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Old 10-21-2012, 06:20 PM   #91
itinerant OP
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Not Charging?

Hey everyone. I got the carb balance problem sorted out pretty easily last week. Been riding the bike around the city a fair amount, and having a great time, until today. I rode about 25 miles yesterday - out to Brooklyn and back. Today I rode downtown, mostly through heavy traffic, about 10 miles. Got to my destination and shut off the motor. Decided I didn't like my parking spot, so I went to turn the bike on again, and all I got was tick-tick-tick, which I assume is the starter solenoid. I thought, huh, that's weird, it's a brand new battery. Maybe I was moving so slowly in traffic that it drained the battery. So I let it sit, had dinner, and came back a couple hours later. Same thing.

The battery is brand new - less than a month, and everything's been working great until today. I can't figure out what would have happened in the short time I was out today. I did notice one loud knock while I was riding, which I thought was just a bump, but is it possible that I knocked something loose, which is now causing the charging circuit not to work?

Unfortunately I don't have a multimeter or charger here, so the best I can do is try to jump it tomorrow and get it home (only about 15 miles away), and deal with it there. Thoughts? If I jump it and disconnect the headlight bulb to reduce load, will I make it 15 miles? I don't really fancy breaking down on the West Side Highway. Alternatively, I could just pick it up with the truck and carry it home.
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Old 10-21-2012, 06:48 PM   #92
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So, the heavy traffic thing on a stock system is a deal breaker. The stock charging system doesn't really charge below 3k rpm, after market systems begin charging around 2k rpm. I'm guessing you drained the battery, instead of charging it while riding in stop and go. Since you live in NYC, and this will be common place I highly recommend upgrading your charging system or trying to keep your rpms above 3k. The Bosch starter sucks a shit ton of juice, and it probably stole all the rest you had in that battery. To make the starter more efficent you could clean it up and check the brushes. Did you try to bump start it? You may want to put a voltmeter on the bike just so you can babysit the battery as you sit in traffic.
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:15 PM   #93
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Excellent, I was kind of hoping someone would say that (instead of "oh jesus, you just melted your ____"). I had the same problem with my CB350. I've got a voltmeter I can throw on there, and will definitely look into those upgrades. What do you all recommend? Are there other options besides the EnDuraLast? Do I need to do the whole shebang, or maybe just the rotor and switch to a less thirsty starter? Thoughts?

I guess I'll jump it tomorrow and try to ride home above 3k. Exciting!
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:04 AM   #94
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There are so many threads on charging systems.....you will get into a pissing match.

Here's one. I have the Omega 450 mainly because I have a friendship with Rick, it has let me down but it was just the rotor that went. Rick can overnight parts, so no huge worries.

If I was in your situation, I'd probably go with an enduralast as it begins charging at a lower rpm. If I was you, I'd keep the starter and just clean it up, check the brushes and so on.....here's a rebuild thread. But I would upgrade my charging system mainly due to location.
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:21 PM   #95
subagon
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The cheap option...

Buy a trickle charger that uses a SAE connection (see below) and hook it up each night. I've seen this brand all over the place, but I've seen other brands (Black & Decker?) cheaper at Walmart.



Put a pigtail on the battery for easy hookup. I've seen pigtails for sale at around $15, but save your money and make your own if the battery charger doesn't come with one, or if you need extras.

Most auto part stores will have these SAE connectors in the trailer accessories section for a couple of bucks;



Cut off one end and add a couple of ring terminals to attach to the battery.

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Old 10-22-2012, 01:52 PM   #96
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Yeah, I've got a tender and would be happy to do that, but I park on the street, so I'd have to run an extension cord out of my apartment and across the sidewalk. Not really an option! Plus, sometimes I'm in traffic for 30 or 40 minutes, which it seems is more than long enough to discharge the battery. Thanks for the suggestion, though!
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Old 10-22-2012, 02:18 PM   #97
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itinerant View Post
sometimes I'm in traffic for 30 or 40 minutes, which it seems is more than long enough to discharge the battery.
I think you need to take a closer look at your charging system.... clearly it isn't/wasn't working as intended. Perhaps dropping $450 isn't needed and you can get away with some brushes or ?

As a benchmark, I get 14+ volts at 2,500 rpm...
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Originally Posted by Stagehand
your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.

SOLO LOBO screwed with this post 10-23-2012 at 10:23 AM
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:01 PM   #98
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Yep, I think you're right, subagon. I'm going to get it into the garage tomorrow, and I'll put a voltmeter on it on the way, see what I find.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:03 AM   #99
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Charging System

Finally got the bike home this morning - what a relief! I put a voltmeter on first to make sure I wouldn't get stranded again, and managed to keep moving at about 3000 rpm, which showed on the voltmeter as about 13.3 volts. Once I got home, with the bike nice and warm, I ran it at different idle speeds with the voltmeter still on. Here's what I found:

at 1250 the voltmeter showed 12.6 and dropping, very slowly.

at 1500 the voltmeter seemed steady at about 12.6

at 1750 the voltmeter showed 12.7 and rising, very slowly

at 2000 the voltmeter showed 12.8 and rising

That seems acceptable for a stock charging system, right? I think what must have happened yesterday is, like hardwaregrrl said, that the whole ride was done more or less under 2000 rpm, even when moving. I'd set my idle screws nice and low to fix the hanging idle problem, so the battery just never had a chance to charge, and instead was drained by the headlight. By the time I got downtown, there wasn't enough juice to turn the starter over. Now I know! I'll still have a look inside the front cover, maybe replace brushes and so on, but I think I'm ok for now, as long as I avoid stop and go. I've been thinking I might ride the bike up to VT to store it for the winter - that ride should tell me a lot. Anyway, thanks for all your help!
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:14 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itinerant View Post
...the whole ride was done more or less under 2000 rpm, even when moving.
Rev that thing up. It's not a harley. I always keep it above 3k as a rule, ideally 4-5k. I will occasionally putt along at a minimum of 2k in 1st or second, but as a rule, you should keep it revving higher than 3k, especially if you want your battery to charge. I think you'll find it a lot smoother too.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:26 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itinerant View Post

at 1250 the voltmeter showed 12.6 and dropping, very slowly.

at 1500 the voltmeter seemed steady at about 12.6

at 1750 the voltmeter showed 12.7 and rising, very slowly

at 2000 the voltmeter showed 12.8 and rising
Yep, that sounds pretty normal. Dunno if you have a euro headlamp switch, if you do you could switch the headlight off while riding in stop n go. Glad it's nothing major.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:36 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by Mark Manley View Post
You won't be able to hone it as it has nikasil barrels but hopfully a re-ring will suffice.

RL]
I have a mechanic that has indeed been able to lightly hone Nikasil's (He's in Brooklyn BTW - very good), but of course you can't bore them out.

PS - I switched to the Enduralast and couldn't be happier - only way to go if you're riding a lot in the city. Pretty easy install too.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:36 AM   #103
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Thats a little low sounding to me. A fully charged battery should show about 12.6V with no load on it, so it takes a little more voltage than that to charge it.

When I measured my stock alternator output at the battery terminals I got a little over 13V from 2000 rpms on up with the highest output from about 2500 rpm on up.

My charge light goes out at around 1300-1500 rpms.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:27 AM   #104
SOLO LOBO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl View Post
Yep, that sounds pretty normal. Dunno if you have a euro headlamp switch, if you do you could switch the headlight off while riding in stop n go. Glad it's nothing major.
There is no Euro headlamp switch for ST's and G/S's.. there is a 5-position Euro ignition that services the same purpose....

There is also this modification linked below to change your US ignition into the Euro one:

http://www.roadkill.com/~davet/moto/euromod.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand
your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:50 PM   #105
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Nice, thanks, everyone. In place of the US 3 position switch, does anyone know if Motobins part number 85150 will swap directly in? The wiring is arranged differently, but if the switch itself fits right into the handlebar enclosure thingy, that might be a nice option. My turn signal switch lever fell off, so I need to do something about that anyway, and it might be nice to have the option of turning off the headlight.

As for charging, I think the stock system is more or less ok. I'm sure it'd help to go through everything and replace the brushes, which I'll do this winter, but I'm happy riding it the way it is. Generator light goes out at about 1250 rpm, and it seems to charge the battery at about 13 volts by the time I rev it up to 2000, so I'm not too worried. I get well over 13 volts while I'm on the highway, around 4000.

So here's a really dumb question: how do you make the steering lock work? Mine turns, with the key, but doesn't lock anything, no matter which way I turn the handlebars, push or pull the key in the lock, etc. Is there some trick to it? Or maybe there's a second key for it that I don't have?
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