Bike wont hold charge? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-15-2009, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Bike wont hold charge?

I recently moved from San Diego to Boston and when I received my bike off the freight truck it wouldn’t start, seem that the battery was dead. In the transition of moving the bike probably sat for 3 months tops without being started. Anyway, I jumped the bike, drove it the 5 minutes home and forgot about it for the day. When I went back to the bike sure enough it wouldn’t start, I jumped it again and let it run for a half hour or so but when I turned it off and tried turning it back on it wouldn’t start. I bought a brand new battery and the bike started right up. Everything seemed okay until my first real test ride, I started the bike right up and took it for a short 15 minute right, got lunch and then started the bike up again and took another 15 minute ride to get coffee. When I tried to start the bike up it wouldn’t started. I was about to call someone to bring my jumper cables but somehow got the bike to start by keeping the starter held down, and giving it some gas with the choke in. I don’t know how it worked but it did. I got the bike home and couldn’t get it started again. A week later I jumped it and took it for a 45 minute cruise, when I got home the bike started right up, the next day the bike started right up again, however a couple days later the bike was dead again. And this is where I am at today. I don’t know what exactly is going on with the bike and I was hoping some of you guys would have some insight. Its going to be 68 degrees Friday and if I cant right my bike after this horrible week I am going to lose it!

Thanks guys!!!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-20-2009, 11:28 AM
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Sounds like you have a short in the wiring harness somewhere. Do you have a DC Amp meter? If so, put the bike in its off storage condition, disconnect the positive terminal from the battery and put the amp meter between the positive battery terminal and the positive battery lead. If I'm right, there will be some small amount of current flowing. If there isn't any current flowing, then the problem maybe intermittent and you need to turn the handle bars, tilt the bike, bounce on the seat, and whatever else you can think of to try and see if you can get it to mis-behave while you are looking at it. If you have current flowing, then it is a matter of disconnecting things to figure out the circuit the leakage is in and figure out where it is. These kinds of electrical problems are time consuming things to trouble shoot.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2009, 07:28 PM
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You no doubt got it by now, But for others, as Whetstone said, electrical problems can be a real nightmare. It don't really sound like it with what you said was happening, but the stator is also worth a check, not charging at all, or very lightly. Ride safe
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2009, 08:20 PM
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Another thing to look at is the starter. I was having trouble with mine being difficult to start. Upon looking inside the starter I found carbon from the brushes clogging the the whole mess. Cleaned it out works great.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-30-2009, 10:34 PM
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Starting problem

We may need to pin the symptoms down a little more. Most of what you wrote sounded like a dead battery. When you say you say you got it started by holding the starter down while chocking the engine sounds like a fuel problem. Are the symptoms always the same and am I correct to assume the starter does not crank the engine over? When the bike does not start do the lights look dim or maybe not on at all? Does the starter make any noise? It starts when you jump it does sound like a dead battery.

If you have a volt meter you can check some of the charging system. Since it is a new battery I assume it is good, although it could be possible you got a bad one. With the bike turned off, a charged battery should measure more than 12.5 volts. 13 volts when you first shut the bike off. When the bike is running and the engine revved up a little the battery voltage should climb to 14 maybe 14.5 volts. If you don't see the battery voltage start to rise after you start the bike the charging system is not working. You should see the head light normal brightness. If the charging system is good then as Whetstone said something on the bike is killing the battery.

It is possible the battery is low and it cranks over but voltage is to low to fire the ignition.

Let us know
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 02:17 PM
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Try taking the battery out of the bike and put it on a trickle charger over night on 12v 2amp. Use a voltmeter to determined the voltage in the battery. Fully charged should be around 12.5 to 12.8 volts.

" For all your Battery needs "
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 10:49 PM
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I have the same problem. I had the rectifier changed, since it smelled like rotten eggs and had a failure on the rectifier almost 15k miles ago. I had a Yuasa battery for almost 3 years (which is amazing that lasted this long in the Arizona weather), then suddenly died ...I replaced it with a national brand that I got from "Batteries Plus". I replaced it one time because I thought it was defective. Goes good for about a week (my only source of transportation), then it dies. The starter wants to go, but the lights are dim once I do try to get it to start. I have not yet check for ground problems. These batteries are off-the-shelf and ready to use.
....any advise?
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 01:12 AM
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Your bike, car, etc won't "charge" your battery by running it very effectively. You need to put it on a trickle charger to avoid damaging the battery. Worse yet, you put a huge strain on the charging system on the bike by trying to charge it by running it, especially when it is near dead. If I don't plan on riding mine for a while, I throw the trickle charger on it with the quick connect. I think $30 for a charger that will last many years is better than burning up a $70+ battery.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-07-2010, 09:48 AM
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you can rule out a voltage drain "short circuit" by merely disconnecting the negative cable from your freshly charged battery. If it still doesn't hold a charge it's a junk battery. If it holds the charge just fine then it's a short or a starter or a magneto rotor/stator issue.
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