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Intermittent charging problem - looking for ideas

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Hiya! Long time reader, first time poster....

My drz SM has a charging problem that is intermittent. It has resulted in me being stranded with a flat battery/dead bike a few times. The bike has been with the mechanic, who first found no problem, then after another incident a few days later replaced the regulator/rectifier. Battery is also new. This hasn't fixed the problem.

Starting with a fully charged battery, the bike will sometimes die 20-30 minutes into the ride with a flat battery (first the lights go dim, then the dash, then the bike eventually stalls, presumably as it loses spark).

For example, this happened yesterday and I left the bike at the side of the road (battery was <12V... I now carry a voltmeter!). Today, I jump started the bike with a car, and the voltmeter said the system was charging. I rode the bike home and after the ride the battery was reading > 13V (so it was definitely charging). But when I started the bike later this evening, voltage at the battery at idle was 12.8v, which is lower than the voltage with the bike off (13.3v) - so it's not charging again.

I have run the electrical system diagnosis steps and they all check out ok.

One thing I observed is that when the charging system IS working, the red wire from the rectifier gets quite warm to touch - not sure if this is normal...

Does anyone have any ideas what might be causing the charging systems to sometimes charge and to sometimes not?

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Check the 2 pin connector from the reg/rec and do the free power mod

Yes , do the free power mod . I did it yesterday. And now have just over 14.5 volts when running .

Sent from my iPhone using Thumper Talk mobile app

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My stator had a problem where it only charged while the bike was cold. Once the engine warmed up it stopped charging. A simple thing to check.

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My stator had a problem where it only charged while the bike was cold. Once the engine warmed up it stopped charging. A simple thing to check.

This is interesting - I didn't know that a stator can fail intermittently. I don't think that mine is heat related, but it's something to think about.

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Check the 2 pin connector from the reg/rec and do the free power mod

The connector (and all others) look OK - I have gone through them a number of times to be sure.

I have stocked up on supplies to do the free power mod, but then decided to delay when I saw that the wire that I bought was about the same gauge as the wire that's already in there. I will need to buy something heavier.

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Yup, free power mod.  I had a similar problem.  Bike would die on me, checked the FAQ did the diagnostics and everything seemed to be okay.  Did the free power mod and no problems since. :thumbsup:

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Yup, free power mod. I had a similar problem. Bike would die on me, checked the FAQ did the diagnostics and everything seemed to be okay. Did the free power mod and no problems since. :thumbsup:

Ok, I'll go get some heavy gauge wire today then so I can do the mod.

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I have always recommended #14 gage marine grade wire.  However you probably go by metric wire sizes.  I do not know the cross reference.  The wire should be slightly heaver then the original red wire,  It does no have to be extremely big.  Marine grade wire will have silver plated strands of copper wire.  It is a better conductor, solders better and has better contact in a crimp terminal.  It is not essential to use marine wire but it will give better results for a longer period of time.

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Just reporting back - did the free power mod overnight (used wire heavier than 12 gauge) - now getting 14.5v across the battery. Previously never had over 14v.

Hopefully this is going to consistently be the case, but I will need to keep checking as the problem was intermittent to begin with.

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This is interesting - I didn't know that a stator can fail intermittently. I don't think that mine is heat related, but it's something to think about.

 

 

It's as simple as going for a 30+ minute ride so the heat has spread everywhere, and then see what kind of charging you get. I don't know what the failure really was on mine, but it charged when cold and not when hot.

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I have been having the same charging problem for several months now. I replaced the battery, only to have it die after about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs of riding. I had done all of the troubleshooting steps and everything checked out fine. I checked the connector referenced in the "free power mod" and it looked fine.  So I resisted cutting it out until a few days ago. Rode it twice today for several hours and the battery remained charged, what a relief.  Cut that sucker out NOW!!!  Could be something else, but eliminate that POS connector first.

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