Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm having some electrical trouble on my 2009 ER6n that I was hoping you all could help me with. I don't know too much about bike electrical systems, but I'm not sure sure this is sounding like a battery issue...

I hopped on a few weeks ago for the morning commute -- about a 75 degree morning. Bike started a little slow but did start on the first attempt. Hadn't ridden in a week or so because of rain, so I figured it was just frozen up a bit. Rode the 12 miles to work just fine, no issues that I noticed. Went out for lunch later that day and it started a little slower, but still fired on the first attempt. I had to sit in the drive thru for a few minutes waiting, but got back to work without issue (maybe 2 miles round trip, about 20 minutes total run time). Got back to the bike that evening, electronics turned on but couldn't get a spark. It would try to turn over (slowly, of course), but just not enough to start, and it did get worse with each attempt until it just wouldn't crank anymore. Sadly I was parked at the bottom of a hill and not the top, so bump starting just wasn't happening. A coworker had a jumpstarter with him and the bike was able to start with it just fine. We let it sit and idle a bit and there were no problems, so I rode on. Maybe 2 miles down the road, my gauges went out. Next time I put the clutch in about 30 seconds later, the bike began to sputter and die. Luckily the guy with the jumpstarter goes home the way I do and has a truck. Jumped it again, let it idle for a little longer this time to see if it would charge. It seemed alright, so I kept riding... and made it about another 1000 feet before having the same trouble. After a few more attempts at jumping it, letting it idle (for a longer time now), and then revving it, it kept doing the same sort of thing. Finally just towed it home on his truck.

I was able to find a charger and got things charged earlier this week and tested it with a multimeter today (bike wasn't started between charging and testing). First, with the bike completely off, the battery read between 12.3V and 12.4V. Turned the key, voltage dropped to around 11.9V or so. Cranked it, voltage sank below 9V (saw 6V at one point, but in other attempts it was closer to 8V), and then during idle it went back to about 11.85V on the first attempt. During about 10 or so minutes of idling, it dropped to around 11.75V before I shut it off. Voltage didn't go back up above 12V again even with the key shut completely off (I think it went to around 11.85V when completely off). I started it again and that dropped the battery down by .03V or so, and it kept slowly dropping as it idled -- down to around I think 11.67 or so when I finally quit. Revving the bike would sometimes raise the voltage by .01 or so for a few seconds, and the bike cranked over normally and easily each time I started it.

I've had the bike for just over 3 years now and I haven't changed the battery yet, so I'm sure it's passed its lifetime by now. But then again, my experience with cars at least has been that you can still drive with a bad battery as long as you don't shut it off, as the alternator will provide just enough to keep things running. The bike is also fast approaching 50k, so it also wouldn't surprise me if it began to have some deeper issues (I really hope not... I hate electrical work lol).

Let me know if I should test anything else that would help diagnose!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
A question first: what kind of charger, and what charge rate (Amps)? Most mc batteries are around 14-16Ah, and shouldn't be charged above about 1.6A (Ah rating divided by 10), or may be damaged.

At less than 12.6V resting the battery is not fully charged; I'm guessing it is time for a new one. The Voltage while running are a problem, and indicate a problem with the charge circuit, or a battery that is really failing after the charge. In any case, the battery should be replaced, then the running Voltage tested again. Make sure the battery cables are clean an tight after replacing it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The charger has options for 2, 4, and 6 amp, both 6 and 12V. I charged it on 2 amp, so I'm assuming that would be fine? The charger lists motorcycles, tractors, quads, etc. as chargeable with it, but you know how that goes lol.

I'll see about getting a replacement and run the tests again, once I can verify that the charger is fine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
How long was the charger connected? That type isn't very smart, and can easily over-charge a small battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I put it on the charger Saturday afternoon, checked throughout the day. Next morning it was sitting at the 75% mark. An hour later it said complete and was removed, so assuming the charger is accurate it didn't sit at full charge for more than an hour. It also claims to be a trickle charger for winter and such, so maybe that saves things. The charger has been used on quite a few vehicles in the family over the years and hasn't been an issue yet that I've seen, but I can't say what quality the charger is since it was bought my someone else.

Should note, since it may not have been clear in the original post, that close to a week went by between charging and testing. Had time constraints after charging it, so didn't get to mess with it until the next weekend.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
A charger that works fine for vehicles with larger batteries can still over-charge a bike battery, A 'trickle' is a relative term, too; a trickle for a car battery can be a flood to a bike battery. A battery damaged by a charger can develop an internal leak, draining it over several days. You can probably look up the charger on line, and find out if it is suitable for a small battery.

In any case, your testing indicates it is now bad, and you need a good battery to diagnose a failing charging system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Finally got a working battery, fully charged. Any tips on the next step to figure out what is up with the charging system, if anything?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
Take Voltage readings: 1)key off, 2)key on, not running 3)running at idle 4)rpm above idle; if you have a tach, about 3000rpm
Those readings will determine if the charging system is working, and your battery failed, or if the charging system killed the battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Too much work, too little time lol. Entire thing sat idle for about a week and a half, FYI. Numbers are below:

Key off: 12.47
Key on: 12.13
Idling: 11.82
RPM 3k: 11.81, dropped slowly over a few minutes to about 11.79 (probably 5 minutes of runtime)

Turning on brights dropped it to 11.62 temporarily while at normal idle, in case that helps diagnose things.

Then, all said and done with the key off again, 12.26V.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
Those numbers tell me the battery is probably in pretty good shape, since it bounced back after discharge. I think you need to go through the charging system now, checking all connectors from the stator to the rectifier/regulator, and from the r/r to the battery. Clean any contacts as you go. Also, with the stator unplugged, measure its contacts to each other and to the engine case; you are checking to see that the resistance is really low between each contact, and really high/open to the case. BTW, many meters will measure the contact-to-contact resistance as near 0, as measuring an Ohm or two is unreliable in them. There is a test for the stator output with the engine running, but, without a service manual, I can't tell what AC Voltage to expect; it's probably over 50VAC, though. A good wiring diagram is your friend, now.

This should help: http://mototh.com/files/kawasaki/ER6n/Kawasaki-ER6n-Service-Manual-EN.pdf
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think I may have located the issue. I pulled out the alternator cover back to get to the stator coil, and it looks torched/corroded on the one side. What do you think? Possible source of the issue? How would I test it to be sure, if that's necessary?

Amal, what do you mean? As in, year round? I've never had to pull the battery until this issue in the three years I've had it.
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
That does look unusual; usually the coils all discolor about the same all around. Find the connector that connects that to the rectifier/regulator - I'm guessing the other end of those three wires, left side of photo. Use an Ohmmeter to measure between each of them (1-2, 1-3, 2-3), and then measure them to the metal of the engine case. The first three readings should be between 0 and 2 (not many meters can measure that low, accurately), with all just about the same, and the reading to the case should be open, or nearly so. From the look of that, I suspect you will get something else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My multimeter will do 20 Ohm, so I used that setting for this. Between the wires I got 0 for each combo. For measuring to the case metal, I first measured to the outside of the case and got open (it read 1. which means open, right?), but when I touched it to the inside of the case, like just inside the alternator cover (well away from the stator) they all read 0. So, should I read that to mean the stator is indeed bad, since it shouldn’t be grounding to the case? If that’s correct, then just for my own knowledge why did I get open currents on the outside of the case but not inside?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
The reading is open when you touch nothing with the probes; the display varies on different meters. The outside of the case is probably clear coated, which would read as open; to get the same reading you got inside the case, you would have to pierce the coating with the probe tip. But, yeah, it seems the stator is shorted to the case, which is kind of what I expected from the discoloration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Ok, 1. does read open on mine then. And I wondered if the coating on the outside of the case would cause that reading, so thanks for confirming! I'll see about picking up a new stator, see if that fixes it. Hopefully that'll be it!

Is it normal for them to deteriorate like this? The bike is 9 years old and has over 40k on it, and as far as I know this is the original stator.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
Is it normal for them to deteriorate like this? The bike is 9 years old and has over 40k on it, and as far as I know this is the original stator.
No, it is not normal, or shouldn't be. As you can see, the stator is just a lot of wire coiled around some iron posts - what can go wrong? Well, manufacturing defects. Burgman scooters had a rash of defective stators recently, but the one in my '70 CB450 is original. Check to see that any points where the wires are joined won't be close to touching anything else, and look closely for cracks in the coating on the wire; those are the two most common failures, and often occur during winding them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
I had an 06 Ninja 650 with the same motor and the stator failed with the same symptoms you experienced. It also looked like yours when I took the cover off. A rebuilt one was around $100 and not hard to install.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
One quick question. I called to a local (well known) shop about picking up a stator, and he recommended replacing the voltage regulator too as that may have caused the coil to burn out. The only ways I've found to test the regulator so far is by checking the voltages with the bike running like I did earlier, and I already know the results there. Is there some way I can test this now, or would I be better off replacing the stator first (since that definitely needs replaced) and checking the voltage regulator after the bike is back together? I'm not a big fan of the "might as well replace that to be safe" mentality when we're talking about an extra $100 in parts. I don't ride a bike with 45k on it for shear thrill of it, after all :p
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,767 Posts
The input to the rectifier/regulator is a bridge rectifier, probably 3 phase. Three diodes that feed forward to the battery (+), and three that feed back from chassis ground. If you measure the three contacts of the connector with your meter in diode test mode, each to the other, it should read open, or nearly so. If you read each to ground with the positive wire (usually red) of the meter on the contact, it should still read open, or nearly so, but if you reverse the leads, it should read a diode (about 0.6) on every one. If you measure from each contact to the battery (+) terminal, red on the contact and black on the battery, you should read a diode, but if your reverse the leads, it should read open (or nearly so).
This shows a simple version: https://www.allaboutcircuits.com/textbook/semiconductors/chpt-3/rectifier-circuits/
Yours will have more components to support the regulator function, but those are the basics.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top