Why Is My Yamaha R1 Not Getting Power?

When a Yamaha motorcycle sits out for the winter and doesn’t get any power when you try to fire it up, could it be that rodents chewed through the wiring? 

Partzilla’s Yamaha motorcycle expert John Talley hosts live Q&A sessions on our YouTube channel every Friday at 3pm Eastern. In this session, John was asked what could be causing a 2010 Yamaha YZFR1 to not power up after sitting inactive for a while.   

Yamaha R1 not getting power wiring harness

Yamaha Motorcycle Not Getting Power Q&A 

My 2010 Yamaha R1 isn’t powering on at all. No lights, not even a fuel pump kicking on after sitting during the winter. I checked the fuses, two new batteries, could the regulator-rectifier cause it? It worked perfectly before, just in January of this year. I don’t know much about bikes but could it be a ground issue since it’s not getting any power at all? 

John Talley: This is where you need to break out a test light and start testing each of these points. But seeing as the bike sat up for just a few months, my question to you is where did it sit? Because you’re right about it not getting power. I’m a little bit suspect as to the condition of the cabling from the switch coming back to the ECU and all the other electronics. Because it sounds like it’s not receiving any information that might even be telling it to turn on, since you’ve gone after the usual suspects. You’ve looked at the fuses, and you’ve gone through not just one, but two batteries. So something is not getting power as it should. Now, could it be the ground? Possibly, but I kind of doubt that. I mean, because it’s a short run, if I remember correctly, on the R1 from the battery negative over to the frame connection where it’s grounded. So I think you should start looking at some of the wiring to make sure it hasn’t possibly been chewed on by some rodent. Hopefully that’s not the case, because that is not fun to run down, and even less fun to straighten out, short of putting on a new harness. 

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Watch the video below for tips on how to do wiring harness repairs.

Watch the video below to learn about the differences between a test light and a multimeter.

Watch the video below to see how to test regulator-rectifiers.

Want to see more live repair questions answered? See more motorcycle and ATV repair questions answered here.



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