This area is for sharing Maintenance Procedures & Information related to the Yamaha Virago Electrical System.

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Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 10:36 am
Location: S.E. Michigan, USA
What Virago you Own: 1996 Virago Special XV1100SH


Post by ViragoJoe » Wed Dec 22, 2021 8:35 am

Ever wonder how your Safety System works on your Virago.

Here's a Schematic that outlines how it functions:

Click Image to Enlarge:
Safety System Virago.png

Safety System:

The purpose of the "safety system" (no doubt designed by lawyers--but they couldn't call it the "legal system") is to save us from

--Taking off/riding with our side stand down, and

--Starting our bike when it is in gear (unless the clutch is pulled).

There are three switches involved in this system (plus relays) and these are 1. the side stand switch, 2. the neutral switch, and 3. the clutch switch. These switches make the ground connection for this circuit. For our purposes we mainly need to understand that when the bike is in gear with the side stand up (the normal state of things when you are riding the bike) the "safety system" current goes to ground (current flows) by way of the SIDESTAND SWITCH. This switch is "on" when the side stand is up, and "off" when the side stand is down.

Note that when starting and idling the bike, you get this needed power through a neutral switch ground since the bike is in neutral. But the moment you shift into gear the neutral switch goes off and that ground goes away. The side stand switch must now take over. If the side stand is down (switch off), there will be no ground at all and the TCI shuts down the engine. If the side stand is up (the ground connection is made) then the TCI is happy and you drive off.

But occasionally the side stand switch sticks part way, or otherwise makes less than full and proper contact. The power input to the TCI may then be intermittent, or low in voltage due to excessive resistance in the switch. In such cases your engine will run badly with various symptoms coming and going. It is hard to riders to figure out what is going wrong because you wouldn't suspect the side stand switch unless you knew about it. The classic symptom: Bike starts and revs fine in neutral, runs badly in gear. If the side stand switch is plain bad, your engine will cut out when you shift into gear, whether your side stand is up or down.

If you suspect this the side stand switch you can easily find where wires from it connect and then check continuity through this switch with a multimeter. You can also temporarily connect the wires coming from the harness, thus by-passing the switch, to see if that solves your problem. Note that if you do this, you'll be able to drive with your side stand down, so be careful.

When ignition problems arise, before you tackle your ignition system proper, be sure your "safety system" is working properly and:

Your battery is hot. ("Hot" is approximately 12.6 volts)
Wiring is sound and connectors are clean
Your plugs are clean and gapped properly
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ViragoJoe 🇺🇸
1996 XV1100SH Virago Special
"Never ride faster than your Guardian Angel can fly!!"

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