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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  • 48 Answers

Toppdogg187,

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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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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1985 honda shadow 700 leaking water from tailpipe when not running is it head gasket or what is it


Hi, Richard more than likely for this situation I would call my local dealer or reputable shop's service/parts department and inquire about any possible quick fix, answers, or parts inquiry. If necessary, transport your bike to the dealer or shop and have a professional technician take it for a test drive, if it is in running condition, and give you a written estimate of repairs and answer any specific questions you may have about your problem. For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the links below. Good luck and have a nice day.
1984 1985 Honda VT700C Service Manual Moto Data Project
http://www.partsfish.com/page/oem-parts-for-honda
Honda Motorcycle Manuals 1980 to Now
Honda VT 700 1984

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Can I use any parts from an 84 Honda Shadow 500cc on my 94 shadow 600VLX?


Maybe the handlebar... The other items you mention? I doubt it, but there is one way to find out. Go to an online bike parts list for each and see if the numbers, part numbers that is, are the same.

I have done this kind of search often with good results. Do make sure not to confuse OEM numbers with manufacturers, you will only want to use the original manufacturer part number.

The last point I will make is this... It is not a safe bet to use worn parts on a bike.

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I doubt the bike has 100k on it, thats alot of riding! If it runs and looks good just figure it is a typo and ride it. As far as the oil filter that bike uses a spin on filter, it is painted black, screws on the front of the engine just above the oil pan just to the right of center.

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Had my 84 Honda VT700c Shadow running just a week ago. went to start it up today turned the key to on and no lights or anything. Battery checks out good. Ant thoughts as to the problem?


First check the main fuse on the starter selonoid, if it is good, try wiggling the key back and forth, the switch contacts can get loose in these switches. Sometimes the retaining tabs break off, if this is the case you will have to replace the insert. The parts are available from Dennis Kirk, and you will have to remove the ignition lock to replace it.

Mar 31, 2010 | 1984 Honda VT 500 C Shadow

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Light will always be on when the bike is running or the key is on with a good battery.

Dec 03, 2009 | 1985 Honda VT 500 C Shadow

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There seems to be some short in the circuit of the high beam, you will have to follow the high beam wiring, best would be to get the color of the high beam wire frm the head light bulb socket and trace it along you will sure find somwhere the along it the short.
Check the light switch and the blinker switch too.
Hope this helps!

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