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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I hope I can explain this with proper terminology. I have a 2001 V Star 1100 Custom and last week a few things went, let’s say, badly.

I went camping and it rained a lot over the course of the weekend, when I went to start the bike on Sunday morning it cranked over a couple times then the battery seemed to have died, the cranking got slower and the bike didn’t start. I was able to bump start it down a hill and everything seemed fine except for a weak battery (only a year old).

The next day (Monday) I tried to start the bike and the same thing, low power from the battery, bump started it, went to work. Tuesday, I couldn’t start the bike with the ignition and I couldn’t bump start it either. Wednesday morning (Club Ride Night), I was able to start the bike with a battery charger, went to work, and then to the evening ride without any issues.

At the end of the ride, as we pulled up the to the pub, my headlight flashed and burned out. I pulled the bike into the parking lot, turned it off and grabbed a spare bulb. After putting the bulb in I tried to test it but the bike wouldn’t turn on, there was no power what so ever. I was able to test to see if the battery was toast by using jumpers to the positive and negative cables and the bike started. I will note that my battery was VERY hot. I put in a spare battery and rode home. Once in my workshop I tested the battery to see if it was being overcharged, I thought the regulator was toast (1 year old as well). I switched out the regulator and now the bike turns over some times, but after a couple of cranks it loses power and there is a clicking from under the seat. I realize that the battery could be the culprit in all of this, but I did put it on a trickle charger and the battery does crank the engine, so it seems to have some power left (I am picking up a new battery this afternoon).

If anyone has any suggestions or comments, they would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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(I am picking up a new battery this afternoon).

If anyone has any suggestions or comments, they would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Take 2 trickle charges and call us in the morning. :whistle:

Charge your new battery before installing. Check and clean ALL of the main connection points. Check the main fuse.

Then you will need a meter to check voltages. IF it starts, check the battery voltage while running (charging).
If it does not start, use the meter to see where you lose the voltage.

If you don't know how to use a meter......or where to get one......find a good shop and call them.
If the charging voltage was WAY too high, other things might be damaged too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I put in the fully charged battery and it fired up right away, actually frightened me, i wasn't expecting that. :)

I went for a short ride, and measured the battery voltage throughout. at idle the voltage reads ~14.5, when revving the engine or riding the voltage drops to ~14.0. i thought this was supposed to happen in reverse. Thoughts?
 

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I went for a short ride, and measured the battery voltage throughout. at idle the voltage reads ~14.5, when revving the engine or riding the voltage drops to ~14.0. i thought this was supposed to happen in reverse. Thoughts?
It is not necessary to actually BE RIDING to measure the charging voltage at various RPM points.

Modern regulators cut off earlier than the old ones did but 14.5 is WAY high at idle.....unless your idle speed is set too high.
I don't think your regulator is working right and might be "boiling off" the battery.
13.5 dropping to 13.0 would be more like normal.

Wonder what the readings would be with the OTHER regulator ??

And to eliminate meter reading error, what does the battery read with the bike off for at least an hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The regulator is brand new, I thought that the old one burned the old battery out (voltage reading at idle was 18V), so I replaced it. With the headlight blowing and the battery at the same time I thought for sure it was the regulator. At rest right now the battery is sitting at 13V (it's been a couple hours since I went for the ride). Is there a ground that I have to attach to the regulator? I only connected the large black connector and applied dielectric grease.

Just to note, the new regulator is a Ricks, if that makes a difference.
 

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At rest right now the battery is sitting at 13V (it's been a couple hours since I went for the ride).
OK, so you have about a half volt meter error, probably.....and that gets things back down to an acceptable level.
Modern regulators regulate better and sooner than the old ones.
It is not unusual to see the highest reading at idle.
The improtant part is that the voltage never goes BELOW the resting battery voltage.

You have done good.
It appears that everything is fine now.
Leave it alone.
Keep an eye on the battery water level for a while......if it is not sealed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for your help. I'll keep an eye on the battery, perhaps I'll invest in a higher quality meter, I have a $30 digital Motomaster multimeter at the moment.
 

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Thank you for your help. I'll keep an eye on the battery, perhaps I'll invest in a higher quality meter, I have a $30 digital Motomaster multimeter at the moment.
While it is possible that the resting battery voltage would be 13, it would be VERY unusual.
Might want to check your meter against another one before you replace it.
I've got a $15 one from WalMart that seems pretty accurate.
 
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