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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I washed the bike in a hurry before taking a Sunday afternoon cruise. I always dry with a leaf blower but didn't dry it well enough.:banghead: I usually bear down on the electronics to make sure they're completely dry but I left some water in the switch covers.:spank: A few miles into the ride the bike developed an occasional miss and I could see the speedo drop like the power shut off for a split second. I pulled over and shut down to check things out. When I turned the key back on the bike immediately started! Glad I was in neutral! Apparently, the start button was wet and engaging the starter intermittently. I could not hear any whine from the starter like you would if you push the starter with the engine running. Everything sounded fine, so we rode on. 30 miles ahead I stopped for fuel and the starter had died. Fuses good, no codes, relay clicking, but no starter at all. There was a small hill nearby so I was able to push-start the V-Rod in second gear.

So, I'll do some voltage checks tomorrow to be sure...but it sure sounds like a fried solenoid. Just a heads-up to those that wash with water. Blow the switch covers out thoroughly!

Mike
 

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Lover of Bikes
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I'd like to know your findings. I'd be surprised if your washing was the culprit though, otherwise we would see much more of this when people ride in the rain.
 

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Jeff
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:popcorn
 

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Beeek said:
I'd like to know your findings. I'd be surprised if your washing was the culprit though, otherwise we would see much more of this when people ride in the rain.
:them: I've ridden in heavy rain and even stopped for food (and dry) while the bike sat out in it, without any problem. I'd like to hear more, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I checked voltage at the starter solenoid. 12.18V coming in and 0V going out with the key on and start switch depressed. I jumpered the contacts and the engine started right up. The switches are dry and working properly. Swapped starter relay with fan relay-both clicking normally. Looks like I'll need a new solenoid.

The bike sat about an hour in the sun after washing. It was facing uphill on a sloped driveway with the bars turned to the left. When I got on the bike to leave, a tablespoon (approx.) of water drained out of the right side switch cover when I straightened the bars. It started normally but water drops continued to blow out for a while as I drove at highway speed. So there was a considerable amount of water trapped in the covers and apparently condensed or leaked into the start switch. The starter must have continued to run, although I could not hear it running.

My bike is still under warranty and I could probably get this covered. But replacing the solenoid is easy and I would like to avoid the hassle of taking it to the dealer. I doubt they'll just give me a solenoid so I think I'll just order one from Zanotti's and fix it myself.

I'll post the result later.

Mike
 

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Mike,

Don't be to fast to dismiss the warranty replacement. There have been known issues with solenoids. Let the dealer know the issue, and see what they can do.

You don't HAVE to leave the bike, and if you can start it with a jumper, and it's still rideable, you may save a few bucks. :2cents:
 

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Jared
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Odd problem, on our way to sturgis this year in wyoming we got hit with rain HARD, like 3" of standing water in parts, both our R and the Fat Boy's did GREAT the whole time there, and still today there is no issue with starter, but i read a report from the EPA to save so much gas a year shut your vehicle off at red lights, or anywhere you have to wait at idle, think this could cause starter issues with the compression of the engine, and overworking your starter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rjrivero said:
Mike,

Don't be to fast to dismiss the warranty replacement. There have been known issues with solenoids. Let the dealer know the issue, and see what they can do.

You don't HAVE to leave the bike, and if you can start it with a jumper, and it's still rideable, you may save a few bucks. :2cents:
I'm sure I could play dumb and get the bike fixed under warranty since there are issues with the solenoids. I just feel I should be forthcoming with the facts and suspect that they will feel that dousing the controls with water is my fault and not a defect. I'm worried they may gouge me by sticking me with a huge bill!

I think your right about talking to them first. If I can get them to approve warranty coverage before doing the work, maybe I can save the bucks. Worth a try, I guess. Thanks, RJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Part #71474-04 Solenoid $31.00 from Zanotti's. I'd have to trailer the bike 30 miles to the dealer and wait on parts. Weather is too beautiful to risk downtime.:moped:
 

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I checked voltage at the starter solenoid. 12.18V coming in and 0V going out with the key on and start switch depressed. I jumpered the contacts and the engine started right up. The switches are dry and working properly. Swapped starter relay with fan relay-both clicking normally. Looks like I'll need a new solenoid.
I certainly agree with your diagnosis, but curious just what is failing on these solenoids.

If your start button was wet and making contact and therefore energized the coil in the solenoid for an extended period, I supect the coil is now open. That could be validated by using an ohm meter across the SMALL terminals; should be a few ohms and I suspect it is open or infinite. The solenoid coil is meant to be energized for only the period it takes to start (crank) the bike.

If it is a case of the large contacts in the solenoid failing that would be interesting since it says they have gotten dirty, or the plunger is not pulling in all the way on the coil, etc. Did you hear the solenoid click at all?

Just for a science project it might be good to cut open the defective solenoid and see what failed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
JustSam said:
Did you hear the solenoid click at all?
No sound from the solenoid at all. Just the relay under the airbox clicking.

I was surprised when I turned the key on and the engine started immediately without pressing the start button I could not hear the starter running. I thought it dropped out on it's own. It obviously didn't. The start switch dried out and works normally now.
 

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Reminds me of....

When I hear of these water problems I remember the "birth of the v-rod" show and all that water they sprayed onto these bikes and they kept on runnin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ndfspd said:
When I hear of these water problems I remember the "birth of the v-rod" show and all that water they sprayed onto these bikes and they kept on runnin.
I've washed my bike many times and this is the only time I had a problem. I think the slope where parked and angle of the bars let water get trapped in the corner of the housing. I don't think the switches are watertight but protected well enough from rainfall and gentle spray.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Fixed

The coil on the solenoid was indeed open. No apparent damage to the starter itself resulted from continuously running. :dance:

I feel I was at fault for improper washing technique and in no way feel that this was caused by a defect.

On pre-07's without the safety switch,I recommend disengaging the clutch or shifting to neutral before turning the key on-when in heavy rain or after washing with water. I'll be blowing the switch covers dry before riding from now on.

The coil on the solenoid should measure about 3.7 ohms.

Mike
 
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