Walked it home today - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
Electrical
Where does this wire go?
Includes Electrical mods, Lights, Stator,
Rectifier, Diagrams, etc

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Walked it home today

I'm going to get into really good shape fixing this motorcycle. It's stranded me two days in a row so far. I was quite fortunate yesterday to have been passed by a fellow motorcyclist who happened to own a bike trailer and who happened to live in the same town as I. Today I was "fortunate" enough to have been stranded close enough to home to walk it. Pushing 500 pounds ain't easy, even with wheels.

That said, here's the problem I'm having: the bike starts sputtering and then dies really quickly thereafter. Popping the clutch while still rolling to a stop turns the engine over, but doesn't start it. There are no lights on anywhere; it's just dead in the water, as if the battery were suddenly unplugged. I've checked the battery and the terminal leads are tight and there's no corrosion on them. Further, it's making 12V across the terminals both when the bike is turned off and when it's running. All I have to check it with is a multimeter; I don't have a proper battery tester. I tried jumping it off with my car (not running, as per someone's instructions elsewhere on this forum) to try to isolate whether it really is the battery or if it's the ignition switch. As soon as I touched the cables to the battery, all the lights lit up like Christmas. It also fired right up with a bump of the starter button.

So I successfully narrowed it down to either the battery or the stator/solenoid. Now for the weird part (in my mind, anyway). On my walk back home, I had lots of time to think and ponder what might be going on. Having duly expended all my energy for the moment, I set the bike down on the side stand so I could rest before resuming my sisyphean task. When I did that, the dash lights came on. I assumed it was because of the side stand switch. I bumped the starter button and there was a click, followed by a blackout of the dash lights again. I retried the experiment several times, always with the same results. I at first suspected this switch as a potential culprit, but given a couple hours to think about it, I think maybe it was either piezoelectricity from the impact or electromagnetic induction from the movement of the switch that generated the minuscule power needed to turn on the dash lights. Either that, or I'm missing a glaring sign about what is truly wrong with this bike. Any Ideas what I can do to isolate the problem further before spending lots of money on parts I don't need?

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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 08:52 PM
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I think you're going to have to test things with a meter when it happens. Hopefully it is acting up in the driveway. Then you can chase power through the system and look for the break in the circuit. Are you sure your power and ground cables are right at the battery,starter relay, and the ground junction under the right side cover?
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 09:39 PM
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Sounds like overlapping problems.

Only 12.0v? That's not enough. Bad battery?

Bad ign switch?

And it's not charging.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spockster View Post
Sounds like overlapping problems.

Only 12.0v? That's not enough. Bad battery?

Bad ign switch?

And it's not charging.
These motorcycles are not like modern cars. They will not run without a good battery with at least some charge. That said, you need to test: battery (under load), stator, R&R, etc. You could simply have a bad battery, a dreaded fried stator (not charging the battery) or a bad connection somewhere. Only testing will tell which component is the culprit.


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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-03-2016, 11:59 PM
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That's what I said, except the part about modern cars.

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Last edited by Spockster; 04-04-2016 at 12:03 AM.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonlandrum View Post
I think maybe it was either piezoelectricity from the impact or electromagnetic induction from the movement of the switch that generated the minuscule power needed to turn on the dash lights.
I'm laughing at the idea of raising/lowering the kickstand a million times to charge the battery enough to crank the starter.

Sounds like you're riding without charging until the battery can't provide a spark, though I do think it odd that the ignition coils and the lights all fail at the same voltage. However, since the lights all come on when you connect to your car battery, that's a pretty good indication that it isn't a loose wire between your battery and the rest of your electrical system.

Testing your stator with a multimeter is pretty straightforward. I highly recommend picking up a hard-copy of the service manual, but there is a free digital version available (see the link in my signature). Around page 266 in the digital version are instructions for checking the stator and regulator/rectifier for problems. If you aren't charging, your problem will likely be uncovered there. I've got my fingers crossed for you that it's a faulty battery.

resistance between any two yellow leads going from the stator into the R/R should be 0.34 to 0.52 ohms. The R/R is located under the battery unless the previous owner moved it (common. my r/r is the first thing you see under the left side panel). You can usually wiggle your hand in and pull the connector off the r/r via the left side panel and reaching under the junction box. The junction box has two connectors, the r/r has just one.

There's also a table in the manual you can use to check proper resistance between the pins of the R/R.

Good luck, and do let us know what you uncover!
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 07:31 AM
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Agree with those above. 12 volts is not enough when the bikes running...you should be getting 13.4 to 14.5 volts at any rpm over idle.

Sounds like your battery is bad or is not being charge by the bike...(bad r/r or stator)

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 09:55 AM
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Clean the ignition switch.

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 06:27 PM
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This is precisely what happened to me when my stator went out. Eventually the voltage crept down from 12 to 11.6...then tanked out completely to nothing. It also fried the battery so I thought it was that at first.

It would start out fine, and then it would run for a while until the battery drained out and then she would go dead. After a good while sometimes the batter would somehow have some juice in it and I'd get the dash lights on, and it would die right away.

It didn't die all at once either, just kept stranding me randomly over a period of several weeks
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-04-2016, 06:33 PM
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R&r will do it too.also bad connections at the r&r

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