Sparky, You’re Grounded!

I finally managed to find a new (or new to me) pair of pulse generators to replace the bad pair on the 1984 Honda VT 700C I’m currently resurrecting to a new life as a rat bike bobber.

Replacing the pulse generators required me to disassemble the right sight of the bike, including brake and floor boards, right side exhaust, a piece of the frame, the right side of the crankcase, the clutch inner and outer, and, finally, the pulse generators.

Never, never, never by a bike that won’t start.

These electrical issues have required me to really step up my game, and I’m actually glad I had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of motorcycle electrical systems. It’s not so intimidating any more. But it still is a pain in the ass.

So, six months after picking up the bike, I finally have spark on the spark plug.

When I firsts buttoned everything up and cranked the engine over with a spark plug out if the cylinder, I experienced a huge sinking feeling when the plug didn’t spark. After scratching my head for half an hour, I went back to the VT700 shop manual and read the troubleshooting procedure again.

I realized that I’d laid the spark plug on a non-grounded surface. Without being grounded (like it is when it’s actually in the engine), the spark plug won’t spark. This is basic motorcycle mechanics and basic physics.

After extracting my head from my rear, I placed the spark on the cylinder head, and watched it spark away.


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