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Just battery or more problem?

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by pbbtm11, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. Hi people. I have a 2012 Yamaha R15, only has a bit over 2000km on dash. Few weeks ago i found it's hard to start the bike in the morning. I had to press the starting button few times before it finally starts. I then charged it up with charger and it went well for a week or two until last night. Last night half way on my ride home i stop at a shop for about 20mins to get some grocery and when i tried to start the bike again, it wouldn't do it. I pressed the starting button few more times then the head light and dashboard just went dim with clicking sound from the bike. After that the bike was completely dead, no dash no light. So my question is, should i simply replace the bad battery? Or it could be something more than the battery? thx

  2. Yeah most likely the battery has died and is not charging properly. You can probably take the battery out and get it tested if you think there may be other issues but generally this time of the year is the time for batteries to die a natural death.
  3. #3 GreyBM, Aug 7, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2016
    You should NEVER just replace the battery.

    Before replacing a battery you need to diagnose the problem and work out what the real cause is and address that. Replacing the battery and then finding out the problem is something else would mean you have wasted money on a new battery, although if the cause is something different and you have flattened your battery a few times it is possible to damage it to the point of it needing replacing anyway.

    Start of by buying a multimeter and check the battery voltage. If it is flat charge it. If you don't own a charger, see if you can get the bike going by push or jump start and going for a longish ride to charge the battery.

    With the bike running check the voltage again and steadily increase the revs. You should see a corresponding increase in voltage up to around 14 - 14.5 volts or so. If you don't see this, the problem is in the charging circuit.Then check it again at the end to ensure it is fully charged. Then leave it a day or two and see if the voltage has dropped significantly. If it has, unless you have a device on the bike using power or a problem in the circuit, it will probably be the battery.

    If the problem is in the charging circuit, the usual culprit is the regulator/rectifier but it could also be the alternator stator and of course simply a break in the circuit itself. Bit more complicated to explain how to check those here but YouTube is full of how to videos.

    Based on what is happening and on an older bike, the battery is definitely the most likely suspect and it may need replacing. But to replace it without checking properly is just stupid.
  4. Thx man. I recharged it and check the voltage. Looks fine for me. I probably need to buy a new battery anyways since this is the second time being dead. BTW I just took the battery out and there's no fluid in it. Should you have fluid in a normal healthy battery?
  5. I agree with GreyBMGreyBM . Check the charging system before replacing the battery. Although it probably is just failed battery as your 3-4 year old bike has only done 2000km so the battery has probably died from lack of use.
  6. Also, when you start and ride it, you need at least a 20 minute ride to recharge what you took out starting it.
    If you only do short trips the battery will never be fully charged.
    If you can, get a charger with a "maintain" feature and leave it connected when the bike is not being used.
  7. agree - at three years old and very little use I reckon the battery would be fked and due for replacement. replace the battery and hook up a trickle charger and your battery will remain healthy.
  8. That depends on the type of battery. If it's a regular lead-acid battery, with little red plugs on each cell and a breather at the end, with 'high' and 'low' level marks on the side, then yes it's supposed to have fluid (electrolyte, which is a sulphuric acid solution) in it. Only top it up with distilled or demineralised water (can get it at Woolies etc). Other batteries are filled with gel that you can't top up, or just plain sealed.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Like Dark AngelDark Angel said it's supposed to have electrolyte in it.

    My guess is the battery was on the way out. When you charged it the charge rate was too high & you have boiled off the electrolyte, not every battery charger is suitable for these smaller batteries.

    As has already been mentioned, replace battery, check charging voltage (14-14.5 volts with engine at about 4000 RPM), use trickle charger if you aren't going to ride the bike on a regular basis for more than very short trips.

    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Sorry I'm going to hijack this topic. Have a similar problem.

    Just had the stator on my Ninja 650 rewound, its was stuffed. The battery has been tested, apparently its ok. I checked the diodes on the regulator and they seem ok as well.

    When I check the voltage its about 14.2V at idle but when the rpm's go up the voltage goes down to around 13.5V. Supposed to go up by all accounts but the starting voltage seems a bit high. (I'm no expert though that's for sure).

    Any ideas? If the diodes test ok can the regulator still be had it?

  11. Yes. Measured at the battery, I'd expect less than 14v at idle ( more like 13v ) and then stepped increases as the revs rise. Maximum should be ~14.5v.
    If your voltage is dropping as you increase the revs then I think the regulator is blown.
  12. The starting voltage is not a problem, my strom would idle at 14.2v but it also never changed as the revs went up. If yours is dropping at higher revs I'd question the regulator. Those diodes could also test ok at low voltage but be crapping out at higher voltages, which is what you get from the alternator at higher revs.
  13. I agree with others here, 4 year old battery and 2000kms on the clock means you are the problem by not riding it enough :hungry: (just kidding). Definitely get it tested before throwing it out. Places like Battery World can do it for you for a small charge if you are not tech savy.

    Best thing to do is to get a trickle charger. I have a C-Tek on my bike and hook it up all the time. It even tells you if battery is stuffed. My battery is 4 years old and still going strong. To get 4 years out of a bike battery is pretty good.
  14. I would have to agree that the diodes look suspect. Could that be part of the reason your alternator was stuffed in the first place?

    You are on top of the basic checks, probably time to take it to a specialist.
  15. Yeah that could be the problem.

    Procrastinating weather to buy one from US and wait a couple of weeks or buy genuine from here and have it in a few days.
  16. Put a multimeter across the battery on AC scale. If the rectifier is working properly there should be very little reading. If there's more than a whole volt you have a dud diode breaking down under load. Also check all the relevant connections and especially the ground from the regulator to the frame. Most bike regulators work by shorting the rectified voltage to ground to bring the output voltage down to the right range. The more you load up the system (high beam, heated grips etc) the less the regulator has to dump. If you run the bike at say 3000rpm, check the battery voltage, then turn on EVERYTHING (high beam, brake lights, grip heaters ... EVERYTHING) and see if the voltage goes UP. If it does, or if it craps itself and drops severely, you need a new regulator.
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  17. This is correct. Batteries may just die but they cab be killed by too higher charge rate, or won't hey charged by too lower charge rate. Also constant short runs can mean that the battery doesn't get a full charge. A battery specialist can test the battery and some can test charging rates. They usually don't charge so worth doing.
  18. Ok I did the AC voltage test and my cheap little multimeter set on the 200 range was showing 31. Surely that isn't 31 volts?

    I started trying to trace the ground wire from the regulator but lost it as it goes under the tank. Will need more time to check this one.

    I ran some more DC voltage tests and average results are:
    @Idle = 14.5v
    @idle with radiator fan going = 13.4v
    @3000rpm = 14.05v
    @3000rpm with high beam and hazard lights - 14.15v

    Everything seems to be pointing towards the regulator. I reckon I will buy one and see if that fixes it. If not I will take it to a shop and let the experts look at it.
  19. Yes, it's indicating 31 volts, but that doesn't mean there's really 31 volts there. You need a True RMS multimeter to get a proper reading, though that's enough for me to consider the power "dirty".

    I thought the voltage was dropping more than that. It's a tad low at 3000rpm but not hugely so. 14.2V would be about ideal. If you're happy to spend the cash, go for it.
  20. Yeah I thought my initial readings were lower. Maybe I was mistaken but I'm sure it was at least going under 14v. Definitely going down as the rpm's rise though.