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Discussion Starter #1
I was coming home tonight in 70 mph traffic and suddenly, it all went dead.

There were no cars close behind and those I was following in both lanes soon were gone and it got real dark. The asphalt was above the shoulder a good bit but I could not see it. I could see the guard rail. Kind of a startling lurch to the side. I spied a lit up driveway and pulled off the road partially in the drive and stopped. It was steep downhill away from the highway (281) north of San Antonio.

There was not a power failure because the GPS stayed live and the phone waited its 30 seconds and then started to turn off. All as though the key had been turned off. I was not in an investigative mode as I was trying to not get hit. I called my wife who was in the vacinity and while talking to here turned the key and the bike came back to life.

If anyone has any ideas, or has had a similar experience, please let me know at [email protected] or on this board. I have a service manual out and am going to look for a single connection that could have done this.
 

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What year is it and if it is an 01, did you get the kill switch recall done?
 

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If you didn't bump the "Kill" switch... It could be a defective "Bank Angle Sensor". Honda had a bad batch on the GL1500's and it acted the same way. A total shut down of the bike just like if you had hit the kill switch. If you turned the key off then back on the bike would restart.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The bike is 5 months old, an 04. The lights and all went dead. I am beginning to think that the name tag that is a rubbery plastic on my key ring may have been under load when I turned the key on in the darkness tonight. I am looking at the manual and see that there is a single feed to the switch ignition switch that powers all relay coils. If that wire is loose, it would be the same as turning the key off.

I was going steady speed and no bumps or turns. I have wished a thousand times I had tried the switch when I was still rolling, and wished I was paying attention to whether I first turned the key off and then back on, or just on, when it cam back to life.

There are no thermal reseting breakers that I can find.
 

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I had a similar problem with my '01 - it turned out to be a faulty ground. The main electrical ground wire was not tight, and it eventually worked loose and the bike was D-E-A-D dead!
 

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I vote a Loose Battery Conection as most likely followed in a distant 2d & 3d by Kill Switch and Bank Angle Sensor.

The main reason I put a Loose Battery Connection way out front is that is one of the few things the Dealer has to put in or on the bike. It is very easy for them to do a so-so job hooking up the Battery when it is normaly done by a new hire school kid that is still in the learning mode.

Let us know what you & or your Dealer find.

Jerry
 

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I had a similar incident coming out of Cades Cove in the pitch darkness - lights went off, bike shut down. It was the key. I appearantly hadn't turned it ALL the way on and just the vibration of riding it moved that little bit to "off". Luckily the key was the first thing I hit and as soon as it moved that half click the lights came back on, I knew it was the problem. Never done it since (me or the bike!).
 

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I had the exact problem on my 04. It turned out to be the neutral safety system. There is a switch on the clutch, shifter and kickstand to tell the bike if it is in neutral.
The wires had come unpluged somewhere under the saddlebags. It gave my Honda dealer quite a problem to find.
 

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My 04 has had no such problem but the battery connections were not very tight when I got the bike. I think we should all check every bolt we can get to because I have seen too many loose items on mine and friends bikes.
 

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I would agree with those talking about grounding! A friend of mine on an 03 1800 had problems when we stopped at a restaurant last year in Tennessee. It was a loose ground on the battery. Tightened it up and away we went. Loose when he picked it up!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Some power stayed on

First, Thanks to all. Chris, I am glad to hear such a thing could happen, although I tried to put the key in a position not all the way on and it was difficult. However, if some of the other thinks on the key ring interfered in the darkness, that could have happened.

The GPS V has no battery in it. It stayed on as it does when the key is turned off because I have it wired to the battery through as fuse. The telephone started to shut down just after I stopped and that is about the length of time it takes to start shutting down after I turn the key off.

I looked at the manual, although it is for an 01 and I have now an 04, and there is only one wire that I can see that will shut the bike down and leave the directly powere accessories hot, and that is the wire that feeds the ignition switch. There is one wire in and 3 wires out of the switch, all going through one connector below the right glove pocket. That still does not explain why when I turned the key, it all came back to life.

Chris' experience is the most likely scenario, and makes me want to be very careful about putting the key in when it is pitch black outside. I do have a rubbery name tag on the key ring.
 

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Radio presets

Just a thought... an easy way of determining whether a loose battery connection is at fault would be to look at your radio presets. If the battery is disconnected, your presets would be gone. If they are still there, you may have to look for the problem elsewhere.

Peter...
 

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When cleaning those grounds and battery terminals, remember dielectric grease and add a star washer to the equasion. May save some grief.
 

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Tom,

Sorry, I am slow to read this. If I were you, I would check ALL the things mentioned in this post, but that's just me. I would probably pull the gas tank and check the multipoint ground under it. I would also inspect the bank angle sensor, battery terminals, ignition switch and wires, and neutral sense circuit. Why? Because I wouldn't want this to ever happen again and I wouldn't rest until I had checked out every possible cause. But that's just me.

Good luck, and let me know if you find it.

Attached is a photo of the grounds under the tank that have been found loose on some bikes. You have to remove the gas tank to get to them.

http://www.pbase.com/fredharmon/gastank

 
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Had this same thing happen on my '97 Kaw Voyager (1200cc touring bike). First time it happened it was a short in the ignition switch itself. Just like you said, anything attached directly to the battery continued to run, while anything connected to the switch went off. I don't see how it could be a battery connection since you said everything connected to the battery was working. Hope you figure it out soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Fred, thanks for your post. Today, I went down to the garage and tried to duplicate a position of the key switch that would be edging toward off. It is not easy to do. As you might imagine, I was wondering who I would call late on a Monday night as I was rolling to a stop wiht no lights and watching the mirrors for a possible rear end collision.

I pulled about 8 feet off the shoulder onto the mouth of a drivewy falling away steeply to my right. At the same time, my cell phone announced it was shutting down, which it does about 30 seconds after I turn the key off.

I pushed speed dial 3 to tell my wife I was without electrical power and while talking to her I reached up and turned the key and the lights came on. I simply can not remember if I turned the key from off to on, partially off to on, on to off to on, or what. I was so thankful that I did not have to find a tow, that I just cranked up and pulled out at the next opportunity and finished the 15 miles remaining to home. I told my wife that I would be home in a few minutes.

I have been burning the candle at all three ends for several months and rarely get more than 4 hours sleep, so I was not terrible bright during this late evening occurrence.

The GPS is hot to the battery and it stayed on. My radio maintained the same station it was on before. I did not shake or move anything except the key to bring the bike back to life. I did not turn the key off as I rolled to a stop. There was no blinking as with a poor conneciton.

I did not notice if the opening ceremony faded down or not, because I was trying by braile to find the edge of the road. The 2 or 3 inch step down at the edge of the lane provided an unnerving lurch with my very worn tires.

I looked at my 01 service manual and there is only one wire that I see that would have provide these circumstances and that is the feed to the key switch. It is shown to have a connector below the right glove box, and tonight I tok the glove box out and could nto see that connector on this new 04. I did see the connector for the heated grips. The key swithc connector may be below the air induction horns. There were no tailights Brake lights, just dark. The engine was dead and I pulled in the clutch after 3 or 4 seconds.

I was very lucky that there were no tailgaters.

I may never have that happen again. I am sure that I will try the key for position if it does happend again.

Thanks to everyone who has posted on this issue.
 
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