August 23, 2009
While returning from a recent trip, I experienced symptoms of a starter stuck in the “on” position, loss of the starter, and also loss of my headlights.
A Honda dealer in New Richmond, Québec provided me with a workaround to get me the rest of the way home so that I could finish my journey with the headlights working, and not having to push/jump start my bike. The technicians cleaned the terminals of the start switch, and also soldered wires together to always keep the headlights on; even when starting the bike.
The Suzuki OEM wiring configuration is set up as; when I turn the ignition key on, electricity is supplied to various components of the bike. One of those is the headlights.
The connection of power to the headlights is made through two contacts within the start switch.
With the switch “deactivated”, power passes to the headlights across the two copper terminals on the left.
With the switch “activated”, (meaning pressed “in” to start my motorcycle), power is “cut” to the headlights and transferred to the starter motor. In essence, providing more available power to the starter, (Useful on cold mornings.).
What happened with me is, a “burr” was created on the starter contacts. When I pushed the start switch in, the headlights cut out as they should, the starter activated, but did not deactivate upon releasing the switch. The starter stayed on while the bike was running. NOT GOOD! Plus, I didn’t have any headlights! I would frantically pound my fist on the underside of the housing to get the switch to release; which sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t.
Here is how I did some preventative maintenance.
I could now inspect, clean, and add electrical grease to the elements of the switch. Using a product like, WD-40 will attract dirt.
I used flat file to clean the contacts, and a pencil eraser was used to clean the “nubs”.
During reassembly, I discovered that, If I tightened the “silver screw” all the way home, the plunger switch would bind up and not work smoothly. I had to back the tension of the screw off a little bit, so that the switch worked as it should.