Battery won't charge over 12.5 volts - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 06:33 PM Thread Starter
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Battery won't charge over 12.5 volts

Hi everyone, I have an '03 Road Star Midnight 1600, and the bike wont charge the battery over 12.5 volts. It needs about 12.9 volts to spin the crankshaft fast enough for it to start, so I have to use an external charger to charge it to full(about 13.4 volts) before I ride, then hope I don't have to stop more than once or twice before coming home ( about 200-250 mile trip). The light is on and bright, and even when it won't start, once it's running the alternator sustains it. Is there an easy fix? Is it just the regulator perhaps? anyone know how to check? Thanks.

Last edited by Dustin Martinez; 05-01-2018 at 06:48 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 06:43 PM
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First thing I would do is load test the battery. A failing battery will not properly hold a charge. Any auto parts store can test it for free. Just make sure they enter the correct CCA for a true reading. If it tests good hook a test meter to battery and see what voltage its showing with bike running at 2000 rpm. Also double check battery terminals tightness and ground cable to frame. Post your results. Good luck. (By the way, I bet bad battery.)

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 06:47 PM Thread Starter
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I would have thought that, bad battery, but I just bought it last month, and when it has a full charge it will turn over well in excess of 60 times before slowing. Obviously not a continuous 60 times. I'll take it in and have them check though, gotta start somewhere. Thank you for the swift reply.

-d
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 07:03 PM
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Unfortunately just because it's new doesn't mean it's good.

If battery does test good follow this link to test charging system. The test is for an 1100, but testing process is the same.

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1...harging-system

About half way down that page follow this link.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-Kr...ViU0lSSlE/edit

If you have any testing questions just let me know.

Les B.
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dustin Martinez View Post
Hi everyone, I have an '03 Road Star Midnight 1600, and the bike wont charge the battery over 12.5 volts. It needs about 12.9 volts to spin the crankshaft fast enough for it to start, so I have to use an external charger to charge it to full(about 13.4 volts) before I ride, then hope I don't have to stop more than once or twice before coming home ( about 200-250 mile trip). The light is on and bright, and even when it won't start, once it's running the alternator sustains it. Is there an easy fix? Is it just the regulator perhaps? anyone know how to check? Thanks.
the battery voltage is 12.5 with the engine running ?, change the rectifier/regulator

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-01-2018, 11:47 PM
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Originally Posted by pauli466 View Post
the battery voltage is 12.5 with the engine running ?, change the rectifier/regulator
This may be poor advice.

I would suspect a poor ground at the battery if the bike won't crank well at 12.5 volts and this could also cause the drop in your charging system.

When you put the bike on a charger you are supplying the battery with a new ground be it clamped on or through the battery tender lead. This would allow the battery to charge properly only when on the charger.

Check the connections on the battery first. Clean them well and see if the problem goes away. If not it still could be the ground on the bike causing it so verify that one next before spending money.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 08:33 AM
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^ yes - follow the black wire from the battery - terminal to where it attaches to the frame. That is a very common corrosion point, because you normally cannot see it unless you follow the wire and look for it.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 11:02 AM
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I agree with checking the wires to not only see if they are in good shape, but also clean & seated well to make a good connection.

My last truck would randomly not start. Turn the key & click. Wait a minute & she'd start right up.
Had the battery checked.... In great shape.
Positive to started solenoid.... Great shape.
Negative cable. Good shape but was a little dirty. Cleaned & still kept having the issue.

Turned out to be the positive cable from the starter solenoid to the starter itself had just about rusted through. Replaced with heavier duty & longer cable. Never a problem again.

No matter what you ride. Just ride!
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 11:16 AM
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I'm a big fan of cleaning the battery connection points and ground straps and smearing on a light coating of dielectric grease as a routine maintenance thing like every year, or more if I've ridden a lot in nasty weather during a particular season. I'll also clean the major connectors and use dielectric grease on the individual terminals as well. If the connectors don't have a protective sheath over them I'll make some from cut sections of old bicycle inner tubes and cinch the forwardmost or topmost end onto the harness with a cable tie.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-02-2018, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, I started at the ground cable, and found it was tight at the frame, it was however loose at the battery. I tightened it and the bike fired right up without a charge. I'll take it for a couple rides and see how it acts, I'm still carrying jumper cables for the moment though. Thank you everyone who offered suggestions, I'm a little embarrassed it turned out to be this easy, if this is in fact the problem. I'll report back when I've put a few miles on her.


-d
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