Motorcycle Club » The Yamaha Shop Talk

xs850 wont start

13 posts from 5 voices
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  1. etoliwedd

    hey everyone,
    i have a 1981 xs850 that wont start. when i turn the key on, its gets power sometimes and sometimes it doesnt. when it does get power right when i hit the start button everything shuts off. then if i wait like 2-3 minutes it resets then the same thing happens again. im pretty sure the battery is fine as it is pretty new but it seems like its shorting out somewhere. when i hit the start button it does click like a relay or something but then nothing happens. thanks guys!

  2. frok

    Sounds like you may have an issue with the ignition switch......

  3. etoliwedd

    oh great... just what i wanted to hear... should i be able to start it manually even with a bad ignition switch?

  4. frok

    Yeah i have seen it done but didnt take notice as to what he did...As i stated it sounds like the ignition switch but it could be something else so i would be starting from there and working thru system if its not the ignition...Electrical can be hard to trace if you dont really know what you are doing...If you diont know much on electrics it would pay you to find a auto electrican who could find the problem pretty quick and then find bike wreckers to get any parts needed..Plenty of them if you google for them...


  5. frok

    Mate just remembered i had an yammy 650 about a hundred years ago and had similar problem and it turned out to be the earth lead on battery was rooted........

  6. etoliwedd

    so i jumped the motorcycle and drove it home (i just had to keep it about 1500 rpms) and then shut it off and no electricity. so idk if its the battery or the alternator or what....

  7. matcruser

    To me, it sounds like a bad ground or bad battery cable connection. You may get lucky and find it's an easy fix.

  8. etoliwedd

    hmm ok im going to go start power probing... i'll get back to you

  9. etoliwedd

    ok so voltage at the battery reads 11v (i know the ground is good because i tested this also.)... now this gets interesting... with the key in the OFF position i get 11v at the starter solenoid (the post from the battery) but with the key ON i only get 0.3v on both posts (in and out). any ideas? do i have a bad starter solenoid? i'm pretty sure this is what is clicking when i hit the start button and then everything goes dead.

  10. etoliwedd

    um and one other thing... i have hand grip heaters that arent relayed (they're on all the time) and they work fine when the key is in the off position but shut off when i switch it to the on position. must be an ignition switch im thinking...

  11. frok

    Ok..trying to work from memory...I seem to recall that you should have a starter relay..check it...Also should be a regulator somewhere near the battery also check it out.....At least you should be checking battery for water level etc...If you suspect battery there is a little trick you can do...Remove battery from bike and make sure water level is ok...Bang battery on the ground by the base a couple of times...not hard enough to break the battery but enough so that all the crap falls off the plates...Recharge with charger and if its works you will get a couple of extra months out of the battery enough time to buy new one......Just remember this works in aussie cause we dont get the temp extremes you get so dont actually know if it will work for you

  12. maxcruizer

    Sounds like you have some electrical issues. On a bike this age, depending on condition, I would start at the battery and work your way through the electrical system. New battery, 11v is not enough, than check all grounds for condition and connection, all electrical plugs for corrosion, bench test starter, etc...

    Using a shop manual and common electrical testers/tools, you will eliminate alot of Gremlins.

    Good luck


  13. BeerForBreagfazd

    ever get that bike running?, u should show 14 volts, had the same prob with my xs750, it's your battery


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