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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Guys. Hoping you can help me diagnose my battery issue. I keep the battery on a tender whenever not in use. Past two times, I fire up bike, no accessories are on, I go about 5-10 miles and the bike dies on me.

I carry jumper cables with me. Both times got a jump start, bike fires right up and no problem running it the rest of the day.

Recently I installed a volt meter to track the voltage. When the bike starts up it has midline voltage (around 12 amps). As I'm riding it it stays stable around 12 and then eventually loses power and the bike stalls. After the cable jump, volts are up to 13.5-14 and I don't have any more issues.

Both times temps have been high 30s low 40s.

At how many RPMs is the battery charging? I don't think it's the alternator since the bike is fine for the rest of the day. What do you think might be the draw on the battery. I made sure all accessories were off. The only thing drawing power was the engine. I was also under the impression that once the bike started it was running on engine power and didn't need the battery. Guess not. LOL.

Thanks for the help.
 

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Token Canuk
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Have you tested your Battery :?
 

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have the battery load tested. its usually free at your local auto parts store. i've had brand new batteries fail within first 30 days. sounds like reg/rec connector is loose/corroded.
 

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Token Canuk
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That's fine ...but have you "Load Tested" your battery, I've had batteries 6 months old take a crap :wtf:, can't tell a book ........:waving:
Just eliminating possibilities, either that or your alternator is questionable. What year is the bike ..
 

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Voltage is not always the answer from an alternator, if you are going to load test the battery, might be a good idea to load test the alternator as well.

At least that way you'll know what it isn't.
 

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As a doctor would ask in diagnosing there patients like, gender, age, etc.,
We also need info like, type (Wing), age (97), mileage(?).
.
Always a chance the alternators brushes need changing.
Seems to have the same symptoms as mine did 2 years ago at 95,000 miles.
First time after a jump charging was fine then couple days later needed another jump.
But that time I can only go "X" so far before another jump.
Disassembled the alternator and seen the brush dust jambing the brushes.
Compressed air blew out the dust and all worked fine for about 1.5 years.
In the meantime I installed a voltmeter in the dash and noticed the tell-tale voltage flickering.
Immediately R & R the brushes.
YUP Worn almost to a nub. Not bad for OEM brushes with 120,000 miles.
.
.
__________________
:action:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'll take the battery down to be load tested next week. I do have a spare one on the workbench hooked up to a tender I can swap out for it as well. No issues with the battery up to this point.

Bike is an 88 GL1500

What has me scratching my head is that after I get the charge from the jumper cables, the bike is fine for the rest of the day. I'm talking about starting and stopping for breaks, lunch, etc. It's almost as if it's upset with me for letting it sit unridden for a few weeks. I know that doesn't make any sense.

I'm leaning toward an electrical draw somewhere I can't isolate...but then again...it does start up without any problems and the battery seems be in good enough condition for the first few miles and is fine after the jump. I don't get it.
 

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I wonder if it's simply a Loose Connection, which would explain why the bike runs ok after it's warmed up (and the metal connections expand to become solid), but dies when the connections are Cold and Loose.

Towards that end, try checking the connections to the Battery Terminals, and large blade fuses... perhaps even look for cracks in those blade fuses too.
 

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Busdriver
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Maybe a bad bank angle sensor?
When it dies have you tried turning the key all the way off then back on and restarting?
If so does it turn at all (even slowly) or click?
 

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Hi Guys. Hoping you can help me diagnose my battery issue. I keep the battery on a tender whenever not in use. Past two times, I fire up bike, no accessories are on, I go about 5-10 miles and the bike dies on me.

I carry jumper cables with me. Both times got a jump start, bike fires right up and no problem running it the rest of the day.

Recently I installed a volt meter to track the voltage. When the bike starts up it has midline voltage (around 12 amps). As I'm riding it it stays stable around 12 and then eventually loses power and the bike stalls. After the cable jump, volts are up to 13.5-14 and I don't have any more issues.

Both times temps have been high 30s low 40s.

At how many RPMs is the battery charging? I don't think it's the alternator since the bike is fine for the rest of the day. What do you think might be the draw on the battery. I made sure all accessories were off. The only thing drawing power was the engine. I was also under the impression that once the bike started it was running on engine power and didn't need the battery. Guess not. LOL.

Thanks for the help.

12volts is battery voltage-your alternator is not charging. Have battery load tested, if it checks good, remove alternator and have it tested.

It has battery ignition,a batery must be in place and in good condition.
 

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Does it always die on the same road at the same spot? Could be the bank angle sensor or a loose connection, that is if the battery checks out OK.
 

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I would go with carbon build up in the brush holders. My last 1500 would show 12 volts at start up, then shoot up to 13.5 volts after a few miles. It got to the point it didn`t start charging and bike simply stopped. I fugured it had to do with heat expansion bringing brushes into contact again once bike warmed up. New bruses, and cleaning out brush holders cured the problem.
gumbyred
 

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Try this test, disconnect the negative cable then connect an electrical tester, the 12 volt type with the light in the handle , with the key off connect the tester to the disconnected neg cable and the neg battery post if the light comes on you have a draw
 

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Check your alt voltage.. Out put should be 13 plus.. If not get some new brushes.. If the out put is good, sound like a battery issue.. If you battery is under a year old take it back and get a new one.. Should still be on warranty
 

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Try this test, disconnect the negative cable then connect an electrical tester, the 12 volt type with the light in the handle , with the key off connect the tester to the disconnected neg cable and the neg battery post if the light comes on you have a draw
While this is a valid test for a no start after sitting for a few days it doesn't really apply here as the battery tender would take care of any parasitic draw.It wouldn't start the first time if the tender wasn't doing the job and it had a draw.It's not charging after the initial start-up or it would be showing more than 12 volts on his gauge.After it quits he boosts it his gauge is reading where it should be,so either there is a problem with the ignition feed(small gauge wire) to the alt. or the alt. itself.I'd be leaning toward the alt. itself as others have said.The brushes getting dirty and hanging up is really common.Mine did it a few years back but I got no warning as I didn't have a volt meter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Just and update to let everyone know how it turned out. I put in a new alternator and the problem has been fixed. Not sure exactly what was causing the problem but the leading candidate is a failed regulator/rectifier built into the alternator.

Thanks for the suggestions.
 

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Should still check the brushes if you haven't yet. May be a perfectly good alternator to keep for a spare or sell to someone that needs one sometime. Brushes are cheap if needed!
 
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