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Thread: CB900 Hornet, CB1300 (and related) starter switch/headlight problem

  1. #1
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    3rd May 2007 - 20:16
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    CB900 Hornet, CB1300 (and related) starter switch/headlight problem

    Hey guys - any of you Hornet riders or CB1300 etc had a problem with the starter switch headlight cut out failing? Initially the headlight comes back on if you touch the starter button again, but eventually it fails compeltely and you are left with no headlight. Honda shop says its not a known problem - strange cos both my Hornets and now my CB1300 have had the problem. First Hornet got written off before it failed completely second Hornet switch failed at about 60k and had to buy a new switch as its not accessible (sold it at 99k), and now the CB13 is starting to show same problem.

    A mates Hornet 900 is also jsut starting to show same problems.

    I am going to distribute this more widely on USA/UK CB919 forums to try and gauge if it is a real problem or if I and my mate just have been unlucky . . .

    Appreciate any feedback.

    Cheers
    Never try and teach a pig to sing: it's a waste of time, and it annoys the pig. --Robert A. Heinlein .

  2. #2
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    27th July 2004 - 00:36
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    2c. I have 2 900 Hornets, one up to 130'000km and does mostly short trips with no problem.
    newbie since August 2004....
    VTR250 (retired) / SV650S (Fw:Keystone19) / GSXR750(given up) / CB400(traded for 919) / CB900 Hornet / CBR954 (traded) / CBR1100XX (sold) / TuonoR (sold) / CB900 Hornet / NC700X / MTS1200 / XR250

  3. #3
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    15th September 2004 - 22:33
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    A lowly 52000 km on our 05 900.
    Have not had that problem yet.

  4. #4
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    7th October 2011 - 20:01
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    It is a known problem all hondas have been doing this for years, early VFR750s did the same thing. I have repaired many of these switches, you can dismantle most of the switches and clean the contacts with a bit of wet and dry and they are as good as gold again. Most bikes that I have fixed have been ridden in all weathers, seems to be the rain getting in that causes the problem. In defence of the shop if the mechanic if is not a crusty old honda mechanic that has been working on them for years he won't have seen this as it is not common, in my 25 years in the industry I have only fixed 4 or 5 cases of this problem.

  5. #5
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    No probs with mine.

  6. #6
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    3rd May 2007 - 20:16
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    Quote Originally Posted by spanner spinner View Post
    It is a known problem all hondas have been doing this for years, early VFR750s did the same thing. I have repaired many of these switches, you can dismantle most of the switches and clean the contacts with a bit of wet and dry and they are as good as gold again. Most bikes that I have fixed have been ridden in all weathers, seems to be the rain getting in that causes the problem. In defence of the shop if the mechanic if is not a crusty old honda mechanic that has been working on them for years he won't have seen this as it is not common, in my 25 years in the industry I have only fixed 4 or 5 cases of this problem.
    Ok, thanks for the replies - seems like mostly bad luck as to whether you do or dont have the problem, probably contributed to by the fact that I ride every day, all weathers.
    Have you fixed any starter switches? Because despite taking the switch block apart I found I could get to the switch contact because the hazard flasher was built in just above the starter and I couldnt figure how to get that off.
    Cheers
    Never try and teach a pig to sing: it's a waste of time, and it annoys the pig. --Robert A. Heinlein .

  7. #7
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    Fixed plently of starter switches. The outer part of the switch (the piece you slide with your thumb) usally holds the switch in place. There is a cut out underneath the slide section, push in the catch in this square cut out while gently prying off the outer part. the switch will then pull out the back of the switch block. after getting the hazard switch out you can then remove the starter switch.

  8. #8
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    31st March 2005 - 02:18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zapf View Post
    2c. I have 2 900 Hornets, one up to 130'000km and does mostly short trips with no problem.
    He lies. One has had that problem, replacing the headlight bulb has fixed the problem a couple of times. Also cleaned the contacts in the switch unit.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Omorogbe from UK MSN on the KTM990SM
    It's barking mad and if it doesn't turn you into a complete loon within half an hour of cocking a leg over the lofty 875mm seat height, I'll eat my Arai.

  9. #9
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    8th July 2014 - 08:50
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    Easy fix for headlight off due to starter switch

    I have created a solution for the described problem in which the headlight is off due to the shoddy weld in the starter switch. Advantages of this solution include ease (10 minutes and a Phillips head screwdriver) and you do not have to cut/ change/ weld anything on the bike itself--it is easy to undo. Essentially, create a small wire shunt and insert into the brown plastic clip that is inside of the headlight bowl. Use the wire to create a short between the blue/ white wire and the black/red wire. I'll try to upload some pictures here:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I hope these pictures work and are visible, and I hope this helps if anyone has the same issue!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    3rd September 2004 - 08:51
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    Thanks to all who put this thread together and to zackhyde for his easy explanation with pictures. Had my Hornet up and going very quick.
    The "brown connector" has 8 wires, is the only thing I can add.

  11. #11
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    3rd September 2019 - 09:13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warr View Post
    Thanks to all who put this thread together and to zackhyde for his easy explanation with pictures. Had my Hornet up and going very quick.
    The "brown connector" has 8 wires, is the only thing I can add.
    Is it safe?

  12. #12
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    4th April 2011 - 18:44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agostinho View Post
    Is it safe?
    Imagine replying to a 4.5 year old thread.

  13. #13
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    15th September 2004 - 22:33
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    Quote Originally Posted by The End View Post
    Imagine replying to a 4.5 year old thread.
    Lol

    I posted in this Jan 2013 with 55k on the Hornet
    Now it has 133k and still going strong. But interestingly the starter button issue this thread is about is happening. A squirt of wd40 very now and then seems to help.

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