Battery mysteriously died on me today... Is it possible to leave the headlights on?! - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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Battery mysteriously died on me today... Is it possible to leave the headlights on?!

So today, I rode in to work around 8AM like any other day... But when I came out to ride the bike home around 6PM, the battery was completely dead! I turned my key to the ON position and the dashboard didn't light up. I clicked it back to OFF and back ON again (even re-locking the steering column), but nope, no dice. No horn, no lights, and needless to say, no starter action.

It was a perfectly nice day today, no rain or anything, and of course the battery is relatively new. I only got this bike at the end of January, and I ride it almost every day, so the battery should be in very good condition.

Fortunately I carry jumper cables in a supply kit bungeed onto my pillion seat, and there was a motorcycle parked next to me whose rider showed up soon after. He popped his seat off, I popped mine off, I linked up our battery terminals, he started his bike's engine and then I started mine. Whew! (NOTE: yes, you can also jump a motorcycle from a car, which I've also done in the past with a different bike - in which case do NOT start the car's engine - just let the bike trickle charge a bit off the car's battery, then start as normal.)

I've tried to figure out how the battery ran down. The guy parked next to me said when he arrived that morning after me, he remembered thinking my headlight was on. Well, that sure would explain it... Except I don't know how I might have left my headlight on!

After a 30 minute ride home my bike seems normal. I parked it just as I've done any number of times, and looked at it carefully - no lights are on and nothing, as far as I can tell, is drawing power. I tried leaving depressed all the diffferent light switches - high beams, turn signals, hazard lights, you name it - but nothing stays on if I turn the key to OFF or LOCK. And I cannot remove my key from the ignition without at least turning it to OFF, even if I pulled the key out a bit too soon without fully locking the steering column like I usually do.

Can anybody think of a way that my headlight might have been left on with the key removed from the ignition? FWIW, I leave the bike in first gear when parked instead of in neutral - could that be a factor? (Though I tried all those different combos with the bike in first gear in my garage as well.)

I've got my bike on the battery tender overnight now, but I'm worried that there might be a short or something in the Powerlet socket I have wired directly to my battery, or maybe the OEM 12V accessory port that's installed on my bike, that results in a constant draw. Is that even possible? From having plugged my iPhone into the OEM 12V port, I know that that port is only hot when the ignition is on, but the Powerlet socket is probably live as it's tapped directly onto the battery posts.

Any ideas? I'd hate to find myself in this position again tomorrow.
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 09:23 PM
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Maybe you turned your key past the lock position to the park position. This leaves the rear lights on.
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 09:25 PM
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You didn't by chance lock the steering and turn the key to the furthest position before removing the key did you ? If so you probably left the " parking lights" on. Just a possibility. And easy to do. And you probably wouldn't be the first one.
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pneumatic View Post
Maybe you turned your key past the lock position to the park position.
I've done that once, it's not hard to do if you aren't really paying attention/in a hurry. It was on for about 30-40 minutes. Even if you left it overnight I wouldn't think it would completely drain the battery(?) but then again maybe so.

[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"[/FONT]
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pneumatic View Post
Maybe you turned your key past the lock position to the park position. This leaves the rear lights on.
AHA!!!!

That must be it!

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post #6 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 09:44 PM
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Some parts of the world don't have streetlights like we have here.

In parts of Europe, as I understand, you MUST park with those lights on if you are parked on the street.


That's my understanding, but it might be wrong-misinformed...

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post #7 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by henerythe8th View Post
Some parts of the world don't have streetlights like we have here.

In parts of Europe, as I understand, you MUST park with those lights on if you are parked on the street.


That's my understanding, but it might be wrong-misinformed...
And 10 hours later your bike is dead?! No way!
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 10:25 PM
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I've done the same thing when arriving at work. Just happened to walk back to the bike because I forgot something and noticed the lights on. It was a close call. Too bad you had to go thru this today...

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post #9 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robardin View Post
And 10 hours later your bike is dead?! No way!
:mrgreen:

Yeah, you uropeans! Is this true? What's the real story with parking lights?

I rarely/never use the steering lock. Mine is in the garage most of the time.

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post #10 of 27 Old 08-29-2012, 11:30 PM
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done this to myself twice so far

once durng the day a year ago while I was at work (key not left in ignition)

and also last Sunday nite in the garage - bike dead monday morning (key left in ignition)
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