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Hey all - sorry for the long post, please bear with me:

I was riding my 88 Katana 1100F for about 30 minutes yesterday when all of a sudden it went dead. I was getting off the highway and dropped down to 4th gear. when I rolled on the throttle, i got nothing. I'm pretty sure at this point the bike had shut off. I slowed down to a stop and it just wouldn't start up. I tried to get a jump, but this didn't work. Then i realized that i wasn't getting any electrical power, with the exception of the neutral and oil indicator lights - no headlight, turn signal, horn, etc. The breaker and fuses appear fine.

I then found two wires about halfway down the triple-tree dangling loose. They both have crimped connectors and a plastic tube on them, but I couldn't find anything they would connect to. One is brown , which goes to either the tail light. The other is black and white, which is ground for all elctrcial except (you guessed it) the neutral and oil lights.

After some investigating, here's what I've found: The battery is fine and is grounded to the frame, and all of the ground wires are continuous to the battery ground when the bike is off. When the bike is on, all of the lights, blinkers, etc are getting 12V, but they are no longer grounded (the ground wires are no longer continuous to the battery ground). This leads me to the ignition switch. From what I make of the wiring diagram, the switch is functioning properly. There are no connections when the bike is off, and the right connections when the bike is on. I've still no idea what the two dangling wires are for...maybe another model or option?

Does anyone have any idea why the ground is being broken when the ignition is on? I'm no electrical wiz and I've about exhausted my knowledge of using a multimeter. Any suggestions what to do next? Could it have something to do with the starter relay? Any help is appreciated...i'm nearly dead in the water here.

Thanks a lot,
John
 

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I think a ground wire is broken or has a bad connection. The ignition switch does nothing but connect power (+) to rest ot the bike. Everything else (except engine stop switch on some) is constantly connected to ground. Your system is trying to make a connection to ground, and sometimes they take a wierd path to find it. my guess is that its back feeding somewhere in your electrical. Its really hard to say without seeing it. Those two wires may be nothing, like an option for devices required in other parts of the world.
 
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