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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all. I'm new to ex500's. Just bought one for my wife to learn on and she's coming from dirt bikes so not entirely new.

Anyways, I picked up a titled 2008 ex500 for a whopping $400. I'm good at bargaining but also this bike had a no-start issue and was thefted and returned under the last owner. The ignition switch was screwed up but the previous owner bought a cheap replacement that seems to work fine.

Here's what I know:
• Battery is dead, but I have it hooked up to a mobile jump-start which should be giving it enough juice.
• With jump-start connected I can get the starter to turn and can feel compression.
• I thoroughly cleaned the carburater.

...and then this...
• After all that I decided to look for spark, and there was no spark.
• I tested the coils for ohm resistance and both phases give me feedback so I think the coils are good.
• I tried checking the stator but not really too sure how to go about that with a multimeter...so I didn't check it really.
• Checked the starter-relay and that seems good.
• Checked all the fuses. (A bunch of 10 amps that are all intact)
• I hooked up a spark tester and still not spark.
• I just purchased a new CDI on eBay today because I heard these bikes have issues.

So, is there anything else I should do/check on this bike to help resolve the spark issue? My wifes birthday is on the 31st of this month so I'd love to surprise her with this thing running if possible.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Just my two cents but it seems to me the no spark is the best place to start for now.

It could be worth throwing some new plugs in there for starters, then I'd suggest checking the ignition coils as well as all the wiring to them. The ignition coils on both sides should be connected by two small terminals near the front end of the bike, if you follow the coil you'll see what I'm talking about. From there I'd clean off the terminals. After that another spark test and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. After noticing no spark that will be where I put all my attention now. As I said I ordered a new CDI because the forums seem to be riddled with stories of bad ones. Found one that the seller said came off a running ex500 so I pray it works and resolves my problem...

That said, I did check the coils themselves using a multimeter set to ohms. I did not check the incoming wires because I do not know what to look for. Do I just check the incoming wire for ohms? Do I check them for voltage while ignition on or when attempting to start? What voltage should I expect to see?
 

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CDI could be related, hard to say as I've not had to deal with mine yet (fingers crossed).

Here's a thread I found helpful when testing my coils, keep in mind spec is what your shooting for not totally required. I'm currently running two coils that each have a slightly different range as my originals were damaged.

https://www.ex-500.com/37-how-s-fyi/1244-ignition-system-troubleshooting.html
(jump straight to the ignition coils section for ohms and such)

Also how do the wires themselves look? One of mine was literally coming apart at the end that screws into the wire.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The wires look fine. Honestly the bike looks older than a I expected to see a 2008 in but that's what helped me get the price down. It was never garaged and it was stolen and spray painted for a week on top of that. Also hunting for a proper wiring diagram to troubleshoot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
FIXED!

Short answer: It was the aftermarket ignition system causing no spark. (The "grey" wire did not have an in-line 100ohm 1/4 resister so the CDI was not getting the right signal.)

Long answer: I assumed the issue was either the stator or CDI because I don't know any better. I still have a tested CDI in the mail which now I can just keep as a backup. But anyways, I kept tinkering and testing and eventually decided to look at the aftermarket ignition key system the PO installed. He bought it off Amazon and it didn't have the same color wires so I thought maybe it was lacking the resistor too. I happen to have a whole bunch of resistors from a previous project so I spliced the "grey" wire which is actually red on this aftermarket piece and just twisted in a resistor for testing. I have one of those clear spark testors and all the sudden saw the flashing orange spark for the first time. Popped the boots back on theplugs and fired it up. It idles nicely and revs. Definitely needs some more TLC but MAN I am one happy camper.

My wife will actually get a bike for her birthday on March 31st and it will run too!
 

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My wife will actually get a bike for her birthday on March 31st and it will run too!
Heh. I started my wife off an EX-500 waaaaay back in the mid 1990s. We got her a '91 back then and I taught her all I could....basically until she quit listening to me and my input. Then I sent her to the MSF course. She graduated from the EX a number of years later, after our youngest son was born. Like 6 years later.

We ended up buying her a GSXR600 new, off the show room floor in 2004. She'd gotten herself a YZF600R in between though. It was kind of a good progression. Ergonomically as well as power and weight.wise.

The YZF was basically the same ergonomically only a little more committed, but was heavier and made more power. The GSXR is both more powerful and more committed ergonomically but is also lighter.

Good way for your wife to start her riding career....just be sure to send her to the MSF course too.....sean
 
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