Short - killing battery everytime!?

Information and questions on GL1200 Goldwings (1984-1987)
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:06 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 Aspencade GL1200

Short - killing battery everytime!?

Post by 84goldwng » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:53 pm

Re: 1984 Honda GL 1200 Aspencade

Hello everyone.

I am new to motorcycles and the forum. I actually am storing my father in-laws motorcycle and he's had a problem with it.

The Problem:

No matter if the battery is put on the charger 2A trickle, it is dead! Meaning something is draining this battery even with the charger on! The battery was new...LOL! Now, a paper weight!

It did fire up last year no problem, every 10 days I went out to start as requested to keep the brakes up and the fluid in the clutch??? Sorry, I do not know a thing on any motorcycle! But, I am here to learn and try to help him pin point the problem to address it...he's in the US I am in Canada yadda yadda....

So far, I've read that it might be something running to the starter as there can be a drain on the battery because the ignition switch does not have to be turned on. So, is this a solenoid wire (Black)?

I've checked out this 3 Yellow wire issue that people mention too but the connectors are not melted where they are located, so I am wondering if there is a short between the battery and starter?

If anyone has a photos/info on this issue to help me test with a volt/ohm meter, I'd appreciate it. Otherwise, he said he would just get another battery and get me to start it every 10 days, then pull the negative wire off the battery so it does not die like his last "New - Walmart" battery!!!

The battery is a: 50N18L-A2 (Walmart brand number), it's dead - froze and the cells ran dry as I did not know it was not a self maintaining one!

Thanks in advance to all who can help with the "drain" that is causing the battery to "die out" if left hooked up!

Lethbridge, AB

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:50 am
Location: Hermiston, OR
Motorcycle: 1985 Goldwing LTD

Re: Short - killing battery everytime!?

Post by bigbadjim » Mon Sep 19, 2011 9:39 am

Hi Keith-

First thing I would do is get a volt ohm meter and check the amps draw with the key off. And see if it is pulling anything.
There should be no amps coming out unless you've got a clock or something then there should be only a very minimal amps draw less than .5 amp- probably less than that. If more you will have to start unplugging things and see what happens (one at a time).

To do an amps draw check, set meter to amps, take off the positive cable, then touch one probe on the positive post of the battery and one on the positive clamp. If you've got the alligator clips for the meter this makes it easier. They also make amp meter that can be clamped around the wire as well.

User avatar
Site Admin
Posts: 18869
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: Short - killing battery everytime!?

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:12 am

I'd start with the ammeter as suggested, with all the fuses removed. Then start putting fuses back in, one by one, to see which one draws current. That will give you a start of where to look.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:06 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 Aspencade GL1200

Re: Short - killing battery everytime!?

Post by 84goldwng » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:11 pm

Thanks for the reply.

Do you know which fuses to pull exactly? I know or see there is one for a 30A but I am not sure where the others are. I actually do not have a repair manual or even worked on any motorcycle. I was wondering if it was even a radio that someone installed for him way back. But, reading some forums they discussed how the draw or current can come from this area where the "3 yellow wires are" but again no melting has occured nor is there any sign of burning wires. The draw is such that the battery still dies out when a trickle charger is on it!

I haven't a good library in town where I am from, they don't have a Clymer issue that will cover his GL 1200. The only info. I was able to find so far is a parts list, which shows me what the parts look like but not what to take apart to get at the voltage regulator etc. The seat is missing a bolt so that area I can lift but there must be a bolt somewhere that I cannot see to loosen to be able to lift his seat up...this is from the clutch side of the bike or battery side.

I really do apologize, this is pretty much the very first time looking at any motorcycle, but I can test those fuse/fusable links once I know exactly where they are.

Further, I noticed or wonder if the regulator is located on the positive wire side, there is some small-round encasement (bit greasy) just under the center part of the front seat! I will try to keep my questions detailed to the best of my ability.

So, in a nut shell; no burnt wires, and need to find the locations and how many fuse links I need to test.

Thanks for the help.

Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:06 pm
Location: Canada
Motorcycle: 1984 Aspencade GL1200

Re: Short - killing battery everytime!?

Post by 84goldwng » Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:21 pm

Hi again, sorry I thought there was only one reply and saw the second and not the first. I think I understand the method with taking the positive wire off and putting the amp meter in series - between the positive post and then the positive wire to complete the circuit correct?! Forgive me, it's been over 20 years since my last use of a meter! LOL Time flys for sure!

And disconnect one thing at a time and keeping each one connection off? Or do I reconnect once it does not show a draw, then disconnect somewhere else for each step?!

I would have to go and get him a battery for sure, the Walmart one is toast, I think it froze and I know I saw a completely dried out cell when I put distilled water back in. Basically, this new battery lasted one month before the bike would not turn over ever again, and I think the trickle charger dried out the one cell. I hope to get his a maintenance free batter then and wonder those style of batteries they don't dry out do they?!

Okay, I will attempt this in a short time once I get a correct battery I notice they put a "Y" in front of the 50N18 number, but Walmart has it start with "50N18..."

Thanks guys for the explanations I will attempt to gain some experience (first on a motorcycle) on this situation.

Post Reply