990 Won’t Start

Hmmmm.... help me out here. Weird. My bike won’t start. Like a dead battery but dead dead like nothing at all even when I hook up the jump starter. Battery is pretty new (July) and no parasitic drain as far as I know. Checked fuses to see that they’re all in and they are. I’ll check again to see if any are toast.

So I just moved the ground a bit closer to the positive terminal and it jumped the bike fine.  

The only thing I can think of is the cigarette lighter accessory port is always on and had one of those two-USB inserts that may have one of those really small led lights that's always on.

I got to the car wash and washed the bike good and then it started up fine.  Fingers crossed but I'll have that jump starter with me at all times now.

That's odd <_<  When my GSA wouldn't start it had to do with the trigger wire to the starter solenoid but the lights and such worked.


Nothing at all comes on when the key is turned on?  I'd say a bad ground from the battery but that's my shot in the dark.

You should get yourself a fluke voltage meter. Sometime a battery can just die.

I got the battery from our bike sponsor, Antigravity Batteries, and I reached out to them about it.  They said they had a new battery type coming soon so by now it's probably out and I can get another one.  I will also go out there today and check to see if it starts.

That 990 knows you are about to throw your leg over a Honda 450 and is giving you the cold shoulder. You need to talk in a soothing voice and apologize for not showing it the love it deserves. ;)

So new problem with it not starting... the yellow FI light flashes and it won’t start until it eventually does. I suspect the fuel pump is going bad or the contacts are corroding. Pat has an extra here on this Copper Canyon trip so if it continues I’ll try to replace it.

So there’s a blink code I need to decipher then look up in the manual. It appears to blink 8 times long then 1 short but 81 is not a code. It definitely blinks 9 times so it could be code 18, 45, 54, or 72.

The FI code is definitely 81 which is the immobilizer and the immobilizer light code is something like 21 and 15 which is a circuit issue with immobilizer and key not programmed.

My buddy Paul is bringing my master key to me in San Luis Rio Colorado (east of Mexicali) tomorrow and we’re going to give it a try.

I have a theory too which is a pinched wire. I’d locked the steering column the night before which I don’t usually do. I’ve heard the 990 has had issues with wires getting chafed/pinched in the steering stem.

Did you make it to San Luis?

The Right Side Plastic Cover at the top of the frame where the wires go towards the Headlight are known to be a huge issue. The "Other Forum " Advrider a fellow with a 990 Baja, "Neptune Triton" noticed it and created a thread. MANY GUYS have found this to be the issue. His started by just dying sometimes then like you said he turned the bars to the side and it died. I just did mine last week and it was ok so I wrapped some tape on the harness and coped out the plastic allowing the wire to move more freely. I would almost bet that this is what happened to yours.

Good Luck.



Did you make it to San Luis?

20 minutes

Key Takes Months 2.0 update: so I made it to San Luis Rio Colorado with the help of Jim and Sammy of Hostel Alamos.

Waiting on Paul Costello who has my master key but now he broke down about 100 miles east of here on I8.

So now Jason Raster is going to go get him from Yuma.

This comedy just writes itself

Paul is headed over here to the border shortly with the master key.

I hope the beer is cold!


Did you get it sorted?



Not yet

So kind of good news... turns out it was the immobilizer after all! Not sure why but there you go.

What I was concerned about was it being a shorted wire in the ignition wiring. This is an easier fix.

It’s on its way back to me now.

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