Electrical Issues … Help!

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of bambam bambam 3 years, 11 months ago.

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  • #58047
    Profile photo of kewlbreeze
    kewlbreeze
    Registered Member
    RideCBR Guru
    Points: 44,131

    While on a road trip during the last week my bike started acting up for the first time and wouldn’t start a few times.

    The Bike: 2002 CBR954rr
    Previous Case History: None. This hasn’t happened before
    Possibly necessary details: Right at the beginning of this trip I noticed the high beam lights would not stay on all the time and would come on and go off randomly by itself when switched on until I tapped the light switch so I’m guessing the switch has something loose in it and I need to take it apart. I doubt it has any relation to the not starting issue but thought I should mention it just in case.
    Battery Details: It’s a cheap Walmart Everstart battery but it’s the third one I’ve used on this bike and the other two I had lasted well over 3 years and this one is only about two years old (I think. I’m not positive as my memory is a bit fuzzy on when I purchased this battery). It’s always been hooked up to a battery tender when not in use from day 1.

    Issue: A couple of times after being turned off the bike would not start back up. When trying the starter switch it made the sound like it barely was trying to turn over (not a clicking starter sound but the sound of just one quick dying cat turn over attempt) but wouldn’t crank as if battery was dead. But the headlights would come on and it would start by pushing it and cranking from second gear. It did this three times during my trip last week but the other 20 or more times during the trip it started fine. The last time was just at the gas station during my final stop before coming home and I had to push start it again.

    After the first time it did it I took the battery out and took it to a station and had them hook it up and they said it was holding a perfect charge so I guess battery is not the issue? So I put the battery back in and it started. Then didn’t start again the next day. But if battery is not the issue why did it sound like it was barely trying to crank over? If it’s not the battery and it was something else in the electrical system wouldn’t it not attempt cranking at all?

    I know most likely I will have to do the dreaded electrical diagnosis with multi-meters and whatnot but thought I’d ask anyway just in case anyone has any suggestions to check something easy first.

    Does this sound like a loose connection somewhere? I did take out the battery and reconnect it but it did it again. (not immediately but a few starts later)

    Should I get a new battery anyway just to try the easiest possible fix first? How would I know if it is a R/R or Stator issue? Are there any tell tale signs or is that only determined through diagnosis? If it was one of those two would it have stopped working altogether and not starting or does it still randomly start from time to time when one of those two is starting to go bad?

    #58059
    Profile photo of jules
    jules
    Registered Member
    RideCBR Guru
    Points: 29,193

    Hey Kewl,

    I’m no electrics expert but from what you say that the battery checks out and the lights still work, yet the issue was intermittent, then I’m thinking along the lines of a bad or dirty/corroded connection.

    I would check the wires to the starter motor itself first … take them off and clean them up with emery paper or a wire brush and see if that helps. It may even be a faulty starter motor or one getting lazy due to wear and tear in say the brushes?

    Jules

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace...

    #58065
    Profile photo of kennmcook
    kennmcook
    Registered Member
    RideCBR Regular
    Points: 1,390

    Sounds like the battery. Although… Start of this season, I was having to pop-the-clutch all the time. I was on the verge of buying a new battery when I had my own palm-to-forehead moment…. the 2 pin quick plug for the charge tender had a blown fuse in-line to the battery. So, it drained all winter and had to take a deep-charge. I plan on replacing it by next season. The bike really doesn’t charge unless you have the RPMs kicked up while riding. Just sitting idle to charge the battery is pissing-in-the wind.

    *Jump it from your car and start it a hand full of times. If there is no issues, then it looks like your battery.

    *You can use a multi-meter… test the voltage of the battery, try to start, test the voltage of the battery. 2-3+ volt drop in the process and the battery is dead, has a dead cell. The starter takes a lot of juice, but after trying to start the battery should ramp back up to the original voltage within a few mins. So 12+ volts to 9 volts or less is a bad battery.

    If you had the battery tested, did you have the starter tested? Auto-part stores will usually test the battery, starter, and alternator for free. Although, I’ve never had them test one on the bike.

    -Kenn

    #58066
    Profile photo of woo545
    woo545
    Registered Member
    RideCBR Addict
    Points: 9,307

    When you had the garage look at it and they said that it was holding a perfect charge…did they have to charge it first or was the battery charged?

    I’ve had this sitting around for a long, long while. Maybe it will help.
    http://www.offwidth.co.uk/bike/general/electrical_fault_finding.pdf

    #58071
    Profile photo of 74demon
    74demon
    Registered Member
    RideCBR Guru
    Points: 51,202

    Are you cables clean and tight on the battery? You’d be surprised how much havoc a loose connection will cause.

    I’d replace the battery anyway, since it’s over two years old. It’s at the end of it’s life and it will probably fail when your away from home and in a hurry. The charging systems are very fragile and are too expensive to replace to justify putting added strain on them from an old battery.

    If you have a DVOM, the charging components are easy enough to check. Look for charging voltage (13+V) @5k rpms on the battery. To check the stator, provided it’s not charging, get to the plug and check for continuity on the yellow wires to each other and no continuity to ground.

    #58092
    Profile photo of kewlbreeze
    kewlbreeze
    Registered Member
    RideCBR Guru
    Points: 44,131

    @74demon The connections did look very clean. Although, now that you made me think about it; that battery is not a perfect fit, so the battery tender cables kind of have to bend to fit so maybe that’s causing a slightly bad connection at times. But that wouldn’t make too much sense since it was working fine for almost 2 years without being touched but weirder things have happened so maybe they shifted at some point and lost good connection since the battery is not a perfect fit in the space below the seat. I’ll look into that part again.

    I’m with you on getting a new battery regardless of the problem since nothing seems to be draining the current one and these walmart batteries are kind of the suck and aren’t the exact recommended specs anyway. I went ahead and placed an order for a yusa battery designed to fit my bike today. Double the price of the ones I had been using but I hear good things about the yusa so hopefully I’ll get more life out of that one.

    @woo545 said:
    When you had the garage look at it and they said that it was holding a perfect charge…did they have to charge it first or was the battery charged?

    No it was already charged from the previous long ride after push starting it. I thought about that too and wondered if the fact that it was already charged made any difference when he was testing it but he said it didn’t when I asked him. Dude didn’t look exactly convincing he knew what he was talking about though.

    Thanks for the pdf. I will store it and make use of it in the future.

    @kennmcook said:
    If you had the battery tested, did you have the starter tested? Auto-part stores will usually test the battery, starter, and alternator for free. Although, I’ve never had them test one on the bike.

    -Kenn

    I don’t think they’ll check that on a bike but thanks for the tip. It doesn’t hurt to ask so I’ll ask them if they’ll check. All I had checked so far was the battery.

    #58094
    Profile photo of woo545
    woo545
    Registered Member
    RideCBR Addict
    Points: 9,307

    Well, if the battery was charged after a long ride, then I imagine it’s not your stator or necessarily your R/R. If the charging wasn’t working correctly, then it probably wouldn’t produce enough energy to cause a spark, so it would then draw energy from your battery. If there was enough to for a spark but not enough to charge the battery, then the starter would drain the battery.

    So, that narrows it down. I’m really suspicious of the highbeam issue and a sign. Especially considering the lights are supposed to shut off when starting. If not that, then the starter switch or the starter.

    #58100
    Profile photo of bambam
    bambam
    Registered Member
    RideCBR Guru
    Points: 22,470

    Remember this too about a battery , a battery can hold a charge of close to 12v and would show “charged condition” however , a load test can show another problem. When a battery is under a load of starting it should not drop below 10v at the worst , that is a standard load test. I have had batteries show 12.5v and still not start a vehicle. If your battery is a couple years old , it could be culprit(as others stated).I hope the new Battery solves your problem. These Hondas are so tuff , i wouldnt doubt if the battery tender just added an extra year to an already going out battery and has nothing to do with the bike itself.
    good luck brother-

    One more thing , add a small amount of dielectric grease to the battery connections and it will prevent any corrosion or any contact problems at the ring terminals for years.

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