Help - DR650 starting issue

Hi everyone, really stumped on this one and need some help.  I have an intermittent starting problem on my 2006 DR 650...

When it starts, it starts fine.  And when its starting, there is no telling when it won't start the next time.  I have ridden for miles and stopped for 5 minutes only to come back and not have it start.  I have gotten home and turned it off and on a dozen times and it will keep starting, and then the next day it won't start cold. But it also won't start hot either sometimes...


The kickstand switch is removed and the relay is also removed and the plug is jumped as described in many forums.

I have switched out a new starter solonoid with the old one and back, no difference. The clutch safety switch is operational as far as I can tell, and I have kept up with keeping it greased with dialectric grease.


Here is what I have to do when it won't start...


I have to remove the headlight cover and bypass the clutch safety switch, try to start it (which it won't), then turn it off and do the reverse...meaning un-bypass the safety switch.  Most times after doing this once, it will start up fine again.  Sometimes I have to do it twice.  I can do this reliably, just can't make the problem occur reliably...


My conclusions (right or wrong) is that its not the starter solonoid.  Its not related to the removal of the side stand safety switch and the jumping of the plug wires for continuity, and its not the clutch safety switch (seeing how I bypass it and it doesn't matter)


Is there a clutch safety switch relay???  Thanx for any insight...

That's a tough one. I have an '06 as well. Sounds to me like you've done well and covered most of the possibilities.

When you say your bike won't start ... do you mean it won't crank over at all? Or it cranks and won't fire up? I'm guessing you mean the former ... won't even crank ... but all dash lights come on? Right?


I'm guessing it's something to do with your clutch safety switch. Dilectric grease is good ... but perhaps there is an intermitent lack of contact? Broken blade connector?  ... or a short along the wire path?

I would pull that switch apart ... check all connections and wires coming and going into wire loom. Make sure there is no break or separation in any of the relevant wires or connections.

I'm not sure if there is a relay for the Clutch starter lock out safety switch or not. Maybe the wiring diagram holds the answer? 


Next time it won't start ... try wiggling the safety cut out wires on the clutch connection. Long shot, but might uncover something. Also, try turning bars back and forth when it's dead ... if it's a short

you may discover something there ... if it suddenly fires up.


Good luck ... wish I had the perfect answer!

To rule out any electrical connections or bad grounds etc, attach a pair of jumper cables to the battery, ground the negative, and pull back the cover that goes over the wires on your starter motor and stick the positive on that.  That will bypass everything wiring related as far as the solinoid and main harness goes. 

Edited by Raptor90

Thanx, I'll try that with the starter.  Only thing I haven't tried yet.  But to be slightly clearer, yes the dash light is on, its in neutral, and nothing...regardless of bypassing the clutch safety switch so I don't think its that, and besides, the bike is in neutral anyways.  I have run started it a few times, other times nothing...That's when the screwdriver comes out in the parking lot and I do that bypass/unbypass thing...But when it doesn't start it doesn't crank or anything, just silence *crickets* lol

Edited by twangthing

To rule out any electrical connections or bad grounds etc, attach a pair of jumper cables to the battery, ground the negative, and pull back the cover that goes over the wires on your starter motor and stick the positive on that.  That will bypass everything wiring related as far as the solinoid and main harness goes. 

That won't work on the DR650. The ignition disable systems all go through the ignition and through the CDI ... it's a bit complicated actually. Do you own a DR650? Have you looked at the wiring

diagram on that bike? It has several safety cut out circuits that short the ignition when not disabled properly. One is the side stand, another is the clutch switch, a 3rd is the Kill switch. Jumping from battery to

starter will not by pass the cut out circuits, far as I know. If the problem was just in the start button ... then that would work, but my guess that is NOT where the problem is.


We've seen this issue before on DR650's. Mostly it's guys who screwed up the disabling of the side side safety circuit ... and now the bike won't turn over. Very common and its why it's important to

do that mod correctly ... and securely ... or you can be stranded.


For my money the DR system is just a bit too clever for it's good ... or for the average owner ... and then you've got the little resistor under the ignition plate! BUGGER!

Edited by 54321

Yep, I have a 650, and I've started mine that way when trying to test and see if I had a bad battery or wiring.  Started my bike from my car battery that way.

Yep, I have a 650, and I've started mine that way when trying to test and see if I had a bad battery or wiring.  Started my bike from my car battery that way.

Can you start your DR with the side stand down? Or with the clutch out? Or the kill switch IN? Sure, you can start your bike that way ... but you've not got a short or loose wire or connection.

On a stock DR you can do that jump direct to starter ... but if ANY of the above are not right ... it won't start, IIRC. Once clutch is IN, Stand UP and Kill switch OUT ... bike can be started that way.

It looks to me like the OP has some sort of problem in one of the safety cut out systems. Not sure which one ... or why?


Read his orginal post ... he's already been though quite a few tests and trials ... with no luck. With these issues it's usually a loose connection, frayed wire or intermittent short.

Thanx for adding to the discussion, I will hopefully have time this weekend to start scrutinizing the wiring more, I have the shop manual for it so I should be able to make some sense of the wiring...

But just so we're clear, It does not have a kill switch, but it does have a starter button.  The only way to kill it is with the key by turning it off.  I seem to remember my friend cutting a wire when he disabled the side stand switch, but I didn't appear obvious anywhere, and this was before I happened to see all the posts about doing it correctly afterwards, which I have now done but there may be some wires that are wonky somewhere and I haven't seen my friend in a while so I can't even ask him...Oh well, I'll keep looking...lucky I have another bike to ride ;-)

Edited by twangthing

Has your DR650 been modified? Because they ALL have a kill switch as standard. See pics below. See that BIG RED BUTTON on the Right side handlebar? ... that'd be a kill switch. I never use mine ... but if corroded or stuck they can be problematic. Lots of guys have it pushed IN (Kill position) and forget about it ... and go crazy trying to find "problem".


If your bike has been modified ... then ALL BETS ARE OFF regards problem solving.

Good luck, hope you sort it out.





Right side switch pod ... kill switch up top, Start button down below.

Edited by 54321

Wait until the next time it won't start.  Take a voltmeter and check all the wiring for continuity. Refer to the wiring diagram and work your way through the loom and somewhere along the line you're going to come up with a bad reading.


I had this problem with my DR650 but in my case it was the sensor mechanics of my sidestand! The switch was a bit stIcky (corroded) so every once in a while when I put the side stand up it wouldn't press all the way in resulting in my bike not starting.

Hey, thanx you guys for posting, I found the problem with my mechanic friend today...So it turns out that the group of wires (contained in a black sleeve) that run from the kill switch/starter button/front brake cluster to the area above the headlamp had an interesting thing going on.  I think it was the dufus I bought it from that removed the kill switch, but that wasn't really the issue, the issue was the way they did it. 


Inside the black sleeve, there were two places where wires were spliced together, and even though they were spliced properly, they didn't wrap them great and they wound up touching each other and making the wires warm, so that didn't help the problem.  We wrapped them properly before sleeving it all up...


But the real problem was one of those quick connector things where you put 2 wires next to each other and use this little plastic rectangular connector thing where it cuts into both wires through the insulation and makes a connection...It should have been crimp connected or something solid because it was right near the clutch safety switch wires and so when I switched the wires I thought it was something electrical and it was actually physical, I would move the wires and it would reconnect to allow me to start it, kept disconnecting/connecting inside that little connector...That's why I kept wondering why taking the clutch safety switch out of the circuit and then back in did anything...Seriously, &%$#@!?  Someone couldn't take 2 more minutes and do it the right way? And BTW, there is no relay for the clutch safety switch, and as most DR owners know, you can easily disconnect it without cutting anything...anyways peace out ;-)

Edited by twangthing

Glad you had the patience to locate the problem. Intermitent elec. issues can be tough ... especially when an "uneducated" previous owner has done "repairs" or "upgrades"  to your bike  ... and have NO IDEA what they're doing!  :facepalm:   Those plastic connectors are pure crap. Solder and Shrink wrap are your friends!


Really good you spotted where the PO had hacked in to the loom ... sometimes you can't see where it issue is ... so you were LUCKY!  Your next lesson should be to learn your way round a VOM meter.

Very handy device for checking voltage and continuity.

Nice Work!  :thumbsup: 

Well don't give me too much credit!  But I'll always take some for my logic at any rate, and it was a short somewhere as I had mostly thought, although I wasn't sure if there was another relay somewhere, glad there isn't.  That could make troubleshooting a nightmare.  You know what's interesting, the clutch safety switch is working properly and hooked up right now, but you still have to use it even when the bike is in neutral...Probably a by product of the mods that were done...And it was the reason I couldn't run start it because when it was dead it was dead


I really have to learn about electrical stuff more, its really the one area i'm not confident in...

Edited by twangthing

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