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I have an 86 Aspencade 1200 that I just acquired. Put in a new battery and changed the fuel and it started right up. Drove it for a couple small trips and suddenly it wouldn't start. It cranks over great, but doesn't seem to have a spark. Occasionally while cranking it will spit or backfire. I checked kill switch and ignition switch and both seem fine. I charged the battery overnight, then the next morning it started right up. Today it died again. I hooked up jumper cables and it cranks, but wouldn't start. Finally I just pushed it and dropped the clutch and it fired right up. Once it's running, it doesn't have any problems. I don't want to spend a bunch of money replacing parts. I don't really have any idea what might be the problem. Anybody run into something similar and figure out what might be wrong or have any ideas where to look?
 

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First, welcome to the GWOF!:smile2:

Even though it's new, I would have the battery load tested. Free at most auto parts stores. If it is fine after started, then the stator must be throwing enough power. If the stator wires have not been cut, soldered and shrink-tubed, I'd do that. Which leads to the third suspect, the starter solenoid. If it is OEM then it is definitely suspect at 29 years old. It's to the right of the battery on the left side of your bike and has a goofy thing called a "dogbone fuse" in it. If the resistance in that fuse or the other connections in that solenoid are high due to corrosion or whatever it will act like it's working when in fact it's dying.

My '85 GL1200 Aspy had this happen in Sturgis almost two years ago. The solenoid block had turned into Bakelite from all the internal heat. I'm soon selling that Wing with the John Deere lawn tractor solenoid I installed there to fix it. Works every time, and has a proper glass tube fuse. Blade fuses are also fine. Don't save money on the solenoid. All of the power of the bike runs through it. Doesn't have to be Honda for $85; my John Deere job only cost $20 all in.
 

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Thanks Tatanka,
I checked out the dog-bone fuse and it looked good. I might try bypassing it just to see if that's the problem. I'll take a look at the solenoid too. I was wondering if the voltage is dropping during cranking and there is something in the circuit that then prevents the ignition from firing when the voltage is too low. That might explain why I was able to push start it. When I bought the bike I was told it needed new coils, but I kind of figured since it ran that the coils were O.K. Just wondering if that might be it.
 

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Welcome to GWOF from Down Under.

Just between you and me, don't tell that Tatanka guy,:serious: them dog bone fuse are a real pain in the butt. How ever it looks, change it out. I put in the bayonet type car 30 amp fuse in my bike.
 

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Just went through this with my Honda riding mower yesterday. Took the cables off the battery and cleaned all contacts with a small wire brush, then recleaned with a shot of contact cleaner. Then sprayed contact cleaner in around where the wires are crimped/clamped onto the battery connectors. Fires up every time again now.
 

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If the battery checks out, and there's nothing iffy with the fuse and solenoid, then my money's on the ignition coils/modules. Might be hard to source unless there's a jobber/non-OEM replacement for them as that vintage is long discontinued from Honda. I have sourced ignition modules for '80s Magnas etc on e-Bay.
Welcome to the forum!
 

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Thanks Tatanka,
I checked out the dog-bone fuse and it looked good. I might try bypassing it just to see if that's the problem. I'll take a look at the solenoid too. I was wondering if the voltage is dropping during cranking and there is something in the circuit that then prevents the ignition from firing when the voltage is too low. That might explain why I was able to push start it. When I bought the bike I was told it needed new coils, but I kind of figured since it ran that the coils were O.K. Just wondering if that might be it.
I can't really help you diagnose your problem, but I can tell you, without a doubt, these 1200's will not start with even a slight voltage drop. They crank, but they won't fire. I went through 2 brand new bad batteries before I got a good one.
 

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I can't really help you diagnose your problem, but I can tell you, without a doubt, these 1200's will not start with even a slight voltage drop. They crank, but they won't fire. I went through 2 brand new bad batteries before I got a good one.
Sometime just a little crud on the battery contacts causes just enough voltage drop to it won't fire. Crank like a dam but no fire.
 

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83 Goldwing Aspencade won't start

I bought my first GW after owning a Suzuki GS1000 and a Yamaha R6....i have ridden it several times for about a total of 20 miles. After I parked it for a few days I started it up and moved it then it wouldnt start at all. Only the voltage gauge lights up. When I turn the key to the start position it feels spongy. A GW mechanic said something about the wires on the bottom of the ignition switch might ve loose. Ive taken the fairing off to access the switch....now I dont know what to do. I'm a rider not a mechanic....though I'm learning.
 
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