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Thread: DR650 neutral light and all that

  1. #1
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    15th December 2007 - 16:56
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    DR650 neutral light and all that

    I've got a 99* DR650 with strange neutral light behaviour.

    When really in neutral the idiot light is lit brightly. When in gear it is still lit, but dimly. And testing this in the dark, I also notice that the headlight dims a little bit when the bike is in gear.

    Of course the DR is notorious for issues with the neutral sender unit screws coming loose and causing expensive mayhem. So at some stage I'll be taking the clutch out to check them. But while I'm there (or beforehand) what else should I be checking in relation to the above?

    Thanks in advance.


    * Which is at long last sporting a torque limiter assembly on the starter, before anyone mentions it.

  2. #2
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    3rd October 2004 - 15:45
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    If you are in there it doesn't hurt to see if the wires are touching the baffle plate, I filed a relief for better clearance.
    Check the oil pump gear condition and play, I found the clutch shaft bearing in need of replacement but it is a little hard to check with the engine together unless it has obvious signs when rotated.

     photo IMG_2375.jpg

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  3. #3
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    15th December 2007 - 16:56
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    Quote Originally Posted by TLDV8 View Post
    If you are in there it doesn't hurt to see if the wires are touching the baffle plate, I filed a relief for better clearance.
    Check the oil pump gear condition and play, I found the clutch shaft bearing in need of replacement but it is a little hard to check with the engine together unless it has obvious signs when rotated.
    Thanks, good tips.

  4. #4
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    15th December 2007 - 16:56
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    Things get stranger

    OK, I haven't opened up the side cover yet but this 1999 DR650 of mine has more electrical weirdness going on. Just trying to figure out if this is Neutral Sender Unit related or not. Bear in mind this bike had an engine rebuild shortly before I got it, of perhaps dubious mechanical skill...

    The bike gives every appearance of being completely dead electrically if it is in gear when the ignition is switched on. No head- or tail-lights, no starter, nothing. Shifting into neutral will make everything come alive and it all works after that. Put it into gear with the engine running and it keeps going and all the electrics work. But if the engine stops while running (e.g. a stall), I have to find neutral before it will restart. Holding in the clutch does not work. It does not have a side-stand switch that I can see (bear in mind that it may have been inexpertly removed, of course).

    I can work around this annoyance but it could get a bit nervy if I ever stall it while pulling out into traffic... And it would not be ideal when fiddling around somewhere technical.

    My 2002 XF650 Freewind does not behave that way and it is essentially the same bike. So is this normal behaviour for a '99 DR?

    Cheers - Chasio

  5. #5
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    7th December 2007 - 12:09
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    There is more to bypassing the starter/side stand interlock system
    than just bypassing the clutch switch & jumping the side stand switch
    wires. There are other components in the system you want to
    eliminate so they will not be a problem if they are left in & fail
    later. Suzuki's system on the DR650 is pretty simple compared to
    some others. The following components are what is used in the
    system: The clutch lever switch, side stand switch, neutral switch,
    side stand relay & a double diode set for the side stand relay &
    neutral light. The engine kill switch is also involved in it. The
    system works by controlling weather or not there is 12 volts supplied
    to the CDI unit (capacitive discharge ignition unit), the CDI unit
    needs 12V to operate. The 12V comes from the side stand relay to the
    ignition kill switch & then to the CDI unit. The 12V power to the
    starter solenoid through the clutch lever switch also comes off the
    ignition kill switch, that's why the starter won't work if the kill
    switch is pushed in or the side stand is down with the bike in gear.
    The 12V is supplied to the ignition kill switch when the side stand
    relay is energized. The side stand switch & the neutral switch
    control weather or not the side stand relay is energized by providing
    or not providing a ground for the side stand relay's operating coil.
    If there is no ground the relay is not energized. The ground is
    provided when the side stand is up, side stand switch is closed, or
    if the transmission is in neutral & the neutral switch is closed.
    The neutral switch also operates the neutral light & that is the
    reason for the 2 diode set, to keep the two functions separated.

    The reason you don't want to just cut & splice the wires from the
    side stand switch is that you will be leaving the side stand relay in
    place & that is just something that can fail leaving you with a bike
    that won't start. To do the bypass eliminating what is not needed do
    the following: Unscrew the side stand switch & disconnect it at its
    plug located in the area behind the gas tank. No need to cut any
    wires. Next go to the side stand relay located on a post on the
    frame just to the left of the CDI unit just in back of the battery &
    remove it. This is where you make the connection that bypasses the
    relay & permanently provides the 12V to the ignition kill switch.
    There are 4 wires going into the connector for the side stand switch,
    2 orange, one green & one orange with black tracer. You want to make
    a jumper that connects one of the orange wires to the orange with
    black tracer. This will require getting small male connectors or as
    I did make a bridge connector from sheet aluminum (thin like trailer
    aluminum) that you plug in the connector. Securely tape the
    connector so it can't short out. I also removed the 2-diode set that
    controls the neutral light. You don't need to do this; if the diode
    failed you just wouldn't have a neutral light. The diode set is
    plugged into a connector located in the area just behind the gas
    tank. Make a jumper that connects the blue wire (from the neutral
    light) to the blue with black tracer wire (to the neutral switch).
    Again here I made a jumper out of sheet aluminum. Securely tape the
    connector so it can't short out. To eliminate the clutch switch just
    go to where the clutch switch wires connect to the bikes wiring
    harness behind the headlight fairing. Disconnect the wires & plug
    the harness side wires together (male to female connectors). You now
    have bypassed the starter/side stand safety switch system eliminating
    the items that are not needed. Remember you now can start the engine
    with it in gear & the clutch engaged & you can drive off with the
    side stand down, both of which could get you hurt or killed so do
    this at your own risk.


    Copied and pasted ftom DR650 forum...
    probably all you need to understand your problem

    Good luck
    Opinions are like arseholes: Everybody has got one, but that doesn't mean you got to air it in public all the time....

  6. #6
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    15th December 2007 - 16:56
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    Thanks. Reading all that, I'm still not sure why being in gear cuts the headlight and tail-light. I wonder if I have some chafed wires somewhere as well. But that is a bloody good start, ta.

  7. #7
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    4th October 2010 - 17:53
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasio View Post
    OK, I haven't opened up the side cover yet but this 1999 DR650 of mine has more electrical weirdness going on. Just trying to figure out if this is Neutral Sender Unit related or not. Bear in mind this bike had an engine rebuild shortly before I got it, of perhaps dubious mechanical skill...

    The bike gives every appearance of being completely dead electrically if it is in gear when the ignition is switched on. No head- or tail-lights, no starter, nothing. Shifting into neutral will make everything come alive and it all works after that. Put it into gear with the engine running and it keeps going and all the electrics work. But if the engine stops while running (e.g. a stall), I have to find neutral before it will restart. Holding in the clutch does not work. It does not have a side-stand switch that I can see (bear in mind that it may have been inexpertly removed, of course).

    I can work around this annoyance but it could get a bit nervy if I ever stall it while pulling out into traffic... And it would not be ideal when fiddling around somewhere technical.

    My 2002 XF650 Freewind does not behave that way and it is essentially the same bike. So is this normal behaviour for a '99 DR?

    Cheers - Chasio
    If the thing that makes the ignition and lights power up or not is slipping it into neutral then your NSU is involved somewhere.
    I don't think this is normal.

    Sounds like some dodge wire up job between the ignition and the NSU wiring to stop it being started in gear after removing other safety mechs Ie clutch and side stand....Im just not sure how it can keep running once started then put in gear....wired into the earth side of a circuit ignition or neutral light??....A complete loom check from all three should show any extra splicing or addons.

    Each way and NSU bolt check is a must at some point anyways for piece of mind.

    She's a curly one mate.

  8. #8
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    15th December 2007 - 16:56
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    Lightbulb Solved

    That Rogson is a clever bloke and has nutted this out with the help of this.

    Apart from the shenanigans mentioned above, the battery was also not charging. I tried swapping the regulator-rectifier off the Freewind onto the DR but no luck. I knew the neutral diode was faulty as well (and still is) but bridging it made no difference. So the bike sat around for a while and then Rogson had a look at it. We tried a few things but no luck except he back-burnered it for a couple of days before having a eureka moment.

    It turns out the black/white wire that comes out of the Reg-Rec was no longer connected to earth. Who knows why this happened, but I do note there are non standard earth wires between battery negative and both the frame and the motor so maybe it got hacked off..? I don't know where the stock DR one gets to earth and couldn't find where it had got to (it disappears into the harness and was not coming out anywhere apparent). The fix has been to splice in a wire from close to the reg-rec to battery -ve. She is now good as gold and even charges when in gear, unlike before (when she would only charge in neutral).

    Anyway, that may be of interest to someone at some stage. Chur.

  9. #9
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    2nd October 2013 - 20:55
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    1973 Benelli Tornado
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    Auckland
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    XF Neutral Switch Bolts

    Just seen this thread. I last year bought a Freewind off Trademe. Road it home, no neutral light. I'm sure the seller knew this but said nothing. Very disappointing. After a dismantle, one bolt was in the sump and the other 1/2 way backed out. They are now both lock wired in place. Also putting on single carb at the moment if anyone is interested.


    Quote Originally Posted by chasio View Post
    I've got a 99* DR650 with strange neutral light behaviour.

    When really in neutral the idiot light is lit brightly. When in gear it is still lit, but dimly. And testing this in the dark, I also notice that the headlight dims a little bit when the bike is in gear.

    Of course the DR is notorious for issues with the neutral sender unit screws coming loose and causing expensive mayhem. So at some stage I'll be taking the clutch out to check them. But while I'm there (or beforehand) what else should I be checking in relation to the above?

    Thanks in advance.


    * Which is at long last sporting a torque limiter assembly on the starter, before anyone mentions it.

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