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Old 09-12-2011, 04:26 PM   #1
GreyDR OP
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Location: St Paul, MN
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DR650 Battery Woes

Hi all,

Just picked up a used '04 DR650 and all was well with the world till it wouldn't start. Dead battery. Ok, now I got on the bike, started it right up (with my fully charged brand new battery), and I'm off. I ride for 75 miles or so and stop for a drink and to massage some feeling back into my behind. Get back on th bike and click, click, nothing. So I push start it and it takes right off. I ride 20 more miles with lights turn signal, everything working. Stop and turn off the bike, turn it on, and nothing. I disconnect the battery and push start the DR, takes right off. Now I'm driving with everything working fine and no battery. What's going on? I've got juice so why is the battery being drained and how do I track down the problem.

I appreciate any and all help with this.

Thank you,

Grey
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:03 PM   #2
GreyDR OP
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OK,

I've been looking at the wiring diagram for the bike and it looks like everything is going in and out of the regulator/rectifier. Could this be the problem? How can I tell without buying an expensive new one and throwing it on? Another thing that is confusing me is that according to the diagram the only things in and out of the regulator/rectifier and going to/from the battery are a red and a black and white. Is juice going back into the battery from the single red? On all my other bikes there has been two red, one going to starter and one coming back from generator.

Any ideas?

Thank you,

Grey
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:27 PM   #3
CycleDoc59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDR View Post
OK,

I've been looking at the wiring diagram for the bike and it looks like everything is going in and out of the regulator/rectifier. Could this be the problem? How can I tell without buying an expensive new one and throwing it on? Another thing that is confusing me is that according to the diagram the only things in and out of the regulator/rectifier and going to/from the battery are a red and a black and white. Is juice going back into the battery from the single red? On all my other bikes there has been two red, one going to starter and one coming back from generator.

Any ideas?

Thank you,

Grey
The red and black wires are ground and positive, and yes, the red is the charging wire...

Testing requires kind of requires a long answer, but here's the condensed version:
A start is to confirm that the battery is ok - or not. Batteries fail 2 ways; it
either gets "tired" and can no longer absorb a good charge, or a cell or two fail and become open,
or go to a nearly open circuit when a load is applied.

If the battery charges up ok, and survives a load test, the next step is to see if the charging circuit is working.
This really requires use of a voltmeter or multi-tester set on DC volts. Connected across the battery posts with
the bike running should result in numbers above 13 volts, with 14.2 desired.

If not, test the alternator output by unplugging it and putting the multi-tester, set on AC volts to any and all of the 3 leads.
If all sets of connections show maybe 30V+ (bike running), and all connections from the alternator to the rectifier and beyond are in good condition, the rectifier is likely toast...

Be aware that motorcycle charging systems are famous for failing due to poor connections. I just cut toasted
plugs out of a 'Busa this morning and soldered the wires together to fix it's failed charging system. Here's the pic:
Attached Images
 
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:48 PM   #4
GreyDR OP
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Thank you.

Best thing about motorcycles, other than riding them, is getting to work on them. New bike, new project! I'll test out the system with a meter and see what is going on.

Grey
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:27 PM   #5
ADV8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CycleDoc59 View Post
Be aware that motorcycle charging systems are famous for failing due to poor connections. I just cut toasted
plugs out of a 'Busa this morning and soldered the wires together to fix it's failed charging system. Here's the pic:
TL1000's are known to do the same thing or at least overheat/melt the plug off the starter solenoid that feeds the wiring loom.
There are all manor of mods (good or bad) including running the R/R direct to the battery or even going to a Shindengen FH012AA mosfet regulator.
I wonder if that is a viable upgrade on the DR 650 (even when the charging system is working fine)
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:56 AM   #6
CycleDoc59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADV8 View Post
TL1000's are known to do the same thing or at least overheat/melt the plug off the starter solenoid that feeds the wiring loom.
There are all manor of mods (good or bad) including running the R/R direct to the battery or even going to a Shindengen FH012AA mosfet regulator.
I wonder if that is a viable upgrade on the DR 650 (even when the charging system is working fine)

I did install the FH012AA in my Buell 1125R as a precaution, after reading of multiple failures in a forum.

With bikes that have been around awhile, there's a track record, and always a forum someplace.
Chronic problems such as crappy original rectifiers are usually well known and documented.
Hyabusas '08 and up have a recall out for rectifier replacement, for instance.

There are some turkeys out there, but most failures of stators and rectifier/regulators can be traced to connector
failures. Off-road bikes in particular are prone to operate in conditions that wiring systems don't like. If I had
that sort of bike, I'd cut out all connectors between the alternator and battery, and solder the joints......

Over the last few years, I expect I've fixed 8-10 bikes of various brands with that same toasted connector problem.
Here's a photo of the 'Busa after repair:
Attached Images
 
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Old 09-13-2011, 03:27 PM   #7
GreyDR OP
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Ok,

With the bike running at the battery I'm getting 11.5 to 12.2 volts and at the regulator I'm getting 11.6 to 12.2. If I unhook the battery and test the wires I get 4.5 volts at both the battery and regulator. I haven't been able to figure out a way to test the stator, as I am afraid of shorting it or recking it in some way. Does this sound like a bag regulator? Can a stator work and power the bike but not produce enough juice to charge the battery? Is it normal that when the battery is disconnected that the headlight is dim and the turn signals will pulse the headlight?

Thanks for your help,

Grey
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:18 PM   #8
Luke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDR View Post
Ok,

With the bike running at the battery I'm getting 11.5 to 12.2 volts and at the regulator I'm getting 11.6 to 12.2. If I unhook the battery and test the wires I get 4.5 volts at both the battery and regulator. I haven't been able to figure out a way to test the stator, as I am afraid of shorting it or recking it in some way. Does this sound like a bag regulator? Can a stator work and power the bike but not produce enough juice to charge the battery? Is it normal that when the battery is disconnected that the headlight is dim and the turn signals will pulse the headlight?

Thanks for your help,

Grey
This all sounds like the behavior of a normal working regulator.

Check the stator to regulator connections and wires- look for burnt parts.

If you connect everything normally except that you unplug your headlight, what sort of battery voltage do you get when the bike is running?
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Old 09-13-2011, 04:45 PM   #9
CycleDoc59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDR View Post
Ok,

With the bike running at the battery I'm getting 11.5 to 12.2 volts and at the regulator I'm getting 11.6 to 12.2. If I unhook the battery and test the wires I get 4.5 volts at both the battery and regulator. I haven't been able to figure out a way to test the stator, as I am afraid of shorting it or recking it in some way. Does this sound like a bag regulator? Can a stator work and power the bike but not produce enough juice to charge the battery? Is it normal that when the battery is disconnected that the headlight is dim and the turn signals will pulse the headlight?

Thanks for your help,

Grey
It's not charging. Set the meter at 200 volts, AC scale. Backstab the plug from the alternator.
Stick the probes into any two of the 3 identical wire connectors from the stator,and fire up the bike.
Rev it up to 3K. Then do the same between any combination of the three wires.
You should see maybe 30, even 50 volts across any pair of wires. If there is only a few volts,
or none, the stator is toast.

If the above checks out ok, the rectifier is toast, or something is disconnected.... (I'm guessing here,
that it's a 3-phase alternator, thus the 3 identical wires; if it's single-phase, there'd be only 2 identical wires...)
Sometimes, when a stator fails, it damages the rectifier, and vice-versa, so both could be bad......

Bikes that have batteries, but run with the battery disconnected, usually have two sets of windings on the stator:
lighting or charging windings (AC voltage, that is rectified to DC volts, then regulated to 14.2 volts),
that charges the battery so the bike will have good lights/horn/etc, especially at idle or low speed.
Then there are running windings, that power the ignition circuit; this circuit is called a magneto.
Your running windings are fine, since the bike runs w/o a battery. The lights pulse, are dim, because the
running circuit is turning slowly, and doing the best it can, thus the need for a battery to fill in voltage needs.....
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:00 PM   #10
CycleDoc59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke View Post
This all sounds like the behavior of a normal working regulator.

Check the stator to regulator connections and wires- look for burnt parts.

If you connect everything normally except that you unplug your headlight, what sort of battery voltage do you get when the bike is running?
11.6-12.2v cannot charge a battery. Batteries are stone dead and useless at 12.0 volts. To fully charge a 12V battery
14.2 volts is required. The difference between a fully charged battery and a dead battery is less than 2 volts
(fully charged is about 12.9 volts)
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Old 09-14-2011, 10:30 AM   #11
GreyDR OP
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Hi all,

First let me thank you all for your help. I think that I need a new regulator. Tested the stator and im getting 30 v at idle and 75v at 5000 or so from every combination of the leads. Checked the regulator for OHM resistance, or what ever it is, and I got nothing at all. Meter never moved from 1. Pretty sure that means regulator is toast, which is good because it is a hell of a lot cheaper than a stator.

Thank you again,

Grey
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Old 09-14-2011, 11:54 AM   #12
CycleDoc59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyDR View Post
Hi all,

First let me thank you all for your help. I think that I need a new regulator. Tested the stator and im getting 30 v at idle and 75v at 5000 or so from every combination of the leads. Checked the regulator for OHM resistance, or what ever it is, and I got nothing at all. Meter never moved from 1. Pretty sure that means regulator is toast, which is good because it is a hell of a lot cheaper than a stator.

Thank you again,

Grey
I'd say you are correct, and good on you for doing the tests to figure it out. Most rectifiers/regulators limit voltage
to the battery by bleeding the excess off as heat. So, if the R/R gets too hot, it can fail. Most are finned, and some
are mounted tightly to frame areas that act as heat sinks. So, it is important that the R/R is clean, unrestricted...
Some owner's relocate the R/R to get better air flow, or to get them away from engine and exhaust heat...
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Old 06-17-2013, 11:56 AM   #13
martinz
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What was the outcome?

Was it the regulator in the end?

Just curious as I may have a dead battery or some other failing component of the electrical system.
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