Power Loss


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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willboy57
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Motorcycle: 1987 1200 Interstate

Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:02 am



Got on my bike this AM (87 1200 Interstate) hit the starter button and as usual fired right up. Backed out of the garage and stopped to adjust my helmet. Reached back up and hit the "kill" switch by mistake. Flicked it back on and....nothing. No power what so ever; no idiot lights nothing. I quickly checked the 30 amp fuse (I eliminated the "stator plug" and dogbone fuse quite some time ago) and it looks good. Checked the main fuse block quickly but didn't have enough time to go over it carefully. Having to get to work I hoped in my truck and off I went. My thoughts so far: hitting the "kill switch" and the complete loss of electrical power could just be a coincidence; points to electrical as complete loss of power like someone flicked a light switch; short somewhere that affects the main power supply to the bike. Question would be where is the most logical place to start after the 30 amp fuse (bike is also kept on a Battery Tender which it was last night and showed "green" this AM before disconnecting).



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virgilmobile
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Re: Power Loss

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:14 pm

Hopefully it's still dead.
Without wiggling a bunch of wiring and hoping that something will magically fix itself,Get your test light.
Attach it to the engine and start from the battery and work your way up to the red wire on the start solenoid.It has to maintain power all the way to the ignition switch where it turns into a black wire going to the fuses.

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willboy57
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Re: Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 1:24 pm

As far as I know she's still unconcious (with my luck I'll go home, put the key in and she'll fire right up - doesn't solve the problem though). First item is to get her up the driveway and back into the garage - neighbors are good for that :D . I'll break out the light and see what can be found. Thanks.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Power Loss

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:12 pm

If it's stil dead, it's important not to disturb any wires if possible.attach the test light to the engine, not the battery and proceed probing from there.with the key on,if there no volts on the battery positive post move the light to the ground post. If it lights there, you have a corroded ground cable.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Power Loss

Postby virgilmobile » Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:18 pm

I'd have to look at the schematic to see if the kill switch is fused, but it's only relationship,if it shorted out in the housing would be to kill the ignition system.it should leave the lights on.
It is possible if the kill switch has a shorted wire it could blow the main 30 amp fuse.

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willboy57
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Re: Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:08 pm

Thanks Virgil. My thoughts exactly on the kill switch. Just seemed strange that when I tripped the switch the whole shootin' match quit...no lights, camera or action. But...a quick, and I mean quick, check of the 30 amp fuse showed it OK, visually anyway. I'll get into 'er starting tonight. My first thought is a bad connection somewhere but we'll see. Thanks again for the advice.

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willboy57
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Re: Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:07 pm

So here's where I'm at....had to get a new test light but....with the probe grounded to the engine and the key on both negative and positive battery posts are dead. With the off negative is dead and positive is active.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Power Loss

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:31 pm

Remove the battery out and have it load tested.I'll bet it died.
It has enough juice to light up a bulb but can't put out enough power to run the bike.

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willboy57
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Re: Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:39 pm

My thought exactly. Curious though that it gave zero indication of going dead...hit the kill switch then nothing. I hooked it up to the Battery Tender and it was giving me a double flashing green and yellow indication the battery has sulfated.

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virgilmobile
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Re: Power Loss

Postby virgilmobile » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:53 pm

Yup.A heavily sulfated cell can essentially short itself out from buildup at the cell bottoms.Right after a heavy discharge(cranking) more is disturbed and shed from the plates and leaves the cells useless.
They can retain enough clean plate material to develop a 'static' charge but have no reserve capacity.

The bike was running on the charging system when the battery crashed.Kill the engine and the battery fell flat.
Sometimes its just time for a new timex.

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willboy57
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Re: Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Thu Jul 12, 2012 9:19 pm

Roger that my friend. At least I know my charging system was working :D . Time for a new 'juice box'. Thanks.

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virgilmobile
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84 GL 1200 I

Re: Power Loss

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:03 am

I wonder.was your battery boiled dry?
No acid will kill the battery too.
If the level was OK just charge a new one up for 24 hours and go.
If the fluid was real low,you might have a overcharge problem.
It would be a good idea to volt test after the new battery is installed.
Expect no more than 14.6 volts at 3500 rpm after 5 minutes of running.

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willboy57
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Re: Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:20 am

It wasn't dry but was low. It was a "cheapo" installed by the PO about 2 1/2 - 3 years ago and I never got around to replacing it with a better battery. Will definitely volt test once the new one is installed.

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Phunnybone
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Re: Power Loss

Postby Phunnybone » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:49 am

Any opinions on the more expensive gel batteries?

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virgilmobile
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78 GL1000
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82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Power Loss

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:18 pm

My opinion?
Yea,generally you get what you pay for regardless of what you buy.
Better=more money.
It's a "is it worth it" situation.
2 years from a $50 battery or 4 years from a $100 battery.

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willboy57
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Re: Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:25 pm

Agreed! I'd rather spend the $$$ up front and not worry about it in general than have to fool with it every couple of years....like now.

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virgilmobile
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78 GL1000
81 GL1100
82 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 I
83 GL1100 standard
84 GL 1200 I

Re: Power Loss

Postby virgilmobile » Fri Jul 13, 2012 12:50 pm

I do suggest that if you leave the bike for longer than a week that it should be hooked to a battery tender to mantain it.Batteried do not last long if left dead.
Tha Admin has a favorite one he likes,I think its the "Battery Tender jr" .Some from Harbor freight don't work well at all.

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WingAdmin
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Re: Power Loss

Postby WingAdmin » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:35 pm

virgilmobile wrote:I do suggest that if you leave the bike for longer than a week that it should be hooked to a battery tender to mantain it.Batteried do not last long if left dead.
Tha Admin has a favorite one he likes,I think its the "Battery Tender jr" .Some from Harbor freight don't work well at all.


I've had the Battery Tender Jr. unit on multiple bikes, lawn mowers, etc. and it just seems to make batteries last forever. Every Harbor Freight "battery maintainer" type device I have ever tried quickly killed the battery so that it would not even take a charge anymore. I guess you get what you pay for.

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willboy57
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Re: Power Loss

Postby willboy57 » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:59 am

Update: replaced the battery and checked connections throughout. Also installed an onboard volt meter, something I had been planning to do for some time. Am running 14v at idle and at 75 mph.

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WingAdmin
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Power Loss

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:17 pm

willboy57 wrote:Update: replaced the battery and checked connections throughout. Also installed an onboard volt meter, something I had been planning to do for some time. Am running 14v at idle and at 75 mph.


Sounds about right!




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