Strange Electrical Issue - Honda RC51 Forum : RC51 Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Strange Electrical Issue

Recently, my bike has been acting up. Slow to start, slow to crank, instrument cluster goes blank. A couple times it wouldn't even crank. Eventually it always starts, but it struggles. It seems to get worse later in the day after multiple starts. Some days it doesn't act up at all. Classic signs of low battery I think. So I take my battery to the local battery shop, they test it, it shows signs of strong life. So, I think it may be the charging system. I ask Santa for a new digital multi-meter, he delivers. Last night I take my new DMM and do some diagnostics. Sitting cold, no recent charging my battery shows 12.75 volts. Running @ 5000 rpm I'm getting 14.7-14.75 volts. So that seems to blow away my charging system theory. Now I'm lost.

Anybody ever experience this?? Any suggestions what to check next?

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 10:36 AM
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New accessory added recently?



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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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No, the bike is as I bought it. I still haven't owned the bike too long. Problem first surfaced soon after purchase. I thought maybe the previous owner had let it sit, so I have been putting the bike on a charger when not riding. After testing the battery last night, I'm pretty sure I have good strong juice available.

"Like a junkie trying to get his hands on the next fix,
those of us who seek the thrill of speed and danger will
do anything to get those glands pumping out that juice."
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 05:44 PM
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I had a silimar problem with a battery that was a couple years old. The sediment in the battery shorted the plates...intermittent condition. It was sluggish to start and got worse as the battery got hot. (Expanded from the heat)

At full charge, the water/acid solution is at its highest level in the battery. (This is why you don't fill batteries that are not fully charged!) I know it is a sealed battery which makes this case worse.

My suggestion is try a new battery and check the wiring from the battery to your starter.



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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your help.

I did some more testing this evening. I went out for a brief ride then came home to check the battery. With the key off, the battery was showing 12.42 volts. Once I turn the key on, it drops to 11.99 or slightly less. So when I'm starting the bike, it's got lss than 12 volts to work with. Does that mean the battery is bad? I remember reading that 11.sum volts is essentially a dead battery.

"Like a junkie trying to get his hands on the next fix,
those of us who seek the thrill of speed and danger will
do anything to get those glands pumping out that juice."
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 08:56 PM
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You may have a bad battery. However if may be good to check for possible shorts.

To double-check if there's a short somewhere, you can do the battery current leakage test.
With the ignition OFF during the test, disconnect the negative cable from the battery and place an amp meter inline between the negative cable and the negative battery post.
Start the amp meter on a high scale, then lower the scale until a measurement is obtained (to keep from blowing the meter's fuse).
The maximum current leakage is .1mA max.
If your reading exceeds .1mA try disconnecting the regulator/rectifier connector.
If the leakage drops below the .1mA max value, your regulator/rectifier is bad.
If it doesn't drop below the max value, then there's a possible short in the wiring harness or ignition switch.

If your battery posts are corroded or if there's a poor ground connection, it won't charge the battery fully.
Also a battery that's close to 11v is effectively dead.

I also had a problem on my Busa where when the engine was warm it struggled to turn the engine over.
No problem when cold. I sometimes wondered if it might not start.
The problem was the battery.
Once replaced, I never had a starting problem.

Last edited by SubSailor; 12-28-2010 at 09:00 PM.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-28-2010, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Still new to the electrical testing world. Will a digital multimeter double as an amp meter or is that a separate piece of equipment??

"Like a junkie trying to get his hands on the next fix,
those of us who seek the thrill of speed and danger will
do anything to get those glands pumping out that juice."
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 07:47 AM
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Maker sure your meter is set to the highest Amperes reading when doing this then work your way down on the scale. If it does not have an auto setting. If you connect and its on the Ohms setting, you will blow your meter,

The angle these sit at and the extreme heat is killer on these little batteries.



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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. I'll do some more checking tonight.

"Like a junkie trying to get his hands on the next fix,
those of us who seek the thrill of speed and danger will
do anything to get those glands pumping out that juice."
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-29-2010, 11:11 AM
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Check for corrossion also on your battery terminals and ground. I had a similar problem and turned out to be the negative terminal had some corrossion so was not grounding correctly. Good luck, hate to deal with electrical problems.
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