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Motorcycle Repair/Bike wont start


Hi, I need your help with my 1997 Yamaha zeal, bike wont start, battery is full charge, head light signal light and horn is working well. I noticed that when I start the bike the relay just keeps on clicking. I tried to change the relay but ignition still wont start, same clicking sound on relay. I tried to start and hold the switch its just keeps on clicking. Previously I noticed that the ignition wont start the first time I switch it, it may take up to 3 times clicking the switch until the bike will start.

A day before, I rode on heavy rain, I don't know if it matters. Please reply I need your help. My bike is my only source of transportation.

Hi Alex,

First off all, clean the battery and cable terminals from any rust, grease or oily residue and check for looseness.

After that, check the battery ground. Follow the thick black(-) cable from the battery, to find the point it connects to the engine (usually on one of the bolts that hold the starter motor). Check the connection for rust or looseness. The best is to remove the terminal from the engine and rub it with some sandpaper. Do the same to the surface that it contacts to the engine.

It is a very common issue that although the battery seems fully charged, can not withstand the extreme load of the starter motor. Although it seems O.K. , when you try to start, the voltage drops abnormally and that's when the relay starts clicking.  If you have a voltmeter, connect it to the battery, try to start the engine and observe the voltage. If it drops below 10V when you push the starter button, the battery is bad.

If you don't have a voltmeter, press the brakes (doesn't matter front or rear) and while pushing the starter button, observe the stop light. If it goes off-and-on proportionally to the relay clicking, then you have insufficient power from the battery.

Do these checks, and get back to me with results.

Best Regards,

Motorcycle Repair

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Lazaros Ampatzidis


I can help you on EVERY issue involving POST-1980 Japanese Motorcycles plus KTM and Husaberg. My field of expertise includes Engine, Transmission, Fuel system (carburation & EFI),Electrics and Electronics. Maintenance, repair and tuning. Road and off-road suspension tuning. Please don't ask me about non-Japanese Motorcycle, especially American built on which I have low to zero experience.


I'm a rider and hobbyist since childhood. 25 years motorcycle workshop mechanic.15 years motorcycle racing mechanic. In order of experience high to low:Kawasaki,Suzuki,Honda,Yamaha,KTM,Husaberg.

Hellenic (Greek) Technical School.Internal Combustion Engines Engineer. Automotive Electronics.

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