Is it battery or regulator...or normal


Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
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wilmo
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2005 Yamaha Majesty 400

Is it battery or regulator...or normal

Postby wilmo » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:41 pm



I just recently put the bikes down for the winter :( . But prior to that, on the last day of riding for the season I again had some electrical issues, specifically power to start/run the bike.
I'll set this up by saying that it did sit in the driveway for 1 1/2 weeks before starting it up. I also have an aftermarket stereo in it that will also pull a few mA when off, just like the clock does.
Anyway, it did start in the driveway but when I got to the store about 3 miles away, it didn't start when I was leaving. Got it push started and made it home.
Now, again, recently, I had this same issue and checked the stator output and found that out of the stator, all tests passed. I mean 70v rms between any two legs, :lol: infinity between any leg to ground and the lowest my meter can measure, 2 ohms between any two legs.
Rewired it using solder. While I'm doing this, the battery is on a charger.
I should mention that before I did this I checked the voltage at the battery while running. At that time at 3200 rpm, I get 13.3 V. Turn off the LED driving lights and dim the headlight-13.97 V.
Connected the bike to battery, started up and remeasured with all accessories on and bright headlight-14.89 V. This is normal.
Here is where my question is: while running the rpm's up and down, the voltage followed it, always peaking out at 3200 rpm where there was no change in voltage going past that point. That's probably normal too but.... When I allowed it to drop to idle, voltage at 12.25V. Rpm too low for stator to have output. Bring it back up to 3200 rpm and it takes about 4 seconds for the voltage output to come back up to almost 15V.
That is my question, should there be this delay? it is also true for rpm's below 3200 I get an increase in voltage but after coming off of idle, there is this 4 second wait. Once it's there it doesn't stop charging as long as I don't go to idle. Idle by the way is around 800 rpm. When it comes back on, it's fairly quick to get there, just this delay-Is this normal?

I did have the battery checked out twice in the last year and both times it came back good, the battery was installed in the bike in March 2011 and is a gel mat type. Even though it tests out ok on the bench, aren't these batteries only good for about 3 years?
So what do you think? Like I said, it's either the battery or the regulator. The delay would be the regulator but if I leave that battery sit in the bike for 2 weeks, it's too weak to start the bike without a charge first. Used to not be that way...



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WingAdmin
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Re: Is it battery or regulator...or normal

Postby WingAdmin » Fri Nov 06, 2015 9:56 am

Everything you said sounds totally normal to me.

Your battery may well have had enough power to start the bike, but it takes a tremendous amount of current from the battery to crank and start the bike - and you were doing so after 1 1/2 weeks of sitting with parasite draw, so you were nowhere near 100% to start with. It can take 30 minutes or more of riding at 3,000 rpm or more to recover the charge used up by starting the bike.

As you've discovered, the stator puts out voltage that varies with engine RPM. When the engine is below 1500-200 RPM, the stator does not put out enough voltage to actually charge the battery - and in fact, it does not put out enough power to run the bike (headlight, ignition, etc). In this case, the bike is actually running OFF the battery. So if you were riding in traffic where you spent time with your engine at or near idle, you were actually drawing down your battery even more.

When you rev the engine up to 3,000 RPM, it begins charging the battery. At first, the battery presents a significant load as it begins to charge back up after having been drawn down. This pulls the bus voltage down. As the battery charges, the voltage will gradually climb back up.

My best suggestion for you is to buy a Battery Tender, and leave it connected when your bike is just sitting. This will keep your battery at 100% capacity at all times, and by doing so will extend the life of your battery by years (lead-acid batteries like to be kept at 100% capacity).

So it sounds like you started with a low(ish) battery, started the bike which made it lower, then rode only 3 miles to the store, which likely had time spent idling at stoplights etc - which presented even more load to the battery. When you came back out, the bike no longer had enough power left in the battery to start it.

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wilmo
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:53 pm
Location: Ogden, Utah
Motorcycle: 1994 Goldwing SE Blue-the fastest color
2005 Yamaha Majesty 400

Re: Is it battery or regulator...or normal

Postby wilmo » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:51 pm

This is the information I was looking for. I'm going to have to figure this out next year. I don't have a garage to park in so a battery tender is kinda out-significant modification to my property to supply power for a tender. Right now my solution is to ride it more but I have two bikes and that makes it hard sometimes to ride both. The smaller bike is more appropriate for local and short rides so I save the wing for the long hauls.
It just seems that up until lately, the battery wasn't affected by sitting for that long or even longer, it always just ran-always. Even though the load tests on the battery come back good, I can't help but feel that after 4 1/2 years the battery just isn't as strong as it used to be. But I understand what you're getting at and it's good to know the bike itself is ok but battery is still suspect to me.
For the season, all batteries are in the house and get once a month trickle charges overnight to keep them up.

jdvorchak
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1984 GL1200 STD

Re: Is it battery or regulator...or normal

Postby jdvorchak » Sun Nov 08, 2015 11:18 am

Just a suggestion and I've never used one but have you thought about a solar powered trickle charger?
Perhaps one from Harbor Freight?

http://www.harborfreight.com/15-watt-so ... 68692.html

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wilmo
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed May 02, 2012 10:53 pm
Location: Ogden, Utah
Motorcycle: 1994 Goldwing SE Blue-the fastest color
2005 Yamaha Majesty 400

Re: Is it battery or regulator...or normal

Postby wilmo » Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:16 pm

I didn't know they had one. I do know the conventional one they have is potentially damaging to the battery as if left on like a true battery tender, it doesn't actually shut off when the battery reaches full potential. I'll have to look into this one. Right away my concern would be that once the sun goes down does it allow reverse flow back into the charger thus discharging the battery all night long, negating anything positive it has done. Have you tried it? Reading the reviews on this, it seems they are wired wrong from the factory and don't allow more than 10.5 volts in full sun until you clip the wire to the LED. but then you get upwards of 22v which is way too much. I'm not sure this particular one is the answer but from a better manufacturer it can be a solution.

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 17050
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: Is it battery or regulator...or normal

Postby WingAdmin » Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:05 pm

jdvorchak wrote:Just a suggestion and I've never used one but have you thought about a solar powered trickle charger?
Perhaps one from Harbor Freight?

http://www.harborfreight.com/15-watt-so ... 68692.html


I would not put any trickle charger on a bike battery, and especially a Harbor Freight charger. I have had one of their "trickle chargers" destroy a bike battery in a matter of hours.

Battery Tender has a solar-powered version of their excellent intelligent battery maintainer that I would trust:

http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender-02 ... ingdocs-20


jdvorchak
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:58 pm
Location: East Alton, IL
Motorcycle: 2001 GL1800
2000 HD Dyna FXDX
1984 GL1200 STD

Re: Is it battery or regulator...or normal

Postby jdvorchak » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:57 pm

I didn't know Battery Tender had a solar unit. When I posted the link for the HF charger I was merely using it as a possible suggestion. I did not endorse the HF unit nor would I endorse it. I would however suggest the Battery Tender model. I've used their products and am pleased with the results.




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