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BOTM Winner, April 2016
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Discussion Starter #1
Well..... gotta love these bikes.... they sure like to keep you on your toes.

Back story to what happened today. On my '10 I was able to leave the ignition switch in the "ignition " position all day if I wanted, never had a problem with starting after doing that.

Today, I'm at my new job. Show up in the morning, turn off the bike by turning the switch to "ignition " hop off and go to work. Come out for lunch.... bike is very draggy starting, but starts, head down the road to eat. Get there, turn it off and figured I'd try it right away. Nope, didn't fire, battery too dead, call wife for boost, let the truck charge it a bit, it starts, and away I go.

So, to eliminate any load, I turned off my driving lights, and turned it to off when I got to work. It started fine when I went to leave at the end of the day, and I rode home with the driving lights still off.

Get home, throw the meter on the battery, 12.8vdc, cool. Fired it up, 13 vdc, rev it up, 14.8 vdc. Cool, altinator seems to be charging. Started it again, rev it up, and turn on the driving lights, and it drops to 12.8 vdc from 14.8 vdc. Lights are 55W H3 bulbs each. I never had an issue before, so I don't know what was happening on my '10... but does that sound ok? I should be able to ride all the time with them on like before, right? And I wonder why leaving it in "ignition " seemed to drain it.

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BOTM Winner, April 2016
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Discussion Starter #2
The Internet is awesome, looking around it seems that a 55W light draws around 5 amps. That works out to 11 volts so... I guess they've always been drawing hard. Time to go look for some H3 LED replacements I guess

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Premium Member
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201 Posts
Not being an expert on the bike wiring, I'd hazard a guess that over the long haul it'll wear down your battery reserve power, as it us not a deep cycle. Unlike a Deep Cycle RV battery which is designed to survive multiple discharge /recharge cycles your standard duty battery gets worn out much faster...... I have a similar problem on a quad where I had to wire in a battery disconnect.

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BOTM Winner, April 2016
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Discussion Starter #4
Well.... there's definitely an issue with this new bike, and using the driving lights from my old bike. Rode around with them on today, and it drained the battery, shut them off, and rode on the home, battery back up.... is there such a thing as a weak Altinator?

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BOTM Winner, April 2016
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I LOVE this forum!!!! because of it I was able to fix my electrical issue on the new bike this morning. It was the typical plug/regulator corrosion issue. Took the parts from my old bike and... boom!! Bike now idles at 14.8 VDC, up to 15 VDC when revved up. At idle with the driving lights on, it's still at 14.6 VDC I'm a happy man.



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I'll have to take a look my driving lights were drawing on my power. I di change them out with day maker led which is a much smaller draw. And nice bright white light.

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571 Posts
Charging system on a large displacement motorcycle should not have a problem powering lighting systems and other accessories such as Gerbing heated clothing, which draws way more current.

I would get a Snap On battery tester (or some other brand if you don't have one) and load test your battery. You may have solved a connection problem, but your battery sounds like it is not tolerating somewhat shallow discharges for very many times, indicating it has exceeded its number of lifetime discharges or it has been allowed to drain too low too many times, in which case it can read full voltage but will not provide adequate discharge to run the bike no matter how well the charger tells you it is "charged". Discharge tolerance is a separate issue from charge level and voltage output.

If you are going to leave the bike with the battery hooked up over the winter it should be left on a trickle charger (2 or fewer amps). If you go for a lithium battery like the Shorai, it can sit all winter with little drain.
 

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BOTM Winner, April 2016
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425 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Charging system on a large displacement motorcycle should not have a problem powering lighting systems and other accessories such as Gerbing heated clothing, which draws way more current.

I would get a Snap On battery tester (or some other brand if you don't have one) and load test your battery. You may have solved a connection problem, but your battery sounds like it is not tolerating somewhat shallow discharges for very many times, indicating it has exceeded its number of lifetime discharges or it has been allowed to drain too low too many times, in which case it can read full voltage but will not provide adequate discharge to run the bike no matter how well the charger tells you it is "charged". Discharge tolerance is a separate issue from charge level and voltage output.

If you are going to leave the bike with the battery hooked up over the winter it should be left on a trickle charger (2 or fewer amps). If you go for a lithium battery like the Shorai, it can sit all winter with little drain.
Shame you didn't read the original post very well. I have a 2010 VN2000 that the driving lights were originally on. Never a problem with the lights on or using a plug in jacket on top of the lights for that matter. I had a mechanical problem with that bike, bought a 2006, switched over all my stuff from the '10 to the '06, and had electric issues.

Fixing the plug and changing the regulator cured the problem.

On a side note.... batteries are on the bikes over the winter with tenders.
 
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