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Discussion Starter #1
The bike is a 2009 Victory Vision with 80k on it. Only modification is reverse and a power line leading to a plug for a trickle charger or electric clothing.

Ran the bike for a couple of hours that day pulled up in the driveway shut it off and then it would not come back on. It flashed a slight light on the dash showing the neutral light then nothing.

It now comes on intermittently when the ignition is in the on position.

I assumed it was the ignition switch. Removed disassembled and lubed it up (ordered a new one out of fear they would stop making them) and pulled it back in. Bike lit up like it supposed to, fuel pump came on, thought I fix it. Wrong.

After some additional reassembly I tried turning the bike on again and nothing but the sight lighting of some of the insterments. Checked voltage at the battery it was fine (12.9 volts). Voltage at the switch was fine and across the switch it was fine. Interestingly when switched off the pink and brown lines which should read 0 (I assume) are showing 4.2 volts.

I unplugged the ignition switch and jumper across the contacts. Bike did nothing again. I started checking voltage. Across the switch was fine so I began checking fuses. Really did nothing to move any wires and low and behold the bike came on (ie the lights came on and the fuel pump fired up). I moved a few wires and the some parts of the exposed harness but could not get the bike to loose power.

Something very strange is happening and I am lost as to what to check next.
 

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I can offer no help but encouragement to keep looking. Intermittent problems are the hardest to solve.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the encouragement vinish. By the way we were just down in your town last month. Took a trip to Lake Lure and did some riding and investigating the possibility of moving to the area. Kind of concluded it was a bit busy around Ashville and expensive. We are now looking at Bristol and Johnson City since I have a job opportunity in that area. We also concluded that a vision and yamaha venture are not the ideal bikes for a lot of those roads. 15-20 mph blind, decreasing radius turns are great on a small sport bike but not these two beasts.

As far as the wire diagram, the shop manual has them. I am tracing wires from the switch to the next block connector but getting at some of them requires some work. The fact that it came on and them went off tells me something along with the voltage on the other side of the switch when it is in the off position. I am thinking some other hot line off the battery must be shorting out but so far the battery is holding a charge. I also do not see any other wires off the battery other than the heavy line to the starter solenoid. I am going to swap out the battery today and that will give me a look around in that area for something. I am fairly sure I should not be seeing any voltage on the pink and brown lines leading away from the starter switch when the switch is off and even disconnected.
 

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Sounds like a loose connection to me.

A loose connection can create a high resistance point in the circuit that would mimic the symptoms you're seeing. Intermittent low voltage conditions. Not a short. From what I read in your post, your battery is holding its charge.

The loose connection can be from a worn relay. Breaking contact causes an arc which eventually reduces the contact area between contacts. From what I've seen on my newly acquired Hammer, turning the ignition key closes the relay. Haven't looked at the wiring diagram, but maybe try removing the main lighting relay and see what happens? This can also occur at the ignition switch.
 

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Give me a shout if you have any questions about the area. Yes, Asheville is expensive and crowded but surrounding areas are neither crowded or expensive. I live about 8 miles west of Hendersonville and it is neither crowded or expensive. I ride a Victory Cross country Tour and I love the tight twisty roads in this area. The riding within 20 miles of me is better than the Tail of the Dragon.
 

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I remember a few years ago I was riding in Northern Arizona. It was early summer, but cold. Rain and snow. I stopped to do some filming (snow is always wonderful for us desert dwellers). Got back on the bike (M109R), and it wouldn't start. Not a click. Nothing.

I pulled out my tool roll and stopped and thought a minute. Then I removed the cover to the switches on the left hand. It had water, so I blew it out, put it back together, and the bike started right up.

Your main lighting runs through this switch cluster. Maybe want to check this? Could be you have a foreign, conductive object that is shunting the current from the lighting circuit to ground. Intermittent due to the handlebar movement and vibration. It would explain your symptoms.

Hopefully this anecdote is useful.
 

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@BlackhawkFan has a good suggestion. I periodically blow-out my switches with contact cleaner...(like once a month). If I don't, I notice funky things starting to happen, like one side turn signals not coming on, dash lights blinking or even the headlight going out. If I keep the switches clean and dry I have no issues.
 

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I remember eading about the OEM relays or C/B I guess it is being not so good. I replaced mine with a good quality BUSS, and cleaned the battery terminals while I was in there. Agree the battery may be source. I came home from a 3000+ mile trip and next day went to start bike and lights, but no action. Then no lights. Ended up being the battery. Load test it, if you dont have the equipment swing by one of the auto stores. Hope you get it solved.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Battery good

I did some checking last night and found the battery is find and the breaker is fine. I took my line to the trickle charger was not the problem, I checked voltage across the block connectors for both handle bar controls. All that showed me is that there was 12 volts to many of them when the ignition was on and 4.8 volts to all but one with the ignition is off. I pulled all the relays on both fuse block and check voltage and found something interesting. One of the relays showed 12 volts at all contacts. That made not sense and need further investigation. With the ignition off I got 12 volts at one the expected points and 4.8 volts again at the other contacts. I have been thinking about that relay with 12 volts at all points all night. It really make no sense and cold be pointing to the problem. If I am not mistaken the purpose of the relay is to close the circuit with the relay in place. I had the relay in my hand and all of the contact points on the fuse block read 12.9 volts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Relays how do they work

Ok so I check the voltage on each of the contacts at several of the relays on the fuse block on the right side of the windshield. This is with the relay pulled out.

the attached photo show the meter probe on the upper left hand contact of the Engine relay

Fuel pump/ignition coil relay

Ignition switch off
three pins show 3.5 volts and one showed 12.8

Ignition switch on
two left hand pins showed 12.8 and the two right hand pins showed 11 and 11.5

I am at a loss to understand what happens with this relay when it is in place.

Engine Relay

Ignition switch off
two left hand pins 12.4 and 12.8 volts
two right hand pins 3.4 and 0.03 volts

Ignitions switch on
two right left hand pins 12.4 and 12.8
the two right hand pins 11.1 and .13

Again I have no idea what the relay actually closes at this location.

Head light control relay

Ignition switch off
3.4 on all four contacts
Ignition on
12.7 volts on all contacts

Chassis Electrical Relay
(this relay has five contact pins but only the four corner pins appear to have a contact)
Ignition off
3.6 volts on the two left hand contacts
3.6 volts on the right hand upper contact and 12.8 on the lower
Ignition On
12.7 volts and 11.2 volts on the left hand contact
12.7 and 11.2 on the right hand contacts

Headlight Switching Relay
5 pin relay
Ignition off
3.8 volts on all contacts
Ignition switch on
11.5 volts on all contact.

The run stop switch was closed.

Let me know if you can make sense out of this information.
 

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I checked voltage across the block connectors for both handle bar controls. All that showed me is that there was 12 volts to many of them when the ignition was on and 4.8 volts to all but one with the ignition is off. I pulled all the relays on both fuse block and check voltage and found something interesting. One of the relays showed 12 volts at all contacts. That made not sense and need further investigation. With the ignition off I got 12 volts at one the expected points and 4.8 volts again at the other contacts. I have been thinking about that relay with 12 volts at all points all night. It really make no sense and cold be pointing to the problem. If I am not mistaken the purpose of the relay is to close the circuit with the relay in place. I had the relay in my hand and all of the contact points on the fuse block read 12.9 volts.
You should see 12V or 0V. The 4.8V COULD indicate a partial short, meaning your battery would be discharging when the ignition is off. Caveat is there IS some vampiric current draw on your bike, as is with all modern electronics. 4.8V means that voltage is being regulated (converted from 12V to 5V, filtered and regulated) and probably powers maintenance functions, so take my statement with a grain of salt.

You can check if your circuit has a partial short by disconnecting the negative at the battery. Take the disconnected negative cable and touch it to a bare part of the bike's frame. Look for sparking, which indicates current flow. You may see a small spark, depending on how much current is flowing, and probably best done in low light. If you have a multimeter with amps function, place one probe on the negative terminal and the other on the disconnected battery cable. Amps are measured in series, so the meter has to be in line as part of the circuit. (Note: Clamp-on ammeters work by induction and only measure AC current, just in case you were wondering.)
 

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I'll get to your longer post after I've had some coffee.

But until then, I'll address the subject of how relays work.

As I stated earlier, opening contacts under load (while current flows) causes an arcing (sparking) across the contacts. Arcing transfers metal between the contacts. This is the same principle with arc welding.

A relay uses a coil to open and close those contacts. This prevents (in a perfect world) the contacts from welding close. The contacts are under spring tension, so when the actuating coil (RED in the diagram below) loses power, spring tension opens the contacts very quickly, reducing dwell (welding) time.

With the ignition switch OFF, you should see 12V on the battery side of the relay. The load side should be 0V.

Generally speaking, if you see anything but 0V on the load side, it indicates a current path to ground (battery negative), meaning you COULD have a partial short on that section of the circuit. Note also that this depends on your reference, meaning how good your ground point is. When troubleshooting electrical issues with my bikes, use bolts on the main frame. I've found that bolts on the triple trees may not be at true ground.

If you see anything except 0V on the load side, it could also mean the contacts aren't opening fully. Arcing between contacts will produce a thin bridge of metal between contacts. This bridge will have more resistance than contacts in the fully closed position, therefore the voltage drop across the contacts will measure less than the source (battery). Hopefully I didn't confuse you with this statement.

Hope this helps.
 

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Fuel pump/ignition coil relay

Ignition switch off
three pins show 3.5 volts and one showed 12.8

Ignition switch on
two left hand pins showed 12.8 and the two right hand pins showed 11 and 11.5

I am at a loss to understand what happens with this relay when it is in place.
OFF - 12.8V is battery side. 3.5V indicate a partial short or your relay isn't opening properly due to wear.

ON - 12.8V --> 11.5V is the voltage drop across the contacts. Somewhat normal, but I think your contacts are worn.

I recommend you buy a new relay (one for your main lighting circuit) and use it to replace your relays, one at a time to see if the issue persists.

I also recommend that you open up both switch housings next to your hand grips, look closely for foreign objects and corrosion, check for loose connections, and spray it down with something like WD40 to displace any moisture.
 

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Engine Relay

Ignition switch off
two left hand pins 12.4 and 12.8 volts
two right hand pins 3.4 and 0.03 volts

Ignitions switch on
two right left hand pins 12.4 and 12.8
the two right hand pins 11.1 and .13
OFF - 3.4V doesn't seem right. I think it should be 0V. I don't have access to the schematics or wiring diagram, but to me, an engine relay should be for the ignition coils (two current feeds, one per coil). Does the engine run rough? I think this relay is bad. Contacts are shot (partially closed due to arcing).

ON - 0.13V doesn't seem right. If you remove the relay, what is the resistance of that pin to ground? 0.13V indicates either the relay contacts aren't closing or you have a direct short to ground. Your original post, if I read it correctly, says your battery isn't going dead. THIS COULD BE YOUR PROBLEM. Try replacing this relay and see what happens.
 

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Head light control relay

Ignition switch off
3.4 on all four contacts
Ignition on
12.7 volts on all contacts
OFF - 3.4V isn't right. I'd expect to see 12V on the battery side and 0V on the load side. Did you take the relay mounting block apart? Seems to me there's something inside it that shouldn't be. Something is shunting (shorting, bypassing) this part of the circuit. If you saw 3.4V on only one side, I'd trace the circuit on both sides (battery, load) to see if there's an issue.

ON - Normal
 

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Discussion Starter #18
OFF - 3.4V doesn't seem right. I think it should be 0V. I don't have access to the schematics or wiring diagram, but to me, an engine relay should be for the ignition coils (two current feeds, one per coil). Does the engine run rough? I think this relay is bad. Contacts are shot (partially closed due to arcing).

ON - 0.13V doesn't seem right. If you remove the relay, what is the resistance of that pin to ground? 0.13V indicates either the relay contacts aren't closing or you have a direct short to ground. Your original post, if I read it correctly, says your battery isn't going dead. THIS COULD BE YOUR PROBLEM. Try replacing this relay and see what happens.
Keep in mind they reading were taken with the relay removed from the socket. Those are the reading for the contact. What is happening in the relay itself is something I have not checked yet since what is happening beyond the relay seems crazy.
 

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Chassis Electrical Relay
(this relay has five contact pins but only the four corner pins appear to have a contact)
Ignition off
3.6 volts on the two left hand contacts
3.6 volts on the right hand upper contact and 12.8 on the lower
Ignition On
12.7 volts and 11.2 volts on the left hand contact
12.7 and 11.2 on the right hand contacts
Same as previous post.

OFF - 12.8V should be your battery, so that's normal.

ON - Normal, but load side voltages are a bit low, indicating, IMO, that your relay could be worn.
 

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Headlight Switching Relay
5 pin relay
Ignition off
3.8 volts on all contacts
Ignition switch on
11.5 volts on all contact.

The run stop switch was closed.
OFF - Not normal IMO, but this could be controlled by something else (ie: My Hammer has a feature where the engine can be off but the tail light is on. An emergency function, I imagine.).

ON - Normal.

Run/Stop should only affect your ignition coils. This could be an issue (see my reply regarding your engine relay findings). I HIGHLY suggest you take the handlebar switch groups apart and check them as I recommended previously.
 
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