'94 1100 no sparks

Some suggestions would be really appreciated. The trouble started after a trouble-free 200 mile round trip, mostly high(ish) speed multi-lane stuff. Left the bike till the following evening when I found it took a bit of starting. I have to say the Cali would normally start on the first push - even after a week or so in the winter. Since then it has been reluctant to start a few times in the mornings, but would then run perfectly well. Today, I put petrol in, came back from paying and nothing. Loosened a banjo bolt on one of the carbs to check for fuel. Fine. But no spark from either plug. And then after 10 minutes of scratching my head, and one last try - a spark and the other cylinder fired up. I rode home. After tea, started the bike up. Fine. Stopped it. Now, no sparks again. The side stand has never had any impact on starting, up or down, but I disconnected it under the tank anyway. Any thoughts?

All being well with the plugs, I’m thinking insulation breaking down in your HT system, heat and age related.
Commence the process of elimination, if you have the electrical bent.


If side stand has a cut out switch, I’m guessing switch has to be closed to enable ignition or whatever (is it injection?) if so then disconnecting it was the wrong thing to do, needs the wires shorting together instead. Just a guess though.

I have disconnected the wires to the sidestand switch. Connecting these together stops the starter motor from working, so I’ve decided this isn’t the issue and taped them up unconnected. I’ve decided to begin my detective work from first principles. But first, a really stupid question. Can someone ‘point’ me to the points on a Cali 1100 (with Carbs). Are they behind that rounded diamond shape on the top of the crankcase?

No. They are in the ‘nose’ behind the front wheel. Hopefully any other questions will be sensible ones.

Solved it!! Checking the flywheel pickup doodah for the EI, the sensor nose was bristling like Desperate Dan’s beard with iron filings. (Go on, tell me this is a bad sign). Cleaned that up and the engine burst into life.

That is a bad sign. It means the end is nigh. The earths magnetic field is about to swop over and we are all doomed. It’s all the fault of Desperate Dan.

Happy now?

Bin there done that with me dato…

Or Magneto man Gav…

ABS wheel speed sensors on cars can have the same problem, just by the way

Except that the Earth’s magnetic field IS due to swap over some time. Isn’t it? Happy would be a stretch. Haven’t been able to enjoy the sunshine on the bike and now it’s raining.

Know the feeling. The forecast for here was for rain at midday so I’d just decided to pop out for a wee while before lunch and the F1. 0930 hrs: where’s the keys? 0940 hrs: What’s that drumming noise on the Velux. Oh, , it’s down!

So much for Met Orifice forecast.

Tomorrow then, if Magneto Man saves us from the flipping magnetic fields. The FF lambada dance compensators are newly fitted and require strict testimification. Oh yes they do.

Getting frustrating now. I’ve had two bursts of life from the engine, both after messing with the power connections to the coils but each lasted for a second before cutting out.

A serious question. Checking the connector to one coil always gives me battery voltage on one terminal. I get zilch from the connector on the other coil. Would I expect to get power to that coil too?

Are they switched by engine management computer, if so it’s anybody’s guess!

Which further suggests does the computer stop the engine running because it thinks summink ain’t right somewhere. A safety cut-out feature. So goes for only 1 second. Did I read something like this somewhere or just imagine it?

Rust never sleeps. Poor earth from ignition unit?

Maybe worth swopping out the phonic sensor too. My intro into the obscurative world of Magneti Marelli f/inj started with just such a sensor breaking down on the Sport ie. It was a bugger to diagnose and the only thing the ecu didn’t test. “By exception” is the term the w/shop manual used, IOWs if everything else is OK check the crank sensor - how terribly, terribly, helpful that isnt. The fact the inline resistor on the test pulse led lead was cracked through caused a fair bit of diagnostic confusion initially too!

They (crank sensors) are a) barely more than the price of a full tank of putt-etrol and b) do break down. They can also be tested but I would just bin. Check for any swelling of plastic case: i.e. " barrelling", any miniscule gaps forming around the case / wiring / pickup area where debris and moisture can access the internal gubbins. Some now require a newer type connector to also be fitted. Ask when buying the sensor.

It appears the poles have not flipped…yet. God almighty, it’s a mercy we’re all spared.

You have my sympathy.Mad Farquhar2014-07-07 09:30:39

Had it running today, long enough to be able to come off choke, and then to adjust tickover. Stopped it. Started it. Stopped it. Started it to show off to the missis. Stopped it. Sta…bugger!!

So something objects to getting warm…

MMMmmm…2 words, sounds like…

Yep. I looked at that thread, which is for a fuel injected Cali. I looked at it long and hard - even found myself studying the bits about TPS etc, as if I actually had one. I would have thought that a few hours would be enough to get the Sensor to cool down. A replacement would probably be a good place to start though.

Sorry I was labouring under the impression this was injected … apparently not?

When mine broke down it was after a lay off over winter. A lovely crisp April day in 2007. It ran for about 3 miles then died. After checking the obvious - fuel / spark / power it fired up again - ran for half a mile, faltering the last couple of yards as if out of fuel. Did this several times until I decided it was time to push it home. 3 days of sore shoulders and 3 months of off and on trying to work out what was wrong before it all came together and I had mapped out the Magneti Marelli FI system and what all the bits (supposedly) did. Being in the Highlands there is little recourse to much Guzzi advice or spares so ended up diying it. Satisfaction ultimately but what a frustrating time it was. I dont know what happens to the sensors but as I say £30 is probably worth spending to eliminate the issue or act like a bit of preventative maintenance. Some will no doubt disagree but its a call on how much time you ultimately want to spend with your bike off the road and your brain all a tizzy.