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Old 08-24-2013, 05:50 AM   #1
Rockwell OP
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Starting issues. Battery, alternator or other?

Been having some issues starting the bike since it got off the plane from New York to Iceland.

The day after the bike arrived, the bike wouldn't start due to insufficient cranking power. We eventually got a boost from a car, and we able to start several times after stopping and shutting the bike off.

The morning after, there wasn't enough cranking power to start the bike again. We needed to get another boost, which was good for the rest of the day, starting and stopping the bike until it sat for several hours.

Does it sounds like a dying battery? Bad alternator? Or does it sound like something might be draining the battery while stopped - some sort of partial ground fault or short?

We're sort of in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. How can I test the alternator for proper output? If I disconnect the battery leads, what sort of resistance should I be seeing from the positive terminal to ground? I haven't found anyone in this town who can do a load test on batteries, so I am going to first look into other issues. I'm also going to try to clean all connections (though I only have chain cleaner with me and haven't been able to find electrical contact cleaner).
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwell View Post
Been having some issues starting the bike since it got off the plane from New York to Iceland.

The day after the bike arrived, the bike wouldn't start due to insufficient cranking power. We eventually got a boost from a car, and we able to start several times after stopping and shutting the bike off.

The morning after, there wasn't enough cranking power to start the bike again. We needed to get another boost, which was good for the rest of the day, starting and stopping the bike until it sat for several hours.

Does it sounds like a dying battery? Bad alternator? Or does it sound like something might be draining the battery while stopped - some sort of partial ground fault or short?

We're sort of in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Iceland. How can I test the alternator for proper output? If I disconnect the battery leads, what sort of resistance should I be seeing from the positive terminal to ground? I haven't found anyone in this town who can do a load test on batteries, so I am going to first look into other issues. I'm also going to try to clean all connections (though I only have chain cleaner with me and haven't been able to find electrical contact cleaner).
to solve this you will need to find someone with a battery charger, a simple volt meter and more information from you.

could be something simple as parasitic drain that resulted in a discharged battery. KTM are not known for having much reserve capacity on battery size. if you don't see corrosion on battery terminals and bolts are tight. unlikely you are having contact problems. any wire brush will clean terminals.

does the bike run fine after you get a jump start? that's indicating a working charging system, after bike is started.

anyways .. find a volt meter with amp features.

to test battery .. first fully charge battery with any automotive lead acid battery charger. then allow to rest overnight .. assuming you've got an AGM battery... 12.6v-12.8v range indicates a full charge. for LiFePO4 it's completely different.

for the load test .. simply starting your bike will work. if say your resting voltage is 12.8v and it starts your bike. odds are your battery if fine.

after you start your bike either with a charged battery or jump start... measure voltage at battery. your charging system should be putting out 13.8v to 14.2v at mid rpm.

most common charging system failure is rectifier/regulator or stator.

_cy_ screwed with this post 08-24-2013 at 06:24 AM
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:01 AM   #3
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I have a Battery Tender Junior and a voltmeter with me.

A lady in town offered to take the battery home with her to charge overnight (we are tenting and had no electrical outlet available). She brought the battery back this morning and said it was fully-charged. I installed it and tried to start, but there wasn't enough cranking power. I placed it on the charger after because, since I hadn't personally charged it the night before, I wanted to make sure I had a fully-charged battery.

After a few hours, the battery tender indicated fully-charged. I attempted to start, but there wasn't enough cranking power.

I have a Lithium-Iron battery - Shorai.

I am suspecting a bad battery since it didn't crank over with it fully-charged, but I will charge it again, and measure the fully-charged voltage. If it doesn't start, I'll need to get a boost and, when I do, I'll measure the output of the rectifier regulator. I'll have to look at the wiring diagram, but I guess this will be applied directly to the battery terminals when the bike is running?

In the meantime, if it is a bad battery, is it safe for the rest of the motorcycle to get a boost while we try to get to Reykjavik to get a new battery?
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:20 AM   #4
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If the bike will start with a jump and then run with the jumper cables disconnected, it will be safe to ride. It is unlikely that the battery will degrade to the point that it won't run. Obviously you will want to keep it running. All connections tight??
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:16 AM   #5
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Connections are tight. I just fully charged the battery. Voltage read 14.25V. Tried to start and it just didn't have the cranking power. The battery voltage now reads 13.2V. I wasn't able to monitor the battery voltage when attempting to start since I couldn't hold the leads and start the bike at the same time, but I am guessing that the voltage is dropping really low when starting.

Bike is able to start with a boost and will run fine.

Looks like we're heading back down south to Reykjavik to look for a new battery. :( Could be worse.

This battery was fine until it got off the plane from New York. Could the cold during shipment have had any effect on the battery?
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:54 AM   #6
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwell View Post
I have a Battery Tender Junior and a voltmeter with me.

A lady in town offered to take the battery home with her to charge overnight (we are tenting and had no electrical outlet available). She brought the battery back this morning and said it was fully-charged. I installed it and tried to start, but there wasn't enough cranking power. I placed it on the charger after because, since I hadn't personally charged it the night before, I wanted to make sure I had a fully-charged battery.

After a few hours, the battery tender indicated fully-charged. I attempted to start, but there wasn't enough cranking power.

I have a Lithium-Iron battery - Shorai.

I am suspecting a bad battery since it didn't crank over with it fully-charged, but I will charge it again, and measure the fully-charged voltage. If it doesn't start, I'll need to get a boost and, when I do, I'll measure the output of the rectifier regulator. I'll have to look at the wiring diagram, but I guess this will be applied directly to the battery terminals when the bike is running?

In the meantime, if it is a bad battery, is it safe for the rest of the motorcycle to get a boost while we try to get to Reykjavik to get a new battery?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwell View Post
Connections are tight. I just fully charged the battery. Voltage read 14.25V. Tried to start and it just didn't have the cranking power. The battery voltage now reads 13.2V. I wasn't able to monitor the battery voltage when attempting to start since I couldn't hold the leads and start the bike at the same time, but I am guessing that the voltage is dropping really low when starting.

Bike is able to start with a boost and will run fine.

Looks like we're heading back down south to Reykjavik to look for a new battery. :( Could be worse.

This battery was fine until it got off the plane from New York. Could the cold during shipment have had any effect on the battery?
more basic info please ... what model KTM? what model Shorai? need night time/day temperatures?

14.25v indicates a fully charged LiFePO4 battery. voltage drop to 13.3v range after one start is perfectly normal. if your Shorai battery will not start your bike at moderate temperatures, it fails the load test. if your bike starts every time with booster cables, then your starter is fine. are your battery terminals corroded? what condition are your battery cables on bike?

LiFePO4 performance like any PB battery drops severely when temp drops. difference is actual amp hour reserve of LiFePO4 will be lower than PB. stated AH on Shorai is not actual, but expressed in PB/EQ. one of the most common reasons for LiFePO4 failures is under sizing.

my recommendation for KTM doing Adventure duties far from home in cold conditions is to size LiFePO4 battery by actual amp hour. if say your original AGM battery was 11AH ... the correct LiFePO4 should also be 11AH actual or larger.

there's been all sorts of negative feedback about Battery Tender Jr killing LiFePO4 batteries. almost any PB charger can be used to charge LiFePO4 if voltage is monitored. don't use any PB charger that charges above 14.6v. now to confuse issues... during bulk phase of charge voltage is not critical. finishing voltage is critical, if left on charger for extended periods, like months at a time. short exposure to higher voltages usually will not hurt.

EarthX currently offers the most advanced LiFePO4 motorcycle batteries. with internal cell balancing, overcharge and under discharge protections. most any PB charger can be used. most important is EarthX cranking performance under cold conditions.

for more information on this issue .. follow link in sig below.

_cy_ screwed with this post 08-24-2013 at 11:15 AM
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Old 08-25-2013, 11:25 PM   #7
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I'm in Reykjavik now. Going to try to chase down the electrical problems today. I've noticed some dirty connectors that I've tried to clean but, at the time, I only had some chain cleaner. Going to try to pick up some electrical contact cleaner.

In the event that the issue is a result of a bad rectifier/regulator, do you know the part number for that? I can't seem to find it in the parts fiche. Do you recommend the OEM one? I've read a bit about MOSFET types.

Also, in the event that I do need to order a new rectifier/regulator, would it be safe to ride as we have been for the past several days (getting boosts when needed) so that we can keep travelling and have the part shipped ahead of us? Or is it bad/damaging in any way to ride with as bad charging system?


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Old 08-26-2013, 12:08 AM   #8
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockwell View Post
I'm in Reykjavik now. Going to try to chase down the electrical problems today. I've noticed some dirty connectors that I've tried to clean but, at the time, I only had some chain cleaner. Going to try to pick up some electrical contact cleaner.

In the event that the issue is a result of a bad rectifier/regulator, do you know the part number for that? I can't seem to find it in the parts fiche. Do you recommend the OEM one? I've read a bit about MOSFET types.

Also, in the event that I do need to order a new rectifier/regulator, would it be safe to ride as we have been for the past several days (getting boosts when needed) so that we can keep travelling and have the part shipped ahead of us? Or is it bad/damaging in any way to ride with as bad charging system?


Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
if your voltage readings are correct, your system is not charging. it's a bad stator and/or rectifier/regulator. a failed connector/wire could do it too... wires and connectors going from stator to rectifier/regulator are notorious for failing.

it will not hurt to keep riding like you are using battery in total discharge mode. just keep topping off battery at every chance.

your 990Adv came stock with a shunting type regulator, which converts excess power to heat. if you have a choice go with a switching type regulator, which basically connects/disconnects output to regulate voltage. runs cooler and is easier on stator.

one of the orange crush guys needs to advise on specific model with good feedback.

please let us know what the mechanic finds in electrical gremlins ...

_cy_ screwed with this post 08-26-2013 at 12:17 AM
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:28 AM   #9
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How is the rectifier/regulator output connected to the battery? There is no direct connection. I think the last time I was looking, the output of the rectifier/regulator went to the connector on top of the start relay. Is this correct?

If there is a bad connection there, the battery will not charge properly even if the stator and rectifier/regulator are functioning properly, I am guessing?

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Old 08-26-2013, 03:52 AM   #10
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I have similar issues, can you please test how loud is your horn sound when bike is running or on acc?
If the horn is not loud, then there could be a ground problem with your starter
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:07 AM   #11
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Some good info/links on teambft's thread today (950 Adventure regulator?) might also apply to you. If it is a vrr perhaps try Yamaha or snowmobile/quad shop for one if no KTM dealers?
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:52 AM   #12
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There is a KTM dealer here, but they didn't have regulators in stock. Would probably have to wait until the end of the week to get one here. We've been in Iceland for three weeks and we had to sit around and wait for the bike to arrive the first two weeks (papers got stalled in US customs and IcelandAir Cargo only ships out once a week).

I got some contact cleaner and cleaned all connections relating to the charging system. Also, a few months ago a cable rattled loose and melted against the exhaust. I spliced the wires and the bike was fine after that. I looked the wires up and it is the bundle that includes the start relay coil control and the regulator voltage. I re-spliced the wires to try to make sure the connections were good.

The bike seems to be firing up better now (maybe wishful thinking). My idle speed voltage reads 13.6V, but still drops when revved to 5000 rpm. That doesn't seem promising.

For now, we're going to try to make it around Iceland and, if the problem persists, replace the regulator when we get to mainland Europe.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:55 AM   #13
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Also, a few months ago a cable rattled loose and melted against the exhaust. I spliced the wires and the bike was fine after that. I looked the wires up and it is the bundle that includes the start relay coil control and the regulator voltage. I re-spliced the wires to try to make sure the connections were good.

The bike seems to be firing up better now (maybe wishful thinking). My idle speed voltage reads 13.6V, but still drops when revved to 5000 rpm. That doesn't seem promising.
good grief ... that's some pretty important information that you left out.

you had a dead short within wiring harness that controls subsystem of what you been having problems with

starting to think that there's nothing wrong with Shorai LFX18, except being sized too small.

any competent mechanic should be able to wire in another rectifier/regulator from multiple applications. ALL regulators that support PB will be within same voltage range. choose a rectifier designed for same size watt output or larger than 990Adv.

wires/connectors that got hot enough to melt .. can corrode later causing all sorts of nasty intermittent gremlins.

you need to get this chased down while you are in a large enough town to find a competent motorcycle mechanic.
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