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Discussion Starter #1
Learning to use a digital volt meter is probably the most important thing you can learn to allow you to troubleshoot a motorcycle electrical system. It will tell you when a wire is broken, when voltage is or is not present, and check the resistance of critical ignition and charging conponents.
We have so many threads from members that ask, how do I test my charging or ignition system, and how do I fix it.
Well the truth of the matter is it is extremely difficult for us to guide you through troubleshooting if you do not know the basics of troubleshooting other than looking for the obvious burnt wire or visably blown fuse.
You absolutely have to be able to use a digital volt meter to troubleshoot todays modern motorcycles and have an understanding of basic electrical theory.
So buy a cheap DVM at first, and practice taking voltage readings form flashlight batteries, and practice doing continuity checks on loose wires and switches to see how a circuit opens and closes.
Learn what scales the meter has to be on to read resistance, DC voltage, and AC voltage.
Do this before your motorcycle breaks down because it takes some experience to become proficient with a DVM and how to use. Learning this will probably save you a lot of money in the future because you can then troubleshoot your car, house wiring, and many other things that use electricity.
No mechanic is truly a mechanic without electrical basics, so start now! Here is a good links to get started!




13,347 Posts
I like this new section, if for no other reason than that it gives you a focused venue to contribute something that's actually productive during your copious amounts of internet time here. An excellent topic RM, those links are great!
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