Author Topic: Help with starting  (Read 4706 times)

Offline ZG RIDER

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Help with starting
« on: July 09, 2012, 11:39:21 pm »
Hello all,
 Ran into trouble today after a ride. Bikes been starting fine since I purchased it (with a new battery) about 3 months ago. after my ride turned the bike off then went to move it after about five minutes and the battery appears to be dead for the most part. It will start with a jump but wont start without. >:(

 Where  do I begin trouble shooting?
 Thanks in advance for any advice, Connie newbie

Offline ZG RIDER

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 11:47:05 pm »
forgot to mention during my ride the left rear blinker bulb went out, so I thought, as indicated by fast blinking dash indicator. after a preliminary check for the source of the battery failure I found one of the blinker plugs disconnected from a recent cleaning(rear pig tail plug). I re connected it now the blinker works but the bike wont start. Any connection?

Offline Rick Hall

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2012, 11:58:24 pm »
First thing I would do is check for a receipt for the battery to verify it was new. And not just a new battery that replaced the old one three years ago.

Next thing I would do is see if I can get warranted on the battery. From your description, everything points to a dead battery.

Turn signal light disconnection being related to non starting would be a stretch.

But, clean the battery terminals and positive/negative lugs tomorrow just to make sure. It Kent Hoit to try that first. Make sure the connections are comfortably snugged down too.

Rick
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Offline ZG RIDER

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2012, 01:47:50 am »
well yes I figured the battery was dead but how does it go from fully charged and starting the bike dependably  to dis charged and useless after one ride? doesn't the generator/alternator keep it at full charge? what would/could possibly drain the battery while riding?

 The battery does appear to be brand new and I did clean and tighten connections.

 Thanks again.

Offline Bikenagain

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2012, 03:13:07 am »
You could possible have a dead cell in the battery. When they die they just die as fast as that. I have known brand new fresh out of the box batteries to die within hours of first use, luckily it does not happen very often. but does still happen. Have an auto shop load test it, a simple test but it will prove whether the battery is buggered or not.

Offline Daytona_Mike

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2012, 08:34:25 am »
Your going to need a voltage meter. (I thing Harbor Freight has them for $5)
 What is the voltage of the battery  while at rest with the engine off. What is the voltage while running with the engine rev'd up a little bit say 3,500 rpm?
Are you getting any sign of life? Does the horn blow with the key turned on (engine not running)?
It is possible you may have a J-box problem but we would need more info before we start diagnosing that as an issue.
One interesting battery issue I have seen is a cracked connection inside a battery, even new batteries. You turn on the key and stuff works (lights ,horn)but the second you hit the starter the load opens that connection and now it is a dead battery. Yours maybe that way but  then sometimes the battery comes back to life  tricking you into thinking it is not the battery. A  voltage meter will confirm this problem.
If you still have fuel in the tank, you are not lost yet
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Offline bbroj

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2012, 10:47:14 am »
You are correct that the bike should be charging the battery during the ride, so is it? Perhaps your charging circuit went out and you were running the ignition and accessories off the battery during the ride. The above test is designed to check for that as well, as in "What is the voltage while running with the engine rev'd up a little bit say 3,500 rpm?". If it's not above 13.5, you may need to look at the charging circuit. I have not experienced it on this bike, but I believe the alternator (stator?) connector has been an issue for some.
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Offline ZG RIDER

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2012, 10:46:21 pm »
Thanks for the advice! The battery is on a trickle charger for the night. I did however jump the bike this morning and checked voltage at the battery at about 2500 rpm. It read 14.9. the shop says it shouldn't  be more than about 15 with a rev or lower than 13.5 at idle. Does that sound right? Ill let the battery charge, test again tomorrow, and report back.

 I was also told that the generator/alternator does not charge the battery while riding. It only maintains whatever level of charge the battery has when the bike is started and that I have to occasionally charge it to maintain a full charge.

 Thanks again!

Offline Bikenagain

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 12:35:47 am »
" I was also told that the generator/alternator does not charge the battery while riding. It only maintains whatever level of charge the battery has when the bike is started and that I have to occasionally charge it to maintain a full charge."

Someone has led you astray with this statement. The alternator most definatly does charge the battery while riding. Otherwise the battery would get flatter and flatter every time you started the bike.

Offline syntor

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 03:02:30 am »
+1

Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 03:49:00 am »
well yes I figured the battery was dead but how does it go from fully charged and starting the bike dependably  to dis charged and useless after one ride? doesn't the generator/alternator keep it at full charge? what would/could possibly drain the battery while riding?

 The battery does appear to be brand new and I did clean and tighten connections.

 Thanks again.

Did you check the water level in the battery? If it has boiled down or is otherwise too low that can cause a sudden onset. In your latter post your voltage sounds about right so without other testing it sounds as though you have a bad battery or a loose crappy connection.
Tony P. Crochet
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Offline gpzrocker

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 04:03:51 am »
T Cro is on it, just make sure that it is a battery you can add water too. I believe that my battery indicates to NOT remove the strip and check for water because it is sealed.

Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 04:58:14 am »
T Cro is on it, just make sure that it is a battery you can add water too. I believe that my battery indicates to NOT remove the strip and check for water because it is sealed.

Supposed to be sealed.... I've seen some "lower cost" sealed batteries that needed to be pried open and have water added as they still somehow managed to boil off water.
Tony P. Crochet
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Offline RFH87_Connie

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 06:41:27 am »
The battery does appear to be brand new and I did clean and tighten connections.

Do you know the age of the battery?  Just because it is clean and shiny does not mean anything.  There is usually a sticker or stamp on them.  If it is older than 4 years, it is definitely a suspect.

As for the statement about the alternator not actually charging, consider this.  Most older motorcycle alternators (ours) are just marginal at charging the battery.  If it gets low and you just do some around town driving like stopping at the store, then gas, then lunch, etc. the alternator does not put out enough to sometimes recover from this.  Do this for a few days in row and your battery won't have enough to start the bike.  I put mine on trickle charge for a day or two about once a month just to avoid this and keep the battery topped up.  I also run fog lights 24-7.
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Offline T Cro ®

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Re: Help with starting
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 07:30:59 am »
Most older motorcycle alternators (ours) are just marginal at charging the battery.  If it gets low and you just do some around town driving like stopping at the store, then gas, then lunch, etc. the alternator does not put out enough to sometimes recover from this.  Do this for a few days in row and your battery won't have enough to start the bike.  I put mine on trickle charge for a day or two about once a month just to avoid this and keep the battery topped up.  I also run fog lights 24-7.

No the Concours alt is not marginal for normal use at all if you don't have any high draw add-ons such as you do; the alt is in fact known for putting out more voltage than really needed and boiling the water out of a conventional battery. But once you add in a 7 amp + (fog light) draw as well as another farkle or two and you are taxing the alt at slower speeds.
Tony P. Crochet
(SOLD) 01 Concours Winner of COG Most Modified in 2010
Ask me about a set of Stick Coils & Harness or Precision Shift Linkage for your C10 Concours