DEAD dead dead


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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rbstirl
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Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:21 pm
Location: Chilliwack, BC, Canada
Motorcycle: 1990 GL1500A

DEAD dead dead

Post by rbstirl »



Went to start my 1990 wing---- Lights came on, touched starter switch and everything went out
Checked battery, removed ,cleaned terminals STILL NOTHING
Suspecting ignition switch, am I on the right track?


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MikeB
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Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by MikeB »

Check the battery again. With the battery installed and connected, put your meter probes on the positive and negative battery terminals.
Read the voltage.
Turn the ignition on and check the voltage.
While monitoring the voltage, press the starter button. What is the battery voltage?
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
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thebruce
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Location: Boundary Country, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1991 GL1500SE Anniversary Edition #54

Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by thebruce »

Your description reminds me of a flaky connection at the battery or at the main power or ground points on the bike.

The battery is fully charged and didn't freeze over winter?

A fully charged battery is usually 12.6v at minimum, easy to check with a multimeter. This won't guarantee a good battery but is a quick check.

Maybe verify the main fuse under the cover just in front of the battery is intact.

There is also a long list of relays to check, a lot of threads similar to this one will pop up in a search.
It doesn't matter what you ride, as long as you have your knees to the breeze.
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WingAdmin
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Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by WingAdmin »

Check the tightness of the battery cables, also give the battery cables a wiggle and see if the bike comes back to life.
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4given
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Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by 4given »

WingAdmin wrote: Sun Mar 28, 2021 9:25 pm Check the tightness of the battery cables, also give the battery cables a wiggle and see if the bike comes back to life.
I just went through this very same scenario. Hit starter, heard a click, lights went out and meter showed 5.5 v. I started checking connections and everything seemed tight. I thought my 5 year old Napa Legend agm bit the dust and ordered a Motobatt. I had decided the Motobatt was going to be my next battery anyway since Wingadmin was having good success with his. As I was removing the Napa I noticed the ground wire had some surface rust on the inside. I cleaned the ground and everything else while I was at it and, out of curiosity, reinstalled the the old Napa. You guessed it. The battery showed 12.7 v and the bike fired right up. So now I have a very healthy 5 year old Napa agm and a brand new Motobatt that showed 13.01 v right out of the box.
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
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Viking
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Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by Viking »

4given wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:56 am I just went through this very same scenario. Hit starter, heard a click, lights went out and meter showed 5.5 v. I started checking connections and everything seemed tight. I thought my 5 year old Napa Legend agm bit the dust and ordered a Motobatt. I had decided the Motobatt was going to be my next battery anyway since Wingadmin was having good success with his. As I was removing the Napa I noticed the ground wire had some surface rust on the inside. I cleaned the ground and everything else while I was at it and, out of curiosity, reinstalled the the old Napa. You guessed it. The battery showed 12.7 v and the bike fired right up. So now I have a very healthy 5 year old Napa agm and a brand new Motobatt that showed 13.01 v right out of the box.
If that was me, I would just go ahead and put the Motobatt in the bike, so as to not experience a catastrophic failure on the highway with that five year old Napa. But as I said - if that was me.
It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey

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WingAdmin
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Posts: 22300
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Location: Strongsville, OH
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1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
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1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by WingAdmin »

The clue is in the failure mode. A poor connection (corrosion, loose connection, etc) will often allow a limited amount of current to flow - enough to light up the headlight and accessories. The instant you hit the starter, you draw about 10 times the current from the battery that is drawn with just accessories. This causes the poor connection to heat up and any corrosion etc. instantly oxidizes - and the previously poor connection opens completely - the bike goes dead.

So most often, if everything seems normal until you hit the starter, at which point everything DIES, is due to a bad connection or corrosion somewhere.
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4given
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Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by 4given »

Viking wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 7:08 am
4given wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 6:56 am I just went through this very same scenario. Hit starter, heard a click, lights went out and meter showed 5.5 v. I started checking connections and everything seemed tight. I thought my 5 year old Napa Legend agm bit the dust and ordered a Motobatt. I had decided the Motobatt was going to be my next battery anyway since Wingadmin was having good success with his. As I was removing the Napa I noticed the ground wire had some surface rust on the inside. I cleaned the ground and everything else while I was at it and, out of curiosity, reinstalled the the old Napa. You guessed it. The battery showed 12.7 v and the bike fired right up. So now I have a very healthy 5 year old Napa agm and a brand new Motobatt that showed 13.01 v right out of the box.
If that was me, I would just go ahead and put the Motobatt in the bike, so as to not experience a catastrophic failure on the highway with that five year old Napa. But as I said - if that was me.
I did just that Viking. I have plans for the old battery around the house as it still has plenty of power left. I found out it will start my 115 mercury motor on my fishing boat. And that Motobatt is pretty impressive. Hopefully I will have the same longevity success as some of the other members on here.
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
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4given
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Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by 4given »

WingAdmin wrote: Mon Mar 29, 2021 8:51 am The clue is in the failure mode. A poor connection (corrosion, loose connection, etc) will often allow a limited amount of current to flow - enough to light up the headlight and accessories. The instant you hit the starter, you draw about 10 times the current from the battery that is drawn with just accessories. This causes the poor connection to heat up and any corrosion etc. instantly oxidizes - and the previously poor connection opens completely - the bike goes dead.

So most often, if everything seems normal until you hit the starter, at which point everything DIES, is due to a bad connection or corrosion somewhere.
Lesson learned, as usual you get a thumbs up. I jumped the gun and didn’t inspect closer. I hope rbstirl has the same solution. BEFORE he buys a new battery. ;)
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
the_big_h
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Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by the_big_h »

Just one more point: It's possible for the bad connection to be INSIDE the battery.
I've got a now-useless batttery, charges just fine, stays at 12.6 volts, will run a light or two, but gives up completely when trying to crank an engine.
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MikeB
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Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by MikeB »

the_big_h wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:02 pm Just one more point: It's possible for the bad connection to be INSIDE the battery.
I've got a now-useless batttery, charges just fine, stays at 12.6 volts, will run a light or two, but gives up completely when trying to crank an engine.
Exactly, that is why I said:

Read the voltage.
Turn the ignition on and check the voltage.
While monitoring the voltage, press the starter button. What is the battery voltage?

If the battery is bad, you will see it with this test.
MikeB
1998 - GL1500 w/184,500 miles ~ 2017 - GL1800 w/13000 miles
USAF Avionics Communications Tech - 1968 - 1986 / Flight Engineer C-130E - C-141B - 1986 - 1992. Retired
Industrial Maintenance Tech - 1992 - 2014
Retired in Tacoma, WA
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WingAdmin
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Posts: 22300
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (sold)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2012 Suzuki Burgman 400 (wife's!)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: DEAD dead dead

Post by WingAdmin »

the_big_h wrote: Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:02 pm Just one more point: It's possible for the bad connection to be INSIDE the battery.
I've got a now-useless batttery, charges just fine, stays at 12.6 volts, will run a light or two, but gives up completely when trying to crank an engine.
That type of behavior usually indicates massive sulfation of the plates inside the battery. It will produce the rated voltage, but only at very small current draws. Pulling any kind of current causes the voltage to plummet.

Actual bad connections inside a battery tend to be all or nothing.


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