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Reoccurring battery/charging failure (VTR1000f-firestorm)

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by AndyJ, Dec 25, 2009.

  1. My girlfriend and I bought a new (second hand) 2000 model VTR1000f a few weeks back to enjoy riding around Perth and South-West WA for the Christmas holidays, but on return from Margaret River, Sunday before last, the bike died.

    Here's the story:
    • Bought a bike which hasn't been used all that regularly.
    • Took it for about 5 smallish rides around Perth. It ran like a 9 year old bike ought to.
    • Then rode to Margaret River for a weekend, taking part in the Toy Run and doing other 15min-1 hour rides. The bike was perfect!
    • On the above referenced Sunday we rode 260km at 80-110km/h from Dunsborough to return to Perth, only stopping briefly to refuel and change riders (with the ignition and lights off when we did stop). At the end of the trip we pulled up at a local servo in Subiaco to refuel, but the bike wouldn't start again. The battery didn't have enough power to turn the motor over. We bump-started it and rode home (surely an amusing sight down Rokeby St for the locals).
    • On the Monday I tried to start it but, again, not enough power to turn the motor over, so I used a battery jumper pack and rode it to the store. Causeway Honda tested the charging/load with the existing battery and it seemed ok, but suggested that the old battery was probably the cause of the problem, I bought a new one, installed it, bike started fine and rode home ok. Great!
    • The next day (Wednesday just gone) we rode into the hills to O'Brien Rd, had a good 2-3 hour ride mostly at 80-100km/h. Afterwards we parked in the city for a bit of shopping (2 hours), to find, on return, the new battery had died in exactly the same way as the old one. It tried turning over but didn’t have enough power to start.

    It seems the starter motor is ok. And it’s not the battery (although I now have 2 dead ones).

    Has anyone had similar problems?

    Please Help!.... This has basically ruined our holiday plans!

  2. + 1 to Smee, I have had exactly the same circumstances with a VTR1000 during a trip with a mate (his bike) it cooked the battery because the regulator was overcharging the battery.

    Was the battery hot after the trip where it failed? If so then it is overcharging.

    On our trip we ended up replacing the battery, regulator and most of the light globes, which had blown because of over voltage and we were away again. :)

    PS: The regulator is under the rear fairing on the right side of the bike. It took us a while to find it ;)
  3. +1. The dreaded Honda Reg/Rec strikes again.
  4. Best local bet for an aftermarket replacement is Two Wheel Wreckers in Osborne Park, who had a wall full of such things last time I was in. Dunno what their Xmas opening times are though.
  5. I'm in Melbourne to see the relos and dropped into peter stevens. Picked up a reg/rec for $165 on sale. Not bad\\:D/

    Is there anything else that I need to replace alongside the reg/rec. Will battery used above be ok or is it cooked do you think? Otherwise, plugs, other parts?

  6. No, just fit it and run. Unless you've been running with it defective for a while (and you couldn't have know that you were) it should be all right.

    I do suggest that, since heat build-up seems to the main enemy of the reg/rec, that you isolate it as much as you can by mounting it on a plate of alloy maybe 1 1/2cm thick. This becomes a heat sink and drains excessve heat away. I've done this with all my VFR's and it works well.

    Some VFR owners have gone so far as mounting a heat sink from a computer CPU on the top of the reg/rec and even fitting a cooling fan like some CPU's have, but I haven't found that to be necessary.
  7. I swapped the reg/rec and jump started the bike. Took a 1 hour ride to try to charge the battery up, turned the bike off, hit the starter again.. bike would not turn over.

    I'll buy a new battery and see if it cooked the second battery....
  8. Hmm, Not good news. If you have access to a multi meter try and measure the voltage across the battery when the engine is running. You should be getting a little over 14 volts when its charging so try at idle and reving to normal cruising revs. If the voltage is higher or lower than that it may be a sign of another issue.

    Also measure the voltage of the battery voltage when cranking the engine, 10 or so volts is Ok much lower than 8 volts and the battery is probably stuffed.

    It's a good chance though that the old battery was also cooked by overcharging if the regulator was faulty. Let us know how you get on. Good Luck.
  9. That is a good guide Wilzah, I found it a while ago and could never find it again so ta for the link. :)
  10. Guys, an update:

    After installing the replacement reg/rec, the bike wouldn't hold charge. So I replaced the battery (2nd new battery), and haven't had a problem for over a month now.

    Conclusion: the old reg/rec destroyed the 1st new battery (after ~3hours of riding).

    Solved. All, thanks for your help!
  11. Ok, Glad you are solved, and thanks for the follow up report. :)
  12. good stuff all round.

    reg recs are like a compulsary bi-yearly "gay fee" for owning a honda. honda then passes that $165 directly to the "Homosexuals On Naturally Dis-charging Autos" or HONDA as its commonly known.

    ride that big sexy bike with pride my sister!