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RSRBOB, Technician
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 1078
Experience:  Former Factory Service Rep, Dlr Line Tech, Service Manager, General Manager, Store Owner
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I have a '97 Yamaha Royal Star touring deluxe. I tried to

Customer Question

Hi, I have a '97 Yamaha Royal Star touring deluxe. I tried to start last week, it turned over twice and then made a loud Zapping sound. After this when i tried turning it over all electrical lights etc, cut out. I have since changed the battery to new, the starter solinoid, and starter. The lights now stay on but it won't crank over. I did test the starter prior to installing it and it worked fine. Please, what are your thoughts?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 7 months ago.

Hi and thank you for your question.

If everything is new and the lights are staying on, it sounds like a starter controlling circuit is acting up. This would be something like the side stand switch, the neutral switch or the clutch switch. Are you trying to start it with the bike in neutral? Or Side stand up, clutch pulled in? I would suggest trying those options to gather more data as to what the problem could be. Lastly, check the ground wire for the battery, to the frame. If in doubt, use a motorcycle jumper cable to go from the battery to a good frame ground and see if that helps. Although the lights usually go out when it gets loose and you hit the starter button, it is still a possibility.

Let me know what you find and we can go from there.



Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thanks for your reply. Yes the bike is in neutral, and i am squeezing the clutch when starting, I also did try with kickstand up and received nothing.
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 7 months ago.

I would suggest checking the ground cable on the battery, then using the jumper lead to bypass the ground strap. Beyond that, we are going to have to start checking the electrical system. Are you comfortable using a volt/ohmmeter and a test light?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have a meter. I do not own a test light
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 7 months ago.

Thank you for the response. Having test light is not a necessity. It is more of a convenience so we are not going to let that slow us down. I am going to walk you through the entire process of checking the electric starter system. Some of this sounds like we have already verified it, but in the interest of being thorough, I am going to give you everything the service manual says, in the order is has it.

First, it wants you to check the fuses, main fuse and ignition fuse. The main fuse has to be ok because you said the lights come on with the key. The ignition fuse however is a possibility. I would like you to set your meter so it can read battery voltage, and ground your black meter lead to the frame and touch both contacts on the top of the fuse while it is still installed in the bike, with the key on. You want to see battery voltage at both ends of the fuse. If you have voltage at one end and not the other, the fuse needs to be replaced.

If both fuses are good, we will proceed.

Next they want us to check the battery voltage. With the key in the OFF position, take a battery voltage reading. They are saying it should be 12.8 DCV. If the battery is anywhere close to that, say 12.4 or above, try a voltage drop test on the battery. You do that by leaving your meter leads attached just like you had them when doing the previous test, but now you want to observe the voltage as you hit the starter button.

The next test is going to be checking for voltage at the starter motor when the key is on and you hit the start button. Leave the black lead of your meter on chassis ground and hold the red lead on the terminal on the starter motor. Hit the starter button and look for voltage at the starter motor terminal.

Next we are going to check the starter cut out relay. This is the relay responsible for making sure the starter will not operate if the bike is in gear with the sidestand down or the clutch isnt pulled in.

It has 11 wires going into it. They are: blue/red, blue/black, red/black, blue/yellow, blue, Sky Blue, Black/yellow, green/red, Blue/white, Black/red, Black/white.

You need to put battery positive voltage to the black/red wire and ground to the black/yellow wire.

Now we are going to check for continuity between the blue and blue/white terminal. Put the red lead from your meter on the blue wire and the black lead on the blue/white. You should show continuity. If not, the starter cut out relay has failed.

Nest test is the starter relay. I know you said you replaced it, but in the interest of still being thorough, I will give you the test. Disconnect it from the harness, battery and starter motor.

Connect a battery to the relay as follows: Positive lead to the red/white terminal, battery negative to the blue terminal. Now check for continuity between the 2 large terminals. You should have continuity here.

Next we will check the main (key) switch. Disconnect it from the harness and test for continuity from the red wire to the brow/blue wire. It should show continuity.

Next is the engine stop switch. Disconnect the 2 red/white wires that are found inside the headlight shell. They should show continuity when the engine stop switch is in the run position and should show an open circuit with the switch in the stop position.

Next we will test the neutral switch. This is simply the sky blue wire to ground. It should show continuity when the bike is in neutral and should show an open circuit when the bike is in gear.

Next is the side stand switch. This is simply continuity between the two wires (black). It should show continuity with the side stand in the up position and an open circuit with the side stand in the down position.

Next is the clutch switch. Disconnect the clutch switch lead from the harness and connect your meter across the two leads. It should show continuity with the clutch lever pulled in and an open circuit when the clutch lever is released.

Next is the starter button. Disconnect the starter button (Rt handle bar switch harness) from the main harness. Test for continuity between the blue/white wire and the blue wire. You should have continuity between the wires when the switch is pushed and an open circuit when the button is released.

The last instruction in the service manual, if you have not found the problem yet, is to check all the connections in the wiring harness. You are looking for any signs of corrosion, broken wires or inspecting the individual terminals in the block connectors to make sure none of them are pushing out when the connectors are joined, creating an open circuit. This is a tedious task at best, ***** ***** you will see where one terminal is not fully seated in the plastic block and causing an open circuit.

If you have any more questions, let me know. Best of luck!



Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Thank you so very much. I appreciate your help. I will follow your instructions. I recently used jumper cables from my bikes battery and with the starter out side of my bike, tested the starter and it spun just fine.
Expert:  RSRBOB replied 7 months ago.

Excellent. This is all about eliminating variables until we sort out the culprit.

Best of luck!


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