Run out of electric!! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Where does this wire go?
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 08:48 AM Thread Starter
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Run out of electric!!

Hi All,

I am currently mid way through a long haul bike journey from the UK to Croatia. I have currently completed about 1100 miles 2 up without any serious problems apart from very sore bums!

I am now riding in countries that require me to have my headlight on at all times. Since I have been riding with my headlight on I have been un-able to start the bike after stopping. The battery is running flat.

I am concerned that my altenator is failing or something is drawing too much power.

It has been 30+ degrees. My cooling fan seems to be on rather a lot. With this running and my headlight on I seem to be drawing too much power. The bike has cut out a few times when idleing due to the excess power consumption. The power problem seems to be worst when riding in slow traffic, e.g., towns and cities.

What temperature should my cooling fan be coming on at? At the moment the cooling fan cuts in when the temp gauge is a little under mid-way. This is way below the red markings on the temp gauge. Could the cooling fan be coming on too early, therefore the fan could be running when I am riding rather than when the bike is stopped or riding very slow. This would draw a lot of power from the altenator.

When I got the bike there was no wire on the fan switch on the radiator. The tab where the wire clipped on to had sheared and somebody had just wired the bike to a push button switch to turn on when the bike was warm. After I got the bike I soldered the wire to the last remaining bit of metal contact on the sender switch. I also left the manual switch in place should I need it. The fan then worked automatically like it should.

Any help with this would be great as bump starting the bike loaded with gear is becoming tiresome and my girlfriend will soon be flying home so I will be on my own and bump starting will become even more difficult?

Temp the fan should cut in at?
Voltage measured at the battery at idle, 3000rpm and 6000 rpm?

Many thanks,
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-14-2010, 09:04 AM
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Ok if it is 30+ degrees celcius which would make it 85 degrees F? If the fan is kicking on about midway the guage that seems to be working fine. The bike should be around 13.4 to 13.6 volts at idle and 14.3 to 14.5 volts at 3000+ rpm's. The battery should be around 12.4 volts when bike switch is off. The stator doesn't kick in until over 2000 rpm's so it sounds like your battery is getting weak. I may be off a bit with my volts but that is the general area of a working system (stator, regulator, and battery).

01' VN750
Jardine cross over exaust
Kyriakin grips and foot pegs
Modified seat and backrest
Luggage rack
Crash bar with Kyriakin pegs and extensions
Kumho 758 165/80-15 CT rear Dunlop 404 110/90-19 front
Coastered and air/fuel screws at 2.5 turns
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93' VN750 getting TLC
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. I think you are right, it is the battery that is failing. I am now in the city of Zagreb and am currently searching for a battery shop. Hopefully this will solve the problem.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 08:31 AM
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Try to find you a maintenance free battery with roughly 220 cold cranking amps, if you haven't already been using one. I agree on the fan. When the temp needle hit the middle mark the fan comes on and this is normal. One suggestion I have is at the next chance you get, clean the radiator fins. Not a lot of space in the fins. Dirt, road grime, and bugs can build up in them.

2005 Vulcan 750
Black and Silver
OEM Hghwy Bars
O-ring Footpegs
OEM Luggage Rack
V&H Exhaust System
TOC ACCT Rebuild
Die Hard Gold AGM MFB
Spline Lube every tire change
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-15-2010, 09:54 PM
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Gabriel, hope you have been able to find a battery that works for you. That's a long haul! We have a new member here - Jacques - who is from Croatia, but lives in France (Normandy) and is looking for a 750 motor for his '89. Any chance when you get back to the UK you could lend a hand in a motor search? The shipping costs are prohibitive from here in the US, but might be a little less costly getting a motor across the Channel.

Let us know how you're doing on your trip - sounds like fun!

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 03:50 AM Thread Starter
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Hi All,

Here's what happened with current bike repairs in Zagreb......

First stop was to find somewhere to get a slow puncture....which had turned into quite a fast puncture repaired. Following directions given to us and then getting lost I found a building with a few bikes outside so called in. It turned out to be the offices of the oldest Croation motorbike magazine Moto Puls. On enquiring whether anyone could help in finding a tyre shop a very helpful man called Marko (Moto Puls journalist) offered to show us the way. He jumped on his moped and we followed him to the tyre shop.

He didn't want me to do any work taking the wheel off insisting the guys at the shop would do it, but I've taken the wheel off a few times now and can do it in less than 10 minutes so took the wheel off for repair. While waiting for the puncture to be repaired I mentioned that I thought the battery was shot. Marko said "No probs". Made a few phone calls, said he'd found a battery, got us 20% off, final fee of less than 30! I couldn't be happier, very good price, not the best make of batteries but will certainly last the trip.

Marko also said he could get me a price on a new tyre but I decided there was life in it and would last the next 1800 miles to get to South Croatia and back to the UK. Tyre was repaired, back on the bike. I went to pay but Marko said it was all on the house, the guys at the tyre shop owed him a few favours.

So we made a very good friend in Zagreb. Bought him a bottle of whiskey for all his help. He gave me his card and said at any point we could call and he would try to help out.

A very very nice and helpful chap. Many thanks Marko.

Unfortunately I didn't take his advice on buying a new tyre. Yesterday on the freeway/motorway the back tyre de-flated rather rapidly at about 80mph. I tried to slow the bike down safely but the tyre had rolled all over the rim and the bike snake onto the hard shoulder. We were lucky as the bike stayed up right but the rear tyre with the speed and weight of all our gear and 2 up, is completely shot.

The police stopped and I asked for help with a recovery truck. They seemed to not understand, or pretend to not understand and eventually while talking to the passenger the driver slipped it in gear and very slowly drove off while I was still talking. Very very funny to me and my girlfreind but no help what-so-ever. So a 5km walk, a hitch off some Polish motorcycles on tour 25km to the nearest town, an evening spent trying to convince anyone I saw with a van to take my bike off the motorway, finally a lift, 100 later, and my bike is at the tyre shop.

It is a lovely place on the coast and I think we maybe here a few days waiting for a tyre. I have just got up so am about to wander up to the shop and see how much a new tyre is here. I hope its cheap because the budget has already been blown right out the window.

But, the battery cured the job. I will take your advice on cleaning the rad.

Also, Crobins365, yes of course I will help out when back in the UK. It should be about 3-4 weeks I think. Does he need the whole engine? I dont see them for sale often. What has failed on his old engine? Tope end, bottom end, gear box, etc.

Many thanks again for the help,

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 11:15 AM
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Miley Cyrus, of all people, may have said it best:

"There's always going to be another mountain
I'm always going to want to make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm gonna to have to lose,
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb" or in our cases, it's the ride!

2004 VN750 "Rosanna"
Acquired March 6, 2010

NGK Iridium Plugs
NGK Caps
Big Crank ETX15L AGM Battery
Battery Tender Jr. w/Pigtail
Rear Spline Lubed
Front Spine/U-Joint Lubed
Metzeler ME 880's
Brake Fluid Flushed, Filled, and Bled
Saddlemen Studded Saddlebags and Tank Bib
Installed 12 Volt Power Outlet
R/R Relocated flightcontrol Style

N/A... I'm Going Ridin'
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