Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...
Ok, this is a bit of a long story, but I think there are some details in the story which are important to figuring this out.
The bike is a 2000 CBR929, so it's got about 6 years on it. About 15,000 miles. Has run absolutely problem-free for the couple of years that I've owned it.
I put it away last winter, it was running absolutely perfectly. Never had a problem starting it, even when I took it out of storage in the spring of '05. When I put it away in the fall, I took the battery out, put it in my heated basement, and had it plugged into a battery tender for most of the winter. About a month ago I was moving stuff around in the basement, and unplugged the battery tender (the light on the battery tender was green, "fully charged"). When I wanted to take the bike out over the weekend, I plugged the battery tender in again, saw the red light on the battery tender, and thought "Well, maybe it's not fully charged, but it was fully charged just a month ago and it's heated here, it should still have enough juice to start the bike."
I took the battery to the garage, plugged it into the bike, and tried to start it. I got a rapid series of electrical clicks (is that the relay?), but no turning over, no starting. I then realized that I had connected the Power Commander to the positive instead of the negative terminal of the battery (is this a serious mistake?). I switched the Power Commander lead to the negative terminal, and tried again. More clicking. No turning. I figured, the battery must be dead.
I plugged the battery back in to the Battery Tender and left it until the light turned green. Put it back on the bike, and connected everything properly. This time, the engine started turning, but wouldn't fire, wouldn't "catch". I tried a few more times, until chug-chug-chug, it wouldn't even turn over any more. I figured the battery was dead again. Plugged it back into the Battery Tender for a while, until the light turned green again. Went to start the bike again, and this time it turned over, and started! The bike ran great. I let it run for a while, until it could get warmed up, and maybe charge the battery a bit more on its own. Let it run for about 10 minutes.
I turned the bike off, and had a few other things to do before taking it for a ride. After about 20 minutes, I tried to start it again. Chug-chug, the engine turned, but no start. I tried a few more times until the starter wouldn't turn any more, and figured the battery was dead again. Plugged it back into the battery tender. When the light turned green, I tried starting the bike again, it fired right up, and I went for a ride.
I was cautious about shutting it off, as I wanted the battery to charge. I rode around for probably about an hour, and figured that should do the trick. I was downtown, parked the bike, shut it off, and had some lunch. When I came back to the bike, lo and behold, it wouldn't start. The engine turned, but wouldn't fire. Now I'm convinced that the battery is just too old - maybe it's the original battery, so it's 6 years old. I figure it's had a good life, and I'll buy a new one. I called CAA to give me a boost - the bike started up with no problem at all once hooked up to the jumper cables. I probably could have bump-started it, but I've never done that before, and didn't want to try it for the first time in city traffic.
I rode home without any problem. The next day (yesterday), I went out and bought a new battery. I took it home, plugged it into the battery tender just to make sure it was fully juiced. It was showing a green light, but I left it on for an hour or so just for good measure. I hooked up the new battery to the bike, and when I turned the key, the fuel pump noise sounded strange - not it's usual "tone". I thumbed the starter, and got the rapid clicking again - not even the turning of the motor. I turned it off, then on again, and the fuel pump sounded normal this time. I hit the starter button, and it turned the engine, but didn't catch.
Now, whenever I try starting it, I get either clicking or some turning, but no starting.
What could be the source of this problem? I know it's not the battery, as it's new and charged. I also know it's not spark plugs, fuel, or anything mechanical, as the bike started up on the first try when hooked up to jumper cables. The problem is electrical in nature, I'm pretty sure, but I'm not good with electrics, so I could use a bit of help here.
Could it be battery? Connections? Starter? What other electrical components are there that I should think about? Could I have damaged something by hooking up the "ground" cable from the Power Commander to the positive battery terminal instead of the negative?
Any advice/help would be appreciated. Thanks.