954 Battery Blues - Honda Motorcycles - FireBlades.org
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-09-2009, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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954 Battery Blues

I thought I should post this thread to share my recent experiences with the electrical side of my 954.

I took it off the road about 12 months ago to use solely as a track bike, but still left it in "generally" standard trim (lights, battery, etc) as one of the groups I ride with required bikes to be road registered...

Every second weekend, I'd go into the garage and fire up the bike, taking a couple of laps around the neighbourhood to keep everything lubricated and the battery charged (I'd bought a new battery about 12 months ago when the original died).

That all worked fine until just recently when the battery was starting to get a bit flat, to the point that a bump-start was required to get the engine started last time...well, the last time prior to Saturday last weekend when I flicked the starter button to hear the engine crank over so slowly that it was never going to start - I was just about to jump off and start pushing for another bump-start when I thought I'd give it one more go...there was a kind of 'pop' sound, a flicker of lights, then nothing - except for the HISS LED when I turned the key off. That's funny I thought, because I always switch that LED off because I hate it blinking away...it was as if the electrical system had reset itself.

Anyway, I tried checking fuses, wires, connectors, etc, etc, etc until my Saturday afternoon was all gone. It was weird because nothing would light up (no dash, no fuel pump, no headlight, nothing) when the key was turned on, but if I pressed the starter button about 2/3 the way down the dash would flicker and come on but nothing else - like the kill switch had shorted or something - actually I started to think that maybe the bike might have a short somewhere, or the starter motor was stuck, or fuel pump had packed a sad, but I couldn't find anything because all my tools were packed elsewhere (moving house).

I decided that maybe it was as simple as the battery being flat - well, I was sure it wasn't helping anyway, so after searching, and testing (what I could) I didn't find anything wrong, so I borrowed a battery charger and put the battery on charge for 24 hours, taking it off when it was drawing less than 0.5 Amps (started around 1.5 to 2).

On Sunday I whacked the battery back into the bike and tried again - with the same result - NOTHING !!. I tried jumping it using the battery charger - head light was on, neutral light was on, but no fuel pump, and no start (just the chatter of an under-fed starter solenoid)...

So thinking more would be better I borrowed some jumper leads, again NOTHING happend !

By now I was not a happy motorcycle mechanic and had to concede it would have to go to the shop for a proper diagnosis...

10 minutes work to fit a new battery and hey presto ! - all systems go !!

S*&%!! - I would have thought using the jumper leads would have worked in that case and I could have saved myself the drama of getting the bike to the shop and just bought a new battery to fit myself...all I can imagine is that the battery had developed an internal short all of its own and no matter what I did while it was connected into the system nothing was ever going to work.

Why have I taken the time to write all this down - because when I was trying to figure out what was going on I spent a couple of hours searching this website for leads, and while I found a few threads that documented symptoms similar to mine, mine were by far and away the most varied and weird.

So, the bottom line is that if you're the slightest bit suspicious that your battery is a bit flat, and your bike suddenly starts to exhibit strange, seemingly unconnected symptoms GO AND TRY A NEW BATTERY before you try anything else.

The specific symptoms my 954 exhibited standalone were :
  • no digital dash
  • no fuel pump prime
  • no headlight
  • HISS LED working
  • no horn
  • digital dash would light up with starter button partially depressed
The specific symptoms my 954 exhibited with additional external power were :
  • headlight on
  • neutral light on
  • indicators worked (but on a fast flash x2 normal speed)
  • starter solenoid chatters (almost sounds like electrical arcing)
  • with kill switch engaged a full press of the starter button would light the dash up (but nothing else)
  • jumper cables from the car battery made no difference
Hopefully that list might help someone sometime from going completely crazy trying to solve a wide and wonderful array of electrical problems on their Blade.

Cheers, Spanky.
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post #2 of 6 Old 04-09-2009, 6:54 AM
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Re: 954 Battery Blues

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Originally Posted by Spanky View Post
I thought I should post this thread to share my recent experiences with the electrical side of my 954.
I HATE electrics :-)

"I won't forget that ride for a while. Maybe you're right. Living fast might be worth the final crash. Maybe that's the secret you fliers know." - Flight of the Intruder
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post #3 of 6 Old 04-14-2009, 7:09 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: 954 Battery Blues

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I HATE electrics :-)
ME TOO bladeracer !!.

I never suspected the battery was the culprit as it was fairly new...my bad (not enough use).
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post #4 of 6 Old 05-09-2009, 10:18 PM
 
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Re: 954 Battery Blues

Battery Tenders are not that expensive and work great...
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-10-2009, 9:38 AM
 
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Re: 954 Battery Blues

was the car running when you tried to jump it? is so you may have blown the recitifirer. problem is that a car running puts out way to many amps for a motorcycle electrical system.
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post #6 of 6 Old 05-10-2009, 9:43 AM
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Re: 954 Battery Blues

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Originally Posted by nixhex32 View Post
was the car running when you tried to jump it? is so you may have blown the recitifirer. problem is that a car running puts out way to many amps for a motorcycle electrical system.
I don't think it's possible to blow the regulator as I don't think power comes back from the battery.
There is potential to blow the ECU although it's pretty rare.

"I won't forget that ride for a while. Maybe you're right. Living fast might be worth the final crash. Maybe that's the secret you fliers know." - Flight of the Intruder
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