XR650L only runs with starter button held on


I just got a non running 1994 XR650L with about 6000km on the clock.

It will start and run until I let go of the starter button - then it used to die until I cleaned all the connection plugs.

Now I can start it and release the starter button and just coax to run but its extremly rough and will not gain any revs.

Any ideas what could be the cause of this?



carb could be gummed up.

There is a short to ground from the handlebars somewhere in the wiring:

- kill button

- clutch interlock

- start button housing

Thanks Guys.

Firstly the engine runs well with the starter button pressed on so I don't think the carb is the problem.

I went thru and removed all the switches and cleaned and checked them without finding anything. Also disconnected the clutch and side stand switches and was still able to get it running.

Also I tried disconecting the battery when it was running and it continued to tick over. When I pressed the starter switch (the starter itself didn't engage due to no battery) the engine picked up and ran well.

However if I remove the main fuse when its running then push the starter it makes no difference.

It won't run with the headlight fuse out which it interesting.

I probably need to get a multimeter as this may be a little more time consuming than expected!

BTW, electrical weirdness like this is often a bad ground.


BTW, electrical weirdness like this is often a bad ground.


i agree.

OK, Thanks guys - will try this tomorrow and see what happens. The guy I brought it off said it was working fine until he fell off and then the problem started. No visable damage so hard to see even what side he fell on so no clues there.


So far I have:

- grounded clutch connection bypassing safety switches

- cleaned ground connection under seat

- cleaned ground connection onto starter motor

- connected ground under seat direct to Dg connection on CDI bypassing normal earth circuit

- Bypassed ignition system switches direct to CDI (red to R/B on fuse box)

- connected ground (Dg) direct to coil ground

- connected ground (Dg) direct to pulse generator

- wired CDI (G/W) direct to 3 connection diode.

- bypassed neutral switch

- wired Dg ground cable directly to rectifier

- wired power from fuse box directly to CDI (B/W) bypassing engine stop switch

What does get the bike running sweetly is if I wire the CDI (Y/R) direct to battery power source!

If I disconnect the Y/R wire from the CDI altogether it still runs rough which is strange as that line seems to require power yet normally once the starter switch is released it should have none.

Once started the bike will run with the battery disconnected but not well.

It seems to me it could either be a rectifier or a CDI problem. Does this sound right?


wired positive from battery directly to Y/R connection on CDI. Got it started and took it for a run. Runs well at low RPM but doesn't pull well at higher RPMs - guess this connection sets the start timing when the starter button is pushed - wring diagram sort of explains this.

Got back then re connected those wires and directed positive battery straight into B/W of CDI thinking this would provide power directly into the "running" connection of the CDI - back to the same problem.

I guess the "performance" ignition bit of the CDI may have packed up?

sounds like the cdi may have dumped on you.

Sounds like it. Will try and orde one and then go forward from there. Thanks for all your help and advice on this,


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