I have two similar bikes: a 2000 Shadow ACE 1100T and an 04 Shadow 750. I'm currently experiencing starting problems with both.
I've trickle-charged both batteries to full and then documented the symptoms from there. I have limited knowledge of mechanics, but I know this is my learning experience and I'm building that knowledge base. I think I'll probably need to get a voltmeter before this is all over.
On the 04 750 the battery appears to be fully charged with no problem charging and holding the charge long-term. The battery is not, but has not given me any problems yet.
I turn the key and all dashboard and headlights come on strong. I press the ignition button and it ticks rapidly but won't turn over. The lights and dashboard electronics flicker and the mileage trip meter resets.
Several wks ago it did this for one or two days, but we push-started it just fine. Then a day or two later it started regular with no problem, and started again when we tested it after we got back from our short ride. A week later, wouldn't start again, same problem.
Now, it has successfully push-started and stayed running every single time until I cut the engine off. I figure its either a loose wire somewhere in the process between the ignition bike and the engine turning over, or a blown fuse (which I haven't bothered to check yet). Could it be spark plugs...since the ignition ticks rapidly when pressing the bike, I assume it's trying to fire something, but I don't know much about spark plugs.
Now for the 2000 ACE: it has a new battery, within the last 3 mths. The battery required has proper fluid (acid/water) that I filled per instructions when I installed it, and the bike ran fine after that until recently. The levels appear to be full, at the correct level.
I trickle-charged it overnight, about 24 hours, and then attempted to start. The first time I charged it up to full several wks ago when the problem first started, after it was charged, when I unplugged it and didn't start, I think I remember trying to start it after plugging the charger back on to it, and memory serves me, IT STARTED. Again, I don't 100% remember, but after disconnecting the charger, I'm pretty sure I let it run for about 5 mins and then cut off the engine, tried it again, and it started successfully that second time.
I tried starting it again the next day and we were back to the same old problem. Since the beginning, the main observation is that I turn the key, dash and lights come on (may be weak in strength), and when I press the ignition button, it does almost nothing to turn over, no ticking at all, and the strength of electronics (lights) dims way down, and then the second time I try pushing the ignition button, even less of nothing, lights/electronics are extremely weak, and it seems as it (the perfectly good/new and fully charged) battery drains immediately with the first couple pushes of the ignition button.
Several mths back, on one of these bikes (I can't remember which now) the ignition button seemed to have s loose wire because it wouldn't do anything when I pressed it. This went on for a couple days of riding tried and I remember banging or knocking on the ignition housing on the handle and it worked fine after that. But I don't think that's the case with either of these problems now.
One thought is it's the stator on the bike that will push-start and run fine, and has full battery but just won't turn over. That's the 04 750.
But on the 2000 1100T with the brand new battery, it just won't hold a charge and won't start, turn over or run with a push-start at all. I'm gonna get some pushing help trying to push-start it this evening, since it's bigger and much harder (if not impossible) to push-start on my own.
I've read that you should never jump-start a bike from a car battery, but a AAA tow truck started me up one time way back and swore it wouldn't my bike in any way. I'm suspicious of starting with a full battery while plugged into a wall electrical outlet, too, but it's worked once or twice before with no apparent harm.
I'll be pissed if the 1100 is ruining my new brand batteries because of whatever electrical/battery problem it's having.
Your help is appreciated.