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Author [NL] [FR] [ES] [DE] [SE] [IT] [NO] [MY] Topic: Brains Picking Session  (Read 921 times)

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Offline bobthebiker

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Brains Picking Session
« on: Sep 08, 2019, 11:36 AM »
Hi everybody.

So yesterday I'm heading for the ferry in Hook Of Holland to take me back to Harwich after having a great few days away. Started raining so pulled up in a town called Geldrop to throw on the raingear. Hoped back on the bike, went to start her up and got nothing!! Oh dear I thought😂 So I turn the key to on position and all lights are normal. Hit the starter and everything flashes & disappears. Didn't even try to start. Spent a while.....I suppose messing about.....because I really didn't have a clue. Disconnected sat nav....checked fuses....cast a general eye over things.

After a while I unloaded the bike a push started her. Alive she came and I was so happy/relieved!!!......for 5mins🤦‍♂️ Loaded all the gear on, jumped on and rode on. 5mins later she started to die and conked out again. Didn't see the point in push starting again so I accepted defeat and called breakdown.

So I'm in Eindhoven relaxing until tomorrow morning when I try to pick a bike shop to go to try and fix the issue. Limited information I know but any ideas? How do I determine battery or altenator problem? Starter motor? I'm just trying to have an idea in my head before tomorrow.

I had been getting a funny noise when the bike was parked up and switched off. Kinda like the fuel pump priming noise but I dont think it was that....just that sound.

So if anybody has any hints/tips/wisdom to share it'd be appreciated😂😂

Already had 2 breakfasts in Market Square and relaxing😁

Dutch women tho😲😲😲

Online jonnster71

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #1 on: Sep 08, 2019, 12:14 PM »
OK, some starters for 10 which will be improved by better informed members

Obvious ones - kick stand switch? Intermittent disconnection? Clean out with WD40 (or contact cleaner if available).

Knackered battery - should hold at least 12.8v off charge. Get a cheap multimeter and test voltage. Low voltage can produce weird result, eg. my speedo reading was weird for about an hour before the bike packed in due to a drained batter, due to a burned out stator.

If the battery is knackered, then what caused it? Dodgy ground. Check main battery ground for connection. Loose battery connector or dirty battery posts. Easy to check. Remove battery, look the thing over for any furry, dirty, rusty or loose connections.

Blown stator? - not uncommon, mine went at 30k miles others last for 100,000 miles plus. Not sure how to check this properly but a crude check would be to start the bike (which you cannot do) and then test the voltage of the batter. It should read over 14v at 3000 rpm (roughly).

Fuses - not sure if you have a blown fuse as the issue is intermittent but I suppose it might be a fuse loosely connected. Remove seat, there are two fuse areas, one in the black box in front of the battery and a block of exposed fuses in a white housing behind (to the rear) of the battery. Don't confuse the spare fuses with the actual fuses. Remove each one, inspect them and then reseat firmly. You can also check the fuses in situ with a multimeter for continuity (ie. are they blown), by touching the two tiny exposed pins of metal on the top edge of each fuse.

As I said, these are my numpty checks but your symptoms seems to indicate some kind of control switch/main loom/relay fault for the fuel pump. Not sure how to check relays or even where the fuel pump relay is. I'm sure others will be along soon to give you some decent (ie. accurate and correct) advice.

Good luck but at least there are worse places to be stranded.

Offline bobthebiker

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #2 on: Sep 08, 2019, 01:01 PM »
Wow!! Firstly thanks for taking the time to write that Jonnster!!!!

I do realise some of the things I tried were silly but at the road side in the first 15mins I was panicing slightly😂

1) The kickstand thing was in my head at the road side. Only thing I could do was wipe the area. Tried starting the bike with the stand up and down which is probably pointless if the switch is gummed up. When I got the bike started it seemed a gradual down turn in the 5mins it ran for. Would the kickstand switch kill everything straight away? (Question probably makes no sense😂😂)

2) The breakdown guy checked the voltage I think....he had a booster pack....jumped the bike and measured it. He said each time he measured it, it was lower & lower then it cut out again. General look of the battery/terminals/cables seemed ok..(to me) No corrosion I could see and no furr. Fairly clean.

3) Stator....remedial question but is that short for anything or is the stator the proper time ( Sorry🤦‍♂️) 38k mileson her I think and I think iirc the chap said the voltage was 13v at idle and it dropped each time he checked it. My numbers could be wrong there tho.

4) Fuses....I removed and checked all the fuses in the black box but I didn't know about the exposed fuses in the white housing🤦‍♂️

Really appreciate the reply !!

You're right as well.....there are worse places to be stranded.

The breakdown cover I have on my policy has done a decent job so far in looking after me....I was on to Stena Line about missing the ferry and they said they might be able to help me out when I get sorted.

Unexpected extension of the holiday😁

Offline 100milesaway

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #3 on: Sep 08, 2019, 01:39 PM »
Sorry to hear of your woes Bob.   First off, there is petrol in the tank ( Yep,  daft question I know, BUT )

 Other than that I would put my money on the battery. Once upon a time they used to give a warning, but now they just seem lose the will to live and die an instant death.

Good luck with it, and I hope you get rolling soon.     Geoff.
« Last Edit: Sep 08, 2019, 01:39 PM by 100milesaway »
What would you rather be, or a wasp?

Offline Galwayversys

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #4 on: Sep 08, 2019, 02:44 PM »
Lots of good stuff in jonnster's post.
Based on the fact that the problem got worse with time, and the mechanic's tests found the voltage getting lower and lower, I'd suspect the battery.
Last week a friend's bike went from starting perfectly to no dash lights and no start next time he turned the key. Battery was dead, just like that.

If the new battery cures the problem, I'd still keep an eye on the charging voltage for a while to make sure the reg rec is ok (you can only test that on a healthy battery)

Offline bobthebiker

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #5 on: Sep 08, 2019, 02:49 PM »
Thanks Geoff👍

100% there's petrol in it😂😂😂😂😂

(Note to self......check there's petrol in it😨)😂😂

Had half a tank so I wish it was fuel. You could well be right about the battery.....I thought with a knackered battery if you got it running you'd be fine until you turned the engine off again.

My plan when I got it running was to not switch it off until she was strapped down on the ferry but alas she had other ideas😂😂


Offline bobthebiker

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #6 on: Sep 08, 2019, 02:55 PM »
Thanks Galway Versys👍

Does a battery when finished not hold it's charge? Suppose there's probably a heap of reasons for them dying.

Don't think I've ever thought so much about if a bike won't start then how do you isolate the culprit😂😂

Online jonnster71

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #7 on: Sep 08, 2019, 03:18 PM »
*Originally Posted by bobthebiker [+]
Thanks Galway Versys👍

Does a battery when finished not hold it's charge? Suppose there's probably a heap of reasons for them dying.

Don't think I've ever thought so much about if a bike won't start then how do you isolate the culprit😂😂
If a battery cannot hold a charge, ie. maintain a stable voltage, over a prolonged period (day or so) then it's an indicator that the battery is shot. Not an expert but the principle is simple, a battery needs to hold a charge for long enough that you can leave the bike for a few weeks and still be able to start it.

If the battery is losing voltage, even if the engine is running then it could be the charging system. The stator (ie. the dynamo looking mother ducker hidden in the nearside access panel) is what generates the power. The other part is the regulator/rectifier (the black finned box hidden below the seat, in front of the rear tyre with the chunky connector covered in a rubber boot) which refines the voltage the the correct voltage. We do have electricians on the forum to give you a much better description, but it's job is to soak up any extra power ensuring the charging systems doesn't overcharge the design spec of the wiring, fuses etc.

So logically the problem is either the battery not holding charge, hence the battery losing voltage rapidly when not running...I'm not sure it's this.

The other problem is that the battery is not receiving adequate power from the charging system (stator and/or reg/rectifer)...it could be this, but the only way to test this properly is via a decent sparky (ie. someone cleverererer than me). The idiot test is to start the bike, remove any booster pack, rev the bike to a constant 4k revs and check the input voltage to the battery. It should be somewhere in the upper 14 volts (not sure the precise spec but that's a decent guide).

Here's a simple video of someone better than me checking the stator with a simple multimeter.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a29ZPS1Bru4

If you've done 38k miles on the bike it must be several years old. Batteries have a life of around 5 years, you're probably due a new one so no harm changing that.

Charging system - if it's blown a component then the new battery will not run for more than an hour or so at full tilt, eg. mine went on the M4 and the bike packed in at the M25 junction. I was running full lights, heated grips so that drained it pretty quickly but overall you won't get more than 60 miles on a fully charged battery if the charging system is down. If it is the charging system and you have breakdown cover get it transported home if possible is my recommendation.

Kick stand switch - easy to clean, separate the connector and check the connections but based on what you describe I'm not sure it's this. However it's a simple job and worth doing as I've seen BMW tours ruined for the sake of wiggling and cleaning a kick stand switch.
« Last Edit: Sep 08, 2019, 03:22 PM by jonnster71 »

Offline bobthebiker

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #8 on: Sep 08, 2019, 04:34 PM »
Jonnster above and beyond here....thank you👍👍

The bike is 9 years old but had only 1000 miles on it when I bought it maybe 3.5 /4 years ago. So it has to be the original battery. If they have a life of approx 5 years then with the other things you mentioned about the stator and reg/rec then I'm hoping it's simply the battery🤞🤞

I really didn't fancy them flying me home and the bike getting brought back so I chose the option of accomodation and repair.

So if a new battery was put in I could still end up in bother if it's the stator or reg/rec🤦‍♂️

« Last Edit: Sep 08, 2019, 04:35 PM by bobthebiker »

Offline 100milesaway

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Re: Brains Picking Session
« Reply #9 on: Sep 08, 2019, 04:45 PM »
Start asking the question in or around Geldrop. Or ask a passing motorcyclist, there will be a battery available in close proximity of your location.   Oh, and say your prayers tonight :015:
 
I am nailing my money on the battery 100%.
What would you rather be, or a wasp?