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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I introduced myself when I got Nokomis, but I haven't had much time for the forum. Riding, making a living, helping two dogs fight cancer, you know... life.

Did get Nokomis up to Sturgis last year.

600924


She's about to hit 10,000 miles. I've had the recalls done at Indian of Albuquerque. Today my wife and I took a good ride up over some mountains in Northern New Mexico. Couple of hundred miles, in temperatures from 68 (during a brief rain shower) to 99. Nokomis was running perfectly. During that rain shower, I flicked on the passenger heater on low. When we got home, I parked the bike, we unloaded our stuff, and when I went back out to back her into the garage, I got nothing. No response when I hit the power button. After a couple more minutes and another try, I got the screen to start up but when I hit the starter switch it did not start.

I got her into the garage, took off the seat and luggage, checked for torn/chewed wires, didn't see a thing. But when I hit the power button, I get a weird response. The brake light flashes, the running light switch flashes, and not much else happens. Wait a bit, get it to power up, and when I hit the starter I hear a popping sound. It may have happened before, I'm just not sure. But it doesn't even attempt to start.

I'm wondering if the starter relay went bad, or searching around the forum a bit makes me wonder about the starter switch recall. I did do some searching before posting this. I kind of wonder if the seat heater plus 99 degree temperatures was an issue, but I've ridden this bike in well over 100 degrees on more than one occasion with no problems.

Just want to see if anyone has ideas before I trailer her down to Albuquerque. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Forgot to mention, I have a code (I love that the Ride Command just gives you the codes and descriptions - why don't all infotainment systems do that?); C1038. ABS Source Voltage. I suspect that that's a red herring, because the ABS system seems unlikely to prevent ANY attempt to turn the engine over, but what the heck do I know?

Now that it's sat for a couple of hours, it responds to the power button normally, and the charger lights (it's always on a charger when it's in the garage) are normal. The bike still has the original battery, and the voltage looked normal throughout the ride.
 

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You don't say what year the bike is. But ABS low voltage is the first code you will get when the voltage drops below a certain point. First thought by your description and not knowing the year of the bike or how old the battery is it does sound like you need a new battery.

Second thought the charging system is not operating properly.

Just curious what was the voltage while riding?

When you got it started back up did you take a voltage reading with a meter or with the RC?

Third thought there could be a draw on the battery when the bike is not running.
 

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Bad battery, charging system not properly working, loose battery cables especially the ground one to the frame,

Cu,
Sven
 

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I suspect it might have something to do with the heater you switched on. Sounds like it might be drawing more voltage than the alternator could replace. Heating components are notorious power eaters.
Just a guess on my part.
Ride safe & stay healthy!
Seeya!
Just a thought that if it drew enough to deplete the battery while riding it may have drawn enough to blow the fuse. I have ridden hours with the heater on plus using heated gear and not experienced that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input folks. The voltage while riding was around 13-14 volts.

Just to be clear, the seat heater isn't some cobbled together aftermarket thing. It's the factory system.

Is three years a realistic service life for a battery that's been babied the way this one has? It's been charging overnight, so I'll check after work today and see how it behaves.
 

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Like Sven said, check your battery terminals first. The popping could be a loose terminal arching.
Juan
 

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Is three years a realistic service life for a battery that's been babied the way this one has? It's been charging overnight, so I'll check after work today and see how it behaves.
Could be, it all depends on the battery's environment and the battery itself. Like all things, there are variables that affect the life of the product. Like Sven suggests check that all connections are secure and clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
To be clear, it's a 2018, so the battery is from mid-2017.

They had to replace the touchscreen when they did the most recent recall and infotainment update, so I'm sure they had to disconnect the battery. Maybe it just worked loose over the course of the ride. I"ll check that tonight.
 

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German Rider
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It could be the battery also. Some only last 2 years, others 5-7 years. Depends on how many miles you got on it. The alarm enabled drains the battery fast, even without, the battery drains faster than on other bikes with less electronics. Check voltage with ignition power on and engine off, than with engine running. Also, tight cables, no oxidation at the poles and ground to frame cable tight.

Cu,
Sven
 

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It could be the battery also. Some only last 2 years, others 5-7 years. Depends on how many miles you got on it. The alarm enabled drains the battery fast, even without, the battery drains faster than on other bikes with less electronics. Check voltage with ignition power on and engine off, than with engine running. Also, tight cables, no oxidation at the poles and ground to frame cable tight.

Cu,
Sven
I have gotten as little life as a year out of the first factory battery. The aftermarket battery the dealer put in lasted 2 years. I just replaced that dud with a Wicked Start battery, which I hope will give me at least 3-4 years of life. Time will tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, if anyone is bored, I might be able to keep you entertained.

I disconnected the battery tender, took off the side plates and seat to get to the battery. Connections are solid. Voltage read 13.5V. Got the fob, and hit the power button. Looked normal for literally a second or two, then off flashing of random lights, odd needle wiggling on the tach and speedo, and the voltage fluttered between 6V and 8V. After a bit, I hit the power button trying to turn it off and get it to stop even trying to start up. No change; odd behavior continues.

I walked away with the fob in my pocket, looked back, and it looked normal. Left the fob out of range and went back. Voltage read 12.5V. Turned it off and turned it back on. Came on pretty normally, so I tried starting it. Heard the pop (couldn't tell if the sound was coming from the battery or the fuze box - they aren't that far apart) and the electrics turned off. Rechecked the voltage, and got about 12.5V. I'd love to know what the voltage is when it's running, but that's out of the question right now.

Played around with it a bit, and at one point I tried powering it up without the fob in range. It asked for the code, and accepted my personal code that I'd chosen. Still wouldn't start up.

It's not very consistent. But when it's powered down, it's about 12.5V, and if it's doing odd things it's fluctuating between 6V and 8V.
 

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Still could be a battery problem or a connection somewhere. Did you find the ground connection to the frame as Sven suggested? The popping could be the arcing at the loose connection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Morning update; the ground connection to the frame is solid. I left it off the charger overnight, and this morning the voltage was 13V. Amazing. I really expected to see something like 10V.

I this this says the battery is fine; anyone disagree?

Suggestions for what to do next?
 

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Morning update; the ground connection to the frame is solid. I left it off the charger overnight, and this morning the voltage was 13V. Amazing. I really expected to see something like 10V.

I this this says the battery is fine; anyone disagree?

Suggestions for what to do next?
A battery can hold a charge and be bad that's why they invented load testing. If everything else seems fine I would pull the battery and take it somewhere to be load tested. Like batteries plus or the like. Depending on what you used for your voltage measurement 13v seems light. Did you use a meter or the gauge in RC? I don't really trust the gauge in RC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I used an external meter. It's not a calibrated Fluke, but it's certainly good enough to accurately evaluate this.

Load testing is a good idea.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I have officially awarded myself my Dipstick Second Class tab. All this drama, "is it my relay? Is it the switch recall?" and a new flipping battery fixes it. Testing under load showed bad battery. Put in new battery, started right up. Duuh. I'm blaming this on the fact that this is a far, far, FAR more sophisticated motorcycle than any other I've owned. Before this, dual tripmeters was about the most electrically sophisticated feature any of my bikes have had. Oh well, at least I learned from this!

Man did it sound good to hear it fire right up! Thanks for the help everyone!
 
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