep u posted!
 

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Space Emperor
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Hey al3s! What was wrong with your bike? I'm having the same problem right now ... cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey al3s! What was wrong with your bike? I'm having the same problem right now ... cheers!
Hi TJE, to be honest i can't really say what exactly was causing the problems, but i guess it was a combination of causes. After i sorted out the fuel delivery with the pump etc, i took the carbs off and brought them to a specialist to take them apart and give them a pripet cleaning with ultrasound. Turns out the carbs were really dirty, and one of the needles was very difficult to remove. After that, they bike ran like a dream. Well, for some time, until my reg/rec went bust in Morroco, but thats another story 😉
 
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