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Aloha, I'm new to riding and love my 06 Vulcan 500 but it won't start! It has been clicking Very loud when I press the ignition button for the last couple weeks but always eventually started...now it won't even start it just clicks and the loud noise is coming from under the seat on the left side i think. I attached a picture of the location w/o the cover where i think the noise is coming from. Can anyone Please advise me?? it seems like it could be an easy part to swap out; maybe the starter?? I've disconnected some of the cables in the area trying to trouble shoot. I do not have the user manual. Mahalo (Thanks) a lot.
Mike
 

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Hi, Did you solve your starting problem?, i ask as my vn800 has same problem loud clicking when pressing the starter button. Has happened a few times in past but usualy after a few times of clicking the bike throws over and starts but now just clicking!
 

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make sure battery is FULL of DISTILLED water
make sure battery is FULLY CHARGED
make sure battery can pass a LOAD TEST (doesnt drop below 10.5v) any bike/car place can do this for you
make sure cables are tight/clean
if battery checks out then could be starter relay is going bad or switch on bars is going bad.... get a factory service manual and check both..
 

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First off, when it did eventually start, did it turn over normally or did it sound like the battery was drained and was cranking really slowly? If it was normal, then it's more than likely something in your starter circuit. You should definitely have the battery checked first, as this could save you a lot of troubleshooting and work. If the battery is fine, then you will want to perform the following tests to try and track down the problem.

First and foremost, check to make sure your battery cables are clean and tight. Disconnect them and clean the terminals and battery posts with a wire brush to make sure you get a good connection. Reattach them and make sure they are tight.

If this doesn't change things, check the starter relay (the thing in the picture). You see the two heavy wires on the left side? Those are your cables coming in from the battery and going to the starter. You should be able to jump those terminals with a large screwdriver or a pair of pliers (wear goggles because it will most likely spark a bit). If the bike cranks over, it's most likely the starter relay, the ignition switch on the bars, or the wiring in between. If not, you probably have a problem with your starter or the cable going down to the starter. (P.S. If anybody knows this to be the wrong way to test the relay, please speak up). By the fact that you are hearing the click coming from the relay, I would think the ignition switch is fine.

If it still doesn't turn over, you will want to remove those cables and clean them the same as you did with the battery cables. Make sure they are tightened good as well. And be sure to disconnect the battery before cleaning them. Clean the cable that connects to the side of the starter in the same manner and make sure it's tight as well. If this doesn't make any difference, you most likely have a bad starter.
 

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vn800 not starting

Hi All, thanks for your replies, battery and all leads checks out fine, i think it is the solenide next to the battery it is this thats making the clicking noise. So will check out fleabay for new solenide.
 

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Hi All, thanks for your replies, battery and all leads checks out fine, i think it is the solenide next to the battery it is this thats making the clicking noise. So will check out fleabay for new solenide.
I would do the checks. Technically the clicking sound is normal. The starter relay has a magnet that pulls a little metal tab closed to make electrical contact, and that makes a clicking sound when it operates. Normally you don't hear it because the starter turns over as soon as it makes contact, but the click is always there. The problem could be that the contact inside the starter relay is burned and not making contact, but it could also be something down the line such as a starter. IMO it's better to know for sure before you spend the money to replace the part than to find out that the part you just replaced was working fine in the first place. So I wouldn't just assume it's the starter relay because it is making noise. That noise is normal.
 

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my guess is that its dead battery... just buy a new one. and don't jump your bike off a car... it can cause serious electrical problems in the future.
 

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Hi stickboy, did as you suggested and put large screwdriver accross the solenide terminals got the sparks but nothing else? all ignition lights went off when i jumped the terminals! does this mean the solenide is ok ?
 

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Hi stickboy, did as you suggested and put large screwdriver accross the solenide terminals got the sparks but nothing else? all ignition lights went off when i jumped the terminals! does this mean the solenide is ok ?
Make sure you don't touch ANYTHING else but the two terminals. If the screwdriver also touches metal on the frame or any other part, it will cause a short circuit and you won't get power to anything (and possibly a much worse outcome). If you didn't touch anything other than the two terminals, then it's quite possibly a short in your starter motor, or your starter is bound up. Were the sparks bright and blue or dull and yellow?

Also follow the cable down to the starter to make sure it isn't frayed or in any way touching anything metal such as the frame or the engine case. If it is frayed, burned our touching the case in any way, replace it.
 

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didn't touch anything else just termianls, sparks were very small and yellow, i did use a 12 volt testing light on the terminal on my starter motor as i pressed starter button but no light came on would this suggest no power to starter motor from solenide ?.
 

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Disconnect the cable from the starter motor, connect the test light to the end of the cable and the other end of the test light to either the battery negative terminal or to the engine case and try again. If the light lights up, you more than likely have a short in your starter. If not there is something wrong with the wiring in between.
 

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Before you buy/dis-assemble anything, do as post #7 stated.

If it is not easy to get load tested, here is a quick and dirty test:

1. Charge battery for 24hrs with a 1 to 1.5amp charger.
2. Let battery rest for 1hr. after charge, then check voltage - should be at "least" 12.4 volts.
3. Turn on key but do not start. Monitor battery voltage and it will start to drop, but should level off at 12 volts or higher.
4. If the voltage continues to sag and goes below 12 volts, battery has at least one foot in the grave, and probably both!

With a good battery, if the starter was shorted or stalled and you jumpered the solenoid, sparks would fly all over the place, make no mistake about that.
 

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I've got a very similar checkout procedure:

Starter Solenoid Checkout

Some simple steps to determine what is working and what's not:

1.Fully charge and test the battery(most bike shops can load test the battery, and then use a floating ball hydrometer to check specific gravity in the charged cells).

2.Clean all battery terminals of corrosion.

3.Tighten all starting related connections(Positive RED(+) battery terminal, Negative BLACK(-)terminal) and from the terminal to the engine case. All connections must be clean and tight.

4.Clean the cable from the starter solenoid to the starter motor.

5.Clean and check the "bullet connectors" going to the coil side of the starter solenoid.

6.Try again to start the bike.

7.If no luck, go to step #8

8.Wearing eye protection, bridge with pliers or a screwdriver the two heavy duty(large)terminals on the solenoid. If the bike cranks, your solenoid may be bad.

9. If the starter won’t turn over, one of several things has happened; The starter motor has seized due to brushes binding up, lack of lubrication in the bushings of the motor, the battery is weak , the engine has seized or it could be a combination of any of the above.

10.The dealer may want $$$ for a new solenoid, but take your old one along and visit the nearest riding lawn mower shop. They have solenoids for about $15 that with a little work will fit.

11. I’d recommend upgrading from the existing battery cables to at least 6 gauge welding cables.
They are available in two colors(RED and BLACK) have more flexibility due to being constructed with finer conductors, and will fit in tighter areas.

12. The welding cable is sold by the foot ,so take careful measurements or bring your old cables along. Most battery shops might be able to supply the cable too, so call to find out. The battery shop should be able to crimp/swage on the end of the welding cable the terminal ends or lugs using either a dedicated crimping machine or a tool that looks like a bolt cutter that has special dies to terminate the cable.
 

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Hi stickboy, did as you suggested and put large screwdriver accross the solenide terminals got the sparks but nothing else? all ignition lights went off when i jumped the terminals! does this mean the solenide is ok ?
Based on what you said, you have a dead battery. If you only got weak yellow sparks, and doing that killed all your lights, I would say you just don't have enough juice to crank it over. Dash lights don't take much current to run and will appear reasonably bright, even if the battery is near death. The starter takes quite a load, and if you don't even have the current to run the lights AND turn the starter over, then the battery is most likely your problem. Get the battery load tested as others have suggested, or just get a new battery.

It was either you or the original poster that said their battery was good. One thing to note is that if you put a battery on a charger and it immediately shows as charged, it is most likely NOT ok. This simply means that the battery is not capable of being charged and needs replacement.
 
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