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I have a 250 from 1996. Got her about a year ago (low miles, great steal), and she's my only mode of transport.

It's a no spark issue. I checked the spark plugs by grounding them to make sure. The neutral switch is fine, the clutch switch is fine. Checked them with a multimeter and they check out.
When I press the start button (after putting it in neutral yadda yadda) the pistons still move and everything sounds fine. It just never actually starts up.

When I hooked my ignition coils up to the multimeter (from one male to the other male after taking them off the bike) I got a reading of only .8 ohms. This is low, right? I've looked around but can't seem to find the proper specs for it. I've heard most bikes want to be between 3 and 5 ohms.

The only other issue I was able to find was with my engine kill switch. I went to what I believed to be the proper pig tails of the kill switch and switched it off and on, off and on, (the key ignition turned on as well) and it went between .8 and 1.2 ohms, if I remember correctly. Very little difference, right?. I tried to ol' horse-shoe-short-circuit method with some kanthal wire in an attempt to cut the engine kill switch out of the equation, but it didn't make any sort of difference.

Please help!
 

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I would first eliminate the possibility that the ignition is being grounded to prevent it from sparking. The ignition switch, kill switch, neutral switch, clutch switch, and kickstand switch can all kill the ignition if set incorrectly or malfunctioning.

First make sure the kill switch is set to run, then put the bike in neutral, raise the kickstand, and pull in the clutch lever. Then try to start it. This puts every switch in the run position. Unless you have more than one switch go bad at the same time, which is highly unlikely, then you have probably eliminated all the safety switches as a culprit. If it still doesn't start, it is either the ignition switch, kill switch, a short in the wiring, or a problem with the ignition system itself.

To completely eliminate the possibility that the ignition is being grounded, unplug the black/white wire from the CDI. Then try to crank it. Be careful while you are testing this because all the safety switches, kill switch and ignition stop switch are all out of the circuit. This means that you could accidentally crank it in gear if you are not being careful. It also means that if you do crank it, that the only way to shut it down is to choke it down, since the ignition switch won't shut it off. Don't forget to reconnect it when finished testing.

If it cranks or sparks now, then the problem is with one of the switches, or the wiring or connectors in the switch circuits. If you still have no spark, then your problem is in the ignition system itself. This includes the plugs, plug wires, coils, alternator exciter coil, pulse generator, CDI, and associated wiring and connectors. You will have to start testing these components next.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have brand new plugs, so it's not them. I check the coils and they read at .8 ohms. Does that sound right or is that too low? Haven't yet checked the exciter coil or pulse generator.
 

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this might help

 

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how does one measure for the resistance indicated at the primary and secondary coils...?

That is, where do you physically put the two test leads from the meter...?
 

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how does one measure for the resistance indicated at the primary and secondary coils...?

That is, where do you physically put the two test leads from the meter...?
to test resistance of primary circuit of coil ohm meter connected to the positive and negative coil terminals.. Secondary circuit connect ohm meter to positive coil terminal and spark plug wire..
109588
 

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I have a 250 from 1996. Got her about a year ago (low miles, great steal), and she's my only mode of transport.
this may be of help visualizing ignition circuit
I wouldn't consider coils or plugs to be the problem.. seldom do both coils or plugs fail at same time..

As @78Paw stated the Black/White stop/ignition switch circuit grounds the CDI disabling it's function..

Disconnect the two wire CDI connector.. you should have an open circuit (infinite ohms) with ignition switch On and Stop switch in Run position when ohm testing between Black/White and Frame ground.. Placing Ignition switch Off or stop switch in Kill position should return a fairly low resistance reading...
109590
 
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