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Thread: XB12R trouble starting Intermittently

  1. #1
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    Angry XB12R trouble starting Intermittently

    Hi all, new to the forum. I started riding about 4 months ago, scored a once in a lifetime deal when I found an 09 Lightning CityX with only 150 miles for less than 5k. 3 months into riding, an old lady decided to take me out and pulled out in front of me, I went flying and luckily only got some road rash. But the bike was not so lucky and got totaled. So I then found an 09 XB12R with 12k miles on it. The bike has an aftermarket exhaust, Voodoo is the brand according to the PO. It rode rough but okay for the first few days, then started having problem starting the bike, usually took about 3-4 pushes of the button to get it going, check engine light comes on every few starts, goes away after restart. Performance improved slightly after I had my spark plugs changed over the weekend hoping to get a smoother ride and easier start. Then couple nights ago, it refused to start altogether. The symptoms are as followed: turn key on, flip start switch, neutral and oil pressure light come on, but dimmed down after flipping the switch, no check engine light, no fuel pump priming noise, no start. So I charged the battery overnight, put it in, first couple trys with no luck, with symptoms as the night before, then after 3 times(key on, flip switch), CEL lit up for the first time, and started to crank, it took much longer than before to turn it over, but it did start, rode around the block and all lights dimmed down when revved up, lots of popping noise from the muffler that wasn't there before, parked it, and no start again.. Battery seems to be fine when tested with multimeter. Also, I noticed oil seeping out of the oil filler cap. Any idea is welcomed and appreciated.
    Last edited by chekioxb; 09-25-2015 at 03:16 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member GregoXB's Avatar
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    Honestly it can be a number of things.

    I would start with the battery. It might test ok with multimeter but still can be bad.

    Then I would then shift my attention to the ECM. A bad ECM can do all of the things you described, including murder your battery.

    If those two things check out, then I would start narrowing it down.
    Last edited by GregoXB; 09-25-2015 at 04:58 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mrlogix's Avatar
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    Lunatic would be the best one to lead you to your culprit. Kind of sounds to me like your out of time some how. Maybe crank position sensor, don't know. Thrstrmech would be another good one off the top of my head for help, but he got rid of his Buell and only stops in every once in a while.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Chicknstripn's Avatar
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    Have you battery tested. Sounds like it's not performing the way it should under load.
    Once you determine that the battery is good to go, start checking all your ground connections. There's one next to the battery(for the negative lead) that corrodes and causes issues. There's also one at the front of the steering stem directly under the dash, behind the headlights. You'll see two ground connections there. If those are loose or corroded you'll have starting issues.
    Also check that your ignition isn't the culprit. Put everythin in the run position and wiggle the crap out of the wires at the bottom of the ignition. If the wires are good to go there should be no changes in lights or whatever.
    Go to Buellmods.com and download a copy of your service manual. Also look into downloading ECMspy and buying a cable. Great tool for diagnostic trouble shooting.
    Check all the easy stuff that doesn't cost you anymore than time.
    And check your fluid levels. There's no reason you should have oil seeping from the dipstick/filler area. If your levels are all good check that you don't have a kinked oil line somewhere.
    I know it's already been stated but your issues could be a number of things. Make yourself a check list and start with the easiest stuff first.
    Report back your findings.
    Good luck

  5. #5
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    back to basics: the CEL light is randomly activating and then extinguishing due to low voltage output from charging system....or faulty battery.....or connections. what this is telling you is that the ECM is seeing a big drop in voltage thru the bike's systems, triggers CEL, voltage returns to norms, CEL extinguishes. look at your post mid-paragraph: turn ignition switch to on and all seems fine.....turn red run switch to on and lights dim and problems commence. stop right there. that is the precursor to all your other problems. it's low voltage.

  6. #6
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    additionally....you mentioned it's a 2009 model. with bike on sidestand look at front of bike at the front cylinder area. see the black finned box there the size of a pack of marlboros? that's your voltage regulator. look at the harness coming out of it. on your 2009 it should go to the right when looking at front of bike and tuck in between the left frame cavity and factory engine cooling scoop and be affixed to said scoop. it has 2 plugs. check them carefully for cleanliness, tightness, free of corrosion. faulty or loose plugs will also cause your symptoms.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all your suggestions. Sorry it took me so long to reply. It turned out to be the battery connection... I'm not proud.



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