Voltage at Battery - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Voltage at Battery

Bike has been on battery tender for months. Recently have been starting bike to keep everything flowing. Checking battery with meter noticed voltage at startup would slowly rise to 16-17-18 volts in slow increments. Turning on head, turn, brake lights the meter did not move. Then it would fall back to 14-15v. Hooked up a temporary voltmeter (why is this not standard issue on mc?) Restart bike, volt dips to 10v comes immediately 12v then to 13v and almost like heartbeat, rises and falls to 14v then settle in at 13v at idle.
It's the 17-18v and the inconsistency that has me worried. This is all at idle or easy run-up on throttle. Haven't been on the road in a while and getting itchy but don't want to venture very far without confidence in the bike to bring me back.
About two years ago put in a new stator and rectifer. Stator was toast and made a horrifying sound. That sound is not present this time.
Any electrical wizards have any ideas.
Oh, it's '08 900LT about ready to turn 50K.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2013, 06:43 PM
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Two questions:

1. You said "turn on headlight". It does not come on automatically?
2. What is the make and model of your meter?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Issue resolved by installing rectifier. Runs 14.0v at highway speeds. All is well.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 06:45 PM
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Just out of curiosity:

1. Did you prove out the old reg/rect as bad by testing?
2. Was the old reg/rect OEM?
3. Was the one you just put in OEM?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-03-2013, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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sfair,
Did not prove out any components. About two years ago changed out the stator. Was livid, after the fact, that such a seemingly easy job was quoted in the neighborhood of $900 from the (s)dealership. So I ordered from Rick's and did the job myself which included changing out the rectifer. While under warranty changed out the rectifier again. In the meantime the OEM unit was on the shelf just in case.
So now running the OEM rectifer.

Don't know if I should be concerned but the Kaw manual states that the voltage should increase (up to 15V being acceptable) as RPM's increase. After starting and at idle the digital voltmeter ($16 - Walmart) reads 14.0v - 14.1v. High beam, brakes and turn at the same time do not seem to affect the meter at highway speeds. This I think would be good since my truck volt gauge does not react to every demand placed on the system.

Unrelated, but read somewhere that temp gauges in most cars are not linear. A lot of people used to think their cars were overheating when they weren't.

Am not absolutely sure on the accuracy of the gauge. From what I can tell most bikes have fragile elec systems. Heated gear is warned against. The 900 manual states not to go over 70 watts additional draw which is not even a pair of driving lights. I don't know why OEM's don't seem to want to include a voltmeter on the dash and install more elec current.

Thanks for the input.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 12:10 PM
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My only concern might be that in the act of replacing the reg/rect, you fixed the problem accidently. A poor connection at the reg/rect could cause the symptoms, as you described, and the fault may or may not return. Did you inspect all connectors for dark areas and discolored or corroded looking pins? If you install the other regulator, does the problem return of overvoltage?

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-04-2013, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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sfair,
Pins and connector looked fine. Have not had chance to reinstall old regulator but one would assume that was the culprit. Consider also that I did have to return one of Rick's regulators for replacement some time ago. Perhaps their units are not as stout as OEM.

Read last night, under General Vulcan Talk a very long post between you and Gotrods09. Not sure if that is his correct handle. It was amazing but I did not see a final resolution. Was there one? It is guys like you that make this forum special.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 12:52 PM
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Thanks!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Burnside View Post
sfair,
It is guys like you that make this forum special.
I second this!!! Sfair along with other forum members have helped me with my stator and regulator replacement and fixing my bike in the past...Which helped me understand and learn at the point that I troubleshoot my buddy's Volusia a couple days ago and found a faulty connection at the regulator and bad battery.
Thanks again to all this members that keep helping maintain our bikes healthy and our pockets less empty...

TCRIDER
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08' CLASSIC 900
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Rick's is reluctantly going to test out my rectifier and send me a new one even though it past the customary one year warranty. I appreciate their courteous customer service and would buy from them again when in need of anything they sell. But this type unit should have a longer service life than what I have experienced. Glad I kept the OEM rectifer just in case.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 03-08-2013, 05:59 PM
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Do not be surprised if it comes back "no fault found".
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