Possible Battery Issue? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 11:03 AM Thread Starter
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Possible Battery Issue?

Glad to be a new member of this group guys and I really hate to be the guy that jumps in starts asking the new guy questions because I know that gets annoying quick but...

I'm fairly certain that I have a bad battery issue. I am getting ready to tear off the seat and see if it is the original battery. My guess is that it is since the previous owner of my bike barley rode it in the past two years and it basically stayed connected to a battery tender without ever being ridden inside his garage.

I have physically had the bike in my possession for about a week now. I have been keeping it in a storage unit and up until this morning it has cranked up without too much fuss. I have probably ridden it at least a dozen times and in most cases its 60-70 degrees out and fires right up. A few times I have heard what sounds like an electrical charge, or a grounding issue (like a wire is touching something it is not supposed to). It is NOT your standard dead battery click. Yesterday when I cranked it around lunch it seemed to have taken more rotations then normal but finally it did fire to life and sounded fine. That was at lunch time around 75 degrees. I didn't actually ride it anywhere yesterday since i didn't have much time. I just let it run for around 10 minutes and pulled it back in and left.

This morning I went over to the unit about 5:45. I was going to ride it to work. It was around 45 degrees out and when i went to crank it, it would not start. It did that electrical noise i described above once or twice and then started to turn over. It definitely seemed like it was turning over slowly but I really don't have much to compare it to since I haven't had it that long. All I do know is that it turned over but would not fire up. I do smell fuel so i'm pretty sure it was getting gas.

My thoughts are that a worn out battery and the cold were just a bad combo. I'm going over there in a few to pull the seat and check out the batter. Does this sound like any other common problems I may need to take a look at? Thanks!

I've put down many hard miles carving corners, but now it's time to just sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery!
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 05:54 PM
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You can check the battery if you have a battery charger and a volt meter. It's best to remove the battery from the motorcycle. Charge the battery until it is fully charged (at no more than 1 1/2 amps), check the voltage right after switching off the charger - should be about 13 volts, then let the battery sit without using it for a couple of hours and check it again - should be in the 12.7 volts range or a bit higher. If the voltage has dropped significantly then the battery is bad. If the battery passes that test, reinstall it in the bike. With the voltmeter leads attached to the battery terminals use the starter while watching the meter - the voltage should not drop below 12 volts while cranking, less of a voltage drop is better.

Other causes for the starting problem could be dirty connections at the battery, starter relay, and/or starter motor, or a bad starter relay.

'07 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 Classic LT

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 06:43 PM
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With the voltmeter leads attached to the battery terminals use the starter while watching the meter - the voltage should not drop below 12 volts while cranking, less of a voltage drop is better.

.
Sorry, but I have not seen a battery that will hold 12v under starter load.

That noise you heard is typical of bad battery connections.

Last edited by sfair; 03-30-2016 at 08:25 PM.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 08:23 PM
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I would install a new battery. The noise you are hearing when keyed on is probably coming from the fuel system (relay). Normal and should be nothing to worry about. Ride safe!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-30-2016, 08:27 PM
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I would install a new battery. The noise you are hearing when keyed on is probably coming from the fuel system (relay). Normal and should be nothing to worry about. Ride safe!
I would not just go buy a new battery without doing some troubleshooting first.

As an add, fuel system relay makes no noise.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 05:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies everyone! Yesterday on my lunch break i removed the battery. Looks like the previous owner installed the wrong size battery at some point and i'm not sure it was even new when installed. It definatly was not the original but it might have been older. While I was struggling to get it out I assumed it was the wrong size battery (way too big) and I received confirmation when I had them look up the correct specs for a new battery. I went ahead and purchased the correct style battery but they said they would do a load test on the old one just to check it out anyways. I'll find out today when I pick up the new one.

The other thing I noticed while it was apart is one of the previous owners installed (half @$$ wired in) a phone charger and a battery tender. It is all cluttered and looks like a mess so I'm going to remove that stuff while I have it apart. Anyone have a pic of what the battery compartment looks like completely stock so I can make sure I don't remove anything that is supposed to be there. Thanks!

I've put down many hard miles carving corners, but now it's time to just sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery!
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-31-2016, 10:48 AM
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Sorry, but I have not seen a battery that will hold 12v under starter load.
With the old flooded cell batteries mine wouldn't hold 12V when starting, but since I've had AGM batteries they have done so for starting where there isn't an extended current draw (as when everything is in good condition and the engine starts right up), and of course that declines with age. and condition.

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Last edited by Hot Cruiser; 03-31-2016 at 10:53 AM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 05:32 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE

My problem was definitely the old battery. Cleaned up the clutter in the battery compartment, installed the new battery and she fired right up. New Mustang Seat should be here today so once I get that installed I should be ready put down some miles. Thanks for all your help guys!

I've put down many hard miles carving corners, but now it's time to just sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery!
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