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Thread: Elctrical issues again after years of no problems

  1. #1
    apriliaforum Junkie Crono's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Catalunya (Spain)

    Elctrical issues again after years of no problems

    Hi again,

    I know this is the Futura forum but nevertheless I place my questions as many of the electical issues are common with the Capo.

    My 2003 Capo is still running strong. Now with 137k. kms. I use it very day in all weather conditions as a commuter, which is 50% highway 50% city, stop and go traffic. After Replacing the original rectifier for a Honda CBR 600 rr Shindengen - Mosfet, and corresponding cabling modification, I never had any more electrical issues. (included brown connectors etc..and extra mass from battery - to engine). Until last Thursday.

    It was raining heavily all day and in the evening I arrived soaked. Stopped the bike arriving by pulling down the side stand with gear engaged in first gear, to close the gate (it's on a slope and so I avoid it to move and tip over) and this time I left the light on. Start again, it starts after some sputtering, and it dies, I start again it runs and suddenly no lights and no dash. The engine runs fine and battery is strong enough to start over and again but no lights.
    So I put it in the garage and find a blown fuse. The central one which controls dash, position light, blinkers, tail light and horn.
    The fuse for the head lights are still ok?
    After taking of the fairings I find some rather bad bulb connectors (bridle and a bit burnt). Replaced them and the lights and everyting is working again.
    So I thought that the problem was solved. Next morning I ride to work, everything OK. In the evening I start the engine again, all fine, put on my lights and go home.
    After 5 minutes suddenly my dash and all lights gone, no horn no blinking, nothing, the engine runs fine.
    Again the central fuse blown. Put in a new one. All works, I start the engine and after 10 seconds fuse blown.
    Strange, it does not blow with the engine off? What can that be? I was standing on the side of the road and it was getting dark + running out of fuses, I started to suspect the rh light switch on the handle bar. There seemed to be a bad contact.
    Only when I kept it in an intermediate position and pushed up a bit, I had the dash, horn, position light and tail light working, but no main front lights.
    So I decided to fix the switch in that single position with some tie ribs and headed home (only postion light and as "beam" the head led torch with strap over the helmet which I use for eventual emergencies).

    I arrived home safely and started to take all of again. The rh. light switch is worn out. I tried to clean and repair and it worked for five minutes to die again.
    Then I had only the head lights workin but no tail light? The tail light only works when the dash lights are up and the small front position light works. (controlled by the central fuse -C- in the secondary fuse box in the dash) So I first cancelled the switch and soldered the 3 cables (1 green , 1 yellow, 1 yellow black) together. All worked fine but as soon as you turn the key you have all lights working. Not ideal as the battery is already 4 years old.

    I am rather puzzled. All lights, horn and blinkers work with the engine off. I start and then I have no tail light and the blinkers stay fix and the horn is very weak. It looks as if power is needed to keep the engine running? Switch off engine and all light functions are fine again. I placed a new light switch, which fits in the place the original was, from an enduro bike and it works well now but only as long I do not start or run the engine. Lights and all is Ok as long I don't try to start or the engine run´s, .I tried with a 20 Amp fuse and it does not blow but the cabling from the ignition key switch and flat connector to main cabling gets too warm. It's the yellow black and yellow cables from the main cabling to connector and from there to ignintion switch. As if power to start flows through those tiny cables. But I know at least that which cables are affected. I am am mechanical engineer but no hero in electric issues. Any ideas to get me on track are appreciated.

    Thanks René

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert RAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    PA USA
    1st. It's never smart to replace a fuse with one of a higher rating - this is how fires start.

    Would appear from all of the blown fuses, you have a short to ground somewhere. That it started after you ride in the rain could be a coincidence, but water can cause shorts if there's a bare wire somewhere. There are loads of wires inside the fairing and over top of the motor - inspect.

    Dunno about the Capo, but the wiring that goes to the tail section of the Fut runs along the under-seat muffler. We've also seen wiring short inside of the loom in places - a wire carrying voltage doesn't need to touch the frame or motor if there's a ground wire next to it and both have damaged insulation.

    Does the Capo have a big bundle of wires that forms a loop behind the right side radiator? we've seen corrosion inside that loom. If you have this big piece of loom, slice the jacket at the bottom of the loop. If rusty looking water pours out, you'll need to slice that loom open up to the motor for a better look.

    The wiring on these bikes is as light gauge as they could get away with. Replace those 20A fuses with the proper 15s before you have a serious meltdown.

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert Motech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Hi Rene,

    You have two separate issues:

    1. A variable resistance, partial short to ground in a power circuit that worsens with heat, and blows that fuse
    2. Excess resistance in a ground circuit dedicated to the lights and components you're losing when running

    Decent chance they're both related too.

    If not skilled in volt-drop testing and reading wiring diagrams, I'd start by closely inspecting every junction where power interacts with ground for visual failure and/or heat damage. This includes every related lamp socket, switch and relay.

    You already traced part of it to that light switch. You wrote it's unrepairable, but I did not read you replaced it.

    It's an outstanding place to start.

    No Matter Where You Are, There You Go!

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