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High battery drain issue - bikes developed a thirst for juice

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So I've got an electrical issue that been driving me crazy with my 05 DRZ400SM and I've been diagnosing it for a while.

 

 

I put in  a brand new battery yesterday.

 

I went for an awesome 2 hour ride last night. The bike worked great.  Today I went out and had a different outcome. I got stuck with a dead battery, 20 mins off the highway up a mountain and had to bump start it in the mud to get home. That was a nightmare but I managed to limp it home.

 

THese are the symptoms:

I put on a tach last summer so I have a solid sense of rpms...

 

With a fully charged battery, the bike works great. Revs right up, high rpm, no issue.

 

Some period of riding time later, say 1-2 hours, the battery will die. the bike starts running like crap; a hard throttle roll on into high rpms will suddenly cause the bike to bog, revs drop and it will be OK. The LCD speedo shuts off right then, which says to me that the system is running at less than 12V, but the bike will operate fine betwen about 1200 -2000 rpm. too low  (<~900rpm) and the headlight etc draw is hard on it, and the LCD instruments will cut out and the bike will want to stumble, too high (>2300rpm) and it will bog.

 

The turn signals, horn, hi low, everything, works great when the battery is fresh. I have 3 different batteries, including a brand new one bought yesterday, so its not the battery.

 

My first thought is that I've got a bad connector.

I just got home, pulled off the plastics and looked for a bad ground or connector and didn't find anything

 

My second thought was bad or rubbed wires.

I inspected looking for rubbed wires, but didn't see anything although i only examined about 80% of my bike's wiring. Tomorrow I'm going to pull out the tools and dig into it following that DRZ electrical check up on this site.

 

I've come up with the conclusion that the bike has some kind of issue that's preventing it from charging the battery, as I don't understand how a brand new fully charged battery can become completely discharged in only a short ride. All of my electronics appear to be functioning properly, but I also think that if its not a component related issue then it may be something along the lines of an always on hot wire getting grounded (like the power for the headlight, running light, speedo, as the bike doesn't want to see high rpm without a fresh battery.

 

 

 

 

Anyway, if you've made it this far, any thoughts are appreciated.

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Id charge the battery fully, the start the motor and see what kind of voltage your seeing across the battery, first thought your battery is not getting charged, should see a good 14 volt.

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Go the FAQ and follow the procedure to troubleshoot the charging system.

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With the bike idling take a voltage reading off the stator before the regulator/rectifier. Make sure you getting 50-70vac there. Than check after the R/R(at the battery). It should be in the 13.5 to 14.5ish range. Like you said at first thought it seems as if its not charging.

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Thanks for the replies.

Getting into the charging system diagnosis here:

 

Test scores:

 

Freshly charged 3 day old battery into bike.

engine off key off: 13.20 V

engine off, key on: 13.04 V

engine running, idle: 13.36 V

engine running, 3000 rpm (i have a tach): ~13.5 V Max

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Thanks for the replies.

Getting into the charging system diagnosis here:

 

Test scores:

 

Freshly charged 3 day old battery into bike.

engine off key off: 13.20 V

engine off, key on: 13.04 V

engine running, idle: 13.36 V

engine running, 3000 rpm (i have a tach): ~13.5 V Max

Did you read this here, http://www.thumpertalk.com/topic/541623-charging-system-diagnoses-plus-the-free-power-mod/

 

  • Engine off, key off - you should have 12.8 or more volts (DC).
  • Engine off, Key on, lights on - around 12 volts (DC) is good.
  • Engine running at idle - above 13 volts (DC) is good.
  • High idle to around 3000 rpm - 14 to 14.5 volts (DC) is what you want to see.

Suzuki says 13.5 is OK but that will not keep a battery charged. Many DRZ's will show the highest voltage at idle and the voltage drops as the rpm goes up. That is ok if it is above 14 volts. It is not really dropping but your test meter thinks so.

 

You should proceed to the tests outlined in that link.

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Yeah, thanks for the link,  thats exactly what ive been following, although When i read your post I just realized that i didn't reattach my headlight so i'll redo that reading.

 

just about to start testing the stator...

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As far as stator, everyone Ive ever had fail was a short to ground and only required one check, and this is the most common failure. That is the stator to ground check, so start there before wasting time

stator voltage and resistance between the coils. Make sure you use the highest ohms scale or you can miss a high resistive short. any continuity at all its bad.

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As far as stator, everyone Ive ever had fail was a short to ground and only required one check, and this is the most common failure. That is the stator to ground check, so start there before wasting time

stator voltage and resistance between the coils. Make sure you use the highest ohms scale or you can miss a high resistive short. any continuity at all its bad.

 

So yeah, test results are in. Short to ground failure on the stator is the answer.

 

Is there a specific stator other than the OEM one thats superior and "the one" to get?  I was looking at ricky stators and there seem to be 2 models for sale, their $150 offering and a $250 oem one. but then a search brings up a ton of different options too.  This site has them for about 370 list for the oem... 

 

i guess i'm trying to find the best one for the friendliest price so I can get back up into the mountains:

 

 

deck.jpg

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Yeah the Oem one is expensive, and I think I second day aired was around that $370 price with a gasket, at a local shop. But online you out to be able to reduce that price I suspect. But remember a gasket.

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The $150 (less if ordered from TT) Ricky Stator have proven to be very good.  And you can not beat the customer service.  Gasket is generally reusable but does not cost much to replace.  The O ring on the torque limiter clutch can be a problem but is way too expensive for what it is. With care it is reusable.

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Well guys , I tossed in that new ricky stator and the bike ran fine for a couple of days then died on my ride home, died dead, total battery drain.

 

I ordered up an electrosport rr and just put it in moments ago. i just wanted anyone following this thread that was curious to know that the $150 ricky stator and the $80 electrosport rr, which is much larger than the stock unit, yield 14.47 V at the posts on a new battery at idle,  and 14.47 V at 3000 rpm.

 

I think my old grip heaters may have contributed to the rr failure. just about to take the test ride. pretty excited.

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