URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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zeoran
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URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by zeoran »



My 99 Aspy has been running great in the year that I've owned her. I've used her to make the massive commute from my home to work every day for the past year. I FINALLY got a new apartment that's less than 5 miles from work. I moved in this weekend. I went and got the bike from my old place on Saturday and it was running fine. The battery had to be jumped, which is also strange, but not what this is about.
I went to take her to work this morning and enjoy my new MASSIVELY shorter commute that doesn't even involve a single freeway but she didn't start. At first, it was the same as on Saturday, a dead battery. But I bought a portable jumper just for the bike and I've used it a half dozen times without any problem whatsoever. This time, however, the bike just cranked and cranked and cranked and cranked and cranked. (you get the idea) This went on (with breaks) for about 2 minutes until the battery on the jumper was near dead. At which point the bike actually backfired VERY loudly. (which it's never done before) There were multiple times when it sounded like it was going to start JUST as I let go of the start switch, but pressing it again immediately just went back to cranking. There's 3/4 of a tank of gas in her.

WHAT'S GOING ON WITH MY BABY?????

Btw, with the battery, this is weird. I've had the bike about a year and I bought a brand new battery about a month into owning her. The battery and acid even came separately, which I've been told is better. I have a voltmeter attached to the battery and she's always around 13.7 volts when riding at highway speeds and sitting around 12.4 volts when the bike is off. So nothing is draining the battery when it's off, so I don't know why I need to keep jumping her. The voltmeter will show 12.4 volts and then I go to press the start button and she won't even do a full crank. It's like all voltage and no amperage. But right now, I'm more worried about why she didn't start at all this morning.

HELP!!!!!!??????

God bless,

~Mark


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Rambozo
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by Rambozo »

Check kill switch, check BAS. Measure voltage while cranking.
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offcenter
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by offcenter »

On the 1500, if you don't have a FULLY charged battery, the starter will crank, like yours is doing, but the engine will never start because the starter is using all the available juice and there is not enough left to fire the ignition.
I know. It's happened to me too.
George in Jersey.
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Charlie1Horse
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by Charlie1Horse »

My 92 Interstate did exactly what yours sounds like and mine turned out to be a bad ignition coil. I changed all 3 of them and now is fine. Do the secondary and primary coil tests per service manual and if it shows bad replace all 3 of them. A real PITA for sure.
Russell
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by WingAdmin »

VERY common problem for GL1500's. They take a LOT of current to spin the engine, and if the battery is not 100%, it won't have enough left over to crank the engine AND spark the plugs.

Often you'll know this is the issue because when you let off the starter, the engine is still spinning from momentum, and because you've removed the starter load, the plugs start to spark.

And if you've been cranking a long time and filled your exhaust with unburned fuel in the process...you will hear an almighty BOOM as it lights all that off!

Some batteries, when they are really getting weak, take a few seconds to recover from a heavy load (like a starter), and by the time they've recovered enough to spark the plugs, the engine is no longer spinning fast enough (or at all).

Get yourself a new AGM battery and I suspect your problem will be solved. I've been using this MotoBatt for several years now with great success.
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zeoran
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by zeoran »

Ok. I charged the battery overnight (with a REALLY long extension cord) and the bike started the next morning. And I learned a huge lesson. I thought anything over 12v on my meter meant the battery was fine.

Even though this is a new High Performance Yuasa AGM battery from Revzilla in March of 2020.
https://www.revzilla.com/motorcycle/yua ... _id=937732

Shouldn't it still be holding a charge properly? It got decent reviews on Revzilla. I'm just confused as to why a brand new battery from a respected seller with good reviews has gone bad so quickly. When I look at the voltmeter at speed, it's up at 13.8/13.9 which I've read and been told is where it should be, so my charging system seems to be doing its job. I have all LED lights now, so nothing's pulling a big draw on the battery.

Should I try to get a warranty replacement? Or should I just go with another new battery?

God bless,

~Mark
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by FM-USA »

Our Wings sure can be finicky! :roll:
Days when it's dry they crank right up, add a little moisture in the air and it takes longer cranking before it starts. I'm 1.25 miles from Lake Michigan and the moisture is always variable and there are times it takes 10-20 seconds B4 it finally catches.
The one thing my Wing wants is (I learned dozen years ago) was no choke and crank for 3-5 seconds then slowly let off the start button. Sometimes it starts right up other times on the second attempt. If it's really finicky I'll do the usual crank then add full choke then split second later let off the starter. So far this has worked well but add colder temps (I ride all year) and all that goes out the window, it's full choke and start.
Another thing I tried, pushing the start button in & out on different directions. Sometimes it seems to help but I've never dissect the switch so not sure if that is doing anything. Maybe others can post their experiences.

Few years ago it got well below zero (-21*F) and to be sure the antifreeze didn't freeze I covered the bike with a large paint tarp and not let it touch the floor. Then I added a hair dryer under the oil pan on low. Propped it so it would blow across the floor and not allow it to move, letting the heat rise on it's own. If the hair dryer had any issues, no sparks would fly up into the bike, just across the floor. That heat got captured under that tarp keeping the bike reasonably warm and dry.
In the morning I went to start it at -19*F, V-ROOOM! . . . HOO-AHH!!! Roads were dry so I went for a 1/2 day ride. Cage'rs were BUG-EYED seeing me out riding. One young'n took my pix in Wisconsin while doing 50 on 50. I gave him a thumbs up.

Maybe you have moisture issues too?

.

.
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MikeB
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by MikeB »

I copied this from a Revzilla site: https://www.revzilla.com/common-tread/h ... le-battery

Even though you are testing a 12-volt battery, you should know that a battery that is truly 12.0 volts is a boat anchor. The following table shows how battery voltage corresponds with state of charge at 80 degrees F:

Voltage State of Charge/What to do

12.73 or better 100 percent. Go ride.
12.62 90 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
12.50 80 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
12.32 70 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
12.20 60 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
12.06 50 percent. Charge it, then go ride.
11.90 40 percent. Try charging it, but it might be toast.
11.75 30 percent. Try charging it, but it might be toast.
11.58 20 percent. Battery has converted to doorstop.
11.31 10 percent. Battery has morphed into boat anchor.
10.50 No meaningful charge. Check to see if battery has been replaced with rock.

Check out the web site link above for more in depth information.

One more thing, an onboard LED volt meter can draw up to 35 mA so it does have the ability to draw the battery down in a week or two.
35 mA draw for 24 hours is 840 mA. That will draw down a 20 Amp battery to zero in under 24 days.
An LCD voltmeter has much less draw.
MikeB
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by bri720a »

You can always take the battery in to an auto parts store and have it load tested, it can let you know of a cell is going bad.

If you have a usb port (cell phone charger) that is direct wired will also draw power. I have had that run down a battery over the course of 2 weeks enough to not turn the bike over.
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WingAdmin
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by WingAdmin »

I had a Yuasa AGM battery in my GL1500 for 7 or 8 years with no complaints. Unless yours has been abused, it should definitely be running fine.

I would highly recommend keeping it on a battery tender to offset the continual draw of clock and memory when the bike is shut off.
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WingAdmin
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by WingAdmin »

Hmm, according to Amazon, I've bought quite a few of these over the years. I must like them! :)

Amazon page
Amazon page

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zeoran
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Re: URGENT: Bike SUDDENLY won't start???????!!!!!!!!

Post by zeoran »

Yuasa is being nice enough to send me a replacement battery.

Unfortunately, as previously stated, I don't have electricity in my garage, so a battery tender (of any kind) is out of the question. (unless it IS a battery)

The LCD voltmeter I have is just some cheap display I got off Wish.com, but I don't think there's any chance it could drain the battery in only 2 days. Same with my USB port. I installed a USB accessory port, but it's only active when the keys' on and I don't have anything plugged into it 95% of the time.

Hopefully, the new battery will solve all the problems. With our warm temperatures here in Southern California, I don't have to worry about "cold" weather affecting it.

God bless,

~Mark


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