Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley – February 25, 2022

John Talley brings you another edition of Partzilla Live Q&A, answering your motorcycle and ATV repair questions.

Honda motorcycle and ATV electrical problems were brought up several times during this session. Check out some excerpts from Partzilla’s latest live Q&A session below, and tune into our YouTube and Facebook channels every Friday at 3pm Eastern for the next edition. 

Partzilla Live Q&A with John Talley 02-25-22

Partzilla Live Q&A Highlights – Honda Motorcycle & ATV Electrical Problems

Honda ATV Electrical Problems

I just rebuilt the top end of my TRX 700XX but it didn't start. What could be the problem?

John Talley: Alright, back to basics. Do you have enough power? Are you getting a spark? Is it timed correctly? That’s usually one that gets everybody on any 4-stroke, check for timing. Start with the basics and work your way out from there.

The main 10 amp fuse on my Honda Rancher 420 blows as soon as I place it in? No power to anything on the machine but lights. Any ideas? 

John Talley: Well, obviously there’s a direct short. I mean, if the machine is shut down and you put in that fuse and it pops immediately, there’s something shorted to ground. And typically when you see that, especially on a utility type machine, I wonder if you’ve been storing it outside or maybe in a barn, and it’s been sitting for a while. I’m thinking something maybe made a nest somewhere in the electrical harness and you’ve got two lines that are now making direct contact. So it’s going to be a game of finding the ground. One of the best ways I know to do that is to have a battery connected to the machine and then use a test light. Have the test side or the clamps side go to your positive, and that way whenever you hit a negative or ground with your probe, it’s going to light up the test light, and that’ll help make it easier to trace down where this is going on. Just keep in mind as you’re peeking around your wiring harness not to jab a bunch of holes in the wires themselves. Because when you do that, you have a perfectly sealed wire inside of an insulator and if you poke a hole in it, that means water and condensation and whatever can get in there will start to corrode that wire. 

Honda Motorcycle Electrical Problems

Thank you for your videos, you’ve been a huge help. I’m having an issue on a 2003 Honda Shadow VT750. The wires at the plug from the regulator-rectifier have started smoking and melting. Is this caused by the regulator-rectifier going bad? 

John Talley: Well, there’s one way you can run this down if the machine will start. See what your voltage is. If it’s anything over 14, say 14.2, 14.3 volts, then that’s too much. It should be around 13.8 to 14. A 2003 isn’t ancient but I would hazard to guess at almost 20 years old that those wires have finally broken down … Either the rubber is starting to break down or there’s so much corrosion in the end of the spark plug cap that it’s ramping up the amperage super high because of the corrosion. You have X amount of power that’s trying to get through there and if it can’t go through the hose, then either the hose is not big enough or it’s broken down and it’s going to burn up or blow up that hose. My best bet here is to do a voltage test with the machine running if possible and if not, replace the caps and the coils with the wires as a unit. Don’t just do one and not the other. 


Want to see more live repair questions answered? See all of Partzilla’s past Live Q&A sessions here.  



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