Battery dead? Please help! - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Battery dead? Please help!

When I tried to start up my 2003 CBR600rr yesterday, I had some difficulties. After turning the key to the "on" position and seeing the electronics light up, I hit the starter and the bike revved once, then the electronics went dead. Turning the key to the "off" position and trying to start again, it took about 20 seconds for the electronics to light up after turning the key back to the "on" position. This time, the electronics cut out when I flipped the kill switch before starting the bike, instead of when I hit the starter. I'm hoping this is just a dead battery, any recommendations or riders in the Chapel Hill/Carrboro NC area that could help me out would be greatly appreciated.

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post #2 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 09:12 AM
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Was there a clicking noise at all? Did you check your fuses? Have you charged the battery yet?

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post #3 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 09:40 AM
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Charge it good. Start bike. If the problems persist or reoccur after a day or three, dump battery for new one.

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post #4 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 01:22 PM
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Whoa.. you're using the Kill switch on a honda? Not good!

Test the voltage on the battery first to make sure it's good. Be sure to pull apart the kill switch and make sure there's no burnt or broken contacts, clean if needed and reassemble. From now on avoid using the kill switch!

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post #5 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 01:25 PM
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Why not use the kill switch? Good call on check the battery first. It could be a charging issue.

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post #6 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 02:05 PM
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Why not use the kill switch?
wondering this myself...

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post #7 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 02:32 PM
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Someone is going to say how all the power runs through the kill switch and it is bad to use it because the arcing contacts will wear out from being flipped (or something similar I am certain).

Guys, I am not trying to be combative here but really???

For what it is worth I have a I have a 24 year old Honda Hawk (in addition to the Hornet and at one time I had a second Hawk) and the kill switch works(ed) fine in all situations. Same tech and believe it or not same wiring between the 2 types of bikes. No problems, ever. I have to think if there was some issue that Honda would have changed some designs in at least 20+ years.

Now it's perfectly fine to say that using the switch can cause undue wear but saying it isn't good without providing some basic info first seems like it may be over-reaching a bit.

Of note though, on the Honda bikes in particular, I would be far more worried about the amount of power flowing through the high beam switch before I would ever be concerned about the kill switch. If you are running an older bike and start swapping in higher wattage lights you can create enough heat to melt stuff and possible cause a fire somewhere.

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post #8 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 02:57 PM
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Ah ok that makes some sense, thanks. I work on my and others old bikes quite a bit. I have an 85 rebel that I use the killswitch on all the time and haven't had an issue with it yet. I guess I can understand about the wear on the switch but IMHO that's what it's there for. If it goes out on you it's an easy enough fix to put on a new one. Pretty cheap too. On my 79 Yammy DT2 2 stroke I have no choice but to use the kill. It's a kick start so other than letting go of the clutch it won't shut off.

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post #9 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 04:35 PM
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rpcraft, while you may not of had any problems, there are people with well documented issues of killswitches and headlight switches having issues on many hondas. I myself had many issues with the headlight switch, and had a couple issues with kill switches on all the hondas I've owned or worked on, for what its worth. This spans from late 80's rebels and shadows to early 2000's cbrs. Currently own a shadow vlx that has this problem (and is well documented on the vlx forum). I've stated this previously on other threads, and didn't go into specific details here because I didn't want to sound like a broken record until you chimed in rpcraft, lol. You'd think Honda would change the design of the headlight switches in 20+ years of similar design as well, and they haven't which counters your argument. Same principle applies to the kill switch.

While the kill switch may be simple in concept and might not fail for some people, when it does fail it can leave you stranded on the side of the road without any means of firing up the bike to get it home. That's why I stress the importance of avoiding overuse of the killswitch on most hondas. The headlight switch can be bypassed in a pinch if you're stuck on the side of the road in the dark. Killswitch, no beuno.

I can't comment about other brands as I haven't had much experience with them.

Detale the point of the kill switch is to be an emergency shut-off if the key cannot be accessed, doesn't work, or easier to hit the switch than the key. I'd use it for no other purpose. You have a key, use the key to turn off the bike. Using the key ensures that you don't leave the electrics on after turning off the kill switch. Make it a habit of using the key and not the switch if you can, that's my advice.

Personally, I use the sidestand to kill the engine (because if it fails, I can bypass it easily), and then I use the key to turn off the electrics. I don't touch the kill switch unless I have to.

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post #10 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 04:37 PM
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Did you check AND clean the battery terminals yet? I would look there first since you stated the lights took a bit to come on when you turned the key on, sounds like a bad connection somewhere. Also, look for the frame ground, should have several wires routed to it and check that.

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post #11 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 04:46 PM
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rmb has valid points! His suggestions are solid, be sure to explore those as well. Remember, its a 919, K.I.S.S. principle applies.

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post #12 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 04:50 PM
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Thanks for the info PV. Maybe I'm missing something but on the killswitch couldn't you just bridge the connection to bypass the switch if you were stranded? Even twisting the two wires together should work, no?

A bit embarrassing here but I disnt know the stand had to be up to ride. This is my first "newer" bike I've owned and forgot to put the stand up in a rush and was stumped for a few seconds when I tried putting her in first gear and having it die. I thought my clutch cable/lever had a problem at first. Felt like a dick when I realized it was the stand.

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post #13 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 05:05 PM
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I quit using the kill switch after I forgot to turn the ignition switch off once and drained the battery. Actually the owner's manual does say to use the ignition switch for normal operation and says to use the kill switch for emergency stopping.

Symptoms posted sound like the battery. On the second attempt, when the ignition switch was turned on and the electronics went dead when the kill switch was turned on was the fuel pump trying to prime, but didn't have enough juice.

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post #14 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 05:14 PM
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I will admit that being stuck on the side of the road is huge frowny face. The question I will venture is (and pardon me for being the devil's advocate here and this isn't something I take personal so I hope no one else is...), does the faulty situation with the switch tend continue to occur after the switch has been replaced (most particularly in your case Pvster)? I only ask because Its good to know this stuff, which is why I wanted more data and also (and this is bit of a distant memory because it's been a while) I seem to recall when I went through MSF courses they actually instructed us to use the kill switch first, then to turn off the Ignition switch so it just tends to be counter-intuitive to the uninitiated. Now, admittedly, I had already ridden for a long time before I bothered to get legal (yeah sorry, lol). Sometimes I use both or just the key... I don't really think too much one way or another as long as the bike is off and so is the power when I park it.

To the topic at hand. Low batteries will crank most bikes but a half dead battery will often times not give it enough spark to fire off and start so it will crank but really slowly, just like a car. If it gets too low then it probably will just click when you hit the starter button. I suspect that if it is an issue with the kill switch then it will just do nothing. Cycle batteries, in general, are not like car batteries. The may last a year, 2, or 3, but not usually much beyond that so if your battery is original or that old then you should keep that in mind. You can get lucky but $$$ does not necessarily net results on par with quality. The battery on my old Hawk made it the 5 years that I owned it. I charged it once and it came with the bike. The day after I sold the bike to a guy it died. Go figure. If you have a charger throw it on there for about 10 minutes. If it has enough juice to crank then the quick charge should give it the juice it needs to fire up. Once it runs you will want to let it warm up to start with and keep an eye on the brightness of the light. If it is getting dimmer then it may be a charging issue. If you have a volt meter you can check your voltage and if it is charging it should be going up.... If it is not charging then it may still be the battery but it may also be related to a charging issue. If you are confident that it is charging then I would go for a little ride. Maybe a half hour at the bare minimum. My objective is to just let you know make sure it is charging before you go somewhere and the battery completely dies and you are left on the side of the road.

If you do all that then park the bike come back tomorrow and check and see if it will start again. If the battery is low then you are probably going to want to go ahead and replace it but it probably does not have to happen immediately. You could just get a tender and keep it on there to nurse your battery along for a while. I am having to do that on my Hornet right now, just because I do not feel like screwing with the battery this instant (to be read as Xmas money). It's easy for me to do so because I already had the charger but unless you have a shop install your battery you are probably going to get one anyways because a lot of batteries come needing a bit of a charge.

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post #15 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 05:17 PM
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sorry for the book... lol

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post #16 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 06:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpcraft View Post
I will admit that being stuck on the side of the road is huge frowny face. The question I will venture is (and pardon me for being the devil's advocate here and this isn't something I take personal so I hope no one else is...), does the faulty situation with the switch tend continue to occur after the switch has been replaced (most particularly in your case Pvster)? I only ask because Its good to know this stuff, which is why I wanted more data and also (and this is bit of a distant memory because it's been a while) I seem to recall when I went through MSF courses they actually instructed us to use the kill switch first, then to turn off the Ignition switch so it just tends to be counter-intuitive to the uninitiated. Now, admittedly, I had already ridden for a long time before I bothered to get legal (yeah sorry, lol). Sometimes I use both or just the key... I don't really think too much one way or another as long as the bike is off and so is the power when I park it.
No offense taken I love a good discussion as it provides opportunities if nothing else, for me to learn something new (which is nearly always). I know what you mean by the MSF course teaching to use the kill switch first. Its the only major thing that I disagree with that the MSF teaches. I've had many bad experiences, and met many long time riders with bad experiences regarding the kill-switch. The MSF teaches it from a liability standpoint. Using the kill switch is just bad habit to stand to reason.

As to your question in regards to replacing kill switches, for some models (such as the vlx) the problem persists, for others (early 2000's cbrs) a new switch didn't show the same issues. It appears to be certain years/model specific in terms of a new switch not repeating the same trend.

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To the topic at hand. Low batteries will crank most bikes but a half dead battery will often times not give it enough spark to fire off and start so it will crank but really slowly, just like a car. If it gets too low then it probably will just click when you hit the starter button. I suspect that if it is an issue with the kill switch then it will just do nothing. Cycle batteries, in general, are not like car batteries. The may last a year, 2, or 3, but not usually much beyond that so if your battery is original or that old then you should keep that in mind. You can get lucky but $$$ does not necessarily net results on par with quality. The battery on my old Hawk made it the 5 years that I owned it. I charged it once and it came with the bike. The day after I sold the bike to a guy it died. Go figure. If you have a charger throw it on there for about 10 minutes. If it has enough juice to crank then the quick charge should give it the juice it needs to fire up. Once it runs you will want to let it warm up to start with and keep an eye on the brightness of the light. If it is getting dimmer then it may be a charging issue. If you have a volt meter you can check your voltage and if it is charging it should be going up.... If it is not charging then it may still be the battery but it may also be related to a charging issue. If you are confident that it is charging then I would go for a little ride. Maybe a half hour at the bare minimum. My objective is to just let you know make sure it is charging before you go somewhere and the battery completely dies and you are left on the side of the road.
Actually, you'd be surprised. A fair number of members on here have gotten 5+ years out of their OEM batteries (and perhaps aftermarket) easily. Also, Motorcycle batteries are very similar to car battries. The contributing factor is the motorcycle rather than the battery. For example, a lot of bikes won't charge a battery at idle so effectively, you're running off the battery until you get above a certain rpm. This is due to the rotations of the Stator and the rpm varies across make/models/years. That's why it is generally advisable to not fire up a bike and let it only idle during storage, as you're effectively just draining the battery.

Also, some models will actually fire up but not run properly due to low battery voltage. The vlx is case in point again: with low voltage, it'll crank over and fire up, but will only run on 1 cyl. Yes this includes trying to actually ride it on the street which can be done. This leads to many people freaking out and thinking something is seriously wrong. They then post on the vlx forum asking for help on troubleshooting and the first answer is always to check battery voltage. The vlx (all years) are very sensitive to battery voltage for some reason.

If you know the battery is bad, or won't hold a charge, its best to replace it so you don't run the risk of being stranded on the side of the road. Push starting the bike is not fun in any way, shape, or form. More so when in traffic Don't ask me how I know

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post #17 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 06:27 PM
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I too rode "dirty" for years and just took my MSF class last year (I suggest everyone do so) and they did say in the class to use the kill switch when stopping the bike. This may be a safety issue for them dealing with really green riders though.

Before I changed the battery in my rebel I was push starting that little thing once a week and even on a 250 It was god awful. I went with the ballistic evo 2-4 cell and it was great until I learned that the "gel" batteries do not preform nearly as well as lead acid in the cold. Cold kills em real quick! They're great otherwise just swap em out in the winter.

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post #18 of 28 Old 12-02-2012, 06:36 PM
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DO NOT DO ANYTHING before you check you battery.
Pvster is preaching KISS method, meanwhile he's got you taking your bike apart without checking simple things first. Don't mess with your kill switch just yet.
Kill switch won't affect your gauges and headlight etc, it will just prevent your fuel pump and starter from turning over.
From what you are describing: bad battery/bad connection to the battery/ground is your issue.
From your description it is save to assume that you had just enough juice to crank the starter the first time. 2nd time, after you flipped your kill switch, there wasn't even enough juice to prime the fuel pump hence your gauges/light went dead.

I use the kills switch all the time - cheap antitheft device for those idiot thieves.

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post #19 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 03:16 AM
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Yep PV is on his soap box again

Listen to zaq bro!

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post #20 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 07:57 AM
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Whoa.. you're using the Kill switch on a honda? Not good!

!
BULLSHIT

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post #21 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
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DO NOT DO ANYTHING before you check you battery.
Pvster is preaching KISS method, meanwhile he's got you taking your bike apart without checking simple things first. Don't mess with your kill switch just yet.
Kill switch won't affect your gauges and headlight etc, it will just prevent your fuel pump and starter from turning over.
From what you are describing: bad battery/bad connection to the battery/ground is your issue.
From your description it is save to assume that you had just enough juice to crank the starter the first time. 2nd time, after you flipped your kill switch, there wasn't even enough juice to prime the fuel pump hence your gauges/light went dead.

I use the kills switch all the time - cheap antitheft device for those idiot thieves.
Ha, fair enough! Just reading about the kill switch made bells go off. I did point out to check the battery first though

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post #22 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 08:56 AM
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BULLSHIT
Care to elaborate Bigdaa?

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post #23 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 09:25 AM
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Care to elaborate Bigdaa?
I can!!!
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Bullshit (also bullcrap) is a common English expletive which may be shortened to the euphemism bull or the initialism BS. In British English, "bollocks" is a comparable expletive, although bullshit is commonly used in British English. It is a slang profanity term meaning "nonsense", especially in a rebuking response to communication or actions viewed as deceiving, misleading, disingenuous or false. As with many expletives, the term can be used as an interjection or as many other parts of speech, and can carry a wide variety of meanings.

It can be used either as a noun or as a verb. While the word is generally used in a deprecating sense, it may imply a measure of respect for language skills, or frivolity, among various other benign usages. In philosophy, Harry Frankfurt, among others, analyzed the concept of bullshit as related to but distinct from lying.

Outside of the philosophical and discursive studies, the everyday phrase bullshit conveys a measure of dissatisfaction with something or someone, but does not generally describe any role of truth in the matter.

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post #24 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 02:10 PM
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Care to elaborate Bigdaa?
There really no need to

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post #25 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
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I can!!!
I asked for an elaboration, not the meaning. Try again

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There really no need to
Oh? So my experiences (and others I learned from) are not good enough is what you guys are saying? Its because I'm Deaf isn't it?

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post #26 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 08:07 PM
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I asked for an elaboration, not the meaning. Try again



Oh? So my experiences (and others I learned from) are not good enough is what you guys are saying? Its because I'm Deaf isn't it?
What?

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post #27 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
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I asked for an elaboration, not the meaning. Try again

Oh? So my experiences (and others I learned from) are not good enough is what you guys are saying? Its because I'm Deaf isn't it?
Pretty much but I'm sure you'll get over it

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post #28 of 28 Old 12-03-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
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What?

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