I’m hoping some kind person can help. I have a 1983 KZ1100LTD. The horns do not work. When I hook a meter up to the horn leads and hit the horn switch I get a reading of 11 to 12 volts. When I touch the horns directly to a 12-volt battery they work. But when I hook the horns to the horn leads and hit the switch…nothing or a faint low pitched squeak??? This has me puzzled. Any ideas??
Maybe a poor connection or bad ground. If there isn't a ground wire, then check that the horns & horn bracket have good connections to the frame. Also, check for good connections inside the handlebar control.
The horn button just like the starter button can get dirty or corroded and not get enough power to the horn. Disconnect the horn button and jumper the button wires to test. You might get 12v with the horn disconnected but not get enough voltage with the load of the horn connected. You can try to clean it with contact cleaner or take it apart to clean. Watch out for the springs.
The horn has a ground wire attached. I checked for lose connections and worn wire insulation that might lead to a short. Everything there seems good.
The bad switch idea sounds like a good possibility. I’ll take a look and let you know how I make out. Thanks to martin and jpd for the input.
As per jpd’s recommendation I took the switch apart and cleaned the contacts with contact cleaner. Problem solved. FYI for anyone else who may need to get to the horn switch contacts on a older bike; there is no need to remove the entire switch housing from the handlebar as I first did. Just take the red plastic horn button off by removing the one little screw located on the bottom of the button. The contacts are right under the button. Thanks to both you folks for the input and help, this problem really had me puzzled. I got the bike inspected today and now am good to go.