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Discussion Starter #1
I went to start my 2007 900 Custom yesterday. I turn the ignition and power comes on. I press the starter and the engine starts to turn over...and then everything goes dead. :mad: I turn the ignition off and then on again, and no power. I don't even get lights on the gauges.

I've checked all the fuses in the 10 and 15amp fuse box including the 30 amp ignition fuse. All are good. I took the battery to Advanced Auto Parts and they say its a good battery and they are charging it for me (I'll pick that up this afternoon).

I'll put the battery back in tonight and see what happens. If I still don't get power, what else should I look for?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, so I got my battery back from Advanced Auto Parts. When I picked it up I had the guys check it first. Their equipment came back with a reading that the battery was good, but that it needed to be fully charged. This is after it had sat on the trickle-charger for 24 hours. All the AAP guys and me knew this should have given it a full charge.

In any case I took it home and put it on my bike. Put in the key, turned it on, and I had power!!:D Engine turned over and everything works great. I hooked up my volt meter to the battery and it showed the battery holding at 12-13 volts. I revved the engine and it rose to 13-14 volts. So the only conclusion i can draw is that the battery is taking a charge, but not holding a charge. In which case it looks like a new battery is going on my tax refund wish list.
 

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Ok, so I got my battery back from Advanced Auto Parts. When I picked it up I had the guys check it first. Their equipment came back with a reading that the battery was good, but that it needed to be fully charged. This is after it had sat on the trickle-charger for 24 hours. All the AAP guys and me knew this should have given it a full charge.

In any case I took it home and put it on my bike. Put in the key, turned it on, and I had power!!:D Engine turned over and everything works great. I hooked up my volt meter to the battery and it showed the battery holding at 12-13 volts. I revved the engine and it rose to 13-14 volts. So the only conclusion i can draw is that the battery is taking a charge, but not holding a charge. In which case it looks like a new battery is going on my tax refund wish list.
A smart charger would be prudent right now if you want the battery to eek out another month or two. A good test of your battery holding a charge is taking a reading the day after you've ridden the bike a fair distance. With everything turned off, the battery should be above 12.6 VDC.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Which means I should check all 3 (key off, key on, and engine on) just to be thorough. In any case, unless something weird come sup, a new battery is in my future.
 

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Which means I should check all 3 (key off, key on, and engine on) just to be thorough. In any case, unless something weird come sup, a new battery is in my future.
There shouldn't be much difference between key off and key on. Watch your meter when you try to start it. If it goes below 9V then you need a battery, and considering the age that sounds about right.
 

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How is that if you have no idea what the load is?
ANY load is better than none. If the battery reads 12.6v open circuit but drops to 11.7 with key on, then it is either bad or dead.
Open circuit voltage readings do not have much meaning...it is what the terminal voltage is under load that matters.
 

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There shouldn't be much difference between key off and key on. Watch your meter when you try to start it. If it goes below 9V then you need a battery, and considering the age that sounds about right.
You are correct if the battery is 100%, but if a key on voltage drop is noted and by how much, it can point to a battery that is on its last leg, or dead.
 

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Is it possible you had a loose connection or corrosion (and the act of removing and then re-installing the battery corrected that?) And yes, speaking from experience, it can cause that. Just did this the other week in fact, was helping a family member replace a starter on a lawn mower, I finger-tightened the battery which wasn't enough, causing a popping sound and total loss of power when I turned the key- because there was an arc on the battery terminal. Grabbing a wrench and giving it a good twist cured it. (I knew better too, just being lazy I guess.)

I'm thinking it's possible something vibrated loose or something. Also possible that also caused a loose connection for your trickle charger causing it not to charge completely.
 

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You are correct if the battery is 100%, but if a key on voltage drop is noted and by how much, it can point to a battery that is on its last leg, or dead.
Yeah, I should have said that that's for a good, fully charged battery.
Here's a good video from Youtube:


He's testing a Harley but it's the same principle.
 

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Is it possible you had a loose connection or corrosion (and the act of removing and then re-installing the battery corrected that?) Just
You are correct there and the kicker is that the original fault is lost and that leaves one wondering what the problem was because everything is back to normal!
 

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Two problems with that video:

1. He states that key on voltage is OK to drop to "10 to 11 volts". Not true.
2. He states that if the cranking voltage drops below 9.6v, battery is junk. Not necessarily...it could just be dead.
 

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Possible solution for the future

I always keep a Tender on my battery when it sits for any length of time. Like wintertime. Before you buy a new battery try a Tender if it is still going to sit for a while without riding. If you are in a warm climate and will be riding frequently then just see how it goes for a while before you might junk a perfectly good battery. Unlike a trickle charger a Tender will quit charging when the battery is fully charged so not to fry it.

Good Luck,

Pat in Knoxville, TN
 
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