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2004 VStrom 650 Strange electrical issue

2142 Views 8 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  STCorndog
I went to start my bike the other day. When I turned the key and pressed the start button, there was a click from under the seat and it lost all power. This included a reset of the clock.
I thought the battery might be the issue, so I tried use a portable jump pack and I heard a series of clicks from by the battery and had the same issue when I tried to start it again lost all power.
I tried disconnecting all of the after market accessories (USB outlet and heated grips), still the same behavior.
It was suggested to me that it may be the starter relay. So, I ordered one and replaced it.
Before putting the battery back in the bike, I put it on my multimeter and it reads 14V.
Now, when I turn the key nothing happens. The clock on the dash is there. But, I do not get any lights or hum or any activity when I turn the key.

Are there any suggestions of what else I should look at?
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Battery voltage alone doesn't always mean a lot but seldom do they read that high if a bad cell or internally shorted.
Emergency stop/kill switch ON?
Clutch switch?
Main fuse?
I would suspect perhaps the positive cable to the starter solenoid is corroded at a terminal or internally burned off or otherwise not passing enough current.
You could perhaps test the solenoid and starter by (making double sure bike is in neutral) jumping a sufficient cable to the solenoid terminal. That would rule out (or condemn) the battery and cable, perhaps solenoid or starter.
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You could try starting the bike with jumpers to a known-good battery to see if the behavior is different. If it starts up as normal, then you can rule out most other issues with the bike.

To me sounds like a very dead battery. But if you think it's good, the best and easiest way to rule it out is to bring it to an auto parts store and have it load tested. Compare the tested cold cranking amps against the original spec.

Good advice to check fuses and connections and the ground.
Check the ground cable at the motor point is clean and tight.

A test for this would be to use a jumper pack to start the bike but put the positive lead of the jumper pack on the positive terminal of the battery but put the negative lead directly to the motor not to the battery, if your problem goes away your ground cable is a problem.

There is also a 30a fuse that could have been damaged while trying to start the bike.

If the volage is low the load will increase, check the fuse is good and tight in the socket.

On the left side above the radiator there is a big electrical plug, it has a rubber boot over it, open it up, ensure everything is clean and tight, often there will be signs of things getting hot, you can try cleaning up the hot spots but sometimes it needs to be bypassed with new wires.
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This may sound off base, but check the relay that handles the signal lights flashing. The kickstand switch on the 1st gen bikes uses that same circuit. I had a long struggle with starting that you've described, so intermittently that I thought I had it fixed on multiple occasions. The fellow I sold the bike to was smarter than I am, he tracked it down to that relay.
If it were not for the clock resetting there would be a short list of normal things to check. Many mentioned above:

Kickstand down?
Clutch fully pulled in?
Main fuse blown?
Kill switch off?
Key position?
Battery connection lose?

A video sure would help. It would show what is working and what is not. That is the key to diagnosing your problem. Knowing what works and what doesn't.

Way more often than not, it's some simple face-palm-slapping simple thing. Seeing things like the headlights/dash lights come on or not, the fuel pump pressurize or not, etc. Really helps with diagnosis.
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After checking everything I can, I went ahead and changed the battery. The bike fired right up. I'm guessing that, even though the multimeter read 14 volts, it just wasn't putting out enough amps.
Welcome to the forum there is so many who are helpful here. Thanks for all who do. Make shure the battery cables are shiny clean and tight. Your description sounds l as connection issues.
While you’re in there. Check that the battery voltage rises with engine rpm. If I recall, you should see low 14’s V at around 5,000 rpm.

This will tell you the bike is charging properly.
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