Question about 2003 Beta Jonathan 350

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Where is my spark

I have a beta 350 that has no spark at all to either cylinder. I don't know the history of this bike

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It was given to my dad recently after sitting up for a while. The battery spins the bike over fine but shows a little weak at 12.1 volts. I have ohmed the pulse generators at the 4-pin connector under the tank. They ohm'd a little low at around 430 (I think going from memory here). I don't know if this is too much out of range for them to function properly. I know the spark units are supposedly untestable but I have popped them apart and I'm not seeing ANY DC voltage coming into either of them on ANY wire with key on, or while cranking. Shouldn't these have some sort of voltage coming to them at some time? If not, how else can they function. Also, don't have any voltage to the coils, but I assume this is because the CDI's aren't sending any. The coils ohm fine, and I have connected them to my race car and spun it over, and they are fine. They throw a nice blue flame from both terminals. Any ideas where to go from here? I thought the CDI's may be bad, but not sure at this point. They may be just not getting power for some reason. ,starter!,,,

Posted on Nov 10, 2008

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1 Answer

Gearbox missing neutral


You want a solution, but this is all the information you can supply?

Did you just buy this bike?

If it's one of my old bikes, you will have a lot of trouble finding neutral as I modify the shift spool detents to make neutral extremely hard to find. This mod is done for racing. BUT - I don't race Suzukis, so this is not my old bike. It is possible that someone else has removed neutral from the shifting spool detents though - it used to be a pretty common modification for racers.


Without having more history, I don't want to waste any time speculating on any other solution. I would like to know if this is a new bike to you or at least a little more info on the problem and some history of the bike. Put in a little effort.

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1 Answer

The spark plug is only firing on the rear cylinder, I have replaced both plugs, both plug wires, and coil. all parts came from HD dealership and all parts are OEM replacement parts and still only fires on...


Swap the spark plug wires and see it the moves from the front cylinder to the rear cylinder. Your Sportster should have what is known as a "dual fire" ignition system. This means that both spark plugs fire every time the piston comes to top dead center whether the cylinder is on the compression stroke or the exhaust stroke. This causes what is known as a "wasted spark", the spark plug fires on the exhaust stroke. I don't have any experience with bikes made after year model 2000. Most of these bikes are equipped with electronic engine controls that I don't care to learn about. I work on bikes made in 1999 or earlier. I feel pretty confident that Harley still uses the "dual fire" ignition but I'm not sure if they have any other sensors on the bike that would cause the problem you have. Try what I suggested and it may give you a clue as to the problem. Other than that, I have no other suggestions. Sorry I couldn't do more.

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ok so now its a 500 then!!! same engine in it,,,try cleaning the carbereter jets out and a new set of spark plugs wont hurt,,if its still missfiring check for spark if its there and a good spark have a compreshion test done as it could be 2 + 3 pistons have over heated or a head gasket blown

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It could be a lot of different thing... compression in the cylinder could be too low to support proper combustion, it also could be electrical. If you don’t have compression gauges you cant really do that test yourself, but as far as the electrical goes I can help

First off you will need a water spray bottle, and a spark plug wrench/socket and any tools needed to remove the coils and inspect to see if they are still properly grounded (free of rust/corrosion, and any breaks in the wire or wires insulation)

First let the bike run for about 2-3 minutes to let the exhaust system heat up, the exhaust from the cylinder that is running should be allot hotter then the cylinder that isn’t (yes the none running cylinder is still hot due to heat transfer so don’t touch it!!!)
At this time spray a light mist of water on each of the exhaust in the same spot on the first bend of the exhaust you can reach closest to the cylinder (try not to spray cool water on the cylinder head, in theory it could heat stress, causing it to crack) You should be able to tell which exhaust is hotter by the rate of water evaporation, in turn telling your which cylinder is running

Once you’ve determined which cylinder is running or not for sure take the spark plug and coil's and switch them with the non running cylinder (its a good idea to ark them with a sharpie so they don’t get mixed up, while switching them inspect the coils and spark plugs as well as all grounds and wires for obvious signs of malfunction or breaks in wire insulation

Once you have swapped out the know good components from the running cylinder with the parts in question try to re-start the bike< If it starts let it run again for another 2-3 min and test to see which cylinder was running....

If the problem jumps cylinders you know its either the coil or spark plug...if both cylinders start up now...it was an improper or loss ground causing insufficient spark

If it stays in the same cylinder then depending weather you have an ecu or not, im not sure for that old of a bike, but you could check the pins at the ecu for corrosion and clean them......if not then your last option is to check the non running cylinder compression


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1 Answer

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