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Thread: Electrical issue - ground?

  1. #1
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    Electrical issue - ground?

    Hi all, sorry for my first post to be a "problem" post. I recently picked up a 2009 XB12R, a bike I've always wanted. Immediately had to put on a rotor, went with the EBR 5mm and hardware, and EBC HH pads.

    Bike is bone stock black and red, I love it. Sat for 5 years. Had a few hiccups and cel, but only the first hundred miles. I have about 600 miles on it and been loving it, but get the occasional cel while riding. Maybe 5 seconds, then off. No codes stored.

    Today, every time I start it, very slow to crank resets clock and trip.

    I figured a bad ground, cleaned, tightened, and dielectric greased the ground bolt in the neck, the battery connections, the frame tie braided cable, and the ground to frame just off the negative battery terminal. I also wrapped the braided cable under the airbox in electrical tape.

    Battery is showing 13.6v across the terminals ignition off and 12.4ish at any rpm from idle to 4k.

    Did I miss a ground? Any ideas? I like to ride far from home and this is making me a little nervous. Most of my rides are at least 50 miles and I ride it pretty good.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    With the bike having sat for 5 years and now behaving as described, I would have your battery professionally load tested at shop that specializes in motorcycle batteries. You can have a meter show plenty of voltage with no load, only for it to tank when the starter button is pressed and a load created. It sounds like you are on the right track, but it never hurts to make sure your foundation(battery) is sound before chasing symptoms.

    I would go deeper into detail, but the forum members seem to get upset when I help out. God forbid I correct or ask for clarification of someone's misuse of terminology.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Hey Cincykz: Welcome to the forum!

    Thanks for the descriptive post. It really helps us... help you I think you listed the voltages backwards lol, but thats OK. Seems like the charging system is fine

    Because the clock is re-setting tells me that your battery is losing too much voltage when trying to start the bike, and frankly a weak battery would be expected having sat for so long.

    I haven't had much luck having motorcycle batteries tested with the new digital 'simulated load' type testers that give a false positive. I would feel confident in buying a new battery with the symptoms you provided.
    You will need a Gel type battery with a minimum of 220CCA. DEKA is a good brand and made in the USA. The 200CCA Wal-mart ones won't do the job. Be careful the terminals are on the correct sides of the battery!
    If you want to spend the $$ for a good brand Li-ion battery, I like the on in my XB a lot

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    Thanks for the helpful responses folks. Cooter, I do believe I reported the voltages correctly, more key off, and middling 12s key on with no correspondence to rpm.

    I did put a few start/stop cycles on it and about 75 miles, and it has since held the trip and clock, and seemed to start ok too. Is it normal for these bikes to hesitate for an instant when you push the starter, then start vigorously, say a half second later?

    I would like to splurge on a high quality lightweight battery, I just want to ensure that my charging system is sound before I fry an expensive new battery.

    Thanks again, this seems like a great forum.

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    Additionally, the battery appears new, and po claimed to have replaced it, but it does appear cheap, I'm not sure of its CCA.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cincykz View Post
    Battery is showing 13.6v across the terminals ignition off and 12.4ish at any rpm from idle to 4k.
    You sure? If you meant 12.4 ign off, and 13.6 running, then your charging system and battery test fine.

    Li-ion batteries like much higher charging voltages if possible, but mine also charges high 13's and I haven't had a problem.
    Last edited by Cooter; 05-23-2020 at 04:45 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    If it's starting and holding the clock memory now, the battery is probably barely OK, but should last awhile longer. Your budget will dictate how long you can wait

    The stall before starting is the weak battery fighting the heavy crank and super high compression all at once. Try the Ol' Buell Bump (tm). Tap the start button, then immediately press and hold it.

    What you are doing is getting the crank to rotate to compression, bounce back, then hit it with the starter again to overcome the pressure. Once it has some momentum over that first hump, it will continue to crank fine.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cincykz View Post
    Additionally, the battery appears new, and po claimed to have replaced it, but it does appear cheap, I'm not sure of its CCA.
    Can you Google the brand and part number?

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    I sure can, but will be in work until tomorrow night. I found the lower voltage when running puzzling as well. Monday AM I will research the battery and redo the running and off voltage test, as the numbers were the opposite of what I would expect.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Re-test for sure. 13.6VDC at rest is impossible, but totally fine for a charging/ running voltage.



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