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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up my "new" bike on Friday night. I rode it on several errands yesterday. Each time I started it, the started seemed to be turning a little more weakly. Also, on the second to the last ride of the night, I thought I smelled something that smelled like hot electrics... I figured it was probably another vehicle... I smelled it one more time, and both times it was after riding two or three miles between 25 and 40 MPH. I made one more stop on the way home and the bike started (again, weakly) and I rode home uneventfully. When I got home, I sniffed around the bike and didn't smell the smell.

This morning, it wouldn't start at all. I hit the starter button and I hear a few faint clicks, but no engagement... at least no cranking.

I checked the battery. It was showing a whopping 9 volts. I have had it on the trickle charger for a few hours, and it's up to 10 volts. In looking around, I noticed that the trunk light was on.

I haven't tried jumping it from the car... yet. I can't fit my regular jumper cable onto the positive battery terminal without possibly touching anything else.


So... a couple questions:

1) Is there something that keeps the starter from turning if the battery is below a certain voltage?

2) Is it possible for the trunk light to be on with the bike off and the trunk closed?

What else should I be checking?
 

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Welcome to the group :) :)

juggler said:
1) Is there something that keeps the starter from turning if the battery is below a certain voltage?
yes, the bike will not start with the battery below something like 10.xxV.

2) Is it possible for the trunk light to be on with the bike off and the trunk closed?

What else should I be checking?
If the switch is not working, yes.
There is a small switch on the back of the trunk, that is suppose to cut the power when you close the lid, but... !! please, check it.

Looks like that you have a bad battery. Can you tell if it's the original battery? If this is the case, a new one will do. Did you buy from a dealer? if yes you do have warranty, otherwise just bite the $100 for a gel battery.
 

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Upgraded starter relay and trunk light

The OEM starter relay (still have mine) was known to weld shut if the battery got low. BMW fixed this with a upgraded starter relay (your bike might have one) which does prevent cranking if the voltage is too low.

Leaving the trunk light on can drain your battery.

Your burning electric smell may have not have been yours.

Any after market, previous owner installed electrics? That would be my first suspect. Stock wiring would probably blow a fuse if there was a short.
 

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Trunk light switch

strsout said:
Welcome to the group :) :)
There is a small switch on the back of the trunk, that is suppose to cut the power when you close the lid, but... !! please, check it.
QUOTE]
My 2000 does not have this switch. I think it was installed in later models.
 

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Don't keep trying to start it until you're sure the battery is well charged. You can burn out the starter quite easily, cranking with low voltage. Many here have paid the price.

Later models have a relay which prevents the starter from working below a certain voltage, as Elton noted above. That's to prevent damage. I don't think the 2000 models had that relay, although it could have been added. You won't have any problems, provided you don't force the starter to work with a weak battery.
 

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Hot electric smell.

Quote: "Also, on the second to the last ride of the night, I thought I smelled something that smelled like hot electrics... I figured it was probably another vehicle... I smelled it one more time, and both times it was after riding two or three miles between 25 and 40 MPH. "

How long has your "new" bike been sitting. All your brake calipers working properly, or do you have a stuck caliper piston cause brake pad wear causing your "hot electrics" smell?


Just brain storming here.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's on the trickle charger and still reading only 10 or 11 volts. The starter isn't turning at all, so I'm not trying to crank with too weak a battery (I hope).

When I first went out this morning, when I turned the key, the idiot lights came on dimly. Now they appear to be normal brightness.

There are aftermarket PIAA lights that are controlled by the turn signal cancel switch. There is an LED near the switch and when the switch is held for a few seconds, the LED flashes red. Let go of the switch and the LED turns green and the lights come on. Right now, when I press the starter button, the LED comes on red.

There may be some other aftermarket things... there are a couple extra terminals stacked on the positive battery post. Each one has an inline fuse holder (I haven't checked to see if each one has a fuse).

I bought the bike from a private party. He only owned the bike for a year or so. (Okay, beat me senseless for not having a dealer or indy give it a PPI.)

The battery has sufficient dirt on it that I would believe that it is original.

Again, I hope it's just a dead battery.

I hope I hope I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
One other minor weirdness... coming home last night, the temp on the computer said 41F. I think it was colder than that, and I'm sure it wasn't the exact same temperature the entire 15 miles home. This morning, when the battery was down to 9v, I thought it said something like 28F... it's much warmer than that. Ummmmmm... just another symptom of low battery?


I'll be away from the computer... possibly for the rest of the evening (US west coast time).

Thanks for all the ideas.... let's see what a trickle charge overnight does.
 

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juggler said:
One other minor weirdness... coming home last night, the temp on the computer said 41F. I think it was colder than that, and I'm sure it wasn't the exact same temperature the entire 15 miles home. This morning, when the battery was down to 9v, I thought it said something like 28F... it's much warmer than that. Ummmmmm... just another symptom of low battery?


I'll be away from the computer... possibly for the rest of the evening (US west coast time).

Thanks for all the ideas.... let's see what a trickle charge overnight does.
Low battery voltage causes a lot of problems on the LT, and temp readings on the BC is one.

The first thing you should do is insure that the alternator charge light on the dash comes on when you turn on the ignition, without starting the engine. If that light does not come on, then there is either a burned out bulb, or the connection for it has come off the rear of the alternator (not all that uncommon). When the light is not working for either reason, the alternator may or may not charge when the engine is running, usually it will not.

Second, go ahead and get a new battery right away. It is not worth gambling on a battery that has been bought down that low in voltage. Yes, it may charge up and work, but it will never again have the life and charge retention that you would want to depend on.
 

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As everyone else has said, get a new battery. Trying to troubleshoot an electrical problem with a weak or bad battery will drive you crazy.
 

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Put a new battery in it, the previous owner didnt want to, it's obvious. Do not waste your time trying to charge an old battery, it will cause more trouble than a new battery is worth.

The electrical system on these motorcycles DEPENDS on a good battery, otherwise, the gremlins oooze out of the closet.

Make sure your connections are clean when you install the new battery, and use Die-electric jell on ALL of your electrics that you may remove and clean up in the future. ( you can get it at Autozone for less than a big gulp)

Trust me, after owning a CBX with no kick starter for 17 years, a good battery is EVERYTHING !!!
 

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How about a starter relay? Especially since he's got low battery voltage on a 2000 and we don't know that it has the newer relay on it. Me, I don't think hot brakes ever smell like burning electronics.
 

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Since your bike is a 2000 the battery has most likely been changed after 3-4 years, so the current battery is also due for replacement.

You may want to try this new battery from
http://portablepower.com/items/search/SLA/1/all/Panasonic/LC-X1220P Description: Panasonic LC-X1220P (12 Volt/20 Amp Hour) Sealed Lead Acid Battery - Nut-Bolt Terminal - VRLA (AGM) Technology

As many have stated, your electronics depend on a good battery to function properly.

Also the trunk light migh stay ON of the key is in the OFF position and not in the LOCK position. Some of the add-on connectors you noticed on the battery terminal belong to the PIAA light, among others.
 

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zippy_gg said:
Since your bike is a 2000 the battery has most likely been changed after 3-4 years, so the current battery is also due for replacement.

You may want to try this new battery from
http://portablepower.com/items/search/SLA/1/all/Panasonic/LC-X1220P Description: Panasonic LC-X1220P (12 Volt/20 Amp Hour) Sealed Lead Acid Battery - Nut-Bolt Terminal - VRLA (AGM) Technology

As many have stated, your electronics depend on a good battery to function properly.

Also the trunk light migh stay ON of the key is in the OFF position and not in the LOCK position. Some of the add-on connectors you noticed on the battery terminal belong to the PIAA light, among others.
Portable Power site says availability is "4 - 6 weeks," so you may want to look for other sources if time is a factor. ;)
 

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Might be worth a shot to complain to the seller that he knew the battery was nearly dead when he sold it to you. He may just offer to reimburse you for the new battery. Worst he could say is "Sorry, I sold it 'as is', its your problem now"..
Most people that sell bikes sell it because "they're just not riding it much" which means its been lying around. He probably knew it was ready to go, and charged it up so it worked just enough to sell it to you, then, after your several short trips and the need to start the bike a few times, that charge was gone.
 

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Juggler,
Just where in the Northwet are you located? If you are not to far away I can loan you a hand and I have a Brand new maintenance free battery I can sell you for a reasonable price.
 

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sanjaun2 said:
Juggler,
Just where in the Northwet are you located? If you are not to far away I can loan you a hand and I have a Brand new maintenance free battery I can sell you for a reasonable price.
Juggler, take Brian up on his offer right now! And see if the two of you can't hook up to do a little troubleshooting. You will learn a lot from him!

Also, the trunk light on our 2000 LT's does not have the switch Elton referred to, unless someone installed it aftermarket, so double check the switch position once you do get a good battery installed just to make sure it is not draining the battery.

Hope we can get together some day at one of our Nor Wet Tech Sessions!

John
 

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deputy5211 said:
Portable Power site says availability is "4 - 6 weeks," so you may want to look for other sources if time is a factor. ;)
Yes they do, however they shipped mine in 4 days! Go figure!:confused:
Not that I am complaining or anything... My battery has been sitting inside my apartment, waiting to be installed. If only I had the time...:rolleyes: Oh, wait... Tuesday sounds like a great mental day. I like Tuesdays because the dealers are open!;)
 

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jrlakin said:
I have a 2000, and my bike has a switch to turn the trunk light on and off! jrlakin
And my 2000 does also. On the light itself. But what Elton was referring to was a small pushbutton switch that was added to the Bikes later than ours which would cut power to the light in case it had been left on. If your 2000 has this push button switch I would be very surprised. It must either be one that was added, or perhaps the trunk was replaced. The only other possible explanation would be if they did actually start installing them in late 2000, early 2001.

John
 
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