This forum is run by RPM and donations from members.

It is the donations of the members that help offset the operating cost of the forum. The secondary benefit of being a contributing member is the ability to save big during RPM Holiday sales. For more information please check out this link: Membership has its privileges 

Thank you for your support of the all mighty FJ.

Main Menu

Intermittent Electrical Issues

Started by ajacstern, October 08, 2023, 11:29:44 PM

Previous topic - Next topic


Hi All,

After letting my '87 FJ1200 sit for a couple of weeks I took it out for a ride today. Just 10 miles, little drizzle going on but no real rain. Unfortunately, I broke down three times in those 10 miles haha. Was riding along and wacked open the throttle and the bike immediately died so I initially thought the carbs might just be a little clogged so I tried leaning it over to the side like I do with dirt bikes...forgot how heavy this thing is and now I have a funky clutch lever and am missing some fairing protector blocks  :Facepalm:. Bike turned back on after I got it righted again so I assumed it was fixed and continued on. A few miles later, it completely died again. Back wheel locked up, 0 RPM, wouldn't start. When I pressed the starter button the fuel light came on but the motor didn't try to turn over and I couldn't even hear the relay click (though I had earplugs in). Jiggled every wire and shook the bike around a little and after about 15 minutes of looking crazy on the side of the road it turned over and started right back up. Same thing happened one more time, I'm lucky I wasn't turning at any of these moments or it could have been a nasty high side.

At first I was thinking the rain and water might have something to do with it, but after spraying the bike down with a hose I couldn't make it quit. My next thought was perhaps it was a safety switch, possibly one with a bad ground or toasted wire. I couldn't find where the ground on the side stand switch actually went to but I only got 0.2ohms between the switch and ground so I am guessing it is not bad. Also tested the relay and it seemed to work fine, though it could be broken intermittently. I did find that the clutch safety switch had a loose wire that would occasionally prevent the bike from starting, but that shouldn't make the bike turn off while it is running. I tested the side stand switch a bunch and it worked every time so really at a loss as to what it might be. I did clean all the contacts to the switch and spray it down with silicon before testing so perhaps I fixed it without knowing it. I do really want to get to the bottom of this though as I can't ride a bike that randomly locks the rear wheel up.

Thanks for any suggestions. 



When you say "locks up," are you saying that the rear wheel skids to a stop?  If so, that is not a fuel nor an electrical problem.  I would take a hard look at the chain and sprockets for wear (the Internet can tell you how), and maybe check the shifter detents.  Make sure your foot is not on or near the shift lever when riding, for the time being.

Keep us posted.

P.S. Life is too short, and health is too valuable, to ride on cheap parade-duty tires.


Locks up isn't exactly the word I should have used, it was like very hard rear braking (max engine braking I suppose) and if I pull in the clutch then the bike would coast just fine, releasing the clutch again to try and bump start would skid the tire or  slow down really hard. Definitely would cause a crash in a turn but not a true lock up, I was worried the engine had seized at first but it restarted so easily I doubt it. Chain and sprockets are in good condition.

Pat Conlon

Check and clean your run/stop switch on your R handlebar. It tends to collect grime thru the years.
1) Free Owners Manual download:
2) Don't store your FJ with E10 fuel
3) Replace your old stock rubber brake lines.
4) Important items for the '84-87 FJ's:
Safety wire:
Fuel line: