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Death by electrics - 0 signs of life

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by chokpa, May 22, 2012.

  1. Hi Guys


    2004 VTR. Electrically fine in the past, battery is a year old and fully charged. Since replacing the old battery there have been no major issues. Did drop it once but that was a while ago and it's been fine since


    Rode it to/from soccer on Saturday. Reasonably sunny winters day in Sydney, not overly hot. Probably a 15 minute trip each way. Went to maccas on the way home and parked on the roof of the shopping centre. Went to go back to start it, turn the key to on and get all the lights. I go to press the starter motor and everything just dies. No headlight, no neutral light, no crank at all.

    I've got no idea what's going on in the electrical department, but I did check the fuses and they all looked fine. The battery is also full according to my charger.

    I tried clutch start and it does start but it sounds like its about to die, even with full throttle it just chugs very softly. The light turns on, but dimly.

    I'm wondering what I need to investigate to get to the bottom of this.

    Currently no signs of life at all, i'm wondering if a wire has been exposed and shorted the bike out. I need to go buy a multimeter but I have no idea where to actually test for voltage.

    Any help would be appreciated, cheers :-({|=
  2. Check battery terminals to start, take them off clean them, reattach. Then, look for a bad earth or something shorting to ground.

    Could be a bad cell in the battery too...

    Try that & get back to us.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. +1 to MV. Then the Main fuse which is in the Starter Solenoid separate from the other fuses.
  4. Regulator or magneto/alternator?
  5. Okay I checked the battery and it looks fine. Terminals look clean.

    Where would I find a bad earth? Sorry, completely new. Which part of the bike do I need to look in? I'll check the Workshop manual

  6. Checked the 30amp fuse. Doesnt look blown.

    Is it visible because it'll just be browned/disconnected in the metal bit?
  7. Checking the battery with a charger won't identify a bad battery. Sometimes it will even cause the ready light to go on early because it's only charging across one set of plates. Just checking a batteries voltage won't tell you it's health, it needs to be tested under load. Most workshops can test a battery, if it's not holding enough amps to crank you will get a similar reaction to what you describe.
  8. Looks can be deceiving, did you take them off & give them a clean?

    It's a process of elimination, start with the simplest & escalate from there.

    On the fuse, you need to check the fuses continuity with a multimeter.
  9. Don't just look at the terminals. This reads exactly like poor connection between the batteries and terminals. Pull them off, clean with a wire brush and do back up firmly.
    • Like Like x 3
  10. Ah okay, the fuse may not be visibly broken? Okay i'll get a multimeter and check them out.

    There is 0 grime on the terminals when I inspected but i'll give them a brush. Although i'm not sure if I can remove it from the battery itself.

    If it's a bad connection though, wont it show a faint glimmer of life? Right now there is no crank and no light at all.
  11. +1

    If battery is ok, then you need to check the charging system. Something like 14v (DC obviously) at 4000rpm is about normal. If that ain't good, then either the stator or RR are shot.
  12. Usually you will get some light, you may not get any crank. A high resistance connection to the battery will not allow enough current to flow to crank a bike over. Which makes me think it is main fuse. Fuses can look mechanically ok and still be blown so use a multimeter to check.
  13. Hey guys, a big update

    So i gave it a clean and put my battery onto charge (even though it originally says full)

    I reconnected it and after I turned the key to On, about 2 seconds later a faint headlight beam comes on and a slight green to the Neutral light. Trying to crank it makes it in bit brighter but there is no cranking movement.

    The light slowly fades away after 30 seconds I would say.

    Hm, blown fuse, bad battery or needs more cleaning? I gave it a decent scrub where I could reach it. Maybe the underside is still dirty. I'll need to find something to get in there and clean it with.
  14. Sounding like battery to me. Take the battery to get it tested and if it is dead buy another one. Still a possibility that there is a bad short but if the battery is dying that quick you should see smoke. :) So battery is my best guess.
  15. Hm that'll teach me to get an ebay battery

    IT did smell slightly like sulphur after I started it up.. Either that or burnt rubber
  16. That's not good, could be a sign of overcharging, or melting wiring which means you may not be out of the woods yet. :(
  17. Crap..
    Is it possible to check the battery at home with a multimeter? Getting it to a mechanic may be difficult..
  18. Not easily, the testers load the battery and measure drop voltages and recovery times without load and come to a figure on the battery state. A multimeter will tell you the no load voltage and the voltage under charge but not give you an idea of the capacity the battery has.
  19. Whats probably happened is your R/R or your Stator are faulty either one
    wil flatten your battery or damage it,you need to get your wiring checked
    by a auto elec,locate your r/r check for discoloring in the wiring connector,that will
    give you some indication of its condition
  20. Is the battery connected the right way?