Starts, runs, headlights on - but no instruments or turn signals - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 12 Old 03-07-2019, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Starts, runs, headlights on - but no instruments or turn signals

Well this is just weird. I was almost on my way to work this morning when I noticed that NOTHING on the instrument panel was working. Not the speedo, not the tach, not the odometer/fuel gage/temp gage panel, none of the indicator lights, nada. Turn signals weren't activating.

Headlights were on. I didn't have time for a complete diagnosis before work, but it does seem that starting is completely normal, kickstand switch is working fine, as is clutch switch and fuel pump (else I probably couldn't get it started/it wouldn't run). I got down the block before I noticed something wasn't right, because shifting and acceleration were also unaffected.

Bike worked fine last time I rode it (last Saturday). Started up again in my garage, voltage indicator was a happy green at idle, so I think the battery & charging system are just peachy (but again, didn't have time for a full diagnosis).

I'm not sure where to even start looking. I've found a few old threads about dead electrics, but they also had starting problems or headlights didn't work. Help??

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post #2 of 12 Old 03-07-2019, 12:04 PM
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Likely a problem with a corroded or burned connector. I think you model has a big connector on the left side inside the fairing. Check that one and any of the ones that you can get to around the radiator. see if you see and discolored/ burned contacts. Good luck!
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post #3 of 12 Old 03-07-2019, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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I put in LED H4 replacements a few months ago but yeah, I understand it's common for that connector to be partially fried by Suzuki unwisely shoving headlight power through it. I'll have a look this afternoon.

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post #4 of 12 Old 03-07-2019, 04:41 PM
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Wow...that's super odd! I'm subscribing just to hear what you eventually find the root cause to be! I have no useful input beyond that. :-)
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post #5 of 12 Old 03-07-2019, 05:36 PM
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Blown Fuse?
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post #6 of 12 Old 03-07-2019, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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Well, that's not good at all. The 15A "Signal" fuse was blown. No idea what caused it.

I haven't messed with anything electrical in months, so, weird. I'll look at the multi-pin connector up front later today.

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post #7 of 12 Old 03-08-2019, 08:11 PM
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Yep, betchya it's that stupid connector on the left.

See, Suzuki in its infinite wisdom ran a bunch of stuff and a bunch of electricity through a nine-pin connector with undersized pins.

Then they decided to just leave it open to the elements. No sealing around the wires or the connector shells. Tucked out of sight in the dark where all kinds of muck and moisture can get at it and do their evil work.

And lo it comes to pass; at some point every V-Strom's headlights go mysteriously dark. And/or the instruments and signals play up.


It's a longstanding Suzuki tradition. For all the incredible engineering and intelligent design that goes into their bikes, some of their electrics have been pants-on-head stoopit for five decades. Every Suzuki has at least a couple of idiotic booby traps like this buried in the wiring.
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post #8 of 12 Old 03-08-2019, 10:02 PM
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So I had the EXACT same problem. I ended up fixing it by replacing my ground cable and cleaning the sh#t out of the contact on the engine. Has not blown since.

However this is the first I have read bout that connector. That may be the real culprit. Ill have to check that out on my bike


It may be worth at least cleaning up your ground cable at both ends and see if that helps. Its fast and cheap/free.

I the meantime get a box of cheapo 15 amp fuses to keep with you until you figure it out
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post #9 of 12 Old 03-09-2019, 12:54 AM
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Sometimes fuses just like to say bye bye on their own for no reason. Carry fuses and check connectors, and maybe it was the gremlin.
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post #10 of 12 Old 03-09-2019, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaGuy View Post
Sometimes fuses just like to say bye bye on their own for no reason. Carry fuses and check connectors, and maybe it was the gremlin.
As with carrying a full-size spare that you keep properly inflated, I suspect that carrying extra fuses prevents blown ones in the manner of a talisman.

I now have 4 spares (hey, they're Mini, takes basically zero extra space!), thus guaranteeing I shall never blow a 15A fuse again.

That forward multi-pin connector (mine has 14, not 9) was kind of a PITA to get disconnected without breaking it, but gentle pressure with a medium-sized flat blade screwdriver & careful tugging will do it:


Looks like mine isn't old enough, and I haven't used hi-beams often enough, to fry it. Other side is similarly healthy-looking, but was too much of a PITA to photograph.

Since I switched to LED headlamps around Xmas, I should be OK indefinitely on that front.

That connector does have a big ol' rubber boot on it - presumably Suzi felt it was good enough to ensure draining water would tend not to drip in from above, or following the upper cable run. But it really should be a Weatherpak type connector! There is nothing but luck stopping a big splash from below from shorting multiple connections at once.

I'm almost annoyed enough to rewire that sucker with a proper weahterproof connector. It would cost maybe $20 in parts & shipping, and I have a Molex tool that makes beautiful terminal crimps. Aptiv 54201456N (https://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail...0C5l9orYBhY%3D) ought to do it.

Engine ground is worth a look & cleanup, but it'll wait until the next time I need to remove the front sprocket cover.

I rode to work and back yesterday with no further shenanigans occurring. Whatever it is that made the fuse blow, doesn't seem to be chronic.

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