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sfair, I’m reaching out to you in particular, I hope you see this post & are willing to share your wisdom and help me and perhaps others down the road diagnose this particular situation. I apologize in advance if this description is a bit lengthy but I want to be thorough.

Back story: The bike is a 2005 800 Classic I have owned since new. Last week I went to bring her out of winter garage hibernation, the Napa Powersport 12-BS battery purchased in July 2015 and still in the bike was hooked up to a Duraboost 750 battery charger/maintainer. Battery showed fully charged per the indicator light on the Duraboost, I checked the battery voltage with my meter, it read 12.6 volts. I then went to start the bike as I normally would, key to ON, the dash bezel lights, tail light, running lights all came ON. (I have a Kisan Run/Turn/Brake light controller installed)

I then moved the stop switch to the Run position, confirmed gear Neutral, pulled out the choke & hit the Start button—I heard the starter relay click and all the lights immediately went out. I turned the ignition key off and on a couple times and the lights remained OFF. I then did nothing (except scratch my head!) and let the bike sit for a couple minutes. When I again turned the ignition key to ON, all the lights came back ON. I tried the Start button again and the exact same thing happened, starter relay clicked (I heard and felt it) and all the lights went out and stayed OFF for a couple minutes then came ON again. This situation repeated 2 or 3 more times.

I had to wait until yesterday to start troubleshooting it. To begin I turned the ignition key to ON, this time NOTHING happened, no lights at all. I tried the Start button, nothing, relay did not click. I measured the battery voltage, it read only 10.8 volts 1 week later ( I had not put it back on the Duraboost). I checked the battery connections, both were tight and cables appeared good. I pulled the battery out and put it on my Yuasa charger, it charged to 12.6 volts in about 10 minutes. During that time I checked the main 30A fuse and the relay connections, all tight and look good. I pulled the Junction box and checked ALL the fuses, all confirmed good.

I put the battery back in and hooked up the cables. When I again measured voltage it read 12.6V. I again tried the Start sequence. Ignition key to ON and still no lights. Tried the Start button again, nothing happened, no relay sound.

This is where it gets interesting (finally right?!)…With the key OFF, I measured battery voltage at 12.6V---then with the probes still in place on the battery I turned the key to ON—and the meter immediately went to 0.04 volts!

So—I have my thoughts but will assume nothing and wait for some Forum Knowledge (you out there sfair??) :wink2: Sorry for the looonnng post gang!

As I know you will ask: my meter is a Craftsman Manual Ranging MultiMeter model # 82345. I am very much a novice using it but follow instructions fairly well I think! I await any and all ideas Vulcan owners! Thx, G-Man
 

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Looks like your battery is a major suspect in this crime.
Those green lights on chargers will not tell you if the battery can support a load.
Get the battery load tested and report back with the results.
Also check that the charger has not boiled the battery dry if it has caps.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the quick reply sfair! The battery itself was my suspicion also but that seemed too simple a solution. At work currently, will pull battery this evening and get load test accomplished tomorrow and report findings.

Battery is sealed, no caps. First year I have used this Duraboost charger/maintainer bought at Cycle Gear. Was purchased for a good price---maybe too good?!

I should ask--do you recommend (or not?) leaving a battery on a tender during storage months?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So--I took the battery into NAPA on Thursday, guy tests it and says battery is bad, so he orders me a new AGM battery which is now in and I can pick up today (Saturday)

However..yesterday I had to go to Autozone, while there I had them test the battery again just to be certain. Guy says battery is 20% discharged so they can't test it in that condition, says if I leave it they will charge and test it. I went and got it this morning, guy said it is GOOD and is charged to 12.8 volts! I asked if they did a load test, he said no and that they don't do that but says battery is good since it took a full charge. Hmmm... I just put old battery back in the bike, affixed cables, turned ignition key ON--and nothing, no lights. Meter shows 12.7 volts. How can it not power the lights if there is 12.7 volts? Again, when I turn ignition to ON it drops to basically zero volts.

So, I am kinda reluctant to go buy the brand new $95 NAPA battery just to put it in and get the same result. Can it really be that this battery is actually bad and as soon as I turn the ignition on it won't power anything? Do I go buy the new battery (which can't be returned) and hope that solves the problem? Not sure--drop some wisdom on me gang!
 

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Hmm battery is 5 yo, bought one from chrome batt for like 50 for my nad,I would replace the battery,if able load test it,anything sfair says is gold imo
 

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If they did not do a load test, then they did nothing.

Need a load test done.

Also, some load tests do a form of conductance test and may not show your issue.
You need a true "load" test.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you revrider and you are correct, sfair is a diagnostic savant! Thank you sfair!! So after work Saturday I took the battery to a "real" bike shop, where they performed a proper load test. As soon as a load hit the battery it dropped from 12.8 to 4.7 volts. Conclusion: internal battery issue. Went in to Napa yesterday and bought the bike an Easter present. Dropped the brand new battery in, took a deep breath and turned the key on..lights on! Another deep breath, hit the starter button...fired right up. Nice day so I went for a ride, smiling the whole time.

Thanks again my forum friends... G-Man
 

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For future reference just because the battery shows 12.5 volts or higher doesn't mean it has enough power to crank the engine over.
Just like you saw the battery showed full charge, but at 12.6 volts it is on the low side of fully charged, but could not start the bike.
Classic battery failure mode.
AND it can happen quickly and at ANY place.
Two years ago went to a local store with battery showing no signs of problems.
Came out and bike was dead.
Battery being 3 years and the classic symptoms told me all I needed to know, and new battery fixed the problem!
Have also had the same happen in my car!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good info vulcandoc. Yeah, I knew 12.6V was on the low side to actually start the bike but I figured it was enough to power the dash bezel lights and tail lights when I turned the key to on, that was why I thought best to ask for some help before I just ran out and bought a new battery. I started thinking maybe it was the ignition switch that was malfunctioning. Autozone telling me the battery was "good" threw a bit of a monkey wrench into it too. As sfair said, only a true load test will tell--lesson learned.
 

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Thank you revrider and you are correct, sfair is a diagnostic savant! Thank you sfair!! So after work Saturday I took the battery to a "real" bike shop, where they performed a proper load test. As soon as a load hit the battery it dropped from 12.8 to 4.7 volts. Conclusion: internal battery issue. Went in to Napa yesterday and bought the bike an Easter present. Dropped the brand new battery in, took a deep breath and turned the key on..lights on! Another deep breath, hit the starter button...fired right up. Nice day so I went for a ride, smiling the whole time.

Thanks again my forum friends... G-Man
Booya:grin2::grin2:
 
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