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Vtec electrical problems info post


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  • Member Contributer

I guess I should have been more specific==I tried to maintain my load under 25 amps thru my own switchology (never high beams, aux, heated grips and vest on at the same time), etc...

However, I probably was at 25 AMPS load constantly when it was cold and dark....couple that with alot of corrosion, and crappy honda connectors probably fried the harness. I can't explain the RR failure, tho.

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Guest Havagan
I'm interested in this whole thread and the contact numbers for Honda.

Motorcycle Division

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

P.O. Box 2220

Torrance, CA 90509-2220




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I don't know if this is useful to anyone or myself, but I don't know where else better to post this sort of thing.

Winter '04 I installed Piaa extreeme white same watts as stock bulbs, either low or hi, don't remember which were first.

Summer '04- added the other set of bulbs h4s or h7s, whichever was left.

Fall '04-had stalling and starting probs, which initially went away by unplugging the headlights or headlight fuse. Incidently, the bike revved to approx 4k rpm & consistantly stalled @ that pt before unplugging the headlights.

I returned the Piaas & ran stock bulbs.

The problems of stalling & variably starting got worse w/ time, until unplugging the headlights was of no use.

The alt was already upgraded, but dealer checked that, the RR & replaced the PGM FI unit to no improvement.

Jan. '05- Finally, after at least 2x in the shop, 10 wks & $1,400 of my money, (out of warranty,) the main & sub wiring harnesses were replaced & the bike ran fine for about a year.

Jan '06-Installed Piaa Extreme White H4s & H7s + Piaa's $300 runnning lights

Yesterday the bike choked-up on the highway & regained power, then stalled & restarted, eventually, 3 more times on the last few miles home.

Now I don't know much about electrics, I do still have my old main harness, & know of info on VFRD & a Yahoo Groups: Vtec VFR Owners has some info too, (msgs #9455, 9456, 9457, 10039, 10044, 10045, 10047 are particularly helpful.)

A guy, Francois St. Laurent, from Sport Touring Accessories in Deal's Gap, NC has been helpful in directing me to the yahoo group & w/ some generousity to help out.

Honda customer noservice did nothing the first time around, (when I bugged the heck out of them,) & today I got nowhere fast.

They did send me a replacement saddle bag that leaked, & the new one leaks also.

The dealer told me to contact cust svc & cust svc told me to wk w/ the dealer, back in '04/'05. Even the district svc mgr told me I ought to fix it myself.

I heard from Bill @ Honda cust nosvc that a VFR expert was just down the hall fr him, in his office, but Bill was slow to consult him, I could not speak w/ the VFR expert directly & the regional svc mgr did not have time 4 this owner of 5 Honda motorcycles, 3 of them VFRs and a Civic. The only reason the district svc mgr spoke w/ me, was I noticed him 1 day @ the dealer, wearing a corporate shirt.

I was told today, that I could take my bike to a dealer & they would look into it, but since it is out of warranty, there is little chance of any $ coming through.

So, I am done dealing w/ Honda cust nosvc, have been done w/ the local dealer & pretty much plan 2 wk w/ a local independent shop, & my own research & abilities.

I do run w/ the hi-beams & driving lights on during the day, have had no car port for the past 2+ years & ride in all weather conditions, year round, in GA.

I have been planning a ride from Atlanta 2 Seattle & now have 2 fix the bike again.

I will check the connector, wire guage & fuse holder ideas out w/ my local mechanic, Andre @ The Motorcycle Shop, read some more & try & perm fix it up.

I hope this time I don't need a whole harness, but I am not convinced that replacing the whole thing was necessary the 1st go around.

I am learning the hard way, but it seems that I am not alone.

I am happy 2 answer any questions & appreciate the recreation of this topic.

Hopefully, btw me, my mechanic and some thorough research, all will be well.

Wish me luck this time around, best of luck 2 u all as well, Todd

BTW, Piaa wrote me a letter & swears they know of no other probs & do much R & D work 2 ensure the safe application of their bulbs on motorcycles such as ours.

(Funny thing, Piaa & Honda both don't want 2 take any responsibility for anything.)

Edited by toddvfr
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  • 1 month later...


I had my stator & RR replaced & did the 30 amp fuse fix...the holder, connector and thicker wire deal. When I picked up the bike, it stalled completely after 2 miles...I stopped, put it in neutral and restarted the bike...then I went back to the mechanic & it stalled again in less than a mile. My mechanic increased the idle, upon my suggestion, from 1100 to 1250 RPM. I got all the way to Nashville from Atlanta, when it happened again, three times at least, the bike stalled and this time, at night, I could tell that the lights went out & the last time, the dash dimmed, a buzzing came from the console area and it would not restart for a few minutes this time. I still have the PIAA lights, and when on they drop the volts from 14 something to 13 something...but the thing is, I hardly even used them at all today. By the way, Francois helped guide my mechanic with the 30 amp fuse fix...just like in the pictures on the first page of this topic, according to my mechanic, who looked at this topic for the first time, today, at my request. I have not grounded the green wire from the blue connector, but both my mechanic and Francois are not convinced that doing that is called for. I relly hope that my RR & stator are okay...I just shelled out $!000 for all my work and I hoped this would do it. The BBQed previous stator & the current one are both the upgraded ones called for in the Honda service bulletin. I am bound for Vancouver, BC, Canada over the next 6 weeks and tomorrow is Sunday and I have to either fix the bike myself or wait until Monday or Tuesday, in Nashville, for a real mechanic to help me out here, or to talk to Francois and my mechanic in Atlanta.

Anybody got any ideas? I don't know what I am looking for, I have little mechanical knowledge. Francois has many lights and powered accessories and his bike is doing fine with the 30 amp fix for 20,000 + miles now. Anybody know a good mechanic in Nashville or Memphis if I can make it there. Anybody live in the Nashville area? I don't know what to do next, but wait for someone to reply to this post or for motorcycle shops to reopen Monday or more likely Tuesday. Please HELP!!!

Should I cut & splice the green wire together or even ground it to the frame, (though I lack the skills to do the latter, at this point.

By the way, I got caught in bad traffic a few tens of miles out from Atlanta & saw 241 degrees on the temperture gauge. I never saw more than 230 degrees in even the hottest weather, in traffic before. The bike seems to be running hot, and I am wondering if I am cooking my bike. Also, when I spoke to Francois, today, before heading to Tennessee, he said to make sure the kick stand switch, or something like that, was connected properly.

I know this is a bunch of details. I hope I can sort this out with you guys' help. I have planned this trip for much of the past 15 years, am now engaged and this may be the last chance I get to do this until I retire in a few decades...again, HELP!

Edited by toddvfr
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I am now in W. Memphis, AK & my '02 VFR stalled & would not start until it cooled off from about 223 degrees, when it suddenly cut out. The bike ran fine from Nashville to Memphis, TN, until it got hot around town. I had to push it a couple of blocks to a hotel. It was buzzing from the cockpit, dimming the dash & I believe the headlights went out, when it stalled. A few minutes later, at about 167 degrees, it started up just fine. I hope to make it at least to Boulder/Denver CO, where I have my next friend to stay with. He has some cars and bikes and I can hang out while I can try & get it fixed...some more. Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks, Todd

I wish you were still in Nashville were I live and I would help you out. I can almost say with 100% cirtainty that it's the Gound wire issue at the Blue connector!

Go to the nearest Radio Shack or any store that carries elec. stuff(auto parts stores) and buy a foot of wire 10-16 ga. a few connectors and the crimp pliers and be done with it.

Check out my fix a few post earlier! I would just splice into the forward side of the blue connector green ground wire and ground it to the frame for now(trip)!

PM, email or call me!


my post http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=22332

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  • Member Contributer

Here's is some information I Googled that may be relevent to the bad ground issues from:

Dielectric vs. Conductive Grease to Protect Connectors and Grounds.

[Query:] You have repeatedly recommended the application of dielectric grease to underhood wire connections. Isn't the insulating property of such grease counter to the goal of IMPROVING the integrity of electrical connections? I would think that a conductive paste (such as Eastwood's Kopr-Shield) would be better. The only potential downside I can think of is that sloppy application could cause short circuits, but care and common sense should preclude this.

[Response:] This is a good question and one that I have received several times. Yes, it is true that the dielectric grease is non-conductive. However, in the context of connections that carry voltages larger than 1 volt, the grease will not result in a bad connection. The male and female connectors will wipe enough of the grease off at the mating surface so that the electricity will flow just fine. The important part is that there is no chance of the grease creating a conductive path between adjacent terminals in a multi-terminal connector. The main purpose of the grease is to seal the terminals against oxidation which creates a high resistance barrier and moisture and dirt which can result in shorts and ground paths.

For the GROUND connections - especially those in the engine compartment where the ground leads are fastened to aluminum surfaces like the intake manifold, I recommend using one of the conductive greases like OxGuard. These are found at electrical supply houses and are typically used by electricians to treat the end of aluminum electrical cables to prevent the very high resistance aluminum oxide from forming at connections - this was a common cause of house fires. The same high resistance oxide plays havoc with engine management system signal voltages. You can eliminate the problem by cleaning the aluminum surfaces and treating with the conductive grease. Also note that many of the spade type crimp on terminals that are available are made of aluminum. It is very difficult to find copper ones.

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I am now on my 3rd R/R on my 6th gen because of voltage of 16 or more. Seems, the voltage is in the 15.3-15.9 range for a couple of months and then it starts going up to 16 -16.5 causing ABS system to freak out and batteries to die, until a new R/R brings it back down to the 15s again.

I have done all of the electrical system test including the stator and all have always checked out fine pointing to a bad R/R, but now that I have had 3 I think the problem lies elsewhere. My only guess is the stator so I am going to get a replacement. Is there any other possible causes that I am not thinking of?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Riemski

Bike - 2003 Non-ABS

Symptoms - Bike dying at idle and at highway speeds

Cure - Fuse panel with additional grounds

Purchased components - Blue Sea 6 connector Fuse Panel, 4 terminal grounding block, 10 gauge marine grade wire in wrap, and 16 gauge marine grade wire.

Additional components I had and used - Wire loom, stainless steel mounting hardware, 1/4" aluminum plate

First I removed fairings, air box, and battery. I then located where I wanted to mount the fuse panel (thank you to those who have already done this mod - I already had a good idea where it was going). I then determined what my bracket was going to be. I made a cardboard template to verify size and positioning. I then layed this out on a piece of 1/4" aluminum plate and cut to size. I drilled and tapped for mounting the fuse panel and terminal block. I used all stainless steel hardware. I used 5/16" carriage bolts to mount the plate to the bike. The square head locks into the slot so no wrench is required on the back side and I used nylon locking nuts to secure. Next was determining how and where to run the wires. I ran along the frame next to the main harness past the engine. I enclosed the wires in loom for protection and neatness. See the following pics:


Mounting location.jpg


Bracket and Fuse Panel.jpg


Wire routing.jpg


Wire routing #2.jpg

Next was adding the additional grounds. From all of my reading, I decided upon this grounding location with multiple frame grounds and the blue connector. I will add more later if needed. I figured these 2 should take a significant load off of the harness and as connections corrode prevent problems. I soldered all of my connections and used waterproof shrink wrap. This shrink wrap has an adhesive inside that seals the connection when shrunk. The blue connector pic only shows the wire stripped, not the additional wire added to it. I forgot to take that picture. See the following pics:


Grounding point.jpg


Blue connector - Additional ground.jpg


Fusel panel with soldered connections.jpg

Everything seemed to go together nicely resulting in a clean install. I rode 100 miles immediately after finishing the install and it has not died or shown any of the prior symptoms. So short term, this has appeared to fix my problem. Below are a few more pictures showing the completed project. You can also see my Speedohealer in the pics. I will be adding satellite radio, a radar detector, and power connection for my Chatterbox very soon through the fuse panel. I will post pics of this as soon as it is completed.


Fuse panel mounted and everything hooked up.jpg


Fusel panel mounted and everything hooked up #2.jpg


Fuse panel mounted and everthing hooked up #3.jpg


Battery and connections.jpg

Also, I had purchased a new 30 amp fuse connection but mine appeared to be in perfect condition showing no problems. So I will keep a close eye on it and replace if necessary. The reason for using marine grade wire is it has a coating or plating on the wire to help prevent corrosion. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions if I did not elaborate enough or if something is not clear. :goofy:

Update 6-18-07 My 30 amp fuse connection fried! I followed posted directions and replaced.

Also added pictures back into this post.

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Ahhhhhh! sad.gif

Now I've got a problem that I hope some of you smart guys can help with.

Short version: A week or so ago, on a ride after lunch I started the bike up on the side stand and got FI codes. Rode home and the bike ran fine. Looked the codes up in the shop manual and from my best guess I was getting a 23/24 code which says it an 02 sensor prob. Now I've got the 02 elims so I thought that was wierd. Also, when turning the key to the "on" position the dash would go through it's normal "boot" up procedure but I was hearing the whine from under the tank(fuel pump?) that normally stops.... keep going and not stop?

Was going to pull the fairing and remove 02 elims and re hook up 02 sensors but first I propped the tank up to look at stuff and while the tank was up I did turn on the key and heard all sorts of wired relay type noises under the dash and the headlights were really dim etc.

Checked hoses, wires under the tank and all looked OK but moved a few around thinking that maybe something got pinched. Put the tank back down and turned the key on and all seemed OK......no codes, normal boot up etc.

Today I went riding and all was fine. Stopped for dinner. Started the bike to leave and the same FI codes appeared and saw some smoke coming out on the left side just in front of the tank area :blink: ...the area where that wiring harness and blue connector is you guys were talking about.

Got home with no problems thankfully and am stil getting the FI codes when the side stand is down(while riding the FI light is on constantly).....When turning the key back on I'm still getting that whine from underneath the tank that I described earlier that normally stops when the bike is booting up....but it doesn't stop......hearing some relay clicking sounds also....turning the key on and off gives the same results with the exception that the "whine" did stop like normal one time but didn't all the other times.

I checked the 30amp fuse holder back by the battery and it looks OK.

Does this make any sense to anyone..................help sad.gif

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  • Member Contributer
DB - Sorry to hear about the problems. Give a little history of your bike. Have you ever had any of the above mentioned electrical problems? Have you added any additional grounds? Have you inspected the blue connector and ECU connectors? Have you added any electrical accessories? So for so many questions, just need to know what we are up against.


The bike's an '03 with about 18,5K miles....no problems up to this point other than an apparent PCIII failure a month or so ago.

I haven't had any of the mentioned electrical problems. No electrical accessories added other than the PC but that has been out of the bike now for a few weeks. I had ridden the bike post PC removal for approx 400 miles with no problems.

I have not added any grounds or anything...bike is stock in that respect.

I have not yet looked at this "blue" connector....but this smoke which was a "translucent white" color was coming up from that general area.

Also, what I'm getting FI code wise is this:

Flaaaaaash Flaaaaaash Flash Flash Flash.........followed by

Flaaaaaash Flaaaaaash Flash Flash Flash Flash.........from the shop manual 's description what I got was a 23/24 code which are 23=Faulty no. 1 o2 sensor heater....24= faulty no. 2 o2 sensor heater.

Wierd as I mentioned becuase I still have my 02 elims installed?

OK here's another wierd thing.

I just lifted the tank. I turned the key to the on position and as I mentioned earlier the dash goes through it's start up procedure but the lights(low beams) are extremely dim and there's a buzzing under the dash and I didn't hear any "whine" from the typical under tank(fuel pump I think) at all.

So, I put the tank back down and turned on the key and everything goes back to normal, ie no FI codes, boot up procedure is normal, etc....................what the heck does this mean?

BTW, I am in no way shape or form an electrical or mechanical genius :lol: ....just thought I'd better make sure that is understood :D

Edited by Das Bone
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This Grounding Clip. Does anyone have a picture of it or where exactly it is on the bike? I have seen the schematic, but could not actually find it on the bike. I would add an additional ground wire at this point if I could find it. This isn't the same as what I called the grounding point is it(See above pic)?

No, I thought it was in this tread, but it's in another. I'll see if I can find it!

The grey clip with the burned section IS the main ground clip. It's on the main harness about a foot down from the connectors to the front sub harness though it's not deplicted in the wiring diagram anywhere but is on the exploded view (thanks BikeBandit). It isn't a plug, each of the individual device's ground wires (lights, ECU, instruments, etc) are routed to it, with 2 wires (the burned ones at the crispy area of the clip) leading from it to the frame as the final ground. My plan is to give the front sub harness it's own ground, using either 12 or 10 gauge stranded wire and remove 250 watts of load from that central clip...

De Clip

Check out Post 43 for the pic here: http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.p...mp;#entry264323

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  • Member Contributer

OK, check this out :blink:

Checked all the connections talked about here and everything looked fine...clean connectors, no burned wires, etc. Everything looked normal.

So, in messing around with all this I tried putting the tank back down and lifting it up as I mentioned before. This time, in both the raised and lowered position all was fine when I turned the key on, i.e. normal boot up, normal sounds, no FI lights/codes.

Then, with the tank in the lowered postion and athe key on, I started moving it slightly from side to side and as I pushed it towards the left, relays started clicking and the dash went wacko. Pushed the tank back to centered and all went back to normal.

So I lifted the tank and while viewing from the right side of the bike, I noticed that the forward tank mount bracket on the tank had a little burned looking area.


Tank mounting point grounded out on oil hose This is where my tank had rubbed through the oil hose and grounded out

Looked down to the contact point when the tank is lowered and noticed that the little metal tube(now know it's the oil hose) that's covered with a plastic insulation sleeve(for obvious reasons now) was worn through the plastic sleeve and was down to the metal oil hose.


Oil hose that tank had rubbed through The rubber insulation got rubbed through by the tank creating big problem

So, I taped up the exposed oil hose with some electricians tape, put the tank back down, turned the key on and pushed the tank all over the place and lo and behold.......no problems.

Now all seems to be fine with the tank lowered and the key on as well as with the tank raised and the key on.

Does this make sense to the brain trust here as the cause of my problems? Would this have done it...Im thinking yeah even with my limited knowledge in this area.

I'm so excited I can hardly stand it :P

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Not a good thing DB, you tank is looking for a ground and shouldn't be. Grounding the the Linked Brake tube not good either.

Someone else here had thier tank teather cable start acting as a ground to and was getting hot to the touch. You have a ground problem/issue somewhere and the Tank is the current spot.

Did you pull the Blue connector apart or just look at it. My bike just had a ground circut failure that was very tipical of the Blue connector groung wire melting/failure, but my connector was fine! <_< I added the new groung at the blue connector and all was fixed! :thumbsup:

This was my post about it, read through it.


Also look through this post for the Hot teather cable subject, I think it's in this post.

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Sorry Kev, yes I did pull it apart and it was very clean and all looked good. I also tried (with it reconnected) turning the key on and pulling and moving the wires coming out of the connector around and this created no problems at all. I did the same with all connections that I could see.

Remember, I did not have the bike stalling etc. problems that some of you had. I was just intially getting the FI codes(bike ran normally) and then the incident last night......again with the bike running normally.

With what I've done with sealing up the two areas where the insulation was worn now, when the key is on I'm not getting any problems indicated, ie no codes, normal boot up, normal fuel pump sounds etc.

So, you're saying that the two problems I found were not the only cause of my problem.......that really has me worried :blink: i.e there's no way that these things could have caused my symptoms even though they were not the same as many have had?

aaaaargh sad.gif

IMO Bone, you still have a ground issue that will rear it's head sometime down the road with other problems until you find the cause.

Like I said neither your Tank or tether wire should be carry any load, current or ground, But they "ARE" and that's a problem. Your bike is looking for grounds that it no longer has or that are no longer good enough the carry the load that need to carry. :blink:

I had all the same symptoms of a failed Blue connector ground wire without the failure and I had done all the preventitive measures(I thought) to prevent the problem (cleaning every connection and adding dielcetric grease) but it didn't help. These bikes have a Major design flaw within the ground side of the wiring harness that will eventually fail at some point on every bike IMO.

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Guest Riemski

DB - Part 1 - Okay, I have been reading the service manual and studying the wiring diagram. The fuel pump does work off of the common 'Green" wire ground that passes through the blue connector. It also receives its power through the blue connector via the brown wire. This brown wire then leads to the fuel cut relay which is tied to the engine stop relay which goes to the bank angle sensor which uses the common 'Green" wire ground. Long and the short, everything seems to be tied through the blue connector and the 'Green' ground wire in one way or the other. Someone supposedly figured out the load on this wire which showed it being to small for the application, so I would just add the additional ground between the front harness and the blue connector. What do you have to lose? It won't hurt anything.

Part 2 - The fuel level sensor. This is tied through a different connector which leads to the dash/display panel. This panel is also tied to the 'Green' wire ground which passes through the blue connector - No surprise there. Then the ground wire out of the fuel level sensor appears to be grounded to what I call the 'Grounding point' at the back edge of the tank (See my pics). I would also ground this point directly to the battery.

I still am not sure what exactly is causing your tank to become electrified, but from all of the known electrical problems on these bikes I would add the additional grounds which have solved many issues where the exact cause was never found. If you have a good multimeter, I would think you would be able to test resistance and continuity of different connections which might show some of the problem. But without knowing what these values are really supposed to be, it would just kind of be a guess if a value looked a little off. Just remember that electricity follows the path of least resistance. So I would say your tank is providing less resistance than your ground circuit. Unfortunately, it is even less resistance acting like a spark plug(your gas tank to the metal hose) than your wire circuit. Kind of scary. :blink: So, add some additional ground wires and ride on! :beer:

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  • Member Contributer
OK, I picked up some ten gauge wire and will re read everyone's posts on the grounding wire fix.

Thanks to Kev, Rienski, and Jeff for all your help :thumbsup:

Hopefully all will be well in VFR wiring/grounding world :P

While you're still messing with this, check voltage and resistance through the tank. I think you need to find the source of voltage to your tank, as a short there sounds like your problem. (Or, a problem, at least.) As BR has emphasized, you should not have power running through the tank. Simply preventing it from going to the frame/oil line or wherever, is masking the problem, not solving it. Also, I agree that the extra grounds on both sides of the blue connector are a good idea. Good luck.

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Guest Riemski

I did not cut my wire in half, but stripped it in the middle with a craft knife and then soldered in my additional wire. This caused some problems for waterproofing this connection. I used some 'Liquid Electrical Tape'. It is a coating that seals and waterproofs the connection. I then wrapped it in regular electrical tape. But if I were to do it again, I would just cut the wire so that you can slip some waterproof shrink wrap onto it. Since you are soldering anyway, it wouldn't matter that you cut it. Also for safety sake and because I like to overkill everything I do, wherever you are running your additional ground wires to, run a wire directly to the battery. This way there is no question about how good your ground source is. :blink:

DB - Could you take a pic of this bulge in the main wire harness? If you think you found it, it would just help narrow my search. Thanks. :beer:

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Guest ToastR

Welp, add me to the club. I initially posted my experience here http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=23632

but thought I'd elaborate for this thread.

I've never had any elec. gremlins. The VFR is a 12/01 build '02 with approx. 10K miles. It had a PCIIIR on it at one time, and still has O2 elims in place.

Thankfully I was only about a mile from home, and as I was turning left onto another road it died. Glad no cars coming.... With the key on the lights worked, and lights on dash came on. There was no FI light and the whirring fuel pump priming noise was absent.

After reviewing the issues in this thread, I had a look at the 30 amp fuse block and found this gallery_935_768_266266.jpg

My blue connecter up front seems fine and comes apart nicely, and has no discoloration.

I'm not too keen on battling with the dealership to get the wiring harness replaced out of warranty, while it sits and sits, either.

So I'm thinking I'm no electrician, but I could prob. put a diff. fuse block in, if it wasn't too difficult - perhaps some one could tell me some of the specifics of where to splice the new larger gauge wire in at, and whether I should add the green wire ground up front too. THere is a ton of diffuse info in this thread but nothing seems to put all the steps together for a novice like myself smile.gif

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Guest Riemski

ToastR - See page 4 - Post#113 on this topic. I did a complete write up with pics of adding in the grounds. The only thing not there is the 30amp fuse because mine is currently fine. But this is pretty self explanatory and spoke of earlier in the post. Once I find the grounding clip and add a ground to this point, I will update my post with those instructions as well.

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"I need a VERY simple explanation of how to check the possible current through the tank stuff you suggested."

Set the meter to volts dc. Check a couple of known things as a test and practice. For instance, put the red lead on the batt pos and the black lead on the batt neg to get battery voltage. You should see 12v + or - about 1.5. Switch the leads and you should see the same voltage with a (-) . With the red lead on the pos terminal of the battery, put the black lead to various metal surfaces on the bike. This will show you what is a good ground. You should see very close to battery voltage with a good ground. This is because the battery negative terminal is grounded to the frame.

Then, put one lead on the tank where it was touching the line, and the other end to ground as just determined. (The neg post of the batt, or any bare metal part on the frame, engine, etc.) The lead on the tank needs to touch bare metal as was present when you found the problem. Do this first with the key off. You should see no voltage. Next test the same with the key on and run switch to "run". Finally, test with the bike running. You should not see voltage during any of these tests, although I suspect you may after hearing your problem description. If you see a reading it means there is a short in/at the tank. This means that a power source (to the fuel pump, sensor, etc.) is getting from the wire or the component to the tank itself. That electricity will seek the path of least resistance, which apparently it found to your oil line (or whatever line was rubbed through.) I would do these checks before you add the new grounds, if you haven't already done them.

So, what do you do if there is voltage through the tank? Unplug the connections to the tank one at a time until voltage goes away to find the source.

Good luck; post again if you run into questions.


Edited by mq105
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Guest Riemski
Ok, thanks.

You're saying that I should also run a wire to the battery ground as well as the one we've all been speaking about.....OK, so where sould this wire run to the battery ground from?

Also mq105 or anyone else, I need a VERY simple explanation of how to check the possible current through the tank stuff you suggested.

I do have a multi meter but have no clue as to 1) what setting it should be on, 2) where I will attach the two probes from the multi meter, 3) what I will be looking for in terms of the multi meter's reading and what it will mean.

Sorry for my lack of knowledge on this stuff....so step by step explain it if possible like I know nothing :P


I will try and get a pic for you of that area...don't know how it will come out as it's dark/shadowed, and kind of tight in there. When I got home later I'll see if I can get something for you B)

Thanks again all

The wire should run from the negative battery terminal to wherever your additional ground wire terminates. So you have your new wire connected to the wire at the blue connector and wherever you chose to ground that(I would assume a frame bolt - I used a terminal block), attach from that same point(frame bolt) to the wire that goes to the battery. This just ensures that the ground is "perfect". A frame ground should be adequate, but this eliminates the 'should'.

To add and compliment mq105's post -

Multimeter - Okay, now I am no expert, but know enough to be dangerous. Read your manual from your meter to get it set to the right functions. It is different from brand to brand.

To check voltage through the tank. Lift the tank or make sure it is not grounding through your steel line(What has currently been your path of least resistance). Set the meter to measure voltage on a 12 volt or lower scale. Red wire from the meter on the tank(make sure you get to bare metal - maybe your burnt/arced spot would be a good place) and black wire from the meter to ground(Negative battery terminal). If you have any voltage, it is showing a poor ground.

Continuity test - (Just checks that the circuit is complete - no broken wires, etc.) Set the meter to test continuity. Generally just a beep or tone will be emitted from your meter if the connection/circuit is complete/good. Unplug the fuel pump and fuel level sensor from the gas tank. Then from the ground wires of these connections check for continuity. Red wire from the meter in ground wire of plug and black wire from the meter to ground(negative battery terminal). If you get a tone, then you know no wires are broken, but it still does not mean you have a great connection.

Now check resistance. Use the same connections as you did during the continuity test, but with the meter set to check resistance. Now this is what I don't know what the values really should be, but if one or the other of these is significantly different from the other, I would think the one of higher value is the one causing your problem. Because the high resistance is causing it to look for another path, hence your tank to the line arcing. But this is a questionable test as one may be going through many more connections thus raising resistance. So I am not 100% sure of the accuracy of this test.

This was a brief instruction, as I don't really want to write a book here. Hope it is enough to get you started anyway. :blink:

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Ok here's a couple of pics of what I think is this "ground connector". You need to have the tank up and possibly the left fairing off(mine's off now so not sure how visible this area is with fairing on) to be able to see it. It's directly below the "lower throttle body adjuster" which you can kind of see in the pics(tough to get an angle)....you guys probably know what it is anyway but for ease it's the round wheel in that area that the throttle cables run through.

General shot for location purposes:


100_0161.JPG Mysterious Ground Connector....general location

And close up....If this is that grey grounding connector that's actually pictured in the other thread, I think his pics were with the black tape around this connector removed and that's why it looks different. So it's the "boxy" looking black tape covered part that you can see some of in this pic:


100_0162.JPG Mysterious Ground Connector: close up....essentially directly below lower throttle body adjuster...completely wrapped in black tape

Hope that helps enough.

Now to my situation:

I followed and did all the tests with the multi meter that you guys(mucho thanks again) suggested and found no unwanted voltage running through the tank...key off and key/run on. I tested both fuel pump and fuel level sensor plugs and continuity was fine. The only test I did not do was the resistance test, but followed both MQ's and Riemski's posts to the letter otherwise.

So, I don't appear to be getting any current running amok through my tank so hopefully I wll not explode :beer: :P ......so I suppose I should still do the extra ground wire fix anyway.............any other thoughts or comments?

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So, I don't appear to be getting any current running amok through my tank so hopefully I wll not explode blink.gif tongue.gif ......so I suppose I should still do the extra ground wire fix anyway.............any other thoughts or comments?

No current is good, except... What was the source of the arcing between the tank and the line? Did you test with the tank down? With the meter set to continuity, check from the spot you used from the tank to ground. Make sure there is continuity so you know that you have a good connection on the tank. When you had this problem before were there any other sources of power connected, like to accessories? Did you have a tank bag or something pressing down on the tank? Any circumstances different that may effect the electrical system?

This is why electrical problems can be such a bear. At any rate, I suggest adding the extra grounds. It's easy, and our bikes seem to need it.

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Guest Riemski

Thanks DB for the pics. I have torn into mine and here is what I found:


Ground Clip #1 Ground Clip #1


GroundClip #2 GroundClip #2

Has anyone else gone into this clip? I know it has been talked about, but I have not seen any pics of this. I am getting ready to trace some of these wires and do some investigation before I start cutting and soldering. I will update with my progress. If anyone else has added a ground here, please speak up now. +1.gif

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