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Let's Ride!!
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Discussion Starter #1
Last year, I had a situation where I was riding my bike and all of a sudden lost power. Bike died, and no electrical power. Tried recharging the battery, but it wouldn't take a charge. Bought a new one, charged it up, installed it, and everything seemed fine.

Bike sat for about a month, not hooked up to a battery tender (I've left it for much longer than that in the past and not had a problem). Went to turn on the bike: no power. Hooked it up to my battery tender. The next day, still wasn't charged. Checked the battery: 3 volts. Took it to Autozone, they said the battery wouldn't take a charge again.

I've now got another battery, but I don't want to hook it up until I can figure out what's going on. It seems to me that I have a short somewhere that is draining the batteries. So how would I go about tracking it down, short of testing every single wire and connection on the bike? Or is that the way I have to do it? I simply still don't know enough to know how to proceed.
 

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Use a test light or meter between the battery positive post and the positive battery cable, with cable loose. If there's a current draw with the key off, start removing fuses until the draw stops. The fuse that kills the draw is on the circuit causing the problem. That would at least narrow the search. Always a possibility the draw will not be affected by fuses, but this a place to start.

Lacking a test light or meter, you can touch the loose battery cable to the battery and watch for a tiny spark. Beware if there's any out-gassing if the battery has just been removed from a charger. The gas is explosive, if you smell rotten eggs near the battery, that's explosive hydrogen sulfide gas.

edit - Try unplugging the R/R first and see if that kills the draw. That's the most common place on this bike for a current draw problem.
 

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Let's Ride!!
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Discussion Starter #3
This is frustrating.

I pulled the fuses, and was still getting a draw, until I pulled the main fuse. Damn. Then I pulled the R/R, and that also killed the draw. Double damn, cuz I just replaced what I thought was a faulty R/R. So that means the R/R I just bought less than a year ago is bad!

Guess I'll be getting yet another one. Lame.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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check the connector on the r and r

Sent from my LGL34C using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, I will.

Doesn't dielectric grease conduct? Cuz I smeared it all over the connectors, and am wondering if I created a short that way by using too much.
 

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Nope, that's the beauty (and point, really) of dielectric grease, it doesn't conduct but seals out moisture nicely.

Did you replace with a stock R/R or are you a MosFet/Series convert?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Stock one off eBay. Didn't want to have to do a bunch of rewiring.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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could be bad r&r if you bought a used one.was asking about the connector cause that's a common issue on these bikes

Sent from my LGL34C using Tapatalk
 

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Let's Ride!!
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Discussion Starter #9
No, it was supposedly new.

What's the issue with the connector? What can be done to fix it?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
And can someone remind me of how to test the R/R to make sure it's working right? slimvulcanrider used to have a thread with changing system test info, but he seems to have erased the first post for some reason. Had all the multimeter tests and expected numbers.
 

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FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY
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Let's Ride!!
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Discussion Starter #12
Well crap. Not the R/R. Replaced it, but still there's a short. So it's somewhere in the main circuit. Just have to figure out how to track it down. Either that, or disconnect the battery whenever I park it.

Could it be the ignition? Whether the key is in "on", "off", or "park", current is flowing thru the system.
 

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So the main fuse or the rr will kill the draw? If that's the case the wiring to the rr may be wrecked if a used rr doesn't resolve the issue.

May be worth putting a mofet or series rr in there. $70 or so for a used Polaris 800 or fz09 rr, Futurama connectors, a battery tender lead with a 30 amp fuse installed and a little bit of crimping and soldering is all it takes
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
New element: if I leave everything else connected, and disconnect any single lead from the stator, the voltage drops to 0.59. Connect it again, and I get 12.32. So since a new R/R didn't fix it, does that mean the short is in the nearly new stator? I did the Tuxedo Mod, so did I possibly screw something up putting that in? Gonna open that tomorrow to see if I can see anything.

 

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Check the stator for shorting by checking resistance or continuity between the stator leads and a shiny bolt on the engine. If the resistance is anything other than OL or infinite, or you have continuity between the points, you have a short from the stator to the engine.
 

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ok, first off, you have meter on volts and looks like its in series with the positive lead.. That not how to measure volts, thats for measuring current (series connection).

if you trying to measure voltage, you need positive cable connected to battery
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ok, first off, you have meter on volts and looks like its in series with the positive lead.. That not how to measure volts, thats for measuring current (series connection).

if you trying to measure voltage, you need positive cable connected to battery
No, that's how I'm checking for a short. The key is off, but I'm still getting current coming around to the positive side, which gets completed via the meter. I'm not checking the stator output. Im trying to find why my last battery drained while just sitting there in the bike.
 

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Draw would be measured in amps/milliamps as it would be drawing current. Measuring volts is a bit confusing, try measuring the current draw with the stator connected vs disconnected, that will tell you if you have parasitic drain.

Another thing to do is to test if the stator is shorting out to the engine case like I mentioned earlier. Test for continuity or resistance between a stator wire and the motor.
 

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I am going to go out on a limb here, and based on how the meter will function connected like that, on volts setting, that the R/R is shorted/fried, and probably the stator as well.

and before anyone chimes in and says that the pics show the correct way to check for the issue, I will let it be known, I have been doing electrical/electronic repair for in excess of 30 years..

As uber has said, you must have the meter on amps/milliamps to determine if you have a current drain, your connections are correct, just in wrong mode on meter
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am going to go out on a limb here, and based on how the meter will function connected like that, on volts setting, that the R/R is shorted/fried, and probably the stator as well.

and before anyone chimes in and says that the pics show the correct way to check for the issue, I will let it be known, I have been doing electrical/electronic repair for in excess of 30 years..

As uber has said, you must have the meter on amps/milliamps to determine if you have a current drain, your connections are correct, just in wrong mode on meter
Not the R/R, bought a new one thinking that was bad, and same results with the new one.

As far as the current draw goes, it shouldn't matter which setting I have, right? If I have what should be an open circuit, but it's actually closed, it will show battery voltage thru that circuit? An open circuit will be 0 volts; a closed circuit will show 12-something.
 
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