I come out from work and my trusty 2011 650 Strom won't start. And to be more specific, it won't even turn over. And it's not the battery because I have a nice voltmeter so I can check the voltage with the bike on or off. A nice healthy 12.7 volts before I turn anything on, and more importantly.....the voltage doesn't drop at all when I hit the start button. If the battery was the culprit, we would see it drop by a mile when I hit the starter button. And it would probably make some kind of noise, either a clicking solenoid or a sad slow ineffective attempt from the starter.
Ok, so it's not the battery. The easiest thing to check is if it's the clutch safety switch, and since that is often the culprit I start there. I wiggle the connector off and jamb a little jumper wire in there to bypass the switch itself. BINGO, it starts with enthusiasm and off I go. Problem solved right? Fix or replace the switch at my convenience and be careful not to start the bike in gear. Bob's your uncle.
Not so fast....
Not immediately, but by the time I get home the bike dies at idle. Hmmmmm, what are the chances that the new problem is related to the first problem? 100% as it turns out. Some thought worked its way out of my deep subconsious that some years/models of strom, the ECU monitors the clutch switch, and if it thinks you have bypassed the safety switch, it will fiddle with the engine's ability to idle.
Fine, I'll just roll right into fixing or replacing the switch. I thought about doing the quick and dirty cheater method and blow out the debris from the switch with compressed air and follow that with some CRC electrical contact spray cleaner on the switch and connector. I chose to do it the better way, the right way. That turned out to be a mistake.
Once home, I took the barkbuster off to gain access to the clutch and switch mechanism. Loosened it and spun it 90* to get good access to the switch. It's held on by a single tiny JIS screw. Being the thoughtful and prepared japanese motorcycle owner, I whipped out my small JIS screwdriver and attempted to remove the screw. I pushed very hard, I pushed very straight in an effort to not strip that teeny teeny screw head.....which worked. I did not strip the screw head, I twisted the pesky little bugger right off flush with the clutch/mirror bracket.
FINE! I will drill out the screw and remove it and replace it with a better one. Oh, what is that I see around the twisted off shank of the screw? Yes, that's blue loctite or something like it. That baby is not going to want to come out with a little drilling and a teeny tiny little screw extractor.
FINE! I will use ALL the tricks. The total diameter of the screw is 0.108". Sorry for switching to ugly imperial. So, in round figures, I need a drill bit that will remove about 90% of the core of the screw, but not damage the female threads in that precious aluminum part. In my experience, if you pick a drill that's about 75-80% of the full diameter (threads and all) that's about right for this kind of repair. So I found a drill of about 0.080", made a deep punch mark with an automatic centerpunch right in the middle of the shank. Then carefully drilled a hole all the way through and right out of the aluminum bracket on the other side. There's no real harm in doing this, and it give you more access to squirt your favorite penetrating oil in there.
Here's the secret sauce. To kill that locktight, we need some heat. But I don't want to put a torch on the clutch lever bracket since it still has everything else attached to it. Find a piece of steel wire or a drill bit that's a good fit. Heat that steel red hot and jamb it in the hole you just drilled. Baptize the area with your favorite penetrating oil. Heat the steel up red hot again and jamb it in there. Do that 6 or 8 times and the locktite is now toast.
I very gently pounded my teeny tiniest stud extractor in the teeny little hole very gently. Then I started twisting gently but firmly while praying to all the motorcycle and broken stud gods and POP, the sweet sweet sound of that tiny screw coming loose.
As it turns out, the switch was just dirty, so the compressed air and contact cleaner worked a charm and it fixed everything. If you end up in this position, try that first.
Anybody know what years and models that the ECU monitors your clutch switch and kills your idle???