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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2019, 7:53 am Thread Starter
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Battery Question

When I tried to start one of my bikes upon returning to town, it acted very dead. No horn , no click, just crazy gauges jumping around. I checked the battery with a volt meter, 12.6 v . It had been on a BatteryTender since I left. The bike would do nothing more than a gauge sweep. I put a ďsmartĒ charger on it. I was going to jumpstart it, but the built in tester said the battery was fully charged.ive now spent a few hours on it and replaced the solenoid, since everything flows through it and I canít find anything definitive. Nothing. Then I jump the solenoid posts. Nothing. Then I jump from battery terminal to starter cable. Nothing. I put a different smart charger on the battery, it now reads ďDefective ď and wonít accept a charge. Voltage reads 12.8 . It holds voltage all night. I am an electrical imbecile and I canít understand this discrepancy . Would someone please tell me what Iím seeing here ? Iíve ordered a new battery.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2019, 7:59 am
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Check the chassis ground...then try banging on the terminal connections where you see them...sounds a bit like a corrosion issue
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2019, 8:02 am
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Chassis ground and the ground to the ECU case are often problems. Worth checking.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 17th, 2019, 2:32 pm
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I had a similar problem this spring. I had pulled the batteries from 3 bikes and put them in my basement on the corner of my workbench. Around Christmas I threw them all on the charger overnight. Put them all back in motorcycles in the spring. 2 of them were fine, the last one in the multistrada - which was the NEWEST ONE - read A-OK on my OptiMate motorcycle-specific super fancy computerized charger but the bike would turn over slowly once or twice and stop with a wheeze. Not sure if it just wasn't charged up when I put it away - now if I just do around-town rides I plug it into the trickle charger for a few hours when I get back - but it was toast and had to be replaced.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 18th, 2019, 9:05 am Thread Starter
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I ordered a new battery. Whatever else might be wrong, the battery isnít checking out. I put the battery on a desulfurization mode, but Iíve never had luck with that in the past. The first thing I did was clean the grounds, but according to the schematic the main battery ground goes to the back of the engine ( cleaned it) and there is a pigtail at the battery ground for ecu and everything else. I cleaned the connectors. If a new battery doesnít fix it Iíll make a new pigtail and run it directly to the ground terminal. My son says all the electrical issues Iím seeing could just be a bad battery, and heís far more educated in vehicle electronics than I am. Iím just curious about the battery itself; How could it check between 12.6-13.13 every time I checked it and not even make the new solenoid click or the ecu work. It just seems crazy.🤔

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 18th, 2019, 9:35 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duc96cr View Post
I’m just curious about the battery itself; How could it check between 12.6-13.13 every time I checked it and not even make the new solenoid click or the ecu work. It just seems crazy.��
If the battery is internally shorted, or there is a bad connection (either positive or negative) the battery can read "good" with just a volt meter measuring it's output. But as soon as any kind of load is placed on the battery that same voltage reading will then show that the battery is way too low to start the bike or even fully engage the starter solenoid.

One tool that I had at my repair business that paid for itself a hundred times over was a battery load tester (aka "load bank"). They used to cost less than $20 bucks new.

I'd render a guess that if you put a voltage meter on the battery it will show it's fully charged. Then, while leaving the volt meter attached to the battery try to start the bike, you'll see that voltage fall on it's face because now there is a load applied. This can be indicative of a bad battery, or bad main connections (pos or neg), or even a bad solenoid.

"No load voltage" (aka "open circuit voltage") and "loaded voltage" are two tests that can pinpoint electrical system issues pretty quickly. Learning how to do both types of tests with external measuring gear (as in a held held volt meter and a battery load tester) will help anyone troubleshoot their motorcycle's electrical systems. "External" testers are important since the internal (aka "built in") diagnostic gear can be fooled or inaccurate.

Spend a few bucks on a batt load tester and a hand held voltage meter.

BATT LOAD TESTER LINK = https://www.harborfreight.com/100-am...ter-61747.html

Hi zoot test gear is not necessary, nor is doing long involved tests. A funkered battery is a pass/fail test (as are connections). If the battery's open circuit voltage tests ok, but as soon as a load is applied it falls flat on it's face that battery is dead, and unrecoverable. The $20 load tester can also be used to troubleshoot the batt connections and battery cables as well. There's no need to try to "recover" the battery's capacity, just replace it. Same with the cables.


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Last edited by Rex Coil 7; Jul 18th, 2019 at 9:45 am. Reason: can't spell
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Jul 18th, 2019, 9:37 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duc96cr View Post
I ordered a new battery. Whatever else might be wrong, the battery isnít checking out. I put the battery on a desulfurization mode, but Iíve never had luck with that in the past. The first thing I did was clean the grounds, but according to the schematic the main battery ground goes to the back of the engine ( cleaned it) and there is a pigtail at the battery ground for ecu and everything else. I cleaned the connectors. If a new battery doesnít fix it Iíll make a new pigtail and run it directly to the ground terminal. My son says all the electrical issues Iím seeing could just be a bad battery, and heís far more educated in vehicle electronics than I am. Iím just curious about the battery itself; How could it check between 12.6-13.13 every time I checked it and not even make the new solenoid click or the ecu work. It just seems crazy.
It's the batteries capacity that needs to be checked...my 4yr old battery still held 13+ volts but it's amperage was down...did a low volt charge spanning a week but never got above a 65% capacity... chemistry is chemistry...the anode and cathodes carrode or get coated acidity varies...umpf gets diminished...bottom line volts tell only part of the story

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