'87 Honda VF700 Magna issues!


Old 04-01-17, 04:27 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 2
'87 Honda VF700 Magna issues!

Hey, all. Not new to bikes. But, by no means a mechanic. Definitely new to forums. I'm looking for some advice/recommendations/etc. in regards to my '86 Honda VF700 Magna (about 30k miles).

I recently purchased this bike. The seller rode it to me (I'm Agoraphobic and don't go outside EXCEPT when I can ride (generally in the parking lot of my apartment complex)...The real power and love of motorcycles, I guess). The bike is certainly not mint. But, not a POS either...I hope. Anyway, the bike ran fine. Typical '80s vehicle. Outside, in the cold overnight, first time I'd start it, I'd have to choke the bike, hit the ignition 2-4 times, let it idle a few minutes, then it was good to go. And, after the initial start, it could be turned off for any length of time (less overnight) and it'd fire STRONG with one hit, no choke. I rode it every day for a week. NO issues. Parked it for the night. Went to start it the next day, and it won't turn over. The starter seems to be fine and strong, the battery good, etc. It just won't turn over. The battery will eventually die down from trying to start. But, it gets it's charge back almost immediately if I let it sit a sec. I know you need air, fuel, and fire. So, I've checked all the fuel lines (even bypassed the filter and pump by running straight from the tank to engine just to see if it'd fire...I know this won't tell me if the filter or pump are a non-issue...but, would let me know if it was a MORE than the two and lines). Nothing. Checked the plugs. Didn't seem to be any spark from the 4. But, hooked two up to my buddy's SoftTail and it fired instantly. I guess next would be the coils. Two coils (one per two cylinders). Curious if there is a way to test the coils so I don't have to run out and buy a pair if mine are actually good and it's something else. I just find it odd that just one day passed and my bike won't start after starting and running so soundly.

I've checked the fuses as well.
Yes, the gas was "on".
I've tried to start in neutral with the clutch.
Also, have tried to start it in first gear with the clutch which I've done before...And, leads to another issue, possibly related. When I try to start in 1st with the clutch, the bike won't start but jumps forward as if the clutch isn't engaged. BUT, the clutch seems fine as in I can shift fluidly, no problems.

Anyone got any ideas. Feel free to poke fun. Just help me get this baby running again. LoL.

If I can install a battery on my '97 Intruder, there's nothing I CAN'T do, right? Haha.
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Old 04-03-17, 05:47 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,288
Welcome to the forum. One thing you failed to mention is if you checked the kill switch.
Old 04-04-17, 10:49 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Iowa!!!!!
Posts: 3,728
So the starter will spin the engine, it just won't fire and start?

To get on the right page, the clutch engaged would be clutch lever out and disengaged would be lever compressed? Is that where you're at?

You shouldn't be able to start the engine with the bike in gear. There's a neutral safety switch for that. If you've started it before, in gear, with the clutch compressed (disengaged), the neutral safety may be messed up. I would get out a parts diagram and locate that switch.

If there are two wires going to it you can diagnose them either by jumping the two wires or use a continuity tester to check for current with the bike in neutral. If you do any jumping of connections, make sure you take the jumper out after diagnosing.
Old 04-10-17, 08:44 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: USA
Posts: 2
For some reason, I didn't get any notifications from this thread. But, thank you both. And, it was the killswitch! 3 days. Nothin'. Dumb luck, found and fixed the problem. LoL.

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