GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off


Information and questions on GL1100 Goldwings (1980-1983)
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chappyusn
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Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:19 am



For some reason my battery discharges over several weeks. I have the bike turned off in the correct position so I am puzzled what's taking the charge from the battery.
I bought the bike used and have had it for 10 years and love it. I checked and there are no extra wires coming off the battery. This discharging started about a year ago.
Would appreciate any suggestions.
Thanks Chappy, United States Navy Retired.



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Maz
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Motorcycle: 1975 GL1000K1
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Maz » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:26 am

Hi Chappy,

Firstly it could just be a sign that your battery is getting old and may need replacing. If you've had the bike for 10 years and still have the same battery fitted, you've done well so far! :P
Secondly, there's a possibility that the charging system may be showing signs of age and one of the components is beginning to get a bit "leaky" and is passing current when it shouldn't be (possibly a diode in the reg/rec unit.

Ideally, with the battery fully charged, you should disconnect the red +ve wire from the battery and connect an Ammeter between battery +ve and the red lead that you have just removed. It will register any current being drawn and allow you to isolate each circuit in turn by removing fuses or unplugging items until you find which one causes the meter to show zero.
All of the above assuming that you have no accessories fitted that have been left switched on! (Even then you will find which one it is by using the ammeter, as above).

Happy hunting,
Maz
Nostalgia is not what it used to be!

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WingAdmin
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:53 am

Do you have a radio/clock on your Interstate? If so, both the radio memory and the clock draw power continuously, even when the bike is turned off. On my GL1100, that was enough to drain my battery over the course of a few weeks.

If that's the case, I'd recommend a Battery Tender to keep your battery fully charged and in top condition. Once I added one to my bike, this problem went away, and my battery life about quadrupled.

If you do not have a clock or radio, then we need to figure out what is causing the parasitical draw. Let us know one way or the other.

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Maz
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1979 CB750L
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Maz » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:40 pm

The cheaper option is to use solar panels. I have one for each of my 4 bikes and they are connected as soon as I put the bike away after a ride. Each bike has a connector permanently wired in. 3 of the 4 panels will keep the batteries charged, but the other one is big enough to actually charge a discharged battery. Even in our 'wonderful' British climate!

Maz
Nostalgia is not what it used to be!

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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:49 pm

Just be careful with using solar panels - if you can find one with a regulator/float charger built in, that's best to use. I have a 12 volt solar charger that I left plugged into my truck when it was sitting for a couple months. I left it sitting on the dash. It was a fair sized solar panel, and it put out enough power that it overcharged and ruined the battery.

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Maz
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Maz » Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:07 pm

Yeah. My biggest one has a regulator/charge controller. The smaller ones just put out enough power to keep a fully charged battery topped up.
Mind you, in a few weeks time, hopefully, the bikes will be getting more regular use so they won't get a chance to go flat.
Maz
Nostalgia is not what it used to be!

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Oldbear
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Oldbear » Mon Feb 01, 2016 8:28 pm

Another drain could be a dirty battery. I didn't believe the video I watched on battery maintenance. You can have a current draw between the battery posts and the battery case itself. Try putting one test probe on the positive post and start touching the other one around the top of the battery - I had four batteries that have a 2-3 volt draw - I don't know how many amps; but it was still showing on the meter until i cleaned the battery case.

That said, I'd guess the radio (if installed) is killing the battery.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

chappyusn
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Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Mon Feb 01, 2016 9:22 pm

WingAdmin wrote:Do you have a radio/clock on your Interstate? If so, both the radio memory and the clock draw power continuously, even when the bike is turned off. On my GL1100, that was enough to drain my battery over the course of a few weeks.

If that's the case, I'd recommend a Battery Tender to keep your battery fully charged and in top condition. Once I added one to my bike, this problem went away, and my battery life about quadrupled.

If you do not have a clock or radio, then we need to figure out what is causing the parasitical draw. Let us know one way or the other.


I do have a radio on the left fairing and a CD player but they are turned off. The battery I have now is about 1 yr old but with the power drain and having to recharge it several times, it doesn't have enough cranking amps when I try to start it. I will get a new battery and keep the Tender on it. Is there a way to disconnect the power source for the radio/CD player...they both don't work......Tks Chappy

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Oldbear
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Oldbear » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:13 pm

I installed a battery disconnect switch that kills all power from the battery. I kill the power if I'm not riding for more than a few days.

And I bought a "good" battery tender. CTEK, Battery Tender, etc are good - look for one that is made to be left on the battery for months. Something that has "smart" charging rather than just a trickle charge.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

chappyusn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:01 am

Oldbear wrote:I installed a battery disconnect switch that kills all power from the battery. I kill the power if I'm not riding for more than a few days.

And I bought a "good" battery tender. CTEK, Battery Tender, etc are good - look for one that is made to be left on the battery for months. Something that has "smart" charging rather than just a trickle charge.

Thank you sir for the info. Where do I find a battery kill switch and how is it installed.....Tks again Sir

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Oldbear
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Oldbear » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:22 pm

I got mine at my local parts store. I mounted it in the sheet metal, under the fairing, on the left side of the bike. The bulk of it is hidden behind the plastic lower cover. I used a label maker to mark it as the Super-charger on-off switch. Next time I might look for a smaller one and install it in a more hidden location, but this is what I had for installing in my hot rods. You will have to run a new positive cable to the switch and then back to the main solenoid (where your positive cable attaches to now).
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My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

chappyusn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:50 am

Oldbear wrote:I got mine at my local parts store. I mounted it in the sheet metal, under the fairing, on the left side of the bike. The bulk of it is hidden behind the plastic lower cover. I used a label maker to mark it as the Super-charger on-off switch. Next time I might look for a smaller one and install it in a more hidden location, but this is what I had for installing in my hot rods. You will have to run a new positive cable to the switch and then back to the main solenoid (where your positive cable attaches to now).

Thanks for the picture, I've located a local mechanic that can install the piece...Tks again Chappy

chappyusn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Sat Feb 06, 2016 10:27 am

Oldbear wrote:I got mine at my local parts store. I mounted it in the sheet metal, under the fairing, on the left side of the bike. The bulk of it is hidden behind the plastic lower cover. I used a label maker to mark it as the Super-charger on-off switch. Next time I might look for a smaller one and install it in a more hidden location, but this is what I had for installing in my hot rods. You will have to run a new positive cable to the switch and then back to the main solenoid (where your positive cable attaches to now).

Good morning Sir, I've found a Honda Mechanic that will look at the bike. Do you have a ph# where you got the switch so I can call and buy one. Also if you have a picture how you installed it on the bike, I could show the Mechanic. Thanks again for your responses.....Chappy

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Oldbear
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Oldbear » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:13 pm

I like about 5 days drive from you. You might want to find a local auto parts store in your area. I've included a picture of the switch on the outside of the bike and one of what it looks like behind the cover. I had to put a big black washer on the front, as I misjudged the room the switch takes up behind the plastic lower. I had to slot the hole and then cover it up.
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My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

chappyusn
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:16 pm

Oldbear wrote:I like about 5 days drive from you. You might want to find a local auto parts store in your area. I've included a picture of the switch on the outside of the bike and one of what it looks like behind the cover. I had to put a big black washer on the front, as I misjudged the room the switch takes up behind the plastic lower. I had to slot the hole and then cover it up.

Is that switch connected to the ground off the battery and if so did you extend the ground wire from the battery to the switch?....Tks Chappy

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Oldbear
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Oldbear » Sat Feb 06, 2016 9:27 pm

chappyusn wrote:
Oldbear wrote:I like about 5 days drive from you. You might want to find a local auto parts store in your area. I've included a picture of the switch on the outside of the bike and one of what it looks like behind the cover. I had to put a big black washer on the front, as I misjudged the room the switch takes up behind the plastic lower. I had to slot the hole and then cover it up.

Is that switch connected to the ground off the battery and if so did you extend the ground wire from the battery to the switch?....Tks Chappy


Yes I did do just that. Bu, it is on my list to do a swap. The battery disconnect should be on the positive cable. I'm switching it when I do a bit more electrical this week.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

chappyusn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Sun Feb 07, 2016 1:04 am

Oldbear wrote:
chappyusn wrote:
Oldbear wrote:I like about 5 days drive from you. You might want to find a local auto parts store in your area. I've included a picture of the switch on the outside of the bike and one of what it looks like behind the cover. I had to put a big black washer on the front, as I misjudged the room the switch takes up behind the plastic lower. I had to slot the hole and then cover it up.

Is that switch connected to the ground off the battery and if so did you extend the ground wire from the battery to the switch?....Tks Chappy


Yes I did do just that. Bu, it is on my list to do a swap. The battery disconnect should be on the positive cable. I'm switching it when I do a bit more electrical this week.

Thanks for the info. The local automotive stores don't have a disconnect switch that is small. I did find one on Ebay. It showed to put it on the negative side. Is there a difference on the negative or positive side?...Tks Chappy

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Maz
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Maz » Mon Feb 08, 2016 6:52 am

Conventionally, the positive should be switched.
Switching the ground will have the same effect though and, I guess, it could be considered safer, simply because you have extended a ground lead which, if it were to get chafed on a bracket or the frame, wouldn't cause a short circuit.

Maz
Nostalgia is not what it used to be!

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Oldbear
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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Oldbear » Mon Feb 08, 2016 12:23 pm

Maz wrote:Conventionally, the positive should be switched.
Switching the ground will have the same effect though and, I guess, it could be considered safer, simply because you have extended a ground lead which, if it were to get chafed on a bracket or the frame, wouldn't cause a short circuit.

Maz


That was my though when I did this 5 years ago. Maybe I'll just leave it the way it is and spend my time on something else. This little mod has saved my battery for an extra couple years each time.
My wife is the greatest - she won't let me sell my bike - I'm less grumpy when I ride...

chappyusn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Mon Feb 08, 2016 7:00 pm

Oldbear wrote:
Maz wrote:Conventionally, the positive should be switched.
Switching the ground will have the same effect though and, I guess, it could be considered safer, simply because you have extended a ground lead which, if it were to get chafed on a bracket or the frame, wouldn't cause a short circuit.

Maz


That was my though when I did this 5 years ago. Maybe I'll just leave it the way it is and spend my time on something else. This little mod has saved my battery for an extra couple years each time.

Thank you Sir.....Chappy

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Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby Joecop » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:59 pm

Thanks for this post, I have the same issue and believe it's my ignition switch. I plan to rebuild the switch. Mine will sometimes drain in a week if not plugged in. I'm soooo mounting that kill switch. Thanks for the pics that's a great spot!

chappyusn
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:44 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
Motorcycle: 1981 GL100 Interstate

Re: GL 1100 1982 Battery Slowly Discharges When ignition is turned off

Postby chappyusn » Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:54 pm

Joecop wrote:Thanks for this post, I have the same issue and believe it's my ignition switch. I plan to rebuild the switch. Mine will sometimes drain in a week if not plugged in. I'm soooo mounting that kill switch. Thanks for the pics that's a great spot!

Tks for the info on the switch. My Naval Air Son said it probably was the switch. Please keep me updated on the process on rebuilding the switch....Tks Chappy, Retired Navy




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