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Space Emperor
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys! I just had the bike apart, to locate a faulty connection that killed the bike completely while riding. Found under the airbox, and soldered it to make sure it never happens again.

Now I have a new problem: the bike wont start. New battery, cranks fine, petcock in on reserve and I smell gasoline in the exhaust. All electrics are working perfectly, but there's no hint of the engine igniting even the slightest. I've nutered the sidestand switch, because it kept acting up a long time ago.

I don't know what to check from here? CDI? Fuel pump relay? Any fuses that would allow everything but the engine power to run? Does the kill switch only control the engine? It cranks in the off position too ...

It's been maybe 3-4 months since I started her up last, but usually that doesn't matter much.

Any help would be very welcome! Cheers
 

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Sorry to hear that TJE.

As you probably guessed, my money is on electrics. If I remember correctly, the kill-switch should render the starter switch inoperative. So if it is on, the starter should. not turn. That is a bit odd if it cranks in both positions. (I could be wrong and others can correct me.) May help to put pics (description) of the fix you did?

Simplistically speaking, you need three things for the bike to run - spark, fuel/oxidiser and compression. Let's assume that the compression is ok as it ran the last time (although you can check that easily with a compression-tester.) So, I'd concentrate on the other two - As you didn't touch the carbs, but did touch the electrics I'd check for spark first. Take one spark-plug out and check that you can see a good spark. You can faff about with the multimeter, but you could just take a spark out, connect the HT lead, earth it by holding it agains the engine and see if you have spark. [If you haven't done it for a while, may be an idea to change sparks anyway.]

(As you mentioned "smelling petrol", be careful; Do NOT do this in an enclosed space, if there are petrol fumes, you don't want to set your bike on fire.)

If you have good spark on both cylinders, (depending on your model it is either 2 or 4 plugs in total ) then you may want to start checking the fuel supply. You can also try to get aerosols of "easy start"/"cold start" or whatever you can get your hands on and spray that in the air intake. See if it gets the bike to start (if it does, you have spark and compression and you are down to fuel/ mixture issues). My first step would be to check that you haven't flooded it (crank for a few seconds on full throttle and then try again)

That will hopefully get you started... Good luck.
 

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re-connect the sidestand switch and see if it works again, its a pain removing that thing also is there a clutch isolator too, check that
 

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Have you checked the obvious after your soldering job which are the fuses
 
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Space Emperor
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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry to hear that TJE.

As you probably guessed, my money is on electrics. If I remember correctly, the kill-switch should render the starter switch inoperative. So if it is on, the starter should. not turn. That is a bit odd if it cranks in both positions. (I could be wrong and others can correct me.) May help to put pics (description) of the fix you did?

Simplistically speaking, you need three things for the bike to run - spark, fuel/oxidiser and compression. Let's assume that the compression is ok as it ran the last time (although you can check that easily with a compression-tester.) So, I'd concentrate on the other two - As you didn't touch the carbs, but did touch the electrics I'd check for spark first. Take one spark-plug out and check that you can see a good spark. You can faff about with the multimeter, but you could just take a spark out, connect the HT lead, earth it by holding it agains the engine and see if you have spark. [If you haven't done it for a while, may be an idea to change sparks anyway.]

(As you mentioned "smelling petrol", be careful; Do NOT do this in an enclosed space, if there are petrol fumes, you don't want to set your bike on fire.)

If you have good spark on both cylinders, (depending on your model it is either 2 or 4 plugs in total ) then you may want to start checking the fuel supply. You can also try to get aerosols of "easy start"/"cold start" or whatever you can get your hands on and spray that in the air intake. See if it gets the bike to start (if it does, you have spark and compression and you are down to fuel/ mixture issues). My first step would be to check that you haven't flooded it (crank for a few seconds on full throttle and then try again)

That will hopefully get you started... Good luck.
Thanks a lot, Abraxas! I didn't touch anything on the engine or carb, so my guess is also something electrical. You're absolutely right, next step should be to check for spark. I think I can do this without removing (the son of a #&$^&$) tank ...

re-connect the sidestand switch and see if it works again, its a pain removing that thing also is there a clutch isolator too, check that
Cheers Eddie, but I removed it 12 years ago, so pretty sure it's not an issue now. What's this clutch isolator you mention? Do you mean the switch on the clutch that prevent you from cranking in gear?

ou checked the obvious after your soldering job which are the f
Nope, but I checked, and there's no single fuse that only cut the power to the engine. I will however check them again, before I start taking of the plastics and tank again :(
 

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No worries TJE. Hope you get it sorted soon. It would be pure guesswork to go any further without knowing whether it sparks or not so let's wait until we got that.

It costs nothing to check/re-set the fuses, as Fred suggested. Mine would not crank after the rebuild as the fuses didn't make good contact. Shoogling them about rectified that. But it took me a while to first find all the things that did not cause my AT not to start, before I found the one that did. :) ... In the process I learned that the side-stand/clutch/Gear position sensor are on the same circuit and that there is a diode on the loom. Coils are really pretty simple in comparison; They just connect to Ignition Control Unit. If you don't have a copy of the workshop manual, may be worth getting that, it has all the wiring diagrams and troubleshooting procedures.

Don't rush to assume ICU/CDI is broken. It is eye-wateringly expensive in comparison to other bits, so eliminate everything and anything else 4 times over before you go for sourcing one of those.

Good luck.
 

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Space Emperor
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Discussion Starter #7
No worries TJE. Hope you get it sorted soon. It would be pure guesswork to go any further without knowing whether it sparks or not so let's wait until we got that.

It costs nothing to check/re-set the fuses, as Fred suggested. Mine would not crank after the rebuild as the fuses didn't make good contact. Shoogling them about rectified that. But it took me a while to first find all the things that did not cause my AT not to start, before I found the one that did. :) ... In the process I learned that the side-stand/clutch/Gear position sensor are on the same circuit and that there is a diode on the loom. Coils are really pretty simple in comparison; They just connect to Ignition Control Unit. If you don't have a copy of the workshop manual, may be worth getting that, it has all the wiring diagrams and troubleshooting procedures.

Don't rush to assume ICU/CDI is broken. It is eye-wateringly expensive in comparison to other bits, so eliminate everything and anything else 4 times over before you go for sourcing one of those.

Good luck.
Cheers Abraxas, I hope to find time to test the spark tonight. I have the Haynes manual, and it's great. The electric diagrams have a few faults, though. It shows only 2 spark plugs for model T and onwards. Should be 4, of course. Also, according to the diagram, it should not be possible to crank the engine with the kill switch activated. I can crank it in either position. Go figure
 

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I had a very similar problem on another Honda (not the TransAlp) which took a friendly local mechanic about 3 months (on and off) to diagnose.
Turned out it was the pulse generator coils (whatever they are 🤫).
Once they were replaced (£120 new from US) the bike ran like clockwork.
Happy days indeed.
 

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Space Emperor
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Discussion Starter #9
Update: I just checked, and there's no spark. As mentioned before, all other electrics works fine, lights, blinkers, neutral light, starter motor, etc. Where should I start checking? Take the kill switch apart?
 

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I’ll have a look at the diagrams tomorrow. I’d start with checking the coils and connectors first. Easy to disconnect if you are messing about with the harness. Also, re-check what you were fixing when it stopped working. You could let us know (or take a pic) of what you were fixing Too. Someone may have an idea. Your kill-switch is defo not working right. Or the wiring is wrong. You may have crossed something wit the fix (that’s why I was thinking we can check)...i cannot work out what connection under the airbox you can be referring to..sorry.
 

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TJE, There is a really good troubleshooting section in the workshop manual starting from pages 17-3 that will give you a step by step all you need to check why there is no spark. You don't really need much knowledge of electronics, just a basic multimeter, a bit of patience and attention to follow instructions.

Without paraphrasing a few pages of it, the idea to resolve kill-switch first is a good one. Then check for spark at both ignition coils/plugs. My guess is that neither will produce spark and that your problem is somewhere in the wiring. That can easily be tested now by backtracking from the component you now know is not working.
Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Space Emperor
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Discussion Starter #12
I’ll have a look at the diagrams tomorrow. I’d start with checking the coils and connectors first. Easy to disconnect if you are messing about with the harness. Also, re-check what you were fixing when it stopped working. You could let us know (or take a pic) of what you were fixing Too. Someone may have an idea. Your kill-switch is defo not working right. Or the wiring is wrong. You may have crossed something wit the fix (that’s why I was thinking we can check)...i cannot work out what connection under the airbox you can be referring to..sorry.
It's this one here

165835
 

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Space Emperor
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Discussion Starter #13
Update: I checked all fuses, and the 10A marked ignition, fuel and starter was blown. Last week I had a friend over to check everything with his meter, and there's a chance that he could have put in a dead fuse I had sitting in the spare socket of the fusebox. Not sure how I could be that silly to put one there, but there we are. Today I started the bike after draining all the old fuel, and initially it was completely dead. Then I rattled the fusebox and it started up right away. I rattled it again, and the engine cut out.

OK, now I had something to go on. I saw that the above mentioned 10A fuse was the culprit, so I figured that the it had bad contacts. I tried to bend the little curved spring to make better contact, but it broke off. Decided to just install an external fuse and forget about it. Bike didn't start again after I did that. Should be said that the engine can run with all other fuses removed, so this was the only one I focused on.

Then I checked the spark, and there was spark. Now I'm thinking it's the 1 - 1,5 year old fuel that has clogged the carbs. That or the fuel pump has a problem. I will start by checking the fuel pump tomorrow. I don't even know if it runs while cranking?

Here's a picture of some of the old petrol. Not sure if it was green to begin with, but I think it's safe to say that it probably had a different hue in it's youth.

165836
 

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It is odd that it was cranking if that fuse was blown. Then again, the "kilswitch works in both positions is also very odd. :)

Ah, well, looks like you are moving in the right direction. Good spark, assume good compression and you are down to fuel. That is rather odd colour. I thought that petrol is always blue-green-ish. Definitely worth draining that out. That colour may point to rust in tank? May be worth taking the fuel hose off the pump and checking that it is not clogged somewhere ?

Good luck mate. Keep us posted.
 

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Space Emperor
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Discussion Starter #15
It is odd that it was cranking if that fuse was blown. Then again, the "kilswitch works in both positions is also very odd. :)

Ah, well, looks like you are moving in the right direction. Good spark, assume good compression and you are down to fuel. That is rather odd colour. I thought that petrol is always blue-green-ish. Definitely worth draining that out. That colour may point to rust in tank? May be worth taking the fuel hose off the pump and checking that it is not clogged somewhere ?

Good luck mate. Keep us posted.
Cheers, mate! I'll post as soon as I find the problem
 

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Just managed to look at that picture you posted on my laptop ...
Before you put the tank back on, double-check if that is a crack on the intake manifold. It is hard to see on the picture. Probably nothing but if it is admitting air after the carbs, the mixture will be wrong. It is likely to run lean on that cylinder as there will be more air than the carbs "intended". Now I know how much you like taking the tank off so thought I'd mention :) You can check the difference in colour/condition of the spark-plugs from the two cylinders too. This is unlikely to be the source of your starting problem, just something I may have noticed (or got wrong if it is not a crack/only cosmetic).
 
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