DIALED IN: By Winston “Boss” McKannick


Dear Boss,

I have a 2020 Honda Talon. After about 300 miles I started hearing a rattle in the front end and then a vibration started. A quick return to the dealer got me nowhere. They didn’t see anything wrong, but I feel something is wrong. Do you know where I should start to look?

Zack Myers

Las Vegas, NV

Zack, I have also been hearing reports of front-end rattling on the 2020 Talons. From what I have been able to determine, the cause of the rattle and vibration is most likely from the front propeller shaft. As a test, drop your propeller shaft out and go for a ride and see if the rattle/vibration is gone. The fix is either a new propeller shaft or tack-weld the cup to the shaft. The cups are coming loose and spinning on the shaft. If left long enough, the joint will eventually fail, usually catastrophically! The yokes are not press-fit into the caps as well as they should, and I am seeing either rattling or failures if left too long.


Dear Boss,

I have a 2019 YXZ1000R with a Heretic Studio 40-inch billet Wraith Curved LED light bar. While it does turn night into day as I wanted, it is way too much coming back into camp. I have tried to remember to turn this flamethrower off before entering camp; however, I still get some complaints of being on the wrong end of the light bar and blinding those in camp. Is there some way to wire the light bar just to the high-beam position so when I switch to low beam, the light bar goes off?

Jerry Monnet

Fallon, NV

Jerry, if you wire the light bar directly into the high-beam circuit, there will be an overload and fuses will blow or switches will overload. You will need to install a relay with power directly from an accessory port or the vehicle’s battery to keep the headlight load the same as stock. You have a 204-watt or 17-amp draw with the light bar running. So, to keep the relay cool, you will need at least a 35-amp-rated, 12-volt relay. The relay will be switched by the activation of the high beams, drawing its power from either an accessory port or directly from the battery. Or, you can cheat and purchase a pre-made wiring harness with a 40-amp relay from DZ Motorsports for $95 that is basically plug and play. See here:
products/yamaha-yxz-1000-headlight-activated-harness?variant=391715749915. DIYor click, click, buy. Your choice, Jerry, depending on your wiring skill. 


Dear Boss,

We have a 1993 Honda TRX300FW. It has been dead reliable for 29 years. This spring when I was going to remove it from our snow blower, it failed to start. Not even a backfire! I replaced the spark plug with another NGK DPR8EA-9. Still nothing! I laid the spark plug on the head, connected to the plug cap and cranked it over. Not a bit of spark was observed. I then checked the wiring for any mouse-chewed wires. Nothing! Now, Boss, I don’t even have a service manual for it. Nothing has ever gone wrong with it in 29 years! Can you point me in the right direction to fixing it?

Dennis Klock

Adams, NY

I’ll tell ya, Dennis, 29 years is most impressive. Back in the day Honda sold thousands of the TRX300s. They must have done something right! So, about your no-start problem, try cycling the kill switch back and forth several times and try starting again. Next, slide the kill switch off and hold the starter button down. Slide the kill switch to the run position. If still nothing, then shift into first gear and hold down the starter button. Now, shift into neutral. The starter should immediately start spinning. If nothing yet, then we have just eliminated the kill switch and the start-in-gear interlock as culprits. Next, let’s look at the ignition pulse generator located under the plastic on the left side, the green connector. Squeeze the tab that releases the connector from the frame mounting tab. Pull apart the green connector and check for corrosion. Then, using a multi-meter, connect the blue/yellow wire to the red positive wire of the multi-meter and the other black wire to ground. Set the multi-meter to the lowest DC volts available. When the engine is cranked over, you should see a voltage signal. If not, then the ignition pulse generator needs replacing. FYI, your 4×4 will require a great deal of labor because of the front driveshaft running in front of the alternator cover. You might want to consider a dealer for that. Next, remove the fuel tank and disconnect the coil and have it function-tested by a dealer. If that checks out, the only thing left is the CDI box located just ahead of the steering column, under the front plastic. If the CDI’s two electrical connections are clean and dry, then a replacement CDI will be needed because there is no good way to test the Honda CDI box. Amazon has aftermarket CDIs for about $30. I am seeing more and more reports of the TRX300’s CDI failing possibly due to moisture infiltration. A possible temporary fix is to bake the CDI in an oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes to dry out any moisture. Then, it may come back to life. It seems like the potting material Honda used back in the day develops micro-fractures that can let moisture inside the CDI. Although, I would not trust a resurrected baked CDI unit! Hope this helps, son! 

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