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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Went down to my garage for the 2nd ride of the season this morning but when I punched the button the starter hardly groaned. It wouldn't turn over at all. But, the whole dash lit up just fine. I punched the button again and this time I got a loud pop - not like a backfire pop but like an electrical pop. Though no electrical burning smell.

So, parked the riding garb and got out the tools. The wiring around the battery looks fine. I could not see any popped fuses in the box on the left side, though I did not pull them all out. Didn't find anything unusual anywhere. No error messages on the dash, either.

So, looks like a tow job to the dealer is in my future.

Any ideas about this?

Len
 

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Went down to my garage for the 2nd ride of the season this morning but when I punched the button the starter hardly groaned. It wouldn't turn over at all. But, the whole dash lit up just fine. I punched the button again and this time I got a loud pop - not like a backfire pop but like an electrical pop. Though no electrical burning smell.

So, parked the riding garb and got out the tools. The wiring around the battery looks fine. I could not see any popped fuses in the box on the left side, though I did not pull them all out. Didn't find anything unusual anywhere. No error messages on the dash, either.

So, looks like a tow job to the dealer is in my future.

Any ideas about this?

Len
How old is the battery? The OEM's is good for 2-3 yrs inc. the time they spent on their shelf.
 

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Went down to my garage for the 2nd ride of the season this morning but when I punched the button the starter hardly groaned. It wouldn't turn over at all. But, the whole dash lit up just fine. I punched the button again and this time I got a loud pop - not like a backfire pop but like an electrical pop. Though no electrical burning smell.

So, parked the riding garb and got out the tools. The wiring around the battery looks fine. I could not see any popped fuses in the box on the left side, though I did not pull them all out. Didn't find anything unusual anywhere. No error messages on the dash, either.

So, looks like a tow job to the dealer is in my future.

Any ideas about this?

Len
Did the display go blank when you hit the starter? Did the time reset to 12:00? If so the battery has died. Also, double check the connections at the battery. They are notorious for being loose. Dean
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How old is the battery? The OEM's is good for 2-3 yrs inc. the time they spent on their shelf.
The original. Went into service for me in April of 2017. Trickle-charged all winter in the bike. Never had a problem with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did the display go blank when you hit the starter? Did the time reset to 12:00? If so the battery has died. Also, double check the connections at the battery. They are notorious for being loose. Dean
No. No blank screen or time reset. Must check the connections.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dead battery. Lucky it lasted that long. Easy fix, dont bother with dealer, just be careful handling the ECM.
Really? But all the rest lights up like Christmas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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1) Check the battery with a multimeter. (I check at the tender pigtail) It should read at least 12.4V...although I have started my bike with the battery at 12.3V.The "normal" range is 12.5V to 12.6V, but 12.6V is a little high. If you are reading negative voltage, you have the test leads on backwards.
2) When starting, watch the multimeter. If it drops below 9.4V-9.5V, then your battery is probably either bad, or on it's way out.
 

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Voltage doesnt start a bike, and reading voltage doeant tell you diddly about the condition of a battery. It's all about cranking amps. A dead battery may very well have some voltage, but not the amperage to turn over.
 

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Check the connections first. My cables were stupid loose when I went to swap out my battery. It's easy to do, but make sure you follow Meggie's advice and keep the ecm out of the way when tightening the cables. I have been told if you ground the battery out on the ecm you will fry it.
 

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Voltage doesnt start a bike, and reading voltage doeant tell you diddly about the condition of a battery. It's all about cranking amps. A dead battery may very well have some voltage, but not the amperage to turn over.
Damn I just agreed with @Meggie again. I feel a calming of the seas........
 

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1) Check the battery with a multimeter. (I check at the tender pigtail) It should read at least 12.4V...although I have started my bike with the battery at 12.3V.The "normal" range is 12.5V to 12.6V, but 12.6V is a little high. If you are reading negative voltage, you have the test leads on backwards.
2) When starting, watch the multimeter. If it drops below 9.4V-9.5V, then your battery is probably either bad, or on it's way out.
You are correct. Voltage checks can be useful if done correctly. Basically if you check raw voltage battery voltage and it is below 12 volts then game over the battery is low or bad. The best check in this situation is to monitor battery voltage DURING the start. This can be very insightful. If you engage the starter and see practically no voltage drop then either the battery connections are weak of something else is going on. Meggie is correct it takes amperage to crank the starter but measuring this amperage is not an easy thing to do. By measuring the voltage drop during the start will help show you the overall capacity of the battery. Normally a bad cell in the battery could show you normal battery voltage but drop many volts when a load (amperage draw) is demanded. When we do a capacity check on an aircraft battery we apply a specific load to the battery and measure the time it takes for the voltage to drop below a certain voltage. The time taken to reach that minimum voltage will show the capacity of that battery and determine if it is acceptable to continue in service. This is why I asked on the earlier post if the clock had reset to 12:00 or if the display blanked out. (Honestly since I do not have the Ride Command system I don't know if the display goes out during start or not, I doubt it but I did not know for sure.)

This was the case on my last battery change. I knew my battery was starting to go bad since it was weak when not on the tender after only a few days and although the bike would start the clock would reset to 12:00. Of course this is on a 15 RM. With the Ride Command it would be interesting to see if the clock resets to 12:00 with a weak or bad battery. This might not be the case since a display like that might have a small battery on the motherboard for volatile memory which is not the case for the earilier RMs. Dean
 

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You are correct. Voltage checks can be useful if done correctly. Basically if you check raw voltage battery voltage and it is below 12 volts then game over the battery is low or bad. The best check in this situation is to monitor battery voltage DURING the start. This can be very insightful. If you engage the starter and see practically no voltage drop then either the battery connections are weak of something else is going on. Meggie is correct it takes amperage to crank the starter but measuring this amperage is not an easy thing to do. By measuring the voltage drop during the start will help show you the overall capacity of the battery. Normally a bad cell in the battery could show you normal battery voltage but drop many volts when a load (amperage draw) is demanded. When we do a capacity check on an aircraft battery we apply a specific load to the battery and measure the time it takes for the voltage to drop below a certain voltage. The time taken to reach that minimum voltage will show the capacity of that battery and determine if it is acceptable to continue in service. This is why I asked on the earlier post if the clock had reset to 12:00 or if the display blanked out. (Honestly since I do not have the Ride Command system I don't know if the display goes out during start or not, I doubt it but I did not know for sure.)

This was the case on my last battery change. I knew my battery was starting to go bad since it was weak when not on the tender after only a few days and although the bike would start the clock would reset to 12:00. Of course this is on a 15 RM. With the Ride Command it would be interesting to see if the clock resets to 12:00 with a weak or bad battery. This might not be the case since a display like that might have a small battery on the motherboard for volatile memory which is not the case for the earilier RMs. Dean
When my battery gets low enough, and I attempt to start the bike, the entire dash (RC, Speedometer, Tachometer, lights, etc) will shut off and restart. Once that happens, the engine usually starts on the second attempt, I assume because the starter cranked the engine over and the compression releases in the cams did their job, thus making the engine a little easier to start on the second attempt. As the clock is set by the GPS, I don't think it resets...although I have had my radio presets go away on occasion when this happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Follow-up
In my 45 years of riding, I have never had a battery last only two seasons. They usually last about 5 with proper care and feeding. This morning, I cleaned up the terminals and tightened them all down. They were already pristine but, what the heck. I checked the voltage with my voltmeter and got 11.65. I checked online to see what this might mean and I got this chart from Revzilla about standing voltage on MC batteries. I am right on the border - somewhere between might be toast and a doorstop. Charging it now. I'll let you know.

Voltage
State of Charge/What to do

12.73 or better 100 percent. Go ride.
12.62 90 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
12.50 80 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
12.32 70 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
12.20 60 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
12.06 50 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
11.90 40 percent. Try charging it, but it might be toast.
11.75 30 percent. Try charging it, but it might be toast.
11.58 20 percent. Battery has converted to doorstop.
11.31 10 percent. Battery has morphed into boat anchor.
10.50 No meaningful charge. Check to see if battery has been replaced with rock.
 
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