New to me bike, won't start

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New to me bike, won't start

Postby infinity526 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:31 pm

I recently bought a nonrunning bike for a steal of a deal, hoping it was a simple fix. Unfortunately, the solution has evaded me so far and I'm hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. :dunno

What it does:
The key, killswitch, and starter button all function normally, and the starter turns strongly. The bike has made no indication of wanting to catch or start, no matter what I've done with the choke or throttle. I believe it to be a no-spark situation, but am stumped as to what would be preventing spark.

What I've tried:
Charging the battery (several times, as I've drained it down with the starter while troubleshooting).
Cleaning the carbs: The jets were clear, but there was some yellowish residue of fouled gas on the surface of the bowls and one of the needles was sticky.
Fuses: All tested with a multimeter for continuity.
Spark plugs: Brand new NGK, gapped to spec.
Spark plug cap resistance: At spec (10 kOhm).
Primary coil resistance: Within spec (2 ohm).
Secondary coil resistance: Within spec (15 kOhm).
Main switch: Continuity as specified in the service manual.
Killswitch: Continuity as specified in the service manual.
Neutral switch: Continuity as specified in the service manual.
Sidestand switch: Continuity as specified in the service manual.
Main relay: Did not have continuity between the pins specified in the service manual, was replaced. New one also did not have continuity between the pins specified, but both DO have continuity between the wire colors specified, which are in different places than the manual states.
Pickup coil resistance: Within spec (200 Ohm).
Compression: ~150psi in all cylinders.
Spark: Tested with coil from cyl. 1 on a spare spark plug, and the threads of the spark plug held against the valve cover. No spark observed, though I have only tried this in daylight.
Gas: Fresh, ethanol-free 91 octane.

I have not yet replaced the CDI unit, and have not found a procedure to test it. Is there anything else obvious that I'm missing, or should I suspect the CDI unit? If so, is there a way to test it or do I simply have to replace it?

Any help or advice is appreciated, cheers!
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby Riceburner » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:24 pm

You checked the main fuse as well? See pg 6-34 of owner's manual.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby infinity526 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:14 am

Riceburner wrote:You checked the main fuse as well? See pg 6-34 of owner's manual.


My manual shows something unrelated on that page, but assuming you mean the 30A blade fuse on the starter solenoid (I think that's what that is, at least), then yes I've checked that one, as well as the four in the fuse box.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby tuning-forks » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:55 pm

You should put your bike info and your location in your profile.
I'll assume this is a newer style cat and not a foxeye.
You really need to be 100% that there is no spark. It can be hard to see in daylight. I've had fuel issues after storage where the bike would crank for a long time and give no indication of firing. I thought there would be no spark but there was.

The relay diode check should give continuity with probes one way, no continuity with probes reversed. If your meter has a diode function use that instead of resistance range. If you get continuity both ways that is likely a problem.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby infinity526 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:27 pm

tuning-forks wrote:You should put your bike info and your location in your profile.
I'll assume this is a newer style cat and not a foxeye.
You really need to be 100% that there is no spark. It can be hard to see in daylight. I've had fuel issues after storage where the bike would crank for a long time and give no indication of firing. I thought there would be no spark but there was.

The relay diode check should give continuity with probes one way, no continuity with probes reversed. If your meter has a diode function use that instead of resistance range. If you get continuity both ways that is likely a problem.


Yes it is a newer style bike, an 05, sorry.
This evening after dark I'll check for spark again to try to be sure.
I am using the diode function on my meter. When holding the relay in the orientation shown in the service manual (with the full row of pins on top, and the row with one missing on bottom) and counting left to right, top to bottom, I have continuity with + on pin 2 and - on pin 3, rather than + on 2 and - on 9 as shown in the manual, but the color it calls out for pin 9 (light green) is found on pin 3 on my bike.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby infinity526 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:04 pm

Update: Replaced the CDI box, still no spark. At a loss now, what else is there to check?
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby Jonny1977 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:34 pm

Are you sure that the fuel is reaching the carbs?
And is the choke lever visually moving the plungers on each carb?

I did read that you had tested for a spark by resting spark plug against the valve cover but isn't that part insulated by rubber, ie the gasket and the rubbers on the cover bolts. I've not checked on my cat yet so can't remember if it is. Try earthing the spark plug against the engine block and see if any luck.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby infinity526 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:17 pm

Jonny1977 wrote:Are you sure that the fuel is reaching the carbs?
And is the choke lever visually moving the plungers on each carb?

I did read that you had tested for a spark by resting spark plug against the valve cover but isn't that part insulated by rubber, ie the gasket and the rubbers on the cover bolts. I've not checked on my cat yet so can't remember if it is. Try earthing the spark plug against the engine block and see if any luck.


Yes, fuel is definitely reaching the carbs, if I plug in the fuel pump (I've had it off for most of my troubleshooting) and pull the hose off the inlet rail of the carbs, fuel squirts out strong when the ignition comes on.

Reading from the valve cover to the battery terminal gives 50 ohms, which should not cause any problems, and I have tried going to the head as well- it's just harder to reach.

In the latest round of futzing about, I've found that there is no voltage to the input side of the coils, while on one of my other bikes (ninja 250), you read battery voltage there. I have checked continuity from the CDI box to the coil inputs, and all reads fine. I'm suspecting that the CDI box I got off ebay may also be bad, or that the CDI is itself not getting power from the battery.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby tuning-forks » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:42 pm

Like your other bike, each coil should have 12V at one terminal when ignition switched on. The CDI connects the other terminal to ground each time a spark is to be made.
Verify you are getting the 12V to the coils, this is the most likely place to have a problem. Ignition switch, kill switch, sidestand switch, etc. or any of their connections can all interrupt the 12V from getting to the coils.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby infinity526 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:55 am

tuning-forks wrote:Like your other bike, each coil should have 12V at one terminal when ignition switched on. The CDI connects the other terminal to ground each time a spark is to be made.
Verify you are getting the 12V to the coils, this is the most likely place to have a problem. Ignition switch, kill switch, sidestand switch, etc. or any of their connections can all interrupt the 12V from getting to the coils.


Just to confirm, are you saying there should be battery voltage between the two terminals of a given coil at all times, or between one of them (I assume the orange or grey) and the battery negative at all times?

I have triple checked all kill switches, including unbolting the side stand one so that it is always unlocked.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby tuning-forks » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:36 pm

Between one and ground, not between the 2 terminals of the coil.
Not the orange or grey, the red/black.
So each of the red/black should have 12V when ignition on, other meter probe connected to ground.
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Re: New to me bike, won't start

Postby 98yamacat » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:17 pm

So what did you do only thing i can add to your list is i did second gear rebuild and my timing is spot on and i have zero spark. I seen it spark 4 or 5 times with the mist faint spark but now none of my coil boots have any spark. Ordered new cdi but i know its just gonna do same shit still. My pick up coil is 218 ohms is that having anything to do with this issue? What did you do to stop this mystery situation? Please help
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