Funny - Not Funny Story

Anything goes - doesn't fit any other category!
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Posts: 241
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:22 am
Location: Villa Park, IL
Motorcycle: 2002 Honda Magna VF750
1994 GL1500SE

Funny - Not Funny Story

Post by DougEFresh1123 »

Had a little bit of a frustrating week a couple of weeks ago. It was a hot Tuesday morning, 90 degrees at 0700 hours. Jump on the bike and get about 2/3 of a mile from home and she dies. Not the running out of gas coughing and sputtering dying; just the nice gentle rumple of 1700 rpms to 0 rpms in half the time it takes to blink an eye.

WTF :!: :!: :?: :?: :?:

Look down to see if the gas low fuel light is on, nope. Double check mileage on tank in case fuel light doesn't work, still got about 40 miles til empty. I come to a stop, check the kill switch, still on. Put bike in neutral, double check kill switch, hit the start button and nothing. No sound what so ever. I pull the side cover and check the battery connections, all nice and tight. Turn kill switch off, turn bike off. Turn bike on, turn kill switch on, double check bike in neutral, hit start button and nothing. I mean nothing, no sound what so ever.

Turn on the hazards and only the left blinker is blinking, then a few seconds later the right blinker starts blinking; but wait it gets better the cruise on and cruise set lights start flashing. This is getting weird in a hurry.

Turn the key on, kill switch on, hit the button and nothing; unless you call all the blinking lights going off and not coming back on and the even the clock disappearing. Uh oh this isn't good. Since I haven't installed a voltage meter yet I plugged in the voltage meter/USB charger for the passenger and nothing, I mean a blank readout as if it wasn't even plugged in.

Now the fun really begins, I push the bike about a half mile to my in-laws, of course I have to go about a 1/10 of a mile uphill that climbs about 100 feet. Fun time in the city! (NOT). I Get the bike to my in-laws and try a few more times to get it started and same results. Now I'm starting to run late for work so I head home to take another shower before heading into work. Grab the battery tender and stop at the in-laws to hook it up on the way into the office and the red light is blinking indicating not charging. Not good, but no time to look so I'll check it out on the way home.

After work stop by the in-laws and the tender is still blinking red. Tried to start the bike anyway and nothing. Same results, no sounds what so ever. Leave the bike go home and thought maybe the battery tender is bad. Next morning I grab the other battery tender and swap it out after work (was raining in the morning). This tender is doing the same as the first, blinking red light. WTF! Go home hook the first battery tender up to the other bike and all is good. To many other things going on around the house so the bike stays at the in-laws until Saturday morning.

Saturday morning I head over to the in-laws with my multi-meter, hook it up to the battery and it's reading 11.8 volts. Not a good sign and when I hit the start button the battery drops to 4.5 volts and no sounds. Ok at least now I'm pretty sure the battery is bad, so I push the bike home so I can pull the battery and get a new one. As I'm getting ready to disconnect the battery tender wires I could tell something was wrong with the positive connection to the battery. The wire was wiggling way to much even though all connections were still nice and tight. After taking it off I inspected and discovered the wire had broken at the connection point. Went to the store got a new battery hooked it up and all is well in my motorcycling world.

I guess now is a good time to start looking for a voltage meter I can install.

The old battery was four years old, probably should have just replaced it when I bought the bike. As some of you may recall from my introductory post I had issues starting the bike right after I bought the bike.

Now I know why the battery tender wasn't working.  Wonder how long it was like this.
Now I know why the battery tender wasn't working. Wonder how long it was like this.

'02 Magna VF750
'94 GL1500SE
- Doug

“We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
― Ronald Reagan
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Posts: 454
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:39 pm
Location: Rockport Texas
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500 SE
Previous bikes:
1969 Honda CL90 “bobbed” before it was cool
1981 Yamaha 850 Triple w/Windjammer
1981 GL1100 Interstate
1985 GL1200 LTD
1988 GL1500
1988 GL1500

Re: Funny - Not Funny Story

Post by RockportDave »

Glad you weren’t stranded miles from home and really glad you found the problem.
After my OEM alternator went out, I added a cheap voltage regulator to know if I was losing charge.
1999 GL1500SE 5th Goldwing through the years
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