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  • Title Page- Starter Button Repair
  • Original Author- Highside

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Hey Folks,

Another heads up. I had to push start the Valk several times today due to a bad starter
button. The times when I was able to get it started, after 50 or so presses on the button,
my headlights would not work. This is due to the headlight cutoff function integrated
into the button switch and the nature of the failure (more later).

Got it started (finally) and cruised to Plano Honda.

When presented with the problem, the Service Manager at Plano Honda sprayed some
cleaner around the switch button, all to no avail. After ordering a new warranty part, they
made no offer to look at it further nor did they offer any possible solutions other than to
buy some spray cleaner. I left there determined to fix it myself and then find another

The Switch (click for pic)

First advice. Spraying contact cleaner or tuner cleaner into and around the switch or
weep holes is virtually worthless. Forget it, you won't get any into the sealed switch. If
you do, it won't reach the electrical contacts. Disassembly is required to properly cure
this issue.

Therein lies the problem, the
6 contacts inside of the switch. Two are "floating" and four
are "fixed". The switch also contains 3 springs and one ball bearing. All potentially part
of the problem, however I bet that the majority of the problems with this switch boil down
to the two "floating" contacts being either mangled, pitted or heat-welded into the
surrounding plastic of the button shaft.

The button shaft houses these "floating" contacts and they are best described as a
jumper. They are a tiny, single piece of metal that rides on a spring which presses the
contacts into the four upper "fixed" contacts, two at a time.

The front set of upper contacts allows the light circuit to function when the key is on
(button out). When the button is depressed, the starter is naturally engaged and the
headlight is temporarily disabled to provide additional current capacity to the starter
and/or to extend battery life.

In my case, the lower contacts were bent and twisted and heat-welded into the
surrounding plastic. Not arc'd or pitted as I expected. Seems unusual.

I'm sure this switch was not really meant to be serviced, but it can be done. That's how I
know about the little ball bearing. :-) You'll see where it goes when you disassemble

Advice number two: Open the switch assembly carefully as I  lost one of the small
springs that interfaces with the ball bearing. Even without this spring, I was able to get
the switch functioning again. :-)

I straightened/reformed the lower contacts and then cleaned up the contacts with some
0000 steel wool and a little contact cleaner. Since I was not able to get the springy
contacts perfectly reformed, I have a slight drag on the return after pressing the button,
but hey, it works and my headlight functions again.

Here's how ya fix it

The button/switch can be accessed by removing the two phillips head screws located
underneath the button/kill switch housing assembly. This housing also serves to hold
the throttle on (no worries) as the lower half of this housing has a post that mates with a
corresponding hole drilled into the handlebars. You do not have to mess with the throttle
cables at all. Very simple disassembly.

Once the screws are removed, let the
lower half of the housing hang down until you can
get to the
small phillips screw that holds down a small piece of metal that acts as a wire
strain relief/fastener. Below this you'll see the
final small phillips screw that is holding the
starter button in. Remove it and the
switch can be removed from the lower housing.

Once the switch is exposed, carefully spread the body of the upper part of the assembly
until the little plastic -side wings-  no longer hold the contact plate and wires to the
switch body.
You'll see what I mean.

Once this is done the switch can be
serviced on a workbench for final disassembly and

Be careful when separating the button shaft from the switch body.
There's springs in
Careful attention will show you where to replace the springs. It's easy, even if you
lose the spring that interfaces with the ball bearing! :-)

Make sure you also clean the
contact plate and contacts that forms the top of the switch

Clean, reassemble, reinstall and test. Total reassembly is not required to test. You can
snap the button/switch body onto the contact plate and test it without final reassembly.
Use the needlenose pliers or grips to completely seat the contact plate to the switch
body. Ensure that it is completely seated or it will not function.

In my case, I took it apart two-three times to alleviate some of the drag created by the
once-mangled lower contacts. No big deal once you've
done it the first time. Takes 1-2
minutes tops.

Stuff you'll need, and yes, this can be done roadside:

small needlenose pliers or small needlenose vice grips
medium and small phillips screwdrivers
small and large flat blade screwdriver
contact cleaner or WD-40
steel wool or sandpaper

I hope you don't ever have to do this, but I figured I would share the experience. It truly
could be serviced roadside if necessary.

Robert aka Highside
Riding Purple Haze

The Disclaimer
No wiring was removed nor disturbed in this process. However, it's always wise to
disconnect your battery
. I would encourage this practice. I would also recommend
checking your starter circuit fuse prior to dismantling the switch. If you are not
comfortable with these procedures, consult your local dealer.  F6Rider Webzine    ShopTalk    Just Pics    Valkyrie Hot Links