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Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears...

I have a non-starting Le Mans.

I have recently charged the battery, all the dash lights up, the electrical noise under the seat makes its usual appearance.

Press the starter... crickets

What the Hell?!

Thoughts?

I look forward to your input.

I had a long ride recently, ~ 1000kms, then parked it.

This is now 2 weeks on. I have started it since the ride, but just to turn it over.

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So nothing happens when you press the starter switch? Not even a faint click of the starter relay?
First things to check:

- Dead man switch on?
- Does the fuel pump prime?
- Are you using the clutch lever whilst starting?
- Check the main ground on the back of the gearbox is tight.
- Push the starter button and then turn the handlebars from full left lock to right and back. Does she start now?

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Hello Tinus89

To answer your questions as asked:

No; no; no; yes (I am assuming that is the noise from what sounds like under the seat sort of area); yes

Checked what I think you mean about the main ground, which seems to have rectified the problem. The bike starts again!!!

I thank you very much for responding.

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Hi Tinus89

Is this the ground that you were referring to?

I'm not very mechanically minded...

But this is what I jiggled, & the bike started.

Magic!!!

Cheers mate.

IMG_5087.jpg

IMG_5089.jpg

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While you are poking around, the ground to the trans is on the opposite side - just trace the fat black wire from battery to the transmission casing, pop it off for a bit of a clean, then (if you have some) CAIG DeoxIT will clear out the oxidation and ensure a better connection. 

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(beating a dead horse) Remember how old these bikes are, and how antique the electrical systems are. :oldgit: Most electrical connections are unsealed, and the above corrosion on the neutral switch is the result. Getcha some Caig DeOxit and completely go through the electricals. All of them. You'll be good for a few years. After all, the most likely failure on any Guzzi is electrical.

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con·tra·dic·tion| ˌkäntrəˈdikSH(ə)n |PHRASES contradiction in terms a statement or group of words associating objects or ideas that are incompatible: “Italian electrical system"  is a contradiction in terms.

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On 4/20/2021 at 4:29 AM, innesa said:

 . . . this is what I jiggled, & the bike started.

Magic!!!

Cheers mate.

IMG_5087.jpg

 

 

On 4/20/2021 at 4:36 AM, pete roper said:

Neutral light switch.

I reckon it's worth knowing what has happened here. A fortunate find from the simple "Wiggle Test" . . .

That gearbox Neutral Switch pulls in the middle relay to allow the V11 to start with the sidestand down. If the switch, the connection, or the middle relay fails, the bike thinks it is in gear (with the sidestand down) and won't start (to protect us from ourselves). :nerd:

V11 No-Start Drill: In any No-Start occurrence with the V11, it is worth sitting on the bike, clutch lever in, and toggle the starter with the sidestand >up<.  If she fires, the trouble is in this Neutral Switch/connector/ middle relay circuit. Worth noting that when the switch or its connection fails, the Neutral Light won't come on, but if the relay fails the light will still come on. (Perform the Sidestand >up< No-Start Drill)

That connector is particularly vulnerable to road skim. Always worth pulling back the boot, tighten the connector, clean the connection, CAIG DeOxit®, and maybe even fill the boot with Vaseline® to ward off the road skim.

So: good find @innesa !

But, more important: if that connector failed on your V11, it is fair warning to take care of others. As @Chuck and @pete roper have said, break, clean, and CAIG DeOxit® all your connections. The most important that come to mind: Battery Terminals, Ignition Switch internal contacts, and especially the main ground to the back right of the gearbox under the seat latch.

Just visible below the lower/rear seat latch fastener:

DSCN0681.JPG

Rear view with swingarm removed:

IMG_2744.JPG

Neglect this Main Ground connection at your V11's peril. It will find another path to earth the starter . . . :o

Screen%20Shot%202017-08-14%20at%206.54.3

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, LowRyter said:

:homer:

You must.  It's a Grasshopper thing.

david-carradine.jpg

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Hello everybody

I'd just like to say a big THANK YOU to all of the respondents to this. Even if it was just to make me laugh, which it did.

I will get on to the main ground immediately, if not sooner.

docc, I hope that you didn't take your bike apart just for little old me!

But, thank you, as always, for the detailed response. 

I reckon I could rebuild the thing, if ever I needed to, from your information alone!

Cheers everybody.

8a125af1e95e176355c4df8fd3b4c132.jpeg

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Docc    I had chased the whole electrical system on my V11 Lemans, or so I thought; and went through the Deoxit/vaseline at every connection, clutch switch, relays etc, except for this main ground.

     I know my way around the old Tontis pretty good, but I'm still learning the ins and outs of these Spine frame V11s; grateful that you're spoon feeding me what I need to know to keep this bike running reliably, lol.

     Thank you so much for such a detailed and timely post, my main ground will be done shortly.  

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Docc (and all)-

Rode red to work this week, as the sun has been showing itself a bit, after keeping red caged most of the winter.... she ran sweet.

But seeing this thread it caught my attention about the neutral light relay (?) you refer to. I had ignored the fact that I have to pull the clutch to start red, but occurred to me that I don’t on Goldie. Sounds like I have a relay issue, but that’s not one I’ve paid attention to. Neutral light works fine, all the other suspect connectors and grounds (that I know of) are clean and well cared for, but this relay for the neutral (or is it sidestand?) I hadn’t thought of.
Where is that one hiding? I assume it’s not hard to find, but looking for the proverbial easy/quick answer if anyone is willing to chime in.

Also need to pull a couple of those starter switches apart to clean them up. The old Ducati’s and the guzzis all have that same switch, and I cleaned up one on my Gran canyon years ago, but it’s been a long time. Any surprises or reminders on pulling that apart? Goldie and my sons gran canyon both need the switch cleaned up soon....

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5 hours ago, Gmc28 said:

Docc (and all)-

Rode red to work this week, as the sun has been showing itself a bit, after keeping red caged most of the winter.... she ran sweet.

But seeing this thread it caught my attention about the neutral light relay (?) you refer to. I had ignored the fact that I have to pull the clutch to start red, but occurred to me that I don’t on Goldie. Sounds like I have a relay issue, but that’s not one I’ve paid attention to. Neutral light works fine, all the other suspect connectors and grounds (that I know of) are clean and well cared for, but this relay for the neutral (or is it sidestand?) I hadn’t thought of.
Where is that one hiding? I assume it’s not hard to find, but looking for the proverbial easy/quick answer if anyone is willing to chime in.

Also need to pull a couple of those starter switches apart to clean them up. The old Ducati’s and the guzzis all have that same switch, and I cleaned up one on my Gran canyon years ago, but it’s been a long time. Any surprises or reminders on pulling that apart? Goldie and my sons gran canyon both need the switch cleaned up soon....

First, regarding the bar-mounted switchgear: very easy to access, clean with contact cleaner (I use CRC Electronics Cleaner) then Caig DeOxit. The Caig product actually has a cleaner in it , so the CRC is really not necessary.  Very  simple, yet oft neglected maintenance item. Sheesh . . . I wonder when I did mine last . . .

The clutch lock-out is not relay based. There is a microswitch at the lever that connects through two "bullet" connectors on the forward left side of the frame under the tank.  Another V11 No-Start Drill: Pull in the clutch lever, hold down the starter button and rotate the bars side to to side, fully. If the starter activates, the fault is with the nefarious bullet connectors. Sometimes, you may be able to access them, clean/crimp/Caig DeOxit and heat shrink them with out removing the tank (but it's tight, especially with the LeMans fairing).

DSCN1472.jpg

Groomed and sealed clutch switch bullet connectors, center of view between the two large connectors:

IMG_2770.JPG

@Gmc28, A V11 that starts without pulling in the clutch may have one or more causes:

1) A previous owner has defeated the "safety" feature. Perhaps by unplugging said bullet connectors and installing a jump wire, or even cutting the wires and twisting them together, or connecting the two wires with a crimp-on "ScotchLock."

2) The microswitch has gone faulty and stuck closed.

3) The actuator in the channel at the lever that should allow that pressure on the switch to release (and close the switch) has gone missing leaving the switch unpressed as if the lever is always pulled away from the switch. If you put your ear close to the switch, you should be able to just detect a tiny *click*-*click* as the lever is barely pulled and released . . . .

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