Well, I guess it's abundantly clear now that, as an electrician, I make a pretty good...uh...guitarist. (And I stink at the guitar.)
I took a break to eat, and it dawned on me that voltage is needed for the clock, and that amperage (around 1ma) is what I should have been checking, not voltage.
I then checked and determined it was the red wire with white tracer that was passing current. According to the diagram I have, that wire goes to the speedo, whereas the clock is in the tach; but for all I know, the tach may be a "slave" unit to the speedo.
So with a day wasted, I guess I'm back to square one, but a little bit relieved nonetheless.
The terminals are pristine. I took the starter button and kill switch apart, cleaned the contacts (they did not look bad), and reassembled.
The few times that the bike has started since bringing it home yesterday, it turned over strongly and started right away, as is its norm.
I turn on the key. The instruments wag. Headlight goes on, bright and strong. When I press the starter button, the solenoid clicks and everything goes dead. The headlight comes back on, but dimly.
I've checked the sidestand switch and clutch lever switch with an ohm meter, and even cleaned the contacts of the clutch lever. Both seem to be working correctly, both when mounted and when removed from their mounts and operated manually.
I don't get tidy results from the neutral switch. I unplugged it and connected an ohm meter across the black and blue wires. I can get it to indicate continuity, but only erratically, by fiddling with the shift lever. The neutral light in the instrument cluster does consistently come on whenever it's in neutral.
At any rate, continuity across the neutral switch should not be required so long as the side stand and clutch lever switches are closed, correct?
I'm kind of at a loss here. Can't think of what else to check.
Any ideas as to how to proceed?
Oh...I did notice that when it's in the "state" of having failed to start, a faint sulfuric scent can be smelled from the battery. I turn the ignition switch back off and the smell goes away in just a few seconds. If I turn the ignition switch back on and check for the smell, it does not occur. It only occurs after I press the start button, the solenoid clicks, and the bike fails to start.
Last edited by JET_V-Strom; 02-27-2011 at 11:32 PM.