Originally Posted by njpaddler
That, my guess, is the problem. If it never moves, never gets used, likely the contacts are corroded and not passing current through. Using it keeps it clean.
I'd take it apart and first check it with a meter before doing anything else, then clean it thoroughly.
The "Start" button was worn out. Cleaning it did nothing, but I was able to resolve the issue with a $5 momentary switch from the auto parts store, wired in place of the "Start" button. It is not weatherproof, but it's getting the job done for now.
I have purchased a used right side switch assembly, which hopefully has a good "Start" button. I am considering getting a new right side switch assy. from a later model Nighthawk, either to see if I can fit teh "Start" button from the new assembly into the old housing, or just use the new gear as-is.