Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My Kawasaki 900 Vulcan won't start. The battery is only 1 year old and gives a reading of 12.89 volts across the terminals. I have charged it repeatedly. With the switch off, there is only 0.02 mA current across the terminals which I assume is due to the running of the clock and other internal electrical settings.


Anyway, when I turn on the switch and hit the starter button, all I hear is a rapid clicking noise. The motor makes no attempt to turn over. With the switch on, all the lights and turn signals and everything works except for the headlight. The headlight gives out no light at all whether on high or low beam. The horn works well with the switch on.


All the connections appear to be tight and clean. The fuses (about 8 or 9) in the fuse box are all OK, but still the motor won't turn over. I hate to buy a new battery if that's not the problem. Any suggestions?


Thanks,


UPDATE: It was a bad battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
155 Posts
I'm new to Vulcans but of the ones I have tested, the headlight only comes on after the motor is running. When you say amperage across the terminals, how exactly did you measure current draw?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'm new to Vulcans but of the ones I have tested, the headlight only comes on after the motor is running. When you say amperage across the terminals, how exactly did you measure current draw?

I used my new digital multimeter. I put the dial on mA and placed the leads on their respective battery terminals and the reading was 0.02 . I'm no expert on this electrical stuff, but I think that's the way the owner's manual said to check it.


BTW, the problem first occurred two days ago when I went for a ride. The bike started very easy (as usual) in my garage. I rode for about 20 minutes and stopped at a small shopping center. When I came out of the store, the bike wouldn't start. Finally, after trying to start it numerous times and getting only a rapid clicking sound, I got two guys to give me a push and was able to start it by popping the clutch with the bike in gear and the switch on.


Once I got the bike started with the push start, I rode it back home with no problems. I put the charger/maintainer on it and it seems to charge up OK, but the bike still won't start. All I get is a rapid clicking noise.


As I mentioned, all the lights (except for the headlight) work good. The turn signals, brake light, tail light, and even a couple of accessory lights that the previous owner installed work great. The horn also blows normally. It's just that the bike won't start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Is it doing this:
https://youtu.be/hAZbEwPV0Kk

If so, it needs a new battery.

Try jump starting your bike.

Yeah, kind of like that. That one sounded awfully loud and had more of a buzzing sound while mine seems to have more of a "clicking" sound, but yet they are similar.


I've thought of trying to jump start it, but was concerned that doing so might cause more harm and/or damage to the bike or my car than buying a new battery would cost.


Thanks for the help.


Other ideas and opinions also welcome. Right now, I'm leaning toward just buying a new battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,748 Posts
If you set your meter to mA and touched the red and black leads directly across the battery, you either:

1. Blew the meter fuse (hopefully), or
2. Blew the meter.

Post back with what you find with your meter and then we can give you some quick and dirty tests to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Sounds like a bad ground or dead battery.

Check voltage as you try to start it.

You can jump start from a non-running car or a running bike.
I keep a spare car battery in my garage just for jump starts.

Ive done it dozens of times and never burned an ecu, r/r or stator
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
If you set your meter to mA and touched the red and black leads directly across the battery, you either:

1. Blew the meter fuse (hopefully), or
2. Blew the meter.

Post back with what you find with your meter and then we can give you some quick and dirty tests to do.

That's how I did it and no harm seems to have been done to the meter or the bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
If you checked amperage with the red to positive, black to negative. Then you most likely popped the fuse in the meter. To measure amperage the meter must be in series with the battery.
1. remove the negative battery cable.
2. Place one of the lead from the multimeter on the cable end
3. Place the other lead on the negative terminal of the battery
This should give you a "key off draw" amp reading.


Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,748 Posts
Dont be an asshole..
Im simply stating that Ive had great success with it. It can be done safely when done properly.

Saying "do NOT jump start" implies your bike will melt if jumped and I didnt get on your back so get off mine.
Do not jump start implies that there are better ways to troubleshoot without the risks.
You put in the melting part.
The poster is free to choose the technique he prefers... mine or yours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
If you checked amperage with the red to positive, black to negative. Then you most likely popped the fuse in the meter. To measure amperage the meter must be in series with the battery.
1. remove the negative battery cable.
2. Place one of the lead from the multimeter on the cable end
3. Place the other lead on the negative terminal of the battery
This should give you a "key off draw" amp reading.


Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk



Thanks. I see what you're saying and it makes sense. I guess I've got a strong or idiot-proof multimeter because it still works and hasn't (apparently) blown a fuse because I used it to check a couple other things a few minutes ago and it is still working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
If you don't have a bad battery or low battery voltage. Go to youtube and search "voltage drop test". This test will qualify all of your cables and connections. Unlike an ohm/resistance test, this test will give you readings under loaded/working conditions.

Sent from my SM-G930R4 using Tapatalk
 

·
END OF YEAR BIKE 2018 Winner
Joined
·
862 Posts
Could be a bad connection. Check all connections from battery to starter. A tight connection can be severely compromised by corrosion. Inspect these connections closely.

I would take the battery to a dealer or parts store that will do a load test on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
269 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
All the connections checked out good. I took the battery out of the bike and charged it again fully....... took only about 10 to 15 minutes on the charger before it showed fully charged (over 13 volts).




Then I reinstalled the battery and did a test of the battery voltage during the cranking in an attempt to start the bike. The voltage dropped down to 6.6 volts during the cranking, so I think it's a bad battery based on something I read online that said it shouldn't drop below about 9.5 volts.


Consequently, I've ordered me a new battery. Thanks for the help and information. I'll let you know if the new battery fixes the problem once I get it and get it installed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
A battery load tester can be had for around $25. It will tell you immediately if the battery has failed. A battery can fully charge and still lack the current output needed to turn the engine. The blinking instrument screen is also a telltale, But a load tester is handy for all yr automotive batteries and saves a lot of troubleshooting time on electrical systems. :wink2:

I have one 'a these:

https://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-100-Battery-Load-Tester/dp/B000AMBOI0/ref=sr_1_3/140-3546787-4219629?ie=UTF8&qid=1498280954&sr=8-3&keywords=battery+load+tester
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top