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Discussion Starter #1
Seems the battery always loses charge if it sits longer than than a few days w/o a smart charger hooked up. I found out this morning that there is 5.5 milliamps of current draw out of the battery with the key off, measured from the negative terminal to the ground cable.

Can this be narrowed down by removing fuses one by one? Or if there is a better procedure I'd appreciate any advice.
 

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That plan should narrow down which circuit has the draw. Then begin disconnecting individual components on that circuit to find the culprit.
 

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My first thought is the regulator causing the draw. It's a quick check by disconnecting it behind the left side cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
My first thought is the regulator causing the draw. It's a quick check by disconnecting it behind the left side cover.
Thanks Bill.

Soon as I get back home in a few days I'll start the procedure. I guess if the regulator is the culprit it will need replacing. I have a suspicion there was always a small current draw - always had this problem even though charging system checks were in the lower, but normal range.

I know you miss Hidalgo if not already at home base.
 

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I know you miss Hidalgo if not already at home base.
Yes I am missing her.

The current plan to get her back home is to 'dress out' the wheel I have in the shed with a new tire and tube, balanced and ready to install. Then ship it down to La Grange. I will then fly to Austin where my brother-in-law will meet me then take me to La Grange where I will swap the 'dressed' tire/wheel then ride Hidalgo back home. If everything goes according to plan she should be back home the evening of the 23rd.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
At that current drain, it would take nearly 2 months to draw your battery down to 50%.
All I know is something is causing the battery to drain prematurely. It's been this way every since bike purchase three years ago. This is the second new battery - current battery is oversize with higher than normal cranking amps. If the engine is run regularly there's no problem - but if it sits for a week or so the battery is weaker than it should be.

5 or 6 milliamps isn't much, but I didn't think there should be any leakage whatsoever. But if that's within an acceptable range and shouldn't cause a problem, I give up.

One thing I will mention is there are two driving lights on this bike, each 25 watt halogens, but the headlight is a 35 Watt HID, so I wouldn't think the charging system is being overtaxed. I addressed a charging problem on this forum two years ago, finally getting an alternator charge output range of 13.5 to 13.8 volts at higher rpm which I think is on the lower side of OK.

The only thing I can figure is the battery may not be charged fully by the charging system - good enough for daily operation, but not good enough to sit for extended periods with a very small but steady discharge.
 

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All I know is something is causing the battery to drain prematurely. It's been this way every since bike purchase three years ago. This is the second new battery - current battery is oversize with higher than normal cranking amps. If the engine is run regularly there's no problem - but if it sits for a week or so the battery is weaker than it should be.

5 or 6 milliamps isn't much, but I didn't think there should be any leakage whatsoever. But if that's within an acceptable range and shouldn't cause a problem, I give up.

One thing I will mention is there are two driving lights on this bike, each 25 watt halogens, but the headlight is a 35 Watt HID, so I wouldn't think the charging system is being overtaxed. I addressed a charging problem on this forum two years ago, finally getting an alternator charge output range of 13.5 to 13.8 volts at higher rpm which I think is on the lower side of OK.

The only thing I can figure is the battery may not be charged fully by the charging system - good enough for daily operation, but not good enough to sit for extended periods with a very small but steady discharge.
That is on the low side.Should be around 14.6 with the bike revving.I always found that if there is a drain with everything shut off.That the reguator/rectifer is at fault. :) ;)
 

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I agree that the voltage seems low but let me provide a datapoint or two from Hidalgo's perspective.

First the voltage at highway speeds varies from 13.5-14.1V when no accessory loads are on. This dips momentarily when I turn on the driving or spot lights but always returns to this range.

Second I have tried two different regulators, two different stators and two different flywheels with no change in charging performance.

Thirdly battery life and performance has never been an issue unless I left driving lights on too long at low speeds or without the engine running.

Fourthly Hidalgo has a 0.00A draw with the key off. I have had successful engine start even after a six week rest.

Redfish's issue has to do with the at-rest power draw which he seems to have a good grasp on the process to troubleshoot. We will work the power draw issue first then, if needed, work on any charging issue.

Later.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

While away for a week I left the smart charger connected. I traced the very small current leakage to a TOM TOM GPS dock - just the dock w/o the GPS mounted. So be it.

I also checked the battery condition which was fine.

12.87v - key off
12.52v - key on
12.38v - voltage after key on for 5 minutes (running lights + 50watt driving lights all on)
12.71v - key off (battery appears very good)

However, I also checked charging voltage.
12.45v - Idle
13.43 v - Highest reading I could get at 3k+ RPM. Even then, the voltage when revved started at 12.95 and slowly rose to only 13.43 in about 45 seconds to a minute. It stabilized at 13.43 and would go no higher.

I did alternator checks two years ago and it checked good, but the charging voltage to the battery has always been on the low side. I suspect the regulator may be sub par.

But, as Bikerbill mentioned, if the engine is idled for extended periods doing carburetor adjustment, chain maintenance, or whatever, the battery weakens prematurely and may not have enough juice to cold start the next day. I'm thinking of installing an on/off switch to the driving lights for extended idling. If that doesn't work then I'll purchase a new regulator.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
First the voltage at highway speeds varies from 13.5-14.1V when no accessory loads are on. This dips momentarily when I turn on the driving or spot lights but always returns to this range.
Post back with charging voltages, light bar off.
That is on the low side.Should be around 14.6 with the bike revving.I always found that if there is a drain with everything shut off.That the reguator/rectifer is at fault. :) ;)
A 5ma draw will not be an issue.
There's nothing that can be done about the small 5.5ma leakage - not going to sweat that.

I completely re-wired the two 25 watt halogen driving lights. Removed from the running lights circuit to the accessory circuit and added an on/off switch.

When the driving lights are on compared to when they're off, there's a 0.7 to 0.8 voltage drop, both at idle and when revved to about 3k rpm.

Several checks were made - when the regulator was cold and after it was heated up after a ride, so I don't think heat is a factor. With driving lights off, charging voltage is fairly steady at 14 volts at higher rpm. When on, the charging voltage drops to about 13.3. Those are the highest recorded. But unlike what Bikerbill reported, when the extra load is applied, the charging voltage doesn't dip and then return to the high reading of 14 volts. It falls and remains steady at 13.2 to 13.3 volts.

One peculiarity was noticed. When the engine speed is raised above what I guessed is around 3k rpm, driving lights off, the charging voltage actually falls off somewhat to around 13.7 to 13.8. I wouldn't think it should do that.
 

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One peculiarity was noticed. When the engine speed is raised above what I guessed is around 3k rpm, driving lights off, the charging voltage actually falls off somewhat to around 13.7 to 13.8. I wouldn't think it should do that.
Normal. Because the reg/rect is sinking more current at high rpm's, it gets hotter which in turn can vary the voltage output.

There is the possibility that you could be missing 1/2 of one phase which could lower your full load voltage, or your alternator just does not have the headroom to support the light bar. You will have to check the stator and reg/rect to verify this.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Sfair, Bikerbill, & Blaine for all your comments. Without your input I'd be completely lost and forever chasing my tail.

I checked the alternator A/C voltages sometime back per your directions and the manual, and I'll do that again shortly. If any readings are below spec I'll update this post, but if they're normal I'll just leave well enough alone and deal with what I have.
 
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