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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have a 1999 Sportsman 500 and a 1999 Magnum 500, both 4x4. The Magnum starts and runs fine and I use it as a base line and parts trying to figure out problem with the Sportsman.
The Sportsman will not turn over or start. Using a voltmeter and comparing results with the Magnum the problem is with the key turned on and the switch (on-off, headlight switch) in the "on" position but not pushed up to start. On the Sportsman, I'm getting a voltage reading from the cable coming from the starter motor (even when not connected to the starter solenoid) of around 2-3 violts. On the magnum it it zero. The battery, the battery terminal on the starter solenoid and the red wire going into the voltage regulator all read 13 Volts. Also I have disconnected the little red wire coming out of the starter solenoid.
I have swapped out the "on-off headlght switch", the starter solenoid and the CDI unit with the Magnum. The Magnum continues to start and run without any problems and the Sportsman contines to have the same problem.
I also notice if I disconnect either of the fittings on the "on-off, headlight switch" the voltage reading drops to zero. Headlights do not work.
Any ideas? I'm trying to avoid taking the stator out until I'm sure its not something else.

Update: I located wiring harness that goes to the recoil starter housing. I disconnected all of the wires except the brown wire going to the coil. No change, still get voltage reading round 3. volts at the starter. When I disconnect the brown wire at the coil the voltage reading drops to .25 - .3 volts but still don't understand how there is any voltage reading at the starter leads since all wires leading to it are disconnected.
 
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