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Discussion Starter #1
I brought a new MF battery sometime last month. Did the install according to the instructions, but since my bike was getting work done I just let it on the tender the whole time. Well I took the bike out the other day quick and I did panic stop and stalled the bike. The bike would not turn over and kept acting like it was a dead battery. Pushed it home, I was literally down the street, and had the key off while I pushed it home. When I got home before I put the cover on it I tried to see if it would turn over and it did. Something with the battery? Or something else?

I am really getting sick of the condition of this bike and wonder what was going through the previous owners head.
 

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and the Adventure Cycle
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My first thought is you need to clean and/or tighten the battery cables. Check that both ends of each cable are clean and tight.
 

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Cruisin' through my 50's
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When you turn the key to the on position and it doesn't start, do the neutral and oil lights on the insturment panel come on? Do the running lights come on? All my lights would come on but it wouldn't turnover or click. I had to clean the ignition switch contacts.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
When I turn the key to the on position, the neutral and oil lights come on all the time. All lights come on, even the head light now that I did the headlight rewire. I have replaced the ignition switch with a brand new one to fix my turn signal issue I had. After I keep trying to crank it I do believe that time the head light did go off.

Are those two lights supposed to go on?
 

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My starter motor sucked too many amps preventing the engine from starting. I cleaned the armature, replaced the brushes, and wham-o easier starts. That was 7 or 8 years ago and I can tell it's time to clean again.

BTW - not all 'battery tenders' work with AGM batteries. I found this out the hard way using the BELL battery maintenance charger. Fried my Sears AGM but they replaced it anyway (go SEARS!) and told me NOT to use a 'float type' battery tender.

DT
 

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Cruisin' through my 50's
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...

Are those two lights supposed to go on?
If by "those two lights" you mean the Oil (red light) and Neutral (green light), then yes they should be glowing when the key is in the On position. Well I guess technically the Neutral light will only be glowing if the bike is in neutral, mine usually is when I'm starting it. The two front running lights (amber lights on sticks) are also on. My headlight is off. When I press the starter button the bike starts and the headlight comes on and the Oil light goes off.

As far as I know I have a stock 2003 Vulcan 750. I bought it used so who knows if the guy(s) before me changed something.
 

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Ok guys mine does the same darn thing will run great at times but is hard to start very cold natured beast...after a day of riding in Aug last year shut it off to cross the ferry at cave in rock and had to push it to the parking lot ...I was so peed off....put a new battery in when we got home and a month later it did it again ...seems to only not want to start if i turn it off with the kill switch ....been just turning the key off but I had a blonde moment the other day and forgot and hit the switch...wouldn't start had to put a battery charger on it but the battery didn't click it just didn't have enough juice to turn it over ....somebody help before I do something drastic to her......
 

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Old Truck Junkie
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Ok guys mine does the same darn thing will run great at times but is hard to start very cold natured beast...after a day of riding in Aug last year shut it off to cross the ferry at cave in rock and had to push it to the parking lot ...I was so peed off....put a new battery in when we got home and a month later it did it again ...seems to only not want to start if i turn it off with the kill switch ....been just turning the key off but I had a blonde moment the other day and forgot and hit the switch...wouldn't start had to put a battery charger on it but the battery didn't click it just didn't have enough juice to turn it over ....somebody help before I do something drastic to her......
You're not forgetting to turn the key off after killing it with the kill switch, are ya? That is something that I might do.
 

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Nah I live in town you don't leave the keys in anything not even the lawnmower....will do fine if I don't use to stop/run switch to turn it off.....
 

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IMHO our electrics suck.

My 81 GL500 starts every time - so quick you can't hear the starter motor - in any weather any temp.

DT
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I had the bike running for a few minutes turned it off quick came back out and tried to start it and nothing. Checked the volts and it was low 11's. Something is killing the battery when its running. What should I check?
 

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What are the volts when it's running at 3500 rpm's? Should be above 13.5vdc

DT
 

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The Professor
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Well I had the bike running for a few minutes turned it off quick came back out and tried to start it and nothing. Checked the volts and it was low 11's. Something is killing the battery when its running. What should I check?
Sounds like the R/R or stator is not charging the battery, like DT650 said what are your volts at the battery @ 3500?
 

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Well I had the bike running for a few minutes turned it off quick came back out and tried to start it and nothing. Checked the volts and it was low 11's. Something is killing the battery when its running. What should I check?
The following applies to all automotive batteries not just the VN.

First be mindful of your tools. If you are not absolutely sure of what you are doing a digital meter can be too accurate. When taking readings you need to see that the values are above or below something, absolute values are less important than trends. Make all voltage checks at the battery terminals not elsewhere in the loom.

You need to start from a known point, fully charged is the best place. Do this first.

It is a brand new battery so you can be 99% certain the fault is not there but they do sell the odd bad one so you still need to do a few checks to prove it. The best way to test any battery is to load it up for a little while and see how well it recovers. In the absense of a proper battery test kit, the tool of choice for this is your starter motor.

Take one plug from each cylinder to ease the load and spin the engine for 15-20 seconds. then disconnect the battery negative and walk away from the bike and have a cup of tea, or two. Just leave it alone to rest. Come back half an hour later and check the voltage, it should be somewhere around 12.5V or better (under 12V is BAD), if not >12.5V then charge it overnight. In any event charge it for a couple of hours to put back what you just took out. In the morning diconnect the charger and have a cup of tea or two and check the voltage. The voltage at the terminals of a fully charged, rested (important) battery in resonable condition should be close to/slightly above 13V, if not then you have bought a duff battery.

Assuming all is ok, reconnect the battery and plugs, turn off all the lights and start the bike. At around one quarter to one third full revs (no need to annoy the neighbours and go higher) you should see a figure approaching 14V, if not it is probably the charging system that is at fault. Most likely the RR but not guarenteed.

What you do next depends on what you find up to this point, so do all that first and report back to us.

Read the bits in the Verses about eletrical issues while you wait and pray to the deity of your choice that it is not the stator.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think I may take the battery to advance and have them run a test on it. I just went for a quick spin and the bike cut out at a stop sign. Pressing the start button I got no sign of it trying to turn over. As I started to hike it home I started to slowly get some life, the stator tried to spin but didn't have enough juice. After getting a jump the head light never turned on. Does this make it seem like my R/R may be on the way out? Oddly enough I had the bike on the tender last night and when I came home after work this afternoon I was able to take it for a spin and it was fine. It wasn't till I was trying to adjust the throttle and starting the bike up did it then start to die out.
 

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Even to those of us who claim to know what we are doing Automotive electrical systems are something of a Black Art. When fault finding around them words such as probably and most liklely and possibly become commonplace, it is often hard to be absolute. The trick is to think like Sherlock Holmes and when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.

What you have described shows all the symptoms of being a fault somewhere in the charging system. It could be as simple and cheap as a lose wire or as complex as the engine out job that is needed to replace the stator or associated components. Hopefully it is the loose wire but only testing the right things in the right order are going to tell you this. Either way you will save both time and money by doing it right rather than just diving in at random and pulling it all apart on the off chance.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I know all too well how electrical gremlins work. I just terminated the bug I had on my grand prix which took about a month of testing.
 
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