T-bird Sport wont start after soaking rain - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Hinckley Classic Triples 885cc Classic Styled T3's: Legend, Thunderbird, Thunderbird Sport & Adventurer.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 250
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 46
A friend of mine has a Thunderbird Sport. The bike sat out in the rain yesterday, and when he went to leave work, he had to fiddle with the ignition before the bike would start.

Today it won't start at all. With the key in park, he has lights, with the key in run he doesn't get any lights and the bike won't start.

He tried using a blower to dry things out, but that hasn't helped.

Any help/advise to get him back out on the road would be appreciated.
morecarl is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 10:15 AM
Lifetime Premium
Site Supporter
Moto Grand Prix
Main Motorcycle: Mutato -- 2K Adventurer
jimmyj900's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Leander, Texas, USA
Posts: 2,625
The first thing to check on a Triumph with an electrical problem is the level of fluid in the battery. If the level is low, top it off with distilled water and put it on a charger for a while.

If you're getting a solenoid 'click' from under the front of the seat disconnect the battery leads, wire brush the leads and battery terminals until shiny and grease them to prevent corrosion or oxidation. If there's no solenoid click the switches are usually the problem.

High humidity, high temperatures and salt air can wreak havoc on an electrical system, so the first things I'd check are the clutch switch, the kickstand switch and the start switch. Look for sticking, but clean and grease them anyhow.

If that doesn't do it, let us know and we'll pursue it further.

Good luck!

jimmyj900 is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 11:19 AM
Senior Member
Site Supporter
Main Motorcycle: '04 Thunderbird Sport
Wombat's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Ex-pat Aussie in Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 9,800
Other Motorcycle: I wish!
With no light in the run position, it sounds to me like the ignition switch has gone belly up.


Click to see My Photo Album

Age is of no importance, unless you are a cheese.
Wombat is online now  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 11:23 AM
Lifetime Premium
Site Supporter
Formula Extreme
Main Motorcycle: Whatever I'm riding....
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Grapevine TX
Posts: 714
Other Motorcycle: 07 Tiger ABS & 79 T140
Extra Motorcycle: 95 TB & 08 Ducati S4RS
Spray WD-40 into the ignition lock to try to drive out the wet.


"Panniers can never hold everything you want, but they CAN hold everything you need."
parrycm is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 01:00 PM
Senior Member
Main Motorcycle: Triumph
johnyC's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: AYR, Scotland
Posts: 1,576
My TBS is occassionally reluctant to start because I have a dodgy clutch interlock switch. Try dabbing the clutch lever in and out as you push the start button and see if that makes any difference.

johny. the boy's happy, leave him alone.
johnyC is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
Grand Prix 250
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA, USA
Posts: 46
I'm guessing that the problem is with the ignition switch since the lights (headlight, diagnostic lights, etc.) aren't lighting up when he turns the key to 'Run', but the lights do turn on when he turns the key to 'Park'.

I don't believe the interlocks would prevent the lights from turning on, would they?
morecarl is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-02-2005, 01:36 PM
Senior Member
Formula Extreme
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Wing, Bucks, UK
Posts: 448
There have been a couple/several TBS ignition switch failures reported on this forumn lately.

Have you tried the WD40 suggestion to drive the moisture out?

Good luck.

My Photo Album
bobshields55 is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-05-2005, 10:56 PM
Grand Prix 250
Main Motorcycle: 2000 TBS
Join Date: May 2005
Location: minneapolis, mn
Posts: 43
Other Motorcycle: 2000 Sprint ST
Extra Motorcycle: 1976 Honda 550K
my ignition switch got a bit sticky after riding in some rain showers.. put a little motor oil on the key and worked it into the switch. works great again. ( ignition switch on my old suzuki went out from weather, too.. had to replace it.)
aeycue is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter your valid email address, that can receive an automated confirmation message. Otherwise, you won't be able to gain full access.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bike Wont start jimmydean Speed Triple Forum 5 08-28-2007 04:24 PM
Wont Start!! Classic, Vintage & Veteran 32 05-08-2005 11:18 AM
legend wont start yellowLEGEND Hinckley Classic Triples 7 03-18-2005 11:55 PM
New bike wont start... Triumph SuperSports 10 06-08-2004 10:27 AM
HELP. SPRINT ST WONT START Maintenance & Workshop Talk 6 03-28-2004 02:29 AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome