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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received my motorcycle endorsement today and took out my used 2008 Vulcan 900 Custom (purchased from an old co-worker who loved his motorcycles.) for a spin and randomly my bike decided it did not want to function properly. It started with not starting at Walmart even though I have replaced the old battery and purchased a tender that stays on the bike when I am not riding. I verified that all the battery terminals are snug. I did take the bike around for about 40 mins and ended up only killing the bike about 3 times during that outing to run an errand. I had the automotive center use a jump box to get my bike running again to get home yet 50 feet from my house my speedometer just stopped working and went from 25 to 0 instantly. (Headlight has been severely dim as in almost unsafe to ride at night)

I put it back on the charger for a few hours and went to take it back out again to see if the battery was the issue. When I cranked it up my headlight decided to not turn on in low or high beams. I had to crank it three times to get the headlight to turn on and my speedometer starting working again. Yet when I used either of my turn signals the speedometer would instantly die and come back and finally did not come back at all. Along with my rear brake light and rear turn signals are not working at all yet my front left and right both are. I verified the battery is sitting at 12.4 volts atm and checked every fuse on both sides of the bike for visual and for continuity with my multimeter and everything checked out fine.

I have checked my switch assembly for any form of loose mechanical in the switches yet I can not understand what is going on with my bike. I have been pouring over the service manual yet cant seems to understand half of it.

When I started today I did my TCLOCK review and had every indicator and light working properly.
 

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Hi there. Im not an expert but, i would, Change fuses, they are in a box by the battery. Check some cables on the SIDE of bike that have some "relé" and if its all well conected. Disconect, clean them with wd40 and copper brush. Connect again.
Put washers on the battery conection. Check all bike with these maintenance. Open the clock and speedometer área check if its clean and well conected.
Maybe the motorcycle was long stoped at country and rats damaged the electrical harness.
Good luck
 

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Check all the connections Infront of the ECU, just push them all tight. Some ties when removing the battery you can disturb the conections.
 

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You say the battery is 12.4 volts. With the engine off? What voltage do you get with the engine idling? What about with the engine turning at about 3k rpm? Also, while checking connections, make sure the ground is tight.
 

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WHOA!
Slow down everyone!
Is sounds like the engine is not charging the battery and the it runs down as you ride it. Then with a reduced voltage all kinds of strange things can happen.
Charge the battery.
Check the battery voltage after being off the charger for at least 15 minutes - hopefully the battery is still good and this reading is 12.5 volts or higher.
Start the engine, let it come off of fast idle.
Check the voltage at idle - should be just a bit higher than before you started the engine.
If you have no tach guess at something above 2500-3000rpm (idle is around 1000rpm just for reference),
and check the voltage at that speed. This should be 14 volts or higher.

Post back what you find.
 

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Whoa??

Dude said the battery was changed. Dude said he charged the battery.

Your advice was what was given by SteveJB.

Sheesh.....


WHOA!
Slow down everyone!
Is sounds like the engine is not charging the battery and the it runs down as you ride it. Then with a reduced voltage all kinds of strange things can happen.
Charge the battery.
Check the battery voltage after being off the charger for at least 15 minutes - hopefully the battery is still good and this reading is 12.5 volts or higher.
Start the engine, let it come off of fast idle.
Check the voltage at idle - should be just a bit higher than before you started the engine.
If you have no tach guess at something above 2500-3000rpm (idle is around 1000rpm just for reference),
and check the voltage at that speed. This should be 14 volts or higher.

Post back what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thank you all for your input.

I left the bike on the battery tender all night and once the battery tender said full charge I checked the voltage showing 13.6 ish. Yet it continued to drain slowly even with the bike not running. I pulled each fuse to see if one might have been the issue yet even with all fuses (10/15 and 30 amp) all pulled it continued to drain slowly. I reinstalled all the fuses after checking them with my multimeter and the issue continued. I cranked the bike at the time was down to 12.6 volts and left it idling for five mins with the battery continuing to drain. I held the throttle at about the halfway mark with no increase to the voltage at all. However, this morning when I did this the headlight (Factory) and brake light/turn signals (Led) all came on and work properly. There is no other modification/addition to the bike from stock. I am starting to think it might be a stator issue due to no increase in voltage when holding it mid-throttle and the battery continues to drain could be bad ground? Correct?

Just spoke with the previous owner he had a FI2000 Cobra system installed on the bike before i picked it up that he removed. I looked under the seat again and saw two unused connectors one has a good connection to the positive side of the battery and the other does not yet both wire strands show good connectivity to each other. He gave me the FI2000 Cobra system and it has three plugs and a black negative washer for the negative side. Yet I see only two blue wires (with a plug each) connected to each other( in the same wire sleeve) and a red stand alone wire with a connection plug

I did notice on the right hand side of the bike next to the 30 amp fuse there was a connector with a plug that only had one wire coming off of it to a female port that had a yellow sleve on it?

I get most of this seems sparatic yet im unsure what could be the issue.

The Cobra looks like this one
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for your input.

I left the bike on the battery tender all night and once the battery tender said full charge I checked the voltage showing 13.6 ish. Yet it continued to drain slowly even with the bike not running. I pulled each fuse to see if one might have been the issue yet even with all fuses (10/15 and 30 amp) all pulled it continued to drain slowly. I reinstalled all the fuses after checking them with my multimeter and the issue continued. I cranked the bike at the time was down to 12.6 volts and left it idling for five mins with the battery continuing to drain. I held the throttle at about the halfway mark with no increase to the voltage at all. However, this morning when I did this the headlight (Factory) and brake light/turn signals (Led) all came on and work properly. There is no other modification/addition to the bike from stock. I am starting to think it might be a stator issue due to no increase in voltage when holding it mid-throttle and the battery continues to drain could be bad ground? Correct?

Just spoke with the previous owner he had a FI2000 Cobra system installed on the bike before i picked it up that he removed. I looked under the seat again and saw two unused connectors one has a good connection to the positive side of the battery and the other does not yet both wire strands show good connectivity to each other. He gave me the FI2000 Cobra system and it has three plugs and a black negative washer for the negative side. Yet I see only two blue wires (with a plug each) connected to each other( in the same wire sleeve) and a red stand alone wire with a connection plug

I did notice on the right hand side of the bike next to the 30 amp fuse there was a connector with a plug that only had one wire coming off of it to a female port that had a yellow sleve on it?

I get most of this seems sparatic yet im unsure what could be the issue.

The Cobra looks like this one
I currently have the battery out of the bike and it is showing 13.26/13.25 i will check on it in a hour and see what it has and respond.
 

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There are very good instructions on checking the state of the charging system in the stator sticky thread at the top of the 900 forum. Since the early models were the ones most prone to stator failure, you'll want to check that and the regulator. With the engine running at 3000 rpm (about 1/4 throttle in neutral), you should be getting 14 volts or better across the battery terminals. When the engine is running, if you're seeing a voltage drop, you may be running solely off the battery.
 

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When ever you have an electrical problem,first thing, charge the battery and then have it load tested.
 

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OK, what your saying is without the engine running and the battery installed and all fuses out your still seeing a drop in voltage - right?
It cant be stator since the engine is not running.
So charge the battery again.
Before you remove charger measure voltage.
After 15 minutes, 30 minutes, check the battery voltage.
Install and only turn the key on - dont start and measure voltage.
Post back these values.

After being on a charger the voltage should drop a small bit, but what your describing is something that an old battery would do.
A new battery can go/be bad. Rare but it happens.
Maybe even have the battery load tested. A lot of auto parts places will do it for free.
As posted above, you need a good battery to start out with before blaming anything else.
 

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WHOA!
Slow down everyone!
Is sounds like the engine is not charging the battery and the it runs down as you ride it. Then with a reduced voltage all kinds of strange things can happen.
Charge the battery.
Check the battery voltage after being off the charger for at least 15 minutes - hopefully the battery is still good and this reading is 12.5 volts or higher.
Start the engine, let it come off of fast idle.
Check the voltage at idle - should be just a bit higher than before you started the engine.
If you have no tach guess at something above 2500-3000rpm (idle is around 1000rpm just for reference),
and check the voltage at that speed. This should be 14 volts or higher.

Post back what you find.
Nice answer. You rock.
Could you check my post if you have an idea.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
OK, what your saying is without the engine running and the battery installed and all fuses out your still seeing a drop in voltage - right?
It cant be stator since the engine is not running.
So charge the battery again.
Before you remove charger measure voltage.
After 15 minutes, 30 minutes, check the battery voltage.
Install and only turn the key on - dont start and measure voltage.
Post back these values.

After being on a charger the voltage should drop a small bit, but what your describing is something that an old battery would do.
A new battery can go/be bad. Rare but it happens.
Maybe even have the battery load tested. A lot of auto parts places will do it for free.
As posted above, you need a good battery to start out with before blaming anything else.
Will have your voltages tommrrow afternoon. Got caught up with work. But I did test out the sticky concerning stator pin and have verified I am barely getting like 10 volts from the bike when idle and maybe 12 to 13 when at 4k runs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Will have your voltages tommrrow afternoon. Got caught up with work. But I did test out the sticky concerning stator pin and have verified I am barely getting like 10 volts from the bike when idle and maybe 12 to 13 when at 4k runs.
Tommrrow due to wanting to ensure it has that full charge.
 
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