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Where is the starter solenoid on Yamaha Virago 700?

This is a discussion on Where is the starter solenoid on Yamaha Virago 700? within the Yamaha forums, part of the Manufacturers category; Help! I have a 1985 Yamaha Virago 700. I need to find the starter solenoid, or starter relay, for my ...


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Old 01-11-2009   #1
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Default Where is the starter solenoid on Yamaha Virago 700?

Help! I have a 1985 Yamaha Virago 700. I need to find the starter solenoid, or starter relay, for my motorcycle. Where is that located on my motorcycle?My motorcycle isn't starting -- the starter motor doesn't turn, although the headlight dims and the OIL light comes on when I push the starter button.
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Old 05-22-2012   #2
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Default Starter problems

Hi! Did you ever figure out what was going on? I have a 1985 Yamaha Virago with the exact same thing going on. I'd really really appreciate any information you can pass along!

Thanks!
Sarah
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Old 05-30-2012   #3
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Default Solution and instructions

I was able to resolve things, so here's how it goes, completely spelled out, for anyone else who has this issue.


Bike: 1985 Yamaha Virago, 700cc


Symptoms:
Bike won't start.
Headlight cuts out and oil light comes on when you try to start.
Doesn't even try to turn over.
Clicks once when you press the button, once when you release.


Where is the Starter Relay:
As you're looking at the bike from the right side, the starter relay is just to the right of the battery casing. You can look from by the cylinders toward that area and see two bits sticking out - posts with nuts on them. You can also just follow the thick black cable from the positive battery terminal and it goes to the relay. In addition to this cable, there is a striped (in my case green with white) wire that goes to the other post.


Testing the Relay:
You can test the relay while it's still connected using a tester, using the negative bit to the negative terminal of the battery, and the positive bit to the terminals of the relay. Test the relay while it sits, and when you press the starter button. On the one side (from the battery) it should go from 12 to 0, and the other should go from 0 to 12 (because it's sending out the power). Mine read right around 12 on the one side both times, and the other went from 4.9 to 2.9, which I don't understand. You can also test the relay once you've gotten it out, using an ohmeter. It should offer up resistance when you test it, but mine sat at 0.


Removing the Relay:
DISCONNECT THE BATTERY BEFORE YOU REMOVE THE RELAY. It doesn't matter if the bike is off, you WILL see sparks fly if you don't disconnect the battery first.

To remove the battery and relay, the tool you'll need will be 10mm. You'll also want to take the seat off, but for me that uses a hex wrench, I forget what size. I just keep it with my bike at all times.

Remove the battery and set it aside. Remove the casing the battery stays in as well; it was difficult for me, due to the parts sticking out on the bottom, but if you use a large flathead screwdriver as a ramp, it's much easier to get the bottom up over the frame.

Now you can get to the relay. You'll have to undo the nuts for the bracket it's in as well as for the relay itself, and you'll need to disconnect the cable that goes between the battery and the relay as well as the striped wire mentioned earlier. The second wire is small and should just come un-snapped. In my case, we just completely undid the cable that came from the positive battery terminal and kept it with the battery. The red cord from that just snaps in to another section under the seat.


Where to buy a new relay:
I ordered mine from Amazon.com: Starter Solenoid Relay Yamaha XV700 Virago 700 1984-1985: Automotive

Company named Caltric out in CA, shipped to NC. Said it'd be 3-5 business days, got it in one. Very impressed with them. One year warranty through Amazon, 3 month warranty with eBay (and a dollar more expensive).


Installation:
It's the same as removal, just in reverse. It was pretty simple.


Tip:
If you're like me and took everything apart before ordering the new relay, here's a trick to not lose any nuts, washers, or anything else while you wait for the new part - tape. Take some packing tape or whatever and tape the nuts and other small items to the piece they go with. If there's not something convenient to tape them to, tape them to a sheet of paper and write down what they go to next to where you've taped them. Keep everything together, and it'll make things easier when you're putting things back together.
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