After some record low temperatures lately it warmed up yesterday, so of course I took a ride after work. It was just a short one to visit my girlfriend. When I returned to my bike to leave, I turned the key in the ignition, and nothing happened. It was just like on Cape Cod.
But this time I was prepared. Soon I had the seat off, and I reseated the connection between the starter solenoid and its wiring harness. I turned the key and the bike had power. I reassembled everything and rode home with no trouble.
A strange common link between both failures was a blast down the interstate soon before shutting the bike off both times. How could high speeds relate to this connection going bad? The voltage regulator works fine, so it’s not a high voltage problem. I don’t know.
What I do know that after researching and discovering that I could buy a new starter solenoid for under $20, I immediately ordered one as cheap insurance. I’m not having such luck finding the wiring harness, but I think I can improvise that with a spade connector on each individual wire, mark the solenoid to tell me which wire connects where, and wrap it up in electrical tape after making all the connections. If I can eventually find the correct plug I’ll replace this hodgepodge with that, but until then this will replace all of the currently flaky connections.
I may end up trying my Cape Cod ride again soon after I do this. If I’m lucky and the solenoid arrives before the weekend, I may be able to do it all then. I also want to reinstall my ham radio on the bike for APRS first.