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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, been stalking the discussion threads for a year and now that I've been teaching myself how to work on my Wee, I finally have a problem to ask about--lucky me! I have a black 2012 V-Strom 650 and decided to upgrade my front lighting situation with the nicely made Adventure Tech wiring harness, light bar, and spot/floodlight combo. It was all straight forward up until I tried to figure out where to tap the switch power source in the mess of tail light cables (a previous owner installed auxiliary LED brake lights, I believe they're Hyperlites). When I turned the bike on to test the new setup, there was a loud pop and the bike died. I've since "reset" the bike to its original state but now seem to have bigger problems.

When the starter switch is turned to the "on" position, the instrument panel and headlights light up and you can hear the fuel pump priming as normal. When I hit the starter button, there's nothing--not even the click of the starter relay. There is no error message on the instrument panel. Fuses all look normal. Battery reads seem normal (~14V when idling, ~11.7-12.4V when off), removed the starter relay and tested continuity/resistance, created an alternate battery ground path and everything seems to test/operate normally per the manual. I removed the accessories which are wired straight to the battery (GPS and hand warmers), got the bike to start several times, re-connected those accessories and was able to start the bike successfully several times. I have not attempted to wire in the Adventure Tech lights again--that'll be a problem for a later day.

At first I thought the starter relay was faulty but after removing it from the bike and testing it separately, I don't think that's case. I can't pinpoint when the bike will or won't start, and I'm not sure where to look next. I'd be most grateful for any wisdom this community can share--many thanks in advance!
 

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The first place I would look is into the starter button. As you press the starter the button terminals in there temporarily disconnect the headlights. There is so much load going through that the terminals get burnt. Many people install an aftermarket starter relay to avoid this.

There is a good description of it here. Start Switch Maintenance

The other most common issue is a faulty clutch lockout switch not working correctly.
 

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99% chance it is your clutch switch, on your bike the wires do come off the switch very easily and could happen when working on other things.

If the wires are still in place on the switch join them together to test the starting circuit, clutch leaver & switch, then report back.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks all, off to get a soldering iron (to get the screw out) and a new switch. I tested it for continuity and got nothing. Will update later today!
 

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soldering iron (to get the screw out)
??? Sorry, I don't get it. The wires don't solder to the switch. Is a wire pulled out of its terminal? Did you join the 2 wires together to see if it starts then?

Cheers,
Glenn
 

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Ok, using the soldering iron to melt away the plastic around the screw. Good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry, should have clarified better. Used the soldering iron to heat/loosen the clutch switch screw (very soft metal + threadlock = nightmare). Unfortunately the screw is made of aluminum foil so I had to resort to extracting it. The terminals on the switch do look a little corroded so I'm currently waiting for a new one to arrive. Will continue to update as things move forward...
 

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Also you need a JIS screw driver, jap bikes don't have phillips head screws.

A phillips head driver will cam out and damage the screw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also you need a JIS screw driver, jap bikes don't have phillips head screws.

A phillips head driver will cam out and damage the screw.
Thanks Rolex, learned my lesson the hard way!

Good news, finally got the clutch assembly sorted out with a new switch--bike seems to fire up quickly, no outages yet. Thanks everyone for pointing me in that direction. Now time to finish installing my AdventureTech LED lights!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I spoke too soon...

Life was good, bike started up with no issues so I finished installing the front LED lights. Everything went smoothly, still no issues with starting so I tidied everything up and was floating on Cloud 9 already dreaming of the rides I could get in this week.

Suddenly without warning, the Wee won't start, new symptoms have appeared, and despair reigns. Now when I turn the key to the ON position, you can hear the fuel pump prime but it's making a high whine which I've never heard before. Despite the whine, the starter relay still clicks when the starter button is pressed. Once starter button is released, the display blanks (no clock, no odometer, no gear indicator, etc) and the F1 light comes on. Battery was a little above 12V and is now reading around 11.7V.

Most of the other fuel pump related discussions on this forum reference the fuel pump whine when the bike is revving hard but in this case I can't even get the bike to start. Help?
 

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Your battery needs charging or may be on the way out. Did you try to charge it and did that make a difference?

When you say the starter relay clicks, does the starter motor crank the engine?

Whilst you were chasing the original starting issues, did you open and check the starter switch?

When you cycle the ignition switch off and on again, is everything back to normal, other than the screaming fuel pump?

Does the bike have a headlight relay kit installed? If not - and if non of the above faults apply I would suspect corrosion/ burned contact(s) in one of the main connectors from the front to the main bike. Not sure where they are located on your bike - maybe over the radiator on the right side?

 

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You must be sure that your battery is charged and good. Most auto parts stores will load test them.
 

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Check your battery cables are clean and tight.

11.7 is very low, where did you get that number from ? it could make a difference ?

Could be a bad battery, could have gotten low while working on the bike or your stator has failed and the bike is not charging.

You could jump the bike and test the charge rate with the motor running, if that is OK get your battery load tested, just charging the battery could delay things, you could find the battery is stuffed and the recharge was a waste of time.

And don't rule out the big connector on the left front under the rubber boot, look for burnt contacts from getting hot.
 
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