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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 04' GS500. First motorycle.
The bike doesn't have a fuel gauge and I overestimated how far I could get and ran out of gas on the way back from a longer ride out to see someone, and i died on the side of the road on my way home probably 30 minutes in. no worries- i hiked to a gas station near by brought some back and added enough to fire up. I drove another 8 minutes or so to the gas station closer to my place and filled up completely. Then when I went to start the bike, I got a buzzing noise and it wouldn't start. I've looked up videos about a clicking solenoid and it isn't that and it isn't the sound like it's trying to turn over and it is just can't- It's and actual buzz like a bee.
Anyways, I managed to bump start the bike and ride home. I left it running for about twenty minutes then let it sit for a few hours and it wouldn't start again. I managed to bump start it again. But I always get that buzzing noise when I hit the starter and the buzz seems to be happening down by what i think is the solenoid. I got the battery checked at an auto parts store and they told me that it is still good.
I know it's long but I wanted to give as much detail as possible. Any ideas?? Thank you
 

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Ace Tuner
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I have a 04' GS500. First motorycle.
when I went to start the bike, I got a buzzing noise and it wouldn't start. I've looked up videos about a clicking solenoid and it isn't that ............
........... I left it running for about twenty minutes ......... buzz seems to be happening down by what i think is the solenoid. I got the battery checked at an auto parts store and they told me that it is still good.
Any ideas?? Thank you
First guess is that it is in fact a bad Solenoid. Could be a problem with the starter motor itself too.The auto parts store might not be correct about the battery being good ether.

You can bypass the solenoid with some sort of a jumper (terminal to terminal) to eliminate a bad solenoid as the problem. If the bike starts when you jump the solenoid it's probably bad.

You can test the starter motor by using any known good 12 V battery. Connect battery Pos to the lug on the starter motor then Neg to a good ground on the bike or even the starter motor body. You WILL get a spark so NO fuel or fuel vapors near by.
If the starter spins, good starter motor.

You can eliminate the question of a bad battery (most of the time) by jumping a known good 12 V battery to the battery in your bike.
You can use a car or truck battery for this test but DO NOT have the car running when you do it.

BTW, Letting the bike idle for 20 minuets is toooo long. It will overheat.

Please let us know what you find.
S F
 

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If you just turn the key on, and it starts making the buzzing noise, will the buzzing stop on it's own within 10 maybe 15 seconds?
 

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Sure seems like a bad battery to me. Especially given the fact your rode for some distance and you are now jump starting it to get it running. A battery with a dead cell would be just like that. Not all solenoid sound the same with a weak battery so the buzzing may be a what would normally be clicking on others. Your solenoid just might be a little weaker or stronger making a buzz instead of click. Get a multimeter and check the voltage on the battery. Below 12.5v then bad battery. Should be at least 13v and fully charged 13.5v or more in a new battery. Then do a load test. There are plenty of posts describing how, just do some searching.
 
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Disregard my earlier post, I missed the part about it buzzing when you hit the starter.

Check your voltage at the starter relay. Then check the voltage at the starter when someone hits the start button. If you don't get the same reading, replace the relay.
 

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Sure seems like a bad battery to me. Especially given the fact your rode for some distance and you are now jump starting it to get it running. A battery with a dead cell would be just like that. Not all solenoid sound the same with a weak battery so the buzzing may be a what would normally be clicking on others. Your solenoid just might be a little weaker or stronger making a buzz instead of click. Get a multimeter and check the voltage on the battery. Below 12.5v then bad battery. Should be at least 13v and fully charged 13.5v or more in a new battery. Then do a load test. There are plenty of posts describing how, just do some searching.
Me too. A bad battery can fool the guy that tests it....

S F
 

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It would appear we have another thread were we are talking to ourselves. Another post and gone member???
 

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Possibly?
I'd sure like to know if we helped or if something was going on that none of us thought of.
Might get the chance to learn something you know....

S F
 

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Might just be too embarrassed to say we were correct. It's a shame if that's all it is. People sure seem to have might thin skin at times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the responses- I'll let you know what I find. I just haven't had a chance to go and work on it since posting my question. And thanks for the heads up about overheating- I would have assumed that like a car it needed to sit for a bit after jumping, so it's good for me to learn stuff like that. Thanks again everyone, will post again when I get it up and running
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sure seems like a bad battery to me. Especially given the fact your rode for some distance and you are now jump starting it to get it running. A battery with a dead cell would be just like that. Not all solenoid sound the same with a weak battery so the buzzing may be a what would normally be clicking on others. Your solenoid just might be a little weaker or stronger making a buzz instead of click. Get a multimeter and check the voltage on the battery. Below 12.5v then bad battery. Should be at least 13v and fully charged 13.5v or more in a new battery. Then do a load test. There are plenty of posts describing how, just do some searching.
I ran a test on the battery and got all signs that the battery is good. When I charged it the bike fired right up and work for a couple of days if I started it each day. Then I let it go cold and didn't start it for a few days and it's no good. Is there some motorcycle version of an alternator that is supposed to keep the battery charged if it sits? Or could my test still be wrong and battery should just hold it's own charge?
 

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I ran a test on the battery and got all signs that the battery is good. When I charged it the bike fired right up and work for a couple of days if I started it each day. Then I let it go cold and didn't start it for a few days and it's no good. Is there some motorcycle version of an alternator that is supposed to keep the battery charged if it sits? Or could my test still be wrong and battery should just hold it's own charge?
There is a charging system that works like an alternator but it will not do anything to keep a battery up while the bike sits.
If you start the bike regularly and the battery stays up and charged, I would suspect a bad battery that will not hold a charge and that your charging system is working.

Here's what you can do...
Get a volt/ohm meter. You can get one for as little as $10~$20.
Set the meter for DC volts. Connect the leads to your battery and start the bike. At idle the charging system will probably not put out enough to charge the battery. This normal for your machine.
Rev the engine up to about 2000 RPM and maybe a little higher. At those RPM's (above idle speed) the battery charge voltage should read around 13 D C volts minimum, and up to possibly as high as 15 DCV at max.
If you get those numbers you have a battery problem and your charging system is good to go.
A very bad battery could pull those numbers down some but it does not sound like your battery is that far gone.
If you get bad battery charge voltage numbers let us know, and we'll go from there.
One other unlikely possibility, probably not worth mentioning, is that something could be draining the battery as the bike sits.
(I have a radar detector that draws energy from the battery even when it is turned off).

S F
 

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You need to be taking some voltage readings. Good, okay, seems alright is not the correct info. On the charger, or charger maintainer, it should read about 14.5 volts. Leave it on less than 2 amps over night. A 1 to 1.5 amp maintainer is best. You need to buy one, and get a good volt meter. Disconnect the battery from the maintainer, let it sit for a few hours. It should read 12.6 to 12.75. They all vary a small amount. If it is at 12.25 it is half flat. If it does show around 12.7 volts, bung it in the bike are start it. Check the volts again. At a fast idle you may get 13 to 13.5 volts. At higher revs you should get 14.5. Start it a few times. If starting the bike dropped the volts a bunch, then the battery is tired.
Another test is to check the volts while cranking the engine. If the volts drop a bunch, then the starter is drawing too much current. Others above have filled in the other bits. But we need volts, not adjectives.

If your bike is air cooled do not idles it for too long. You can maybe run it a bit longer if it is liquid cooled, and the fan comes on.

UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You need to be taking some voltage readings. Good, okay, seems alright is not the correct info. On the charger, or charger maintainer, it should read about 14.5 volts. Leave it on less than 2 amps over night. A 1 to 1.5 amp maintainer is best. You need to buy one, and get a good volt meter. Disconnect the battery from the maintainer, let it sit for a few hours. It should read 12.6 to 12.75. They all vary a small amount. If it is at 12.25 it is half flat. If it does show around 12.7 volts, bung it in the bike are start it. Check the volts again. At a fast idle you may get 13 to 13.5 volts. At higher revs you should get 14.5. Start it a few times. If starting the bike dropped the volts a bunch, then the battery is tired.
Another test is to check the volts while cranking the engine. If the volts drop a bunch, then the starter is drawing too much current. Others above have filled in the other bits. But we need volts, not adjectives.

If your bike is air cooled do not idles it for too long. You can maybe run it a bit longer if it is liquid cooled, and the fan comes on.

UK
Well this is the best I've got. Tried to get a lot of readings to work with:
I left the battery on overnight. On the charger it only ever read as high as 13.7 volts. It jumped up occasionally, but that is where it sat once charged. After disconnecting for a few hours it read around 12.7 volts. I even let it go all day unplugged and it never went below 12.5
I hooked it up to the bike and started and revved up a few times. After a few starts and higher revs I would idle at around 14 volts or just below that. 2000 rpms read roughly 13.4 and the higher rpms the lower the voltage would get in the 13+
After turning off the bike and giving it about five or so minutes I repeated and got the same figures. But I read the volts of the bike before starting it up again and it was reading only around 12 volts.
The moment I hit the starter it drops to about 10.5 for a split second and then fires up. I don't know what is normal, but I just wanted to give you as much info as possible.
Thanks again for coaching me through this and for letting me know what you need
 

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Most, or maybe I should say some, Japanese bikes discharge the battery a little at idle. Looks like yours charges the battery even at idle speeds. No problem there.
Now I'm thinking you might have a bad connection somewhere. I'd check the battery ground wire, plugs at the solenoid, the stator plug (3 pin, usually yellow or white wires) and the battery cables at the solenoid to name the first few places I can think of.
I'm about out of ideas other than checking other connections / wiring that could have anything to do with the problem.
Like the plug / wires that go to the right hand switchcase that houses the start button and engine stop switch.
Heck, you might just have a sometimes bad starter solenoid?
I'm trying not to guess that the main wire harness could be bad.

Anybody got any other ideas? UK, Anyone. Anyone...

S F
 

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Oh yeah, It's a Suzuki.
Check the black wires with a white stripe (ground wires) EVERYWHERE.!

S F
 

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The momentary drop in voltage during the startup is normal. I would be more concerned about the 12volt reading after sitting for a few minutes warm. Definately a voltage drain somewhere but only when warm. I think Semi is on to something,
 
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