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Hello Strommers,

- Note I have photos and a youtube link but I don't have permission to post them on the forum because I haven't posted 10 times before-

I've been a reader for years but this is my first post. I am from the USA and shipped my 2012 Vstrom DL 650A to Europe last year and I have been on the road here for 10 months. It was a dream and so far I've been to 31 countries. I ride daily and have finally encountered my first MAJOR problem in Bodensee Switzerland/German/Austria .... I am a beginner when it comes to anything mechanical so if I use poor terminology forgive me. Or if you live in the Bodensee area let me know. Please if you have the time to read and watch I would most appreciate it!

I rode about 400 miles on a long wet rainy day and then stayed at a hotel. The next morning I went out and had zero power. I checked the terminals and nothing seemed wrong. I pulled the battery and took it to a local shop. They tested it and said it was dead dead dead stock OEM battery with 30k+. Thats fine. Bought a new battery. Put it in correctly and as soon as I connected the leads (no key in ignition) I noticed smoke from up under the gas tank somewhere. I have attached a video I sent to a mechanically gifted friend. So, not good. I got towed to a local Swiss shop. The mechanic tried to track the issue and finally said that somewhere in the power harness loom he thinks a wire was rubbing against another and is causing this issue. When I went back to the shop he had the battery hooked up and the bike was running fine but he says if it is moved in the wrong way it will start to smoke quickly. He said there are basically 2 options with the first being to completely replace the whole harness which is a huge job and expensive OR he was nice enough to let me come into the shop on Tuesday and give me space and I can start to pull the wiring apart for free on my own time and locate the bad wire visually. I of course having little money will try that on Tuesday.

So, I was wondering if anyone or any mechanic out there has dealt with this. I will take any suggestions that might help me locate it. Although, I don't know how to read a wiring diagram really I plan to print one and bring it with me. He seems optimistic that I will find it because we know the area it is smoking from but if he went searching it could take him hours to find and at 120 dollars an hour that wouldn't be fun for me. So Strommers throw any suggestions my way. I have also called my shop back in the usa and spoken with them about a replacement part and shipping because the USA part and the European part are not the same. So, please enjoy my movie and a few photos. I was told the part # was 36610-11JJ0

Lance
 

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I would lift the tank and have a look, if its been smoking the damaged wire/s should be pretty obvious. You might need to cut out the damaged section of wire and then replace it with another piece. Make sure the new piece has the same or bigger cross section, I would slide heat shrink over the ends first, then solder the joints and insulate with the heat shrink and maybe a wrap of tape.
Then you need to work out what caused the problem ie. what it was rubbing on, and make sure it can't happen again. You could zip tie it so it can't rub, protect it with plenty of tape or split a length of rubber hose and slip it over the cables. Good luck!
 

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Troubleshooting 101
visual - you have smoke. As mentioned get everything out of the way so you can see where from. Note that you need to do it quickly and in small time increments to minimize the damage.

location - easiest way to pinpoint the problem is with a wiring diagram and selective testing. Pull all fuses noting where they came from. You shouldn't have any smoke when you turn on power. Put the fuses back in one by one until you get smoke - that's the circuit you need to be looking at. It will give you wire colors to distinguish between all the other wires lumped in there.

If you have a voltmeter and understand reading diagrams you could unhook the battery completely and test those wires physically attached to the battery resistance to ground - again putting fuses in one by one until you see your short.

What puzzles me is why there are no fuses blowing - anything carrying juice should be fused. Any aftermarket electrical farkles?

Good luck buddy!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! I had a gps running to the battery directly without any problem but when i reconnected everything i didn't include the gps power it was just basic at that point.

Lance
 

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Right. The most typical cause of smoke is something added that was not properly fused. The second most typical problem is a fuse being replaced by a fuse with too high a value.
 

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Use your nose. If the insulation gets hot it will stink, even after the heat has dissipated. That way you should be able to locate the area where to dig quicker, especially with the tank removed so you have better access.
 

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Use your nose. If the insulation gets hot it will stink, even after the heat has dissipated. That way you should be able to locate the area where to dig quicker, especially with the tank removed so you have better access.
This. That smoke will actually help you and make it easier to find. Look and smell for melted wire. And you said under the tank so look there first.

Just cut out the bad section of wire and splice in a new section of the same gauge. And if it rubbed against something, use better protection.

I had my wiring for a few R/R's start to melt at the connector and just spliced in new wire with higher insulation rating and larger size.
 

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I had my wiring for a few R/R's start to melt at the connector and just spliced in new wire with higher insulation rating and larger size.
Wires melting at the connector is indicative of a high resistance - likely internal oxidation/corrosion in the connector. These two products are your friend when it comes to making your bike's electrical connections weatherproof.

Dielectric grease

Liquid tape
 

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I believe in the dielectric grease for sure. Liquid tape not so much.

Connections are so much better nowadays. They used to be just two white plastic pieces now they are black and are sealed on each end with a gasket in the middle.
 

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I believe in the dielectric grease for sure. Liquid tape not so much.

Connections are so much better nowadays. They used to be just two white plastic pieces now they are black and are sealed on each end with a gasket in the middle.
Not all - in going through my new Glee I found a bunch that are "plain old white connectors". Had to go get a new can of Liquid Tape from Walmart - I dab it on the outside ends to seal and keep crap from getting up in there. When metal or metal on metal conductors get wet corrosion can start even if current isn't flowing. Reason for this is stresses in formed metal can result in ionic potential dissimilarities. Water acts as an electrolyte making a small battery starting the process we call corrosion - basically a metal plating/removal/oxidation process.
 

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My wee was dead the other day and the main fuse had gone. There's a spare one right next to it. I traced all the black with red stripe wires and couldn't find any issue. There several places it goes under the tank with plenty of scope for shorting.
 
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