World Superbike Racer
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Rainy Seattle
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The ticking sound means there is not enough juice to turn the bike over.
First thing to do would be to charge the battery. Once it's charged get a voltmeter, and from the battery terminals check the voltage. It should be 12-13 volts just sitting there. Now leave the voltmeter attached and start the bike. You should see the voltage go up to 13.8-15ish.
If the voltage does not go up when the bike is running then the alternator is not doing it's job. Check for fouled or loose electrical connectors for the alternator.
If the voltage goes up normally, then button everything back up and ride. If the bike dies a day or so later leaving you stranded on the side of the highway dodging giant 18 wheelers, then you need a new battery.
2005 BMW R1200GS
2005 Kawasaki KLR650
1971 Honda CL350