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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I'm at my wits end. I have a 08 Sportsman 90 that won't crank. Turn the key, neutral light comes on, squeeze the brake, hit the start button and nothing! I've try ty o trouble shot everything I can think of. I put a new starter switch, brake sensor switch, and starter relay. Still nothing. I've checked everything with a meter and everything seemed to be good but the starter switch, replaced it and still nothing. It was running fine until it just decided to not start anymore. For a couple weeks before, it would do this, but would eventually crank. Any help would be appreciated
 

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Does it have the kill switch tether on it? I’ve got an 07 and it did the same thing yours is doing. Mine turned out to be the tether kill switch was bad. I’d also check your voltage regulator. I had that go out as well on ours.


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The problem is most likely the starter motor or the starter relay (the 90 uses a relay instead of a solenoid)

You say it does nothing and you replaced the starter switch - was the 'switch' you replaced on the handlebar or was it the cube near the battery. Different people have a different terminology for the same things. To me the starter switch is the button on the handlebar but to some folks, the starter switch is the relay near the battery. If the relay clicks when you push the starter button, then the problem is simply the relay or the starter motor. If the relay does not clicl, then the problem is the relay or the starter button.

I will presume the tether switch is making contact because there would be no power to the lights if it were not making contact. Power goes from the key switch to the tether switch via the dark green wire and from the tether to the handlebar switch via the black/yellow wire. At the handlebar switch with the switch in the run position, there is power to the horn, neutral light, reverse light and brake light (tail light is not connected) - here's the really confusing part of the Chinese designed machines; black wire is ground and brown is 12v+ when switched by various devices including the CDI unit.

I really hate working on the 50's and 90's as the wiring is so confusing.

Test the starter motor by unplugging the starter relay and jump between the red and red white wires. If the starter motor runs, then test the control circuit - measure voltage on the dark blue/white wire with the start button depressed. If you have voltage there, then the problem is the start relay or the relay safety circuit. Test the relay by applying 12v to the terminals the db/w and dark grn/yel wires attach to - the relay should click and there should be continuity across the other terminals. If the relay and starter is good, then troubleshoot the starter inhibitor circuit. The start inhibit circuit includes the lever switches, brake light, reverse light and CDI unit.

Let me know what you find out up to this point and I will help you troubleshoot the starter inhibit circuit. With luck, you have found the faulty connection or component and it will be fixed. If not then we'll tackle the difficult and confusing part of the wiring nightmare.
 

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Does it have the kill switch tether on it? I’ve got an 07 and it did the same thing yours is doing. Mine turned out to be the tether kill switch was bad. I’d also check your voltage regulator. I had that go out as well on ours.


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The voltage regulator has nothing to do with starting other than keeping the battery charged - if the battery is dead, then of course it will not crank the engine. In that case the rec/reg will affect starting.
 

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I've replaced both the starter relay and the entire stary assembly on the left hand handle bar. I'll try your suggestions when I get a chance to work on it tomorrow. Thanks for the help.
 

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I do know the relay doesn't click when I press the start button. There are no sounds what so ever.
 

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I actually followed this flow diagram, which lead me to changing out the left hand start switch. But replacing it didnt work.
 

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I think you have a bad key switch

When you turn the switch on it makes two connections; it connects red (battery) to green (switched hot wire) and it also connects black (ground) to brown (switched ground). I think the switch fails to connect black to brown.

If I were working on it, I would unplug the key switch and jump the red to green wires together and jump the black to brown wires together - if it works then replace the switch if no, at least it has been eliminated as a possibility.

I also discovered an error on the wiring diagram of the 2008 Sportsman 90 in manual 9921487 - the diagram is the same and correct in the 2009 manual 9921800.
 

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I had one of these with the exact same problem. I'm a seasoned tech, and this one stumped me. Long story short, after pulling my hair out for hours, I grabbed the negative cable to wiggle it, and it came off in my hand - detached from the battery with the slightest of effort. Basically there was half of ONE strand of wire completing the circuit. You won't flow very many amps through that!

It was completely unnoticeable upon visual inspection, too - everything looked perfect! I'll never forget that one ...
 

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I have same problem with a Phoenix. It's the key switch. Lights come on, neutral light comes on. But won't turn over. All I have to do is wiggle the key a little and it cranks. Give it a try
 

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I had one of these with the exact same problem. I'm a seasoned tech, and this one stumped me. Long story short, after pulling my hair out for hours, I grabbed the negative cable to wiggle it, and it came off in my hand - detached from the battery with the slightest of effort. Basically there was half of ONE strand of wire completing the circuit. You won't flow very many amps through that!

It was completely unnoticeable upon visual inspection, too - everything looked perfect! I'll never forget that one ...
Now that you mentioned this, mine did the same thing this summer. I couldn’t figure it out. Had a new battery and everything. I went to put the tender on it and the negative cable broke off the battery.


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I’m sure latebird is going to point you in the right direction and maybe he can give his input on this but I had a cdi box go out on a Polaris outlaw 50 (I have 2 of them) so I started changing switches one by one until I finally tried the cdi box and that was the issue.
 
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