Battery won't charge - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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Battery won't charge

Please help me again folks. My battery doesn't appear to be charging while I am riding the bike. I had the battery checked and was told that the battery was good, just needed charging. I put the battery on a maintainer every night. After being jumped off this morning, I rode 16 miles and the battery wouldn't turn the engine over. I ride a 2005 with 22K. Any suggestions?
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 01:26 PM
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Pop the seat off, get a digital voltmeter and post the battery terminal voltages with engine off, at idle, 2k, 3k, and 4K rpms.

Jon

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 01:41 PM
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Is the battery maintenance free? If not, you'll want to change. It's one of the first things suggested to do & it Really does make a differance.
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 03:47 PM
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Just to elaborate on Jon's point: our batteries get recharged by a stator and regulator system that kicks into action only above a certain level of rpms (2500 or so). Below that, the motorcycle is largely operating off the battery and will do so until the battery conks out.

So you'll want to grab a voltmeter and test the voltage at idle (should be about 12.7 v), and then increase the rpms to 2000, 3000, 4000. By the time you hit 4000, your voltmeter should be reading 14.5 v or so (now your motorcycle is running off the battery and the voltage being produced by your charging system, but there's ample voltage to replace what's being lost by the battery).

If you're tendering the battery overnight and it's not getting up to working voltage (i.e., 12.7v), I'd suspect the battery itself. If you can get it charged, get it to start the bike, but it loses the charge in short order, suspect the charging system. It's a common problem with these bikes, so holler if you need any help with this.

Good luck!

C
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crobins365 View Post
Just to elaborate on Jon's point: our batteries get recharged by a stator and regulator system that kicks into action only above a certain level of rpms (2500 or so). Below that, the motorcycle is largely operating off the battery and will do so until the battery conks out.

So you'll want to grab a voltmeter and test the voltage at idle (should be about 12.7 v), and then increase the rpms to 2000, 3000, 4000. By the time you hit 4000, your voltmeter should be reading 14.5 v or so (now your motorcycle is running off the battery and the voltage being produced by your charging system, but there's ample voltage to replace what's being lost by the battery).

If you're tendering the battery overnight and it's not getting up to working voltage (i.e., 12.7v), I'd suspect the battery itself. If you can get it charged, get it to start the bike, but it loses the charge in short order, suspect the charging system. It's a common problem with these bikes, so holler if you need any help with this.

Good luck!
You know... Pretty soon you'll be teaching everyone else here! lol (but serious)
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-02-2007, 11:18 AM
 
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I agree with Kanuk69 and Corbins365. I've been chasing down a host of electrical issues and a non-charging battery was the last (cross my fingers). I followed the steps above and it lead me to checking the charging system. My rectifier/regulator needed to be replaced. Good luck.

-Tim
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-02-2007, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanuck69 View Post
You know... Pretty soon you'll be teaching everyone else here! lol (but serious)
Ha ha - that's what happens when anthropologists can't get academic jobs. We learn a whole new trade in the hopes of finding another outlet.

Seriously, though, I'm a better fixer when I understand how things are s'posed to operate, but if folks find that annoying ("just tell me what the meter should read, darn it!"), feel free to tell me to knock it off.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-02-2007, 01:53 PM Thread Starter
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Update on my charging problem

I left the maintainer on all day and the light was green indicating that the battery was charged. When I tried to crank the bike, it would not even turn over. The starter just clicked. To me, that sounds like a bad connection or a bad battery. I have not had a chance to check it with a volt/ohm meter. Again, thanks for everyone's help.
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-02-2007, 04:17 PM
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It could be the starter or wiring thereto (the click was your relay - so that's good!); it could also be that the battery has just enough oomph to give the charger the green light, but not enough to turn over the engine. When you get the chance, check your voltage (I've found with McKnight that 12.3 is too low). If that's ok, then check all of your ground connections (negative battery terminal to ground; back of the engine case to the battery box; starter motor to the relay. All grounds are thick black wires) - look to make sure they're really contacting metal (not dirt or paint), and that the connections are good and tight.

Did you say you got a jump start for the bike the other day? And then the battery was dead by the time you got to work? If you can jump it now, that'll be a quick diagnosis. If you DIDN'T jump it before, here's what you do:
make sure the car is not on, running, or anything - you're just borrowing the battery for a moment. Pos to car battery pos; pos to bike battery pos; Neg to car battery neg; neg to bike ground. If it starts, then seems like the battery is the culprit.

Last edited by Crobins365; 11-02-2007 at 04:20 PM. Reason: POsted before I'd finished thinking
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 11-02-2007, 05:00 PM
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I'm still not sure if it's an old maintenance battery or a "sealed" maintenance free battery!?
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