Battery Draining Clutch???


Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »



I've posted on here before about my battery draining problem. I have a second brand new battery, I leave the bike alone for a few days and when I come back, the battery has drained immensely. This past week, it was too hot to ride, so I left the bike in the garage. When I checked on it this weekend, the voltage was down to 4.6v from the 12.9 it had been a week prior. No lights were on, no radio on, nothing.

Some users recommended I take a voltmeter to the fuse box to try and trace out a leak. I did, and didn't really discover anything useful but while I was down there taking the readings, I did notice something else that I'm curious about.

The bike came with a set of bolts attached to the back end of each handlebar that is supposed to be used for hanging your helmet on. And I have been so using it to hang my helmet on the left-handlebar since I got the bike. What I noticed today was that apparently, when I hang my helmet a specific way, it's activating the clutch handle just a bit maybe up to halfway. I'm wondering if there's something that could be getting activated by this that would cause the battery drain I've been experiencing. It would explain why it didn't exist until a few months after I bought the bike (I didn't start hanging my helmet there right away) and it would explain why the drain isn't completely 100% guaranteed. (there have been times when I've left it for a few days and it's fine) since not always when I hang the helmet there, would it activate the clutch. Now, there isn't a light or anything being triggered but there is a microswitch that I can hear that's going off when the clutch is engaged about 15%. Is there a relay or something that might be getting fed voltage when that happens that would explain the drain on the battery? Or is this just a coincidence that has nothing to do with it? (I'm hoping there's a connection as it would give me an easy solution to the problem)

God bless,

~Mark


User avatar
Rambozo
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by Rambozo »

There are two switches there. One for the start inhibit, and one for the cruise control. However, with the key off, they should have no effect. Obviously something is wrong, but it sounds like it happens often enough that it can be tracked down. Measure the drain on the battery, and pull fuses until it goes away. That will tell you what circuits need to be inspected. Obviously the very first things to check are any aftermarket accessories.
User avatar
4given
Posts: 304
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:19 pm
Location: Danville, PA
Motorcycle: 1996 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by 4given »

When you turn the ignition off do you make sure by removing the key?
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

I do remove the key after turning it off.

When I measured the fuses yesterday, there were only 4 that were getting power with the bike completely shut off. I forgot to take a picture of the fuse panel, but I remember some said "STOP", one said "PARKING" and I believe "TAILLIGHT" was in there. All 4 were measured with 12v going across them while the bike was off. 3 of the 4 were the 15amp blue fuse. One was a red 10amp fuse. I'll get the specifics tonight.

Should none of the fuses have voltage going across them when the bike is off???

God bless,

~Mark
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 22419
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
Contact:

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by WingAdmin »

With the bike turned OFF, start pulling fuses, one at a time. When you pull each fuse, put your multimeter across where the fuse goes. Make sure your multimeter is in current (amperage) mode, to measure the amount of current being drawn through where the fuse is meant to be. That will tell you which of the circuits is drawing power when the bike is shut off, and how much power it's drawing.
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

WingAdmin wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:53 am With the bike turned OFF, start pulling fuses, one at a time. When you pull each fuse, put your multimeter across where the fuse goes. Make sure your multimeter is in current (amperage) mode, to measure the amount of current being drawn through where the fuse is meant to be. That will tell you which of the circuits is drawing power when the bike is shut off, and how much power it's drawing.
Should none of them be pulling power when the bike is off?
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 22419
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
Contact:

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by WingAdmin »

zeoran wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 10:34 am
WingAdmin wrote: Mon Aug 09, 2021 9:53 am With the bike turned OFF, start pulling fuses, one at a time. When you pull each fuse, put your multimeter across where the fuse goes. Make sure your multimeter is in current (amperage) mode, to measure the amount of current being drawn through where the fuse is meant to be. That will tell you which of the circuits is drawing power when the bike is shut off, and how much power it's drawing.
Should none of them be pulling power when the bike is off?
Several of the fuses will have POWER when the bike is off, but fuse 13 (Backup fuse) is the only fuse that should actually have current passing through it when the bike is off. The amount of current should be very small - I don't recall the expected amount, but I believe it was around 5 milliamps. It powers the clock and keeps the memory in the radio and CB while the bike is off.
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

Ok. I was finally able to get out there with a battery that is charged and a DVM that had more than a 2A limit.

I measured every fuse position, both ways (swapping positive & negative) and I didn't register anything from any of the positions. I turned the bike on, then re-tested one of the positions (taillight) and it registered, so I know the DVM was setup correctly and I was doing the testing properly.

What's my next step for trying to figure this out? Whatever is draining the battery was able to take it from 12.9v to 4.6v in a week.

I don't have any 'accessories' on the bike that could be causing the drain. My USB port is tied into the ACC line & I removed the fuse from my heated grips so they don't even have power right now.

God bless,

~Mark
User avatar
Rambozo
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by Rambozo »

Make sure everything is off, then check current draw right at the battery, either positive or negative will work. Report back what number you get. Should be in the low milliamps.
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

I'm certain it won't be in the milliamps...

This will tell me how much is being drawn exactly, but it won't help me find out WHAT is doing the drawing.
User avatar
AZgl1800
Posts: 2869
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: 2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc https://imgur.com/foGDjgv

'02 GL1800 lives in Dawsonville, GA now.
My son is going to enjoy it for many years to come.

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by AZgl1800 »

well,
you could install an Aircraft Master Battery Switch,





that will disconnect the battery from everything, 8-)
minor irritation, all of the memory presets will be lost :( :(
~John

2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

https://i.imgur.com/4SOFPYS.jpg
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

FYI - This is the fuse block that I ran the check on:


User avatar
4given
Posts: 304
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:19 pm
Location: Danville, PA
Motorcycle: 1996 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by 4given »

zeoran wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 1:09 pm I'm certain it won't be in the milliamps...

This will tell me how much is being drawn exactly, but it won't help me find out WHAT is doing the drawing.
If you watch the meter and start pulling fuses you can find out which circuit(s) are bleeding off current when the reading drops.
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

Ok. I ran the tests... I tested right off the main line, tested right off the battery, off the ACC line. And the most that was coming off the bike (when it's off) is 7mA. And that 7mA is going to the LED voltmeter. I've pulled the fuse on the voltmeter before and the battery still drained, so it's not that. (not that 7mA could take a 12.9v battery down to 4.6v in a week)

So how the heck do I figure out what's draining the battery??? This is the 2nd battery I've had. And if it's not measuring with the AMP meter, how can it still exist??? Can it somehow be intermittent? If so, what in the world could be intermittent drain?

God bless,

~Mark
User avatar
Rambozo
Posts: 1168
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:36 pm
Location: Disneyland
Motorcycle: 1992 GL1500 Aspencade
Ducati Monster

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by Rambozo »

Either it's something intermittent, or there is an internal short in the battery. Is this a flooded lead acid or a sealed AGM battery?
Batteries can discharge via acid spilled on the outside of the case as well. Disconnect the battery and see what happens after a week. I know this is your second battery, but it is what it is. Long term testing with a meter that has a min/max feature might find an intermittent drain. Does everything electronic work properly on the bike?
A battery cutoff switch might be the most expedient solution until you can track down the problem.
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

It's a sealed, AGM Yuasa battery.

God bless,

~Mark
User avatar
Andy Cote
Posts: 812
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Windham, ME
Motorcycle: 2015 Goldwing, basic black

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by Andy Cote »

zeoran wrote: Sat Aug 14, 2021 7:02 pm Ok. I ran the tests... I tested right off the main line, tested right off the battery, off the ACC line. And the most that was coming off the bike (when it's off) is 7mA. And that 7mA is going to the LED voltmeter. I've pulled the fuse on the voltmeter before and the battery still drained, so it's not that. (not that 7mA could take a 12.9v battery down to 4.6v in a week)
I had voltmeters on both my GL1500 Goldwing and a Valkyrie. I started with them directly connected (fused) to battery for best reading. If I left either bike for more than a week, they would not start. Moved to ACC terminals and problem went away. The numbers say no but the bike says HELL YEAH!

I think completely disconnecting the battery and checking it a week later may be the next best test.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

Andy Cote wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 5:34 am
zeoran wrote: Sat Aug 14, 2021 7:02 pm Ok. I ran the tests... I tested right off the main line, tested right off the battery, off the ACC line. And the most that was coming off the bike (when it's off) is 7mA. And that 7mA is going to the LED voltmeter. I've pulled the fuse on the voltmeter before and the battery still drained, so it's not that. (not that 7mA could take a 12.9v battery down to 4.6v in a week)
I had voltmeters on both my GL1500 Goldwing and a Valkyrie. I started with them directly connected (fused) to battery for best reading. If I left either bike for more than a week, they would not start. Moved to ACC terminals and problem went away. The numbers say no but the bike says HELL YEAH!

I think completely disconnecting the battery and checking it a week later may be the next best test.
You're right, the numbers don't say it should have any effect. 7mA shouldn't be enough to drain a 12V battery from 12.9v to 4.6v in a week. But the main reason I got the voltmeter was to be able to notice if the alternator died during riding, which would be noticeable just as well if the voltmeter were running off the ACC line. Very strange though....
User avatar
AZgl1800
Posts: 2869
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:46 pm
Location: Lake Oologah Indian Territory USA
Motorcycle: 2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc https://imgur.com/foGDjgv

'02 GL1800 lives in Dawsonville, GA now.
My son is going to enjoy it for many years to come.

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by AZgl1800 »

Andy Cote wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 5:34 am
I had voltmeters on both my GL1500 Goldwing and a Valkyrie. I started with them directly connected (fused) to battery for best reading. If I left either bike for more than a week, they would not start. Moved to ACC terminals and problem went away. The numbers say no but the bike says HELL YEAH!

I think completely disconnecting the battery and checking it a week later may be the next best test.
I did the same thing with my 1800, I wanted to be able to just glance at the bike as I walked by to see if the battery was staying up....

a tiny little voltmeter only pulls a few milliAmps, never measured how many... but it will "be okay"

well, a snow storm and blizzard blew in, and it sat all alone for 5 weeks......

went out to start the bike, and not even a click.

Battery was halfway down, IIRC something like 7 volts???
I swallowed my wallet thinking aw crap, gonna have to get a new battery now.

Nope, it is AGM, plugged the Battery Tender in and left it alone for another week.

Varoom!!! off we go, and that was six years ago.
that battery is still good today, I just started it up to load it into the Haulmark trailer for its' last ride while I own it.

I am giving it to my son to enjoy, at 78 I am realizing that my hips and legs just can't handle this puny little 900 lb machine anymore :|


Look real close, we used a Come Along to drag it into the trailer, no clutch action at all, taking it to a friend for repair and then to my son's house.
~John

2009 Piaggio MP3 250cc

https://i.imgur.com/4SOFPYS.jpg
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

Ok, I moved the LCD DVM to a different spot and wired it into my ACC line and I thought that had finally solved the problem. It didn't.

It was just lasting longer and acting ok because I had put it on the charger overnight.

I've run a full load test on the battery, it checked out OK. I've put a DVM to every fuse on the block and had 0v drawn from everything. I put the DVM on the battery itself and the only load that was showing was the 0.7mA from the LCD DVM which I've moved to the ACC line, so it's not even drawing that anymore.

I am completely out of ideas on what to do here and how to track down this damn problem. As it stood this morning, I couldn't take the bike when I needed it because it wouldn't start. And unless the drain on the battery is intermittent, I don't know why it wouldn't show on any of the other tests I've done.

Anyone else have any ideas on how to track down what's draining the battery? I can't simply put this thing on a tender overnight, and that isn't solving the problem even if I could. This is insanely frustrating...

Anyone know of a good motorcycle mechanic in the Orange County area? All the places I've called so far won't work on a bike this old.

God bless,

~Mark
User avatar
4given
Posts: 304
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:19 pm
Location: Danville, PA
Motorcycle: 1996 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by 4given »

Rambozo wrote: Sat Aug 14, 2021 8:11 pm Either it's something intermittent, or there is an internal short in the battery. Is this a flooded lead acid or a sealed AGM battery?
Batteries can discharge via acid spilled on the outside of the case as well. Disconnect the battery and see what happens after a week. I know this is your second battery, but it is what it is. Long term testing with a meter that has a min/max feature might find an intermittent drain. Does everything electronic work properly on the bike?
A battery cutoff switch might be the most expedient solution until you can track down the problem.
I agree with Rambozo. A battery cutoff that you flip on when you use your beast and flip off immediately upon shut down will tell you if your battery is the problem. I know it’s extra expense and effort but at least you could eliminate the battery. It wouldn’t be the first time a new battery was bad.
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
User avatar
zeoran
Posts: 188
Joined: Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:11 am
Location: Redondo Beach, CA United States
Motorcycle: 1999 GL1500A, 2002 Honda ST1100, 1982 Honda Interstate (sold)

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by zeoran »

Thing is, in this case, it would have to be TWO batteries that were bad. The first battery I had displayed the same issues, which is why I had it replaced. Both are Yusa sealed AGM batteries, good ones.

I've been considering the master cut-off switch and that would definitely resolve the problem, but it would make using the bike more difficult and it doesn't eliminate the problem, just bypass it.

God bless,

~Mark
User avatar
Andy Cote
Posts: 812
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:38 am
Location: Windham, ME
Motorcycle: 2015 Goldwing, basic black

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by Andy Cote »

Andy Cote wrote: Sun Aug 15, 2021 5:34 am
I think completely disconnecting the battery and checking it a week later may be the next best test.
Remove the doubt about the battery.
2015 Goldwing, basic black

Previously: GL1200 standard, GL1200 Interstate, GL1500 Goldwing, GL1500 Valkyrie Standard, 2000 Valkyrie Interstate, many other Hondas
User avatar
4given
Posts: 304
Joined: Fri Jul 17, 2015 6:19 pm
Location: Danville, PA
Motorcycle: 1996 Honda GL1500 Aspencade

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by 4given »

That’s a valid point Mark. I was just suggesting that you go that route until you find someone who can chase down the bleed. It sounds like you use the bike as a commuter and it may be a while before you can find someone who is qualified to do the work. Electrical problems that come and go are the most challenging to find.
“Fight the fight and do what is right“
User avatar
kwthom
Posts: 379
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:36 am
Location: Jaynes Station, AZ
Motorcycle: 2016 GL1800
Contact:

Re: Battery Draining Clutch???

Post by kwthom »

zeoran wrote: Fri Aug 13, 2021 10:05 am <...>What's my next step for trying to figure this out? Whatever is draining the battery was able to take it from 12.9v to 4.6v in a week.
Start by (if you didn't do this...) taking really good notes at the things you have done, in the sequence that you did them.

You have a connection issue - by that, I mean you have a circuit where there shouldn't *be* a circuit. This is why you have that milliamps of current you're measuring.

Did you do what WingAdmin recommended? Check *every* circuit for that 'parasitic' current drain.

Once identified, you'll then need to search wiring diagrams for connectors, splices and other areas that mechanically might be that "circuit where there shouldn't be one".

A good circuit diagram, a good light and patience finds these types of problems. Sadly, there are no short cuts. It's a painful process; I know.

That set of notes you'll take simply ensure you're not duplicating search efforts. Go thru every circuit with that excess current drain.


Effective 09/29/2021, in a self-imposed "social media detox" - focusing on offline social interactions and actions.
Post Reply