A motorcycle that won’t start is a real pain. You feel like you’re doing everything right, but the engine just refuses to turn over.
One of the most common problems with motorcycles is that there’s no spark. In this post, we’ll tell you what can cause this problem and how to fix it.
What are some potential causes of this problem?
- Faulty high tension lead.
- Faulty spark plug.
- Faulty ignition switch.
- Broken down ignition coil.
- Blown CDI unit.
Faulty high tension lead.
The high tension lead is a wire that goes from the spark plug to the electrical center (also known as the CDI unit). If it’s faulty, you’ll likely have no spark. To check this problem, simply replace the high tension lead and see if that solves the issue.
Faulty spark plug.
Spark plugs go bad over time. When they do, you’ll need to replace them with new ones. This is an easy process that only takes a few minutes.
Faulty ignition switch.
The ignition switch is what makes or breaks the electrical circuit in your motorcycle. If it’s faulty, this will most likely cause no spark problems. If it’s broken, you would feel resistance when you try to switch on the motorcycle, not unlike how you would if there was no spark at all.
To check whether the issue is your ignition switch, simply remove it and have somebody turn on the bike while you watch it carefully for any signs of sparking or lighting up.
It’s important that you see activity on this part of your bike because more often than not, bad switches are the cause of no spark problems.
Faulty ignition coil.
The ignition coil is a part inside your CDI unit that creates the sparking needed to turn over your motorcycle’s engine.
If it’s faulty, there will be no spark coming out of it when you switch on the ignition. If this is the case, you should replace it immediately because if left unfixed for much longer, this can damage other internal parts in your motorcycle’s electrical system.
Blown CDI unit.
A blown CDI unit is another common cause of no spark issues and can happen more easily than you might realize.
The process by which they become broken is complex and beyond the scope of this post; however, suffice to say that if your CDI unit is broken, you’ll need to replace it.
The key here is to know how to test these parts for functionality before you try replacing them. If you don’t, this can become a situation where you end up wasting time and money on new parts for your bike that is still faulty.
How can you prevent your motorcycle from having this issue?
There are some things that you need to check on your motorcycle if you find yourself in this situation again.
- The battery has been fully charged with clean terminals.
- The high-tension lead and cap are put to the test.
- To verify the coils are receiving power, test them.
- Check for proper resistance in the coils.
- Make sure the main fuse is intact.
- Check to see if you do not have damaged wiring
The battery has been fully charged with clean terminals.
This is the simplest thing to check, but do not underestimate how important it can be. As we mentioned in our post about motorcycle batteries, the terminals on your battery need to be free from corrosion and dirt before you try turning on your ignition.
The high-tension lead and cap are put to the test.
Sometimes, a spark plug wire goes bad before you realize it. In this case, removing and replacing these wires with new ones will solve your no spark issues as well as save you money by not buying a pricey new part for your motorcycle.
To verify the coils are receiving power, test them.
Turn off all electrical components on your motorcycle (headlights, blinkers etc.) and turn on the ignition switch – you should see a quick flash from the coils. If you don’t, you may have to replace this part immediately.
Check for proper resistance in the coils.
It is important that all parts of your motorcycle’s electrical system are in order and not preventing a good current from flowing, but in the case of no spark problems, checking your coils’ resistance is especially crucial to getting yourself back on track in terms of riding again.
Proper voltage running through CDI units allows easy ignition triggering, which means there should be enough power reaching your coils without any issues whatsoever.
Make sure the main fuse is intact.
You can do this by removing it from its housing unit or asking somebody to test it while you watch them closely – you’ll need to do this because sometimes, fuses seem to be okay on the surface but are actually broken inside.
Check to see if you do not have damaged wiring.
The wiring may look okay at first glance, but after closer examination, you might find some sections that are no longer conducting current as they should be.
If you’re unsure whether or not your motorcycle is experiencing this issue, use a multimeter to test the connectivity of your electrical system’s wiring all along with your bike – there isn’t one set point where this sort of testing has to happen and it’s worth double-checking every part just in case.
My final thoughts.
In conclusion, repairing your motorcycle’s electrical system is often difficult, but if you take the time to check these components carefully and make sure they are working properly before you replace them, you’ll be able to save yourself a lot of both time and money.