I have a 2004 Kawasaki Nomad that has developed several electrical problems. The light I had installed when I purchased the bike worked flawlessly for 6 years, but last fall the lights started to quit working during an extended ride. I thought the switch was going bad, but the next time I rode they worked and then would quit again during the ride. After one ride, I checked the lights—when I turned on the left or right turn signal, both lights flashed. I parked the bike for a couple of weeks, then went back and started it, to see if the lights were still messed up. The only light that worked was the headlight. I found a blown fuse and replaced that, and all the lights worked again. After yet another ride, the light bar still didn’t work and both turn signals were again blinking. I decided to take it to the dealer and see if they could figure it out.
The day I prepared to take it to the dealer on my way to work, once again the only light that worked was the headlight. So I replaced the fuse. When I got to work, the turn signals were both still blinking together. I took the bike to the dealer that afternoon and—you guessed it—every light on the bike worked exactly as it should. I asked if it could possibly be the turn signal switch and was told that both turn signals couldn’t blink at the same time because it would blow the relay (?). The dealer kept the bike, and did the following. The light bar, which originally was run from the headlight, was put on a separate relay to the fuse box. They also installed a direct ground to the frame from the headlight assembly. I came in to see the bike. When I started it and turned on the turn signals, they both blinked together. I promptly called over the shop foreman, who verified that both turn signals were blinking at once. When I called back later, they told me they thought a broken wire somewhere in the wiring harness was the cause. They were trying to isolate it so they could bypass it and save me the several hundred dollars a new wiring harness would cost.
It sounds like you’ve got two separate, but related problems. Logically, both signals can only flash at the same time if you energize both circuits at the same time, in effect turning the signals into four-way flashers. The only way that can happen is if the energized signal shorts to the non-energized signal, which can happen in the wiring harness, or in the switch. Apparently, you also have an occasional short to ground in the same circuit, which is what blows the fuse. Since the most likely suspect is the switch, and it’s where all the hot legs and grounds are in closest proximity, that’s where I’d start my search.
First, let me say how much I enjoy Motorcycle Cruiser, especially your articles.
I own a 2008 Suzuki C90T and love the bike. My only problem is the 3.7-gallon fuel tank that rests under the seat. I was told by the bike shop that this gives the bike a better center of gravity and more stability. However, on long road trips, the small capacity becomes a real pain and I’m always stopping for fuel, while my friends can go quite a bit longer. Although I haven’t done any research on other bikes, I would wager that none of the manufacturers in that class incorporates such a small tank. Do you have any idea why Suzuki installed such a small tank, and do I have any options?
An educated guess is that Suzuki went with such a small tank because fitting a larger one in the space provided would have complicated the initial assembly of the bike and raised the cost; but never fear, help is available in the form of an auxiliary tank from G-man Industries ( www.gmanindustries.com). It should increase your riding range to at least 200 miles between fill-ups. Ask for Gary and tell him we sent you.
Mark, here is one question that may stump you. I have a 2005 Honda VTX 1300. I changed the brakes out about one year ago and everything was fine. I bought aftermarket pads for the front and rear discs, and about four or 5 months after I put them on, they started to make a ticking sound. The front pads are the ones making the noise. It only happens when I am stopping—whether I stop fast or slow, it still ticks. The faster I am going when stopping, the closer together the ticks are. The Honda VTX forum site seems to have a lot of other riders with the same problem. They too changed the OEM pads out with other brands, and they still tick. I’ve run sandpaper over the disc to clean it, and sprayed cleaner on the pads too, but no luck. Why is it ticking?
The click you’re hearing is the pads being knocked back in the calipers by a slightly warped brake rotor. Use a dial indicator to find the rotor’s high spot and then shim, machine or replace the rotor to correct the problem.