Question about 1984 Honda VT 500 C Shadow

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All of my lights are not working at all

I have a 84 honda shadow 700 the bike runs good but none of the lights are working. i have checked all of the wires and they all look good. i just cant figer it out.

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Even with a bike in front of them, mechanics the world over dread electrical wiring problems. The basic premise with most negative ground electrical systems is that a supply of POSITIVE electicity reaches the + connector on a bulb, which then goes through the filament (causing it to light up if there's enough current), and then returns the electricity to the grounded connection that ultimately either reaches the ground post of the battery or to the frame(which is grounded.)

That said, if a bulb isn't lighting up:
1. Not enough or no Positive voltage is reaching the bulb
2. The filament inside the bulb is broken (aka Blown Bulb)
3. The electricity has nowhere to exit the bulb (bad ground)

An Ohm Meter is extremely handy, if not required to trouble shoot wiring problems. A 12v tester light can be used, but it can't give values for voltage, only that voltage is present, therefore in all but the simplest of tests, not very useful.

With an ohm meter (continuity meter, Multimeter, etc.), you'll need to trace the circuits to see where there's a disruption in positive voltage. Some folks like to start at the battery, others at the fusebox, or ignition block, and others like to start at the lightbulb itself.

Most bikes have MANY MANY circuits to run the lighting system. So, shy of the battery not being connected or a primary/fusible link being blown, or extremely unlikely odds that every bulb is blown, if you are absolutely NOT getting ANY LIGHTS, NONE whatsoever, I'd be looking at a master or primary fusible link, usually found very close to the actual battery. Sometimes, it's just a thin strip of metal, maybe 1/8" wide, sometimes it's just a big old fuse. Does your starter motor crank the motor when you press the button? How about the headlight? Any panel lights?

Posted on Mar 23, 2009

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