Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice... - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 9:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Ok, this is a bit of a long story, but I think there are some details in the story which are important to figuring this out.

The bike is a 2000 CBR929, so it's got about 6 years on it. About 15,000 miles. Has run absolutely problem-free for the couple of years that I've owned it.

I put it away last winter, it was running absolutely perfectly. Never had a problem starting it, even when I took it out of storage in the spring of '05. When I put it away in the fall, I took the battery out, put it in my heated basement, and had it plugged into a battery tender for most of the winter. About a month ago I was moving stuff around in the basement, and unplugged the battery tender (the light on the battery tender was green, "fully charged"). When I wanted to take the bike out over the weekend, I plugged the battery tender in again, saw the red light on the battery tender, and thought "Well, maybe it's not fully charged, but it was fully charged just a month ago and it's heated here, it should still have enough juice to start the bike."

I took the battery to the garage, plugged it into the bike, and tried to start it. I got a rapid series of electrical clicks (is that the relay?), but no turning over, no starting. I then realized that I had connected the Power Commander to the positive instead of the negative terminal of the battery (is this a serious mistake?). I switched the Power Commander lead to the negative terminal, and tried again. More clicking. No turning. I figured, the battery must be dead.

I plugged the battery back in to the Battery Tender and left it until the light turned green. Put it back on the bike, and connected everything properly. This time, the engine started turning, but wouldn't fire, wouldn't "catch". I tried a few more times, until chug-chug-chug, it wouldn't even turn over any more. I figured the battery was dead again. Plugged it back into the Battery Tender for a while, until the light turned green again. Went to start the bike again, and this time it turned over, and started! The bike ran great. I let it run for a while, until it could get warmed up, and maybe charge the battery a bit more on its own. Let it run for about 10 minutes.

I turned the bike off, and had a few other things to do before taking it for a ride. After about 20 minutes, I tried to start it again. Chug-chug, the engine turned, but no start. I tried a few more times until the starter wouldn't turn any more, and figured the battery was dead again. Plugged it back into the battery tender. When the light turned green, I tried starting the bike again, it fired right up, and I went for a ride.

I was cautious about shutting it off, as I wanted the battery to charge. I rode around for probably about an hour, and figured that should do the trick. I was downtown, parked the bike, shut it off, and had some lunch. When I came back to the bike, lo and behold, it wouldn't start. The engine turned, but wouldn't fire. Now I'm convinced that the battery is just too old - maybe it's the original battery, so it's 6 years old. I figure it's had a good life, and I'll buy a new one. I called CAA to give me a boost - the bike started up with no problem at all once hooked up to the jumper cables. I probably could have bump-started it, but I've never done that before, and didn't want to try it for the first time in city traffic.

I rode home without any problem. The next day (yesterday), I went out and bought a new battery. I took it home, plugged it into the battery tender just to make sure it was fully juiced. It was showing a green light, but I left it on for an hour or so just for good measure. I hooked up the new battery to the bike, and when I turned the key, the fuel pump noise sounded strange - not it's usual "tone". I thumbed the starter, and got the rapid clicking again - not even the turning of the motor. I turned it off, then on again, and the fuel pump sounded normal this time. I hit the starter button, and it turned the engine, but didn't catch.

Now, whenever I try starting it, I get either clicking or some turning, but no starting.

What could be the source of this problem? I know it's not the battery, as it's new and charged. I also know it's not spark plugs, fuel, or anything mechanical, as the bike started up on the first try when hooked up to jumper cables. The problem is electrical in nature, I'm pretty sure, but I'm not good with electrics, so I could use a bit of help here.

Could it be battery? Connections? Starter? What other electrical components are there that I should think about? Could I have damaged something by hooking up the "ground" cable from the Power Commander to the positive battery terminal instead of the negative?

Any advice/help would be appreciated. Thanks.

--- D
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post #2 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 11:21 AM
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Try disconnecting the Power Commander completely and see if that solves the problem. If not, there is a slight chance that the battery you bought may have been an oldie sitting on the shelf for years. Good luck...let us know what you find out.

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post #3 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

K, I'll try that. I don't think the battery I bought is old, as it's from a dealership that moves a lot of volume, so I think they sell a lot of batteries. Also, when I plugged in the battery, straight from the shop, the battery tender read "green", indicating it was fully charged.

I'll try detaching the power commander.

--- D
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post #4 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 11:53 AM
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

It sounds that the battery you bought was not properly conditioned (charged). I've heard of several ways of charging new batteries, one being a rapid charge. Also, when you let your bike idle, it idles below 4k, which means your stator is NOT charging your battery. Another thing I would recommend looking at is your spark plugs. After loading the cylinders with fuel from not starting, I'm guessing they are fouled, resulting in poor spark, and harder starting.
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post #5 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 11:55 AM
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Oh yeah, forgot to mention, I too have hooked the ground terminal of a PC up to the positive terminal, did not harm the unit. I'd hope that Dynojet installed a diode to prevent any damage to the circuitry in the event of this happening.
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post #6 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 12:54 PM
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duster929
I got a rapid series of electrical clicks (is that the relay?), but no turning over, no starting. the engine started turning, but wouldn't fire, wouldn't "catch". I tried a few more times, until chug-chug-chug, it wouldn't even turn over any more.
Sure sounds like a simple case of a battery which is either too old, or simply won't hold a charge. We ask a lot of these little batteries, especially when the bike is stored each winter, and I have my suspicions about the "quality" of some new batteries (sometimes long shelf life, or incorrect initial preparartion/charging). My bet is that if you get a new battery your problems will go away.
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post #7 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 1:28 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Yeah, that's the problem... this IS a new battery... Could it just be defective? How can I determine that or test that or prove it to get a new one under warranty?

--- D
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post #8 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 1:37 PM
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

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Originally Posted by Duster929
Yeah, that's the problem... this IS a new battery... Could it just be defective? How can I determine that or test that or prove it to get a new one under warranty?

--- D
I have a similar problem with mine. The battery that came with the bike lasted 3 years.....about what you would expect. Then I replaced it a year ago, but the new one is starting to show signs of failure. Like you I keep it on a charger when the bike is not being used, and it charges 15 minutes each day. But I am finding that the bike will start straight from the charger, but sometimes it is reluctant to re-start during a ride. I have read on this forum of others who have had "dud" batteries, ones that last only 9-15 months, way less than they should. I can only put it down to batteries which have been sitting on the dealers shelf too long, or batteries which were not properly prepared/charged when new.....or both!
I think you should be able to take it back to where you bought it and do a voltage drop test on the battery to test its capability. I need to do the same as my year is up in 8 days. But looking at my receipt it says that the battery is only warrented for 6 months, and then pro-rater after that
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post #9 of 29 Old 03-29-2006, 1:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Yeah, they told me I have a 6 months warranty on the battery, which is the standard across different makes/brands.

--- D
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post #10 of 29 Old 03-31-2006, 10:09 AM
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Take it into a shop as was suggested above and have it tested. I'll bet you just need a new one.
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post #11 of 29 Old 04-03-2006, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Update for those reading the thread with a similar problem - took the battery back to the shop and they told me it hadn't been charged properly by them to begin with. They gave me a new one which had been charged properly, and it worked fine.

No problems with the bike.

Thanks for the advice guys.

--- D
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post #12 of 29 Old 04-03-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the Yuasa batteries for the 929 factory conditioned out of the box?

My guess on the problem here is that depending on the model Battery Tender charger you own, you may have damaged the battery. Unless you but the more expensive of the chargers, you're buying a trickle charger that will not stop charging the battery, despite whatever the packaging says. You need to make sure that the charger you have stops charging when the battery is full. Yuasa makes a nice one for about $50 that does a weekly test (I think it's weekly) and will only start charging the battery again if it drops to below 80%.
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post #13 of 29 Old 04-03-2006, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Nope, didn't damage it. The store had a bunch of problems with batteries not being charged. They weren't Yuasa batteries.

My battery tender stops charging when complete.
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post #14 of 29 Old 04-03-2006, 12:17 PM
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

Ahh ok.

Just my opinion but the Yuasa batteries (at least for the 929), while slightly more expensive, are the way to go. Take em out of the box, pop em in the bike and go. I just had to replace the original one in my 929 after almost 6 years of use and abuse (I've never stored my battery off the bike or on a tender over the winter.)
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post #15 of 29 Old 04-03-2006, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Bike not starting - need some troubleshooting advice...

My Yuasa lasted 6 years too. I was impressed. We'll see how long the no-name lasts. If it lasts half as long as the Yuasa, I'm still ahead of the game, as I can buy 2 of them for the price of one Yuasa.

--- D
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