Author Topic: Battery dead from rain  (Read 27572 times)

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August 10, 2019, 03:47:58 PM on

Offline ArchRider (OP)

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I rode my 2001 to work one day and it sat in the parking lot through a massive thunderstorm.  When I went to leave, it turned over and away I went.  2-4 miles into the ride home, I can feel a small surging and notice the tachometer has completely dropped off.  Then the speedometer begins to drop from my speed to zero and jumps back up again repeatedly.  I get to a stop light and I can tell that it's lagging like it wants to stall.  I give it a little throttle and it stays running but now the tach and speedo are showing zero even though I'm running, but it's still surging.  A couple of miles later I got stopped up in traffic and the minute I pulled in the clutch, she dies.  I try to restart but it won't even try to turn over.  After pushing it a fair way to get it out of traffic, I got a jump from a power bank my wife brought to me.  I still had to keep the throttle open a bit to keep it from dying again.  I got it home and hooked it back up to the battery tender and now the tender is showing the battery is charged.

I'm figuring I have a short somewhere and the rain made it worse draining the battery to zero.  I have heard that motorcycle are not like cars in the sense that they need the battery more while running and a dead battery will cause a motorcycle engine to stall.  My question for the forum is how do I go about chasing down this short?   :m I've never done this before and don't know where to begin.

August 10, 2019, 04:31:02 PMReply #1 on

Offline Lee337

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Not sure if this helps, but these are the same symptoms I suffered when my Reg/rec went & fried the genny on my Blackbird. Different bike I know but the symptoms are likely to be the same for most bikes.

I would check the output from the genny first. Not done this myself on a Tiger, so unable to tell you how, but I'm sure there must be instructions on the forum somewhere if you do a search.

No matter how smart you are you can never convince someone stupid that they are stupid.

August 10, 2019, 04:44:55 PMReply #2 on

Offline Lee337

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Found this thread when searching. half way down P2 it describes how to check the genny.

http://www.tigertriple.com/forum/index.php/topic,11142.15.html
No matter how smart you are you can never convince someone stupid that they are stupid.

August 12, 2019, 04:15:08 PMReply #3 on

Offline ArchRider (OP)

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Thanks, Lee.
I was hoping this wasn;t the case.  I replaced the R/R awhile ago with one far better than the OEM.  At the time, the stator checked out when I performed a voltage check.  I'll have to find someplace where I can pull it apart and check it again.  I no longer have a garage (at least unitl I can gather the funds to build one.)

Not sure if this helps, but these are the same symptoms I suffered when my Reg/rec went & fried the genny on my Blackbird. Different bike I know but the symptoms are likely to be the same for most bikes.

I would check the output from the genny first. Not done this myself on a Tiger, so unable to tell you how, but I'm sure there must be instructions on the forum somewhere if you do a search.

September 02, 2019, 01:35:08 PMReply #4 on

Offline ArchRider (OP)

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I left the bike on a tender and after a day, the battery was charged again.  I was working on it this weekend and went to replace an out headlight.  When I pulled the bulb, it didn't appear to be burnt.  I swapped the bulbs left for right and the same one (rider's left) was still out.  It does come on if I switch to high beams and then the right one goes out.  I'm really confused now, but have to wonder whether this electrical issue isn't contributing to my dead battery.  After I put the faring back together, I took it for a ride.  I was only gone for 30-60 minutes.  When I returned, I shut it down and tried starting it again.  It had enough juice to turn the engine over, but not start it.  Clearly the battery is being drained and the stator can't recharge it.
In full disclosure, 9-10 years ago, a mechanic jumped the headlights so that both of them would burn all the time when running on low beams.  Since it has been nearly a decade since it was done, I don't think this is the issue.
I'm going to have to check the stator, I just didn't want to pull it that far apart yesterday.  And if it is the staor, I want to ensure there isn't some other issue that is causing the stator to die.  I'm pretty good with wrenching, but when it gets into the electrical portions, I'm operating at a deficit.

September 02, 2019, 03:15:44 PMReply #5 on

Offline Mustang

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Put a voltage meter across the battery terminals
Start it and see what the voltage is at idle
You should see 14 volts with it running ....if you ain't got 14 volts your stator and or reg/rectifier is toast usually need to replace both

Most all efi engines  ,cycles atvs etc etc will kill power to the brain when the battery goes below 11 volts

September 02, 2019, 06:33:08 PMReply #6 on

Online Chris Canning

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I have in the last couple of days had a guy from the 1050 forum contact me about a mates 955 human nature being what it is no one wants to spend more than they have too.

My journey had a distraction with me introducing a lithium battery to a new RR and they didn’t get on..... in the end got fed up and changed the lot (including the recently fitted RR) alternator/RR/ battery and it’s been happy days since.

September 02, 2019, 06:52:19 PMReply #7 on

Offline Lee337

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Old tech doesn't seem to like lithium batteries. Blackbirds were the same, reg\rec & Genny did lithium batteries in very quickly. Can't remember the exact reason but seem to remember lithium batteries prefer a cleaner, more stably charge than old tech can provide.
No matter how smart you are you can never convince someone stupid that they are stupid.

September 03, 2019, 05:26:30 AMReply #8 on

Online Chris Canning

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Check the Electrex site their RR’s have a health warning about mixing such with lithium.

September 15, 2019, 08:24:41 PMReply #9 on

Offline ArchRider (OP)

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OK.  This is all good information.  I'm going to check the terminal voltage and see what I get at idle.  I replaced the R/R awhile ago with a much better, but maybe the stock stator killed this one too.  I really hope not.  Stators aren't cheap and they're buried down in there.  I currently don't have a garage where I can leave pieces all over. 
And what of the one headlight that just suddenly went out?  I determined it's not the lamp, so it must be something in the wiring.  I've been wondering if that's where my battery drain is located.

September 16, 2019, 10:37:54 AMReply #10 on

Offline Mustang

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Start with the relays for lights ...
I've had them fill up with water from rain .
They dont work so good wet...
Lol
The relays will be your headlight problainem
And maybe the battery drain...


September 20, 2019, 11:29:08 AMReply #11 on

Offline ArchRider (OP)

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Mustang,
Thanks, man.  Good idea.  And a new relay is a lot less expensive than an alternator.  Which, I think is also toast.  I checked the voltage across that battery terminals while the bike was running and battery was charged.  12.25V.  Not good.  I replaced the R/R with a Rick's several years back, but I'm guessing it could have also been fried by a bad alternator.
I looked at the schematic for the alternator and there are two parts on the list, alternator and stator.  Would I need to purchase both?  Or is the stator part of the alternator and comes with the alternator purchase?  Please excuse my ignorance.  I haven't dug this far into the electrical yet.

Is there a relatively straight-forward way to check a relay?