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Thread: Charging system issues

  1. #1
    Senior Member rb70383's Avatar
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    Charging system issues

    Started having a charging issue. While riding a charging error would intermittently show up. By the time I would stop, and get to the diag menu it would clear. Did some testing and found a bad VR. 2 diodes failing. After getting raped by LAP I has a new VR. Taking the old VR off I noticed the heat compound was not all over the mounting area. Applied a slightly thicker layer of heat compound and not luck. Only transfer is around the flanges and a corner of the housing. VR seems to have a slight concave bottom, preventing the VR from touching the heat sink.
    Sanded the bottom of the VR till it was mostly flat. A question I do have is, would removing the black coating under the VR be worth it? I can see the black helping to hinder heat transfer. Debating if I should sand the VR mounting area to bare metal. I'm wondering if that fact may have helped the VR die early!?

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    More cooling is good but I haven't heard of any EBR charging issues. I'd consider it an anomaly* and re-install to factory spec. In fact, I had a long conversation with an engineer at EBR regarding a draw I had (when mine was new in 2014) and he went long lengths to tell me they worked VERY hard to eliminate any draw or charging issues, considering the beating they took on the 2009 1125's.

    *If you're keeping your battery topped off with a QUALITY charger, or using it regularly, you're all good. If you're abusing the charging system, who knows. Remember ANY motorcycle charging system (and most cars) are NOT meant to charge a battery from depletion. Excessive heat and burned VR diodes will happen when treated like that. For example, if it's sitting long enough to barely start (or need a jump to start) then you go right for a rip down the highway that stator and VR will get red hot trying to run the bike and fill an empty battery.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rb70383's Avatar
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    Battery is on a tender when it sits. Removed from the bike and brought in out of the cold garage. I tested the VR and it did show bad diodes. New one from liquid rape, tested good. Bike had steady voltage. Within 9 miles the battery light came back on and again the voltage is not constant bounces from 11-14. Per meter and on board diag. So 2 VRs are dead. Tested the stator, seems to be good. No shorts to ground, all coils have ~= ohms. At about 5K i believe I saw ~50VAC. Same voltage for all 3 coils. These are simple systems but I must be missing something. Stator tests fine and the VR tested fine before. IIRC the battery voltage was around 14.2 when it was operating properly.

    I havent any specs on what the stator should put out, but I do believe its good as all 3 coils produced same voltage. I'm easily confused when simple things dont work.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
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    Bob: I'm assuming this is an 1125 Rotax model, as per the "diagnostics menu" you mentioned? Never owned or wrenched on one but ran into this precise problem, a few years ago, with an XR1200. The charging systems are very similar. Culprit was a faulty battery. Was a shorted internal cell that only reared its ugly head during start-mode and occasionally high amperage draw while riding at normal speeds. Coincidentally, the battery was constantly "tendered". Might be worth removing, giving it a good 6 amp charge for 20 minutes or so, then load testing.
    Confirming a good ground on any Buell VR is always a good idea. Helps to dissipate a small amount of heat and calms down the sine wave, so I've found.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    I'd do exactly what Barrett said A bad battery or a chaffed wire that has a big, direct, short to ground. Any of the 3 yellow stator wires, the VR power wire, the battery (+) cable, etc.

    You can easily change the VR from the expensive one to any other more reasonably priced quality one (check Ricksmotorsportelectrics.com). The 3 stator wires and (+/-) are the only inputs. You have an extra set of electrical plugs now or with a little research you can get new ones from cyclceterminals.co, morotcycleconnectors.com, Deutch, etc.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    I'd do exactly what Barrett said
    barrett.jpg

  7. #7
    Senior Member rb70383's Avatar
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    Figures. I'm actually trying to not kill a battery and I give it too much attention. ugh.
    Drained the battery a bit. Till the BMS shut it off. Wasnt actually trying to do that. Only took 30min with 2 headlights hooked up to it. I just wanted to wear it down a bit to get a good charge back into it. Using my calibrated thoughts, that 'seems' too fast. I have not sat down and actually did the math to figure the actual load it was under......Went and did the maths. It does appear to be correct. ~10amp for a headlamp, I had 2 on there and the battery is rated at 12Ah. So much for my calibrated thoughts...I'll throw it on a charger when I get home. I did test the ground wire which is good. Even though I was sure it wasnt that, as I did the fuel float earlier this year and forgot to hook the main ground wire back up.
    I dont have a load tester. Any recommendations for a good, not technician expensive, tester?
    Testing the VR case, it does not have a connection to ground. On the EBR the sub frame bolts are a good ground for testing which surprised me as to how hard it was to find a ground under the seat. Pulling the VR again the heat sink compound was not touching the entire VR I believe the plate it mounts to may have a concave bend to it as well.

    Thanks AGAIN, Barrett. I wouldnt have thought the culprit may be the battery. This winter I'll still remove the battery but may just let it sit without a charger. Cooter Sir thanks as well for the links. I was dreading to have to get another VR. Those hurt. I will look into alternatives. Might have to try and remove the potting to see whats inside?? Hmmm

  8. #8
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    REAL battery load tester type:
    https://www.amazon.com/OTC-3180-Batt...Q%3D%3D&sr=8-7

    Total worthless garbage type:
    https://www.amazon.com/KONNWEI-100-2...-3-spons&psc=1

    Those aren't magic, and neither are the **** ones at the auto parts stores. Since you're checking the VR diodes, you have a DVOM already, right? Put it on the battery, then put a 100 amp-ish load on for 10 seconds (pull the fuel pump fuse and run the starter of the bike). Voltage should stay above 9.6. The EBR dash has a diagnostic screen, you can check voltage there too. I've never tried to see if it works while cranking, but I don't see why it wouldn't?

    A bad battery is only part of the equation though. You're looking for a massive draw, enough to over-stress the VR, and probably intermittent too() Check the VR wiring and connectors! OHM each wire while doing the wiggle test, and OHM to ground as well. I'd even pull the stator cover off (PITA) to check that they aren't rubbing on the rotor or pinched in the harness through the cover.

    It's only 5 wires, and exactly what any technician you pay should be doing. You got this! Don't let me see an classified ad (EBR 1190: Cheap, needs work) LOL

  9. #9
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rb70383 View Post
    Till the BMS shut it off.
    Is this a lithium battery?

  10. #10
    Senior Member 34nineteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    Total worthless garbage type:
    Ahem....



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