Author Topic: Bike is dead, Jim!  (Read 4906 times)

Offline NinjaRat

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Bike is dead, Jim!
« on: August 30, 2016, 12:08:45 pm »
Hello all,

Been a lurker for a while, but am having a problem with my 2011 that I'm hoping to get some feedback with. Long story short, stopped for gas on the way to work and when attempting to start the bike it acted as if the battery was dead (thumbing the starter cause the instrument panel to dim and throw various errors about FI, Immobilizer and KTRC…unfortunately I noticed no error code #). It's done this before, but usually switching it off and waiting a second or two it would fire up normally. No go this time and progressively got worse the more times I retried; I believe that at this point I was just draining the battery. Eventually I got a tow and the bike is now sitting in my garage on the trickle charger.

Since I’ve had it home, the behavior has changed a bit. When it was first fully charged the dash would light up normally (both left red and oil light, dials would spin, etc), but once I hit the ignition switch I’d get nothing but a rapid clicking noise coming from the tank area and an alternating errors on the display: KTRC and K-ACT ABS error.

Strangely, since getting the battery tested (it’s good) the bike is now acting differently. Now when I turn it on the display takes a moment before illuminating and pressing the starter I hear a click and the dash goes dark with only the oil light faintly illuminated (along with Neutral). Turning off the key nob and back on repeats the same behavior.

For the record, the bike is a 2011 with  22k some odd miles (I bought two years ago in Nov with under 7000 miles) . I installed a new battery in January, and just had it load tested resulting in a healthy status. Also, all fuses appear to be intact and functional. Lastly, I performed a diode test on the Voltage Regulator/rectifier having had bad experience with failure on my last bike, a Triumph Sprint ST, but it appears sound.

Any suggestions on what might be the problem or next steps I should take in troubleshooting?  Thanks in advance!

Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 01:19:30 pm »
I guess it's just mostly dead, then.  Not totally dead.   Go over every battery cable connection you can find.  Clean them with a brass brush or whatever you use.  Just because it looks clean doesn't mean it is.  What battery did you install in January?  You could still have a bad battery BTW.
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Offline jimmymac

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 01:28:58 pm »
Epic!  I get your battery is good. But it's not.
2010 Connie. No ABS, no TC, no linked brakes. A real bike.
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Offline Conrad

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 02:47:32 pm »
After you turn on the ignition but before you try to start it can you cycle through the dash displays and get to the voltmeter? What's it reading before you try to start the bike? After? 

Do what Jim said as well.
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Offline maxtog

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 03:42:16 pm »
We have seen this over and over again.  I would guess 90% of the time it is either a bad connection to ground or battery, or the battery is defective.   Double check the cleaning of all the connections on the battery and frame grounds first.

Unless you are using a trickle charger regularly, a 5+ year-old battery you should just probably replace anyway.... especially if it has EVER accidentally been drained to very low or dead state before.

Of course it COULD be something else... but start with the 90%.

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Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 04:53:11 pm »
He did say he replaced it in Jan of this year and it checked good, but still that's no indication of a good battery.
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Offline maxtog

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 05:08:20 pm »
He did say he replaced it in Jan of this year and it checked good, but still that's no indication of a good battery.

Sorry, I did miss that part, but yes.... even a fairly new battery can fail.  In his case, probably look more at the connections than the battery.... especially those frame grounds.
Guhl ECU flash, Canyon Cages front/rear, Helibars risers, Phil's wedges, Grip Puppies, Sargent World seat-low & heated & pod, Muzzy lowering links, Soupy's stand, Nautilus air horn, Admore lightbar, Ronnie's highway pegs, front running lights, HID, helmet locks, Garmin Zumo 450, Sena SMH10, Throttle Tamer, MRA X-Creen, PR4-GT, Scorpion EXO-T1200,  Tourmaster Flex II

Offline kwakrider

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 02:15:49 am »
Epic!  I get your battery is good. But it's not.

+1. Mine did the exact same thing, swapped out the battery and been all good for the last 4 years! Agree with the other posts too...check the earth connections properly. Best of luck!  :)

Offline NinjaRat

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2016, 07:09:51 am »
Thanks for the replies! And apparently good advice...

Thank you, when I meant 'tested' I meant I took it to the local Autozone and had them run a what I presume is a load test. I'm guessing this is not the end all be all of verifying the battery is good?

In any event, last night once the battery was showing fully charged I removed the charger and checked the voltage and it was showing 13.13v...this morning it read 12.87v. I also took the advice of cleaning the connection points, using some Emory paper I removed the bit of corrosion on the negative terminal, the terminals themselves, and scuffed up the two ground connections (and the mounting area).  And guess what...She fired up this morning!

I'l be damned, I've never had something act so dead over a little bit of corrosion or oxidation, but I suppose you can learn something new every day!

Still need to reattach my powerlet adapter leads and maybe my Garmin (though I use that less frequently these days), so will monitor and periodically start and run the bike before taking any trips.

Thank you all for the clue! 



Offline gPink

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 07:19:41 am »
 :thumbs:
Thank God for good men willing to do extreme violence.

Offline Conrad

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2016, 11:47:57 am »
Thanks for the replies! And apparently good advice...

Thank you, when I meant 'tested' I meant I took it to the local Autozone and had them run a what I presume is a load test. I'm guessing this is not the end all be all of verifying the battery is good?

In any event, last night once the battery was showing fully charged I removed the charger and checked the voltage and it was showing 13.13v...this morning it read 12.87v. I also took the advice of cleaning the connection points, using some Emory paper I removed the bit of corrosion on the negative terminal, the terminals themselves, and scuffed up the two ground connections (and the mounting area).  And guess what...She fired up this morning!

I'l be damned, I've never had something act so dead over a little bit of corrosion or oxidation, but I suppose you can learn something new every day!

Still need to reattach my powerlet adapter leads and maybe my Garmin (though I use that less frequently these days), so will monitor and periodically start and run the bike before taking any trips.

Thank you all for the clue!

The bill will arrive shortly, please be prompt with the payments.    ;)

I would suggest using a good quality, plastic safe, contact cleaner to coat the contact points that you just cleaned up.

This contact cleaner is the best available, IMO.

https://smile.amazon.com/Booster-Electric-Connection-Enhancer-Lubricant/dp/B0002BBVN2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472665579&sr=8-2&keywords=cramolin

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Offline Conniesaki

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 12:23:54 pm »
Thank you, when I meant 'tested' I meant I took it to the local Autozone and had them run a what I presume is a load test. I'm guessing this is not the end all be all of verifying the battery is good?

It is definitely not.

Offline maxtog

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 09:26:52 pm »
Of course it COULD be something else... but start with the 90%.

I also took the advice of cleaning the connection points, [] And guess what...She fired up this morning!

Another to add to the collection!
Guhl ECU flash, Canyon Cages front/rear, Helibars risers, Phil's wedges, Grip Puppies, Sargent World seat-low & heated & pod, Muzzy lowering links, Soupy's stand, Nautilus air horn, Admore lightbar, Ronnie's highway pegs, front running lights, HID, helmet locks, Garmin Zumo 450, Sena SMH10, Throttle Tamer, MRA X-Creen, PR4-GT, Scorpion EXO-T1200,  Tourmaster Flex II

Offline PlaynInPeoria

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2016, 01:04:45 pm »
Here's a data point on batteries, just one bit of info on battery longevity.   I'm not asking for advice and if you gave it to me, I'm not smart enough to take it.

1) I have a 2012 I got in Jan 2013, it just turned over 48,000 miles a month ago.

2) I am an idiot.

3) I have walked away from my bike with the key on more times than I can count.  That resulted in jumping it and yes, bump starting it (by myself sometimes, not as much fun as it sounds).  I would say that I have easily done this 6x.

4) I have also had the positive battery terminal come loose a couple times, resulting in a no start scenario. I have my heated gear and HID power from there, so it's a problem spot.

5) I run a trickle charger on it during the winter.

6) This may be neither here nor there, but I run the heated gear a fair amount as needed (when below 50F and the ride is more than 30 minutes).

My battery still works.  It wouldn't hurt to throw another one in there, I suppose.   I am hoping to be less stupid in the future, but I don't have high hopes.

2012 "root beer" C14 - unlinked brakes, reflash, LED headlights, Walmart orange city lights, LOUD horn, Laam seat, radar detector for ahem, reasons.
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Offline VirginiaJim

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Re: Bike is dead, Jim!
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2016, 05:10:21 pm »
 :thumbs: :rotflmao:   I think we've all done things like that.
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