Question about 1996 Yamaha Xv 250 Virago S

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Starts and idles OK until I put it in gear, then it quits running like the ignition is turned off. Checked kill switch, neutral switch, kick stand switch, and clutch switch, all check out OK. Clutch pack is not stuck, rode it last week. pzantow@mindspring.com

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  • cheap repair Sep 03, 2010

    are you saying that with the clutch lever pulled in and put into gear the engine turns off? OR put it in gear and release clutch; then the engine turns off?

  • pzantow Sep 03, 2010

    With engine idling, I can pull in the clutch, put it in gear and the engine immediately stops. I must go back to the neutral position to restart the engine, Engine won't start with the clutch pulled in and the transmission in gear.

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  • Master
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I suspect a broken or loose wire in the headlight bucket or where the harness goes around the frame neck. Check your battery connections, fuse connections, and ground wires. After you you have loosened and tightened all the bolts, plugged and unplugged all the wire connections(make sure wire colors match up), Starting the bike and turning the handlebars back and forth. If all this checks out you probably have a dirty switch. You said you checked all the switches but maybe the failure is load related. Out of desperation I take the 35 year old switches apart on my Goldwing, clean them , and put them back together.It is possible you have a dirty contact in your ignition switch (dirt across the connections) that could be the problem. It sure sounds like a main switch problem, but, the only switch you are activating, when you put it in gear ,is the neutral switch and the clutch safety switch. Recheck those systems or replace them first. Try bypassing the swiches one at a time to determine which one is the problem. Be happy your not on a mountain top 600 miles from home cleaning an ignition switch with a pocket knife.

Posted on Sep 03, 2010

Testimonial: "Re-checked all switches with a VOM and all were working. Problem was a bad connector under tank for side stand sw.. THANK YOU much for assistance "

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1 Answer

Yamaha virago problems


Hi, Darrensemail the ignition circuit cut-off system comprising of the side stand switch, clutch switch and neutral switch has the following functions:
a. It prevents starting when the transmission is in gear and the side stand is up, but the clutch lever is not pulled.
b. It prevents starting when the transmission is in gear and the clutch lever is pulled, but the side stand is still down.
c. It cuts the running engine when the transmission is in gear and the side stand is moved down.
Periodically check the operation of the ignition circuit cut-off system according to the following.
With the engine turned off:
1. Move the side stand down.
2. Make sure that the engine stop switch is set to "RUN"
3. Turn the key to "ON".
4. Shift the transmission into the neutral position.
5. Push the start switch if the engine does not start the neutral switch may be faulty.
With the engine still running:
6. Move the side stand up.
7. Keep the clutch lever pulled.
8. Shift the transmission into gear.
9. Move the side stand down if the engine does not stall you may have a faulty side stand switch.
After the engine has stalled:
10. Move the side stand up.
11. Keep the clutch lever pulled.
12. Push the start switch if the engine does not start you may have a faulty clutch switch.
This check is most reliable if performed with a warmed-up engine.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the blue links below. Good luck and have a wonderful day.
https://www.viragohelp.com/virago-ignition-systems
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check your neutral switch, it's probably loose or faulty

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Check that the kick stand switch is not faulty. this will kill the engine when it says the kick stand is down.

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There is a safety switch on the kick stand of that bike that keeps it from running while in gear. It sounds like that switch is bad and killing the bike as soon as you put it in gear.

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Hi, Nunjazx12 the ignition circuit cut-off system comprising of the side stand switch, clutch switch and neutral switch has the following functions:
a. It prevents starting when the transmission is in gear and the side stand is up, but the clutch lever is not pulled.
b. It prevents starting when the transmission is in gear and the clutch lever is pulled, but the side stand is still down.
c. It cuts the running engine when the transmission is in gear and the side stand is moved down.
Periodically check the operation of the ignition circuit cut-off system according to the following tests.
With the engine turned off:
1. Move the side stand down.
2. Make sure that the engine stop switch is set to "RUN"
3. Turn the key to "ON".
4. Shift the transmission into the neutral position.
5. Push the start switch if the engine does not start the neutral switch may be faulty.
With the engine still running:
6. Move the side stand up.
7. Keep the clutch lever pulled.
8. Shift the transmission into gear.
9. Move the side stand down if the engine does not stall you may have a faulty side stand switch.
After the engine has stalled:
10. Move the side stand up.
11. Keep the clutch lever pulled.
12. Push the start switch if the engine does not start you may have a faulty clutch switch.
This check is most reliable if performed with a warmed-up engine.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need please click on the blue links below. Good luck and have a wonderful day.
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There are two safety switches that you may need to test. 1) Neutral safety switch- this switch is what tells the bike that it's in neutral and allows the starter to engage. 2) Kickstand safety switch- this switch will not allow the bike to run in gear if the kickstand is down. My initial guess is the neutral safety switch. If the neutral safety switch is bad, then you will not be able to start the bike with the kickstand down because the bike thinks that it's in gear (even if in neutral). This also may explain why the initial intermitent problem of not starting when warm since the metal contacts will expand and possibly not make contact when warmed up. Are you trying to start the bike with the kickstand up or down? If it were the kickstand safety switch, the bike would probably start okay and then die when you put it in gear.

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