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Discussion Starter #1
So the other day, I get geared up to go home from work and try to start my K7 Wee. Do the usual routine, key, kill switch, kickstand, clutch, and... nothing. No oil-pressure light, no starter. First thought is the various switches, clutch, kickstand, work the kill switch. All ok. Got off the bike and checked the lights with the ignition on and had only a faint glow from the headlights. Battery, of course. Maybe I accidently left the parking light on? Never did it before. No one else around, and I didn't have my Slime compressor with the jumper cable with me, so I pushed the bike up one level in the parking structure (whew, major workout!) and bump started it in 2nd gear on the roll down. Fortunately it worked, and I was able to keep it revved up on the way home. Seemed to take and keep a charge,as it started ok the next day.

Decided to top-off the charge, so I disconnected the battery and hooked it up to a charger that had two settings: 10 amp quick charge and a 2 amp trickle charge. At 10 amps, the charger immediately pegged the charge meter and backed off to zero. It did this several times, like it was trying to charge a short circuit. Figured this wasn't good, so I put the charger on 2 amp trickle charge. This seemed ok, and after 4 or 5 hours, it was showing no further charging activity, indicating a full charge. Reconnected the battery and started the bike fine. Lights seemed brighter than before the problem, and the starter spun right up.

Because of the unusual charger behavior, I'm concerned about the battery condition. My bike is 3 years old and has 10,400 miles on it. I have ridden it fairly regularly in the last year and a half, mostly freeway commuting, and it has not sat through any winter hibernation (hey, this is LA, year-round riding). Should I be concerned about my battery?

Bob
 

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I can't speak to the charger behavior but my stock battery lasted 60,000 miles and through several Indiana winters (and I ride up to 20 below or so). So even sitting outside work in the winter it still was good. I also had it discharged several times and recharged it and continued riding. Your mileage may vary but I would keep riding and if it happens again then consider replacing it. Keep some wires under the seat to use to jump the bike in case there is no handy hill.

-GW
 

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Who cares how far you rode it? How many times did you start it? ;) And do you do much off road riding where vibration may be a factor?

How likely are you to get stuck again if it is the battery? And what is that peace of mind worth to ya?

I'd say the cost of running into a good parts store with a battery checker would be worth your time/effort. Your battery, at three years old may be approaching its end of life.

I like knowing I can just jump on and go. But that's just me. :)
 

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It's good you mentioned the age and low mileage!

Three years and the low mileage might give some insight as to what it wrong with the battery: You didn't say if you put a battery maintainer on it, and if you haven't then there is a good chance there is a sulfate build-up on the battery and this has shorted some of the cells out. Some chargers can remove this build-up but most likely you need a new battery.

If you ride it a lot more then the battery gets charged up and is less likely to sulphate. Short trips and long periods between use are very hard on a battery.

..Tom
 

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Meter?

Generally a failing battery will show a fairly quick self-discharge rate. If you have a meter, disconnect the battery, charge it fully. Disconnect from the charger, let the battery sit for a half-hour or so, measure the voltage, should be around 12.5-13.5 volts. Let the battery sit for a couple hours, go back and check it. Should be nearly the same. If there is a considerable drop (more than a half-volt or so) between the first and second measures, the battery is probably failing. If the battery seems OK, reconnect it to the bike. Check the voltage, let it sit for a couple hours, check it again. If you're seeing a big drop here, there's something drawing current on the bike. If not, I'd bet you left the parking light on. Doesn't take much to go from lock to parking light.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's good you mentioned the age and low mileage!

Three years and the low mileage might give some insight as to what it wrong with the battery: You didn't say if you put a battery maintainer on it, and if you haven't then there is a good chance there is a sulfate build-up on the battery and this has shorted some of the cells out. Some chargers can remove this build-up but most likely you need a new battery.

If you ride it a lot more then the battery gets charged up and is less likely to sulphate. Short trips and long periods between use are very hard on a battery.

..Tom
Thanks for the replies. I bought the bike when it was a year and a half old with less than 3,000 miles on it. Previous owner also had a DL1000 and decided he liked it better. I've put nearly 8,000 miles on it since I've had it. My morning commute is about 15 miles freeway, typically a steady 80 mph (LA traffic moves fast at 5:30 AM). Afternoon return is slower, but I lane-split, although I don't do it as fast as some of the squids on their sport bikes. I typically commute 3-4 days per week. It's not sitting around for too long at a time, so I haven't felt the need for a battery tender. I don't off-road at all. I have taken a few longer trips in hot weather (Laguna Seca, Northern California), but nothing that should kill a battery.

Checking with a meter is a good idea. Would an average motorcycle shop be able to test the battery, or would I have to go to a dedicated battery place? Sears, maybe? I have a feeling most places would try to find something wrong with the battery whether there actually was or not...

I appreciate the response.

Bob
 

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//

Decided to top-off the charge, so I disconnected the battery and hooked it up to a charger that had two settings: 10 amp quick charge and a 2 amp trickle charge. At 10 amps, the charger immediately pegged the charge meter and backed off to zero. It did this several times, like it was trying to charge a short circuit. Figured this wasn't good, so I put the charger on 2 amp trickle charge. This seemed ok, and after 4 or 5 hours, it was showing no further charging activity, indicating a full charge. Reconnected the battery and started the bike fine. Lights seemed brighter than before the problem, and the starter spun right up.

Because of the unusual charger behavior, I'm concerned about the battery condition. My bike is 3 years old and has 10,400 miles on it. I have ridden it fairly regularly in the last year and a half, mostly freeway commuting, and it has not sat through any winter hibernation (hey, this is LA, year-round riding). Should I be concerned about my battery?

Bob
That's way too high a rate for a motorcycle battery, so it doesn't really indicate a problem or absence of a problem. Any idea of what caused it to go flat?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's way too high a rate for a motorcycle battery, so it doesn't really indicate a problem or absence of a problem. Any idea of what caused it to go flat?
Probably left the parking light on although I didn't notice it when leaving and never have before. Easy to do though.

it only worked cause there was still enuf juice in the battery to pressurize the fuel injection system

if the battery was completely flat, it would not have started
I usually hear the fuel pump whir when turning on the ignition. Didn't do it this time. Thinking maybe the alternator put out enough juice to charge the injectors? Anyway, I could never have push-started it on my own on flat ground.
 

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Don't junk the battery just yet. Yuasa has a simple table you can use to get an idea about the health of your battery, or if your local shop has one good guy in the shop, they can test it in a matter of seconds for free.

I'd also quickly test the charging system by measuring the voltage at the battery with the bike running at ~3k.
 

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I usually hear the fuel pump whir when turning on the ignition. Didn't do it this time. Thinking maybe the alternator put out enough juice to charge the injectors? Anyway, I could never have push-started it on my own on flat ground.
with my carbed SV, I found that push starting was better in 3rd or 4th gear, that pretty much eliminates the rear wheel skid as you let out the clutch,

I wasn't thinking completely thru, the system is pressurised when its shut off, the battery is still needed to open the injectors, at starting rpm, you might get pulses of electricity from the alternator at best,

FWIW, Owners manual specifies no more than 5 amp charge
sounds like your charger automaticly detects that it's overcharging your battery, my big one does, 4 settings 2/15/40/100, if it detects anything it defaults back to 2

keep an eye on it, hopefully an inadvertent one time drain.

on my SV, I had an intermittent RR failure, it never failed during diagnostic tests, until I tested it after riding a couple hours, I found that once it heated to a certain point instead of charging the battery, the bike quickly discharged the battery, especially when its 30° and your running electric heat
but once the RR cooled down, it worked again, I could do my weekly riding errands generally trips less than 1 hour, and not notice the problem till the longer sunday ride, I put 4000-5000 miles on trying to diagnose my battery drain problem went thru 2 batterys

I can't blame my dealer for not diagnosing the problem first time around, it took a long ride to heat the RR up enuf



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Ask shops if they can do a load test on a battery rated at 180 CCA (cold cranking amps), also rated at 12 amp hours. If their tester goes low enough, you'll have a good test. Some auto parts stores or battery stores will test for free, but, of course, expect you to buy the replacement from them if it's needed.

You can try some things yourself. Do you have a digital voltmeter? (Good idea to have one, and the ones from $10 and up are good enough.) A fully charged so-called 12 volt battery must have 12.6 volts or more. The charging system should put out over 14 volts to drive power into the battery. Remove the seat and test the battery voltage. Start the engine and check it again with the engine running at a fast idle, maybe 2000 or 3000 rpm. The battery should be at 12.6 or more with the engine off, and read higher with the engine running. Also check the voltage when the engine is cranking over beginning to start. The voltage shouldn't drop a lot. If the voltage running is lower than the voltage sitting following a recharge, the bike's charging system ist kaput. If the battery starts the engine and is getting a charge from the engine, but the voltage drops really low when cranking, the battery is due for replacement. Our bikes are supposed to have a sealed absorbed glass mat (AGM) lead acid battery, but if someone in the past put in a flooded cell lead acid battery, check the electrolyte level. If it isn't up to the marks on the case, add distilled water until it is up to the top mark when fully charged.
 

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Not Starting, DL650 2006 K7

I had a problem where the Starter would chatter and the light did not come on... After checking the battery and found no volt drop on starting, I realised it was not the battery. I then checked the usual connections behind the radiator but all OK...

Eventually I found the Start Switch to have high resistance contacts, on the K7 the Start switch has Normally open and Normally closed contacts. The Head light is wired through the 'Normally closed' contacts whereas the Starter is wired through the 'Normally open' contacts,

A spray with WD40 fixed the problem.

Regards Hermey.
 

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If it does it once and doesn't do it again, I wouldn't worry about it in the slightest... Just do a walk-around before walking away from it and verify the parking light isn't on. :)

If it does it again, I'd just replace the battery. Odds 10:1 that's where the problem would be found anyways.
 

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with my carbed SV, I found that push starting was better in 3rd or 4th gear, that pretty much eliminates the rear wheel skid as you let out the clutch,
+1 on this, people always use too low a gear to push start. If you have enough hill, start at top gear and work your way down.
 

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it only worked cause there was still enuf juice in the battery to pressurize the fuel injection system

if the battery was completely flat, it would not have started
Are you sure about that? Now, I am guessing here because I have never tried it, but the bike's electrics (including the fuel pump) comes from 2 sources... 1) Battery, 2) the Stator/Alt. So, even if the battery is completely dead, the moment the bike turns over during a "bump" start, the Stator would be producing power, right? How much, I don't know... but maybe it's enough to start the fuel pump. Once the bike starts the stator produces enough power to run everything on the bike including charging the battery... Does this make sense?


Richard
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, since somebody dredged up this thread from a couple of months ago, I (the OP) can happily say that the problem has not happened again. But still some good advice here regarding bump starting.

Bob
 
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