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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi guys,

I've got a 2012 Bonnie T100 which is not starting, and proving tricky to problem solve!

What happens:
  • I disarm the alarm, turn the key - head and tail lights come on
  • Dash lights don't come on, fuel pump does not make the usual noise
  • Starter doesn't work (not even a click) and the headlight doesn't dim
  • The alarm, however, does behave strangely: it makes a series of three rapid clicks, goes silent for several seconds, then makes three more rapid clicks
  • (when the key is out of the ignition, the alarm behaves normally - ie. goes off if I knock the bike etc)
Some things do still work with the key in the ignition, even if the bike is not starting:
  • horn, headlight (high and low beam - so the high/low switch works), L and R turn signals (and the turn signal relay by extension)
  • park light works fine
  • rear brake operates the brake light - but for some reason, the front brake does not operate the rear brake light
  • I disassembled the starter relay, and that seems fine...
  • Battery terminals and leads have all been cleaned
  • Fuses are fine
  • The battery is a new lithium-ion one (I thought the last one was the culprit, apparently not...), reads 13.06v
  • Earths seem fine - 13.06v in a number of places
Any thoughts, tips, ideas? I am at a loss and I'm hoping to do a 4-day ride next weekend!!!


Alwyn
 

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My guess, going on what you have said, is that you have broken crimp connections inside the wiring harness. There are 5 connections, all of them are placed right where the harness exits the headlamp shell and passes by the steering head. Movement in the steering causes them to eventually break. Two of these wires are the CANbus wires which go to the instrument cluster. Any breaks in those and the CANbus handshake can't happen so the bike won't run. A good clue is to watch the instruments as you turn on the ignition. If the gauges don't do the initial 'sweep' then that's a good indication of harness trouble. Also, if you still have the original dummy plug, try disconnecting the alarm just to eliminate it.
 

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I've had bad experiences with the alarm on the Bonnie. It had a bad miss at around 4,000rpm and stuttering. Took the alarm out of circuit and replaced with the dummy plug, this resolved my problem. So as Ripper says, try removing the alarm.
 

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I don't want to hijack the thread, but I have had a couple issues on my 2013 Bonneville. Only got her on Thursday and she had 1397 miles on her, so is basically like new. However, a couple of times, when I've gone to start her, nothing has happened. Everything on the panels lights up as it should and the fuel pump makes it's usual noise. But, when I've pulled in the clutch and pressed the starter nothing has happened. It's only happened three times so far. Each time I tried the IT method I use at work (switching it off and again) which has done the trick. I'm thinking she may need a new battery? Already ordered a Motobatt, but could it possibly be something else?
 

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I don't want to hijack the thread, but I have had a couple issues on my 2013 Bonneville. Only got her on Thursday and she had 1397 miles on her, so is basically like new. However, a couple of times, when I've gone to start her, nothing has happened. Everything on the panels lights up as it should and the fuel pump makes it's usual noise. But, when I've pulled in the clutch and pressed the starter nothing has happened. It's only happened three times so far. Each time I tried the IT method I use at work (switching it off and again) which has done the trick. I'm thinking she may need a new battery? Already ordered a Motobatt, but could it possibly be something else?
Doesn't sound like anything to do with the battery. Don't you even get a click? If you're getting absolute silence when you press the start button its got to be something intermittent. I would start by checking fuse#9, make sure that its seating in its contacts and they are clean. Next move onto the starter relay - you can just substitute that with a cheap 5 pin relay (of the same size) from any car parts store. After that, check continuity of the clutch switch, then disassemble the start button and make sure the contacts are clean, not forgetting the spring as that carries the current. You could really use a multimeter and wiring diagram right now so you can do some voltage checks. It cuts out a lot of work. Carry out the above steps one by one, not all together. Do the checking when the bike won't start, else everything will show up as okay.
 

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Doesn't sound like anything to do with the battery. Don't you even get a click? If you're getting absolute silence when you press the start button its got to be something intermittent. I would start by checking fuse#9, make sure that its seating in its contacts and they are clean. Next move onto the starter relay - you can just substitute that with a cheap 5 pin relay (of the same size) from any car parts store. After that, check continuity of the clutch switch, then disassemble the start button and make sure the contacts are clean, not forgetting the spring as that carries the current. You could really use a multimeter and wiring diagram right now so you can do some voltage checks. It cuts out a lot of work. Carry out the above steps one by one, not all together. Do the checking when the bike won't start, else everything will show up as okay.
Okay. I understood some of that. I am a total newbie with very little practical knowledge when it comes to mechanical home repairs. However, the few times it has happened, there has been a click rather than absolute silence.

She is due for her MOT on Thursday, so I will mention it to the guys at the garage then. If there is a problem, hopefully they'll be able to detect/resolve it. Thank you for the advice though. My Haynes manual got delivered yesterday, so will get busy reading that to increase my knowledge/skill level.
 

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Okay. I understood some of that. I am a total newbie with very little practical knowledge when it comes to mechanical home repairs. However, the few times it has happened, there has been a click rather than absolute silence.
Ah, the click changes things you see... it shows that the starter relay is throwing over so all the wiring is okay. I don't know if I can put this in simple enough way for a newbie to fully understand, but there is a 'low voltage threshold' meaning that if the battery voltage falls below about 12.3 volts, the ECU (the bike's computer) will not allow the bike to start. This doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with the battery, this problem has plagued these bikes from day one. You might find that giving the battery a top-up charge will cure it. Meanwhile, make sure that the idle speed is set to 1100 rpm, since below that, the generator does not charge the battery sufficiently.

There are ways around the problem though, and threads on these forums that will tell you how to do it but that will require you dong some simple electrical work. The dealer won't be able to do anything about it, its one of those 'home grown' fixes that can't be fixed by changing stock components.

Stay with the forum, you won't be a newbie for long. There are people on here that know these machines far better than any dealer.
 

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Ah, the click changes things you see... it shows that the starter relay is throwing over so all the wiring is okay. I don't know if I can put this in simple enough way for a newbie to fully understand, but there is a 'low voltage threshold' meaning that if the battery voltage falls below about 12.3 volts, the ECU (the bike's computer) will not allow the bike to start. This doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with the battery, this problem has plagued these bikes from day one. You might find that giving the battery a top-up charge will cure it. Meanwhile, make sure that the idle speed is set to 1100 rpm, since below that, the generator does not charge the battery sufficiently.

There are ways around the problem though, and threads on these forums that will tell you how to do it but that will require you dong some simple electrical work. The dealer won't be able to do anything about it, its one of those 'home grown' fixes that can't be fixed by changing stock components.

Stay with the forum, you won't be a newbie for long. There are people on here that know these machines far better than any dealer.
That made total sense. Thanks for using "newbie speak"! :D

The dealer was supposed to do the MOT before they delivered it to me, but they forgot. The dealer is not in London, where I live, so the MOT will be done at a place local to where I live. But, the dealer has said they will reimburse me the cost as apparently it slipped through the net (they have a new system to catch these things, but it was done, so they had to do it manually yadda yadda yadda).

Anyway, I am enjoying the forum so far. Lots of useful tips and tidbits of information that I keep stumbling across.
 

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Ah, the click changes things you see... it shows that the starter relay is throwing over so all the wiring is okay. I don't know if I can put this in simple enough way for a newbie to fully understand, but there is a 'low voltage threshold'
Ripper ! THANK YOU. Was having the issue since i got my bike, u help me put my worry to rest that i was thinking it could be the Starter, the Relay, batt going bad. Have learned something fruitful today. it could b the battery as i used my bikes average once a week and average travelling each ride about 20-50km, hence the battery might not fully give the voltage it requires or re-charge. usually the day before riding, i would usually give a charge, but sometimes forgot.

Did not know its a known issue as my fren BMW GS310 where we always ride short distant for breakfast, in 1 year, he has never charge, trickle charge or have any of the charger device, it fire up each time he hit the starter. we always travel together, so his bike is also underutilized.
 

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Ripper ! THANK YOU. Was having the issue since i got my bike, u help me put my worry to rest that i was thinking it could be the Starter, the Relay, batt going bad. Have learned something fruitful today. it could b the battery as i used my bikes average once a week and average travelling each ride about 20-50km, hence the battery might not fully give the voltage it requires or re-charge. usually the day before riding, i would usually give a charge, but sometimes forgot.
Yes, it seems to be a glitch that is only on Triumphs. You will find literally hundreds of complaints about it on here. In your case the idle speed may be low, they leave the factory with the speed set at around 900 rpm and that seems to aggravate the problem. Its been found that an idle speed of about 1100 rpm works better - it depends on how much of your journeys are spent idling, such as waiting at junctions or in slow moving traffic. What makes it worse is that the headlamp is always on, so when you come to start the bike that is an instant battery drain until you hit the starter button. There are things you can do to improve the situation, such as an easy-start controller which fits inline with the headlamp bulb and keeps it off until you switch it on, eliminating that initial drain between ignition and starter, and/or a LED headlamp bulb which consumes very little compared to a halogen. The easy start controllers are available commercially for around £30 but if you are okay with doing a bit of wiring you can make your own for the price of a relay and a couple of diodes. There are a couple of threads on here with diagrams and plans on how to build one.

If you are able, its wise to keep an automatic battery tender plugged in whenever the bike is not being used. In my own case, the keyless ignition draws a tiny current even when the bike is off, and although tiny, is enough to flatten the battery within a week of standing.
 

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Yes, it seems to be a glitch that is only on Triumphs. You will find literally hundreds of complaints about it on here. In your case the idle speed may be low, they leave the factory with the speed set at around 900 rpm and that seems to
Thanks Ripper... i make it a point to gear up and a quickie start (ok, i admit am no good in any of these sort of wiring and prefer to leave it as it is as should i forgot to switch on the light, cops are almost everwhere in my area and long run will cost me more $$$), after the needle jump back down. when i got my bike, i adjust to about 900rpm, after reading a few post, have increase it to slightly more than a thousand and presto , no choke requires !
 

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I changed the idle this morning before switching her on and she started first time. I also saw that Motone sell a cable that will stop the voltage drop to the battery from the headlight upon starting. Might look into getting one of those too.
 

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I changed the idle this morning before switching her on and she started first time. I also saw that Motone sell a cable that will stop the voltage drop to the battery from the headlight upon starting. Might look into getting one of those too.
I'm pretty sure your bike will already cut out the headlight when the starter relay operates so you'll be wasting your money.
 

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I changed the idle this morning before switching her on and she started first time. I also saw that Motone sell a cable that will stop the voltage drop to the battery from the headlight upon starting. Might look into getting one of those too.
The 'cable' as you call it, is actually the easy start controller that I was explaining to wke002. The difference in battery voltage drop between a full battery and no start (click) condition is only a few tenths of a volt so these are very useful - although they are not a cure for the problem, they will help. They are also pretty easy to make yourself for a fraction of the cost. Though I am aware that as a newbie it would probably be easier for you to buy a commercial one, take a look at this thread - this is a multiple mod headlamp improvement, so ignore everything except the control section. The rest is about getting a brighter, more efficient headlamp.


Also, the enricher control (on carbed models this is the 'choke') on the EFI models should be pulled out to the first stop (halfway) before starting, even when the engine is warm or on a hot day. Your users handbook will tell you that. There have been a number of members on here that complained about poor starting (nothing to do with the 'click' start) and this information has solved their problem.

I'm pretty sure your bike will already cut out the headlight when the starter relay operates so you'll be wasting your money.
Not so - the headlight only cuts out whilst the starter button is being pressed. But the headlight comes on with the key and puts a drain (55 watts on low beam - that's 4.5 amps) on the battery until the start button is pressed. That drain can be enough to prevent starting.
 

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The 'cable' as you call it, is actually the easy start controller that I was explaining to wke002. The difference in battery voltage drop between a full battery and no start (click) condition is only a few tenths of a volt so these are very useful - although they are not a cure for the problem, they will help. They are also pretty easy to make yourself for a fraction of the cost. Though I am aware that as a newbie it would probably be easier for you to buy a commercial one, take a look at this thread - this is a multiple mod headlamp improvement, so ignore everything except the control section. The rest is about getting a brighter, more efficient headlamp.
Ok, I'm with you now regarding the cable. And thanks for the link. I'll definitely give it a read.

Also, the enricher control (on carbed models this is the 'choke') on the EFI models should be pulled out to the first stop (halfway) before starting, even when the engine is warm or on a hot day. Your users handbook will tell you that. There have been a number of members on here that complained about poor starting (nothing to do with the 'click' start) and this information has solved their problem.
So far (this morning and this evening) with the choke pulled out, there has been no issues starting. I'll make sure to do this each time though.

Ripper, you a star. 5 cool credits for you.
 

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Yep, pull that "choke" out to first (or second if chilly) every time and off you go. I'd also suggest a trickle charger if you can hook one up when you park bike at home.
Enjoy your bike.
 

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Yep, pull that "choke" out to first (or second if chilly) every time and off you go. I'd also suggest a trickle charger if you can hook one up when you park bike at home.
Enjoy your bike.
Unfortunately, the part of London where I live (which is pretty central) means I have no garage. So trickle charge is not an option. However, Penny will be my daily ride, so no chance of her battery going flat. I rode my 125cc everyday for 2 years in all weather and plan to do the same with Penny (that's my bike's name, in case anyone was wondering).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
My guess, going on what you have said, is that you have broken crimp connections inside the wiring harness. There are 5 connections, all of them are placed right where the harness exits the headlamp shell and passes by the steering head. Movement in the steering causes them to eventually break. Two of these wires are the CANbus wires which go to the instrument cluster. Any breaks in those and the CANbus handshake can't happen so the bike won't run. A good clue is to watch the instruments as you turn on the ignition. If the gauges don't do the initial 'sweep' then that's a good indication of harness trouble. Also, if you still have the original dummy plug, try disconnecting the alarm just to eliminate it.
Ripper

Thanks for the tip. This is exactly what had happened. Coincidentally, two wires had become disconnected about the same time - the front brake light being one of them, which added a bit of confusion.

I also took the opportunity to ditch the alarm. Much recommended, it's nice not to have to worry about it!
 

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Ripper

Thanks for the tip. This is exactly what had happened. Coincidentally, two wires had become disconnected about the same time - the front brake light being one of them, which added a bit of confusion.

I also took the opportunity to ditch the alarm. Much recommended, it's nice not to have to worry about it!
Thanks for the feedback agjj, its good to know when I get things right. The Triumph alarm can be troublesome but I wouldn't recommend to anyone to remove it permanently, as it may put the rider out of their comfort zone, unless it was making the bike unusable. But personally I'm against alarms as no one tends to take any notice. The money, IMO is better spent on a tracker.
 
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