Jump to content

Troubleshooting electrical issues

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone!  Bought, at a dealer, a used 2015 DRZ 400 SM (came with aftermarket LED sidemarkers and fender eliminator, tool kit was removed and a battery tender plug in was also installed.  Bike ran fantastic, no problems.  Well, come to about a month ago the display started to flicker, but still kept the orange backlight.  The input for the speedo was still logging miles, but none the less, LCD screen not showing unless at lower speeds/vibration rate.  Then eventually I noticed intermittently the push start wasn't working.  Super infrequently but at times I was second guessing if I was starting the bike correctly.  So then came a time to take the bike into the garage and check out the wiring in the front.  

 

I noticed on the yellow connector, a yellow wire that delivered power to the fan was not working.  Threw some solder on it to reconnect to the brass connector, fixed.

Disassembled the speedo and found that two of the wires were not fully seated into the motherboard assembly to deliver power, and would not seat on their own.  Carefully put superglue across only the top where the wires needed to go, put it all back together and it worked just fine, now the speedo stayed lit, and it started no problems.

 

Come to take it to work the next day (everything was working, started right up)  Got off bike, went upstairs and came back to turn on the bike?  Nothing.  Turned the key, no power to anything, headlight wasn't working, neutral light didn't come on.  Called the dealership I bought it from, they're booked out until July 20.  A month from now.  ($%#)

 

Ran the bike into the parking garage and bump started it.  The dash did not light up, the signals do not work, fan does not make the whirring noise when you turn your bike on before pushing the start button.  Bike runs fine.  The headlights run, the tail lights run.  That day, the LCD screen showed the orange backlight, seldomly flashing the screen as you would see it if you just turned the key (LCD filling all the possible positions) and then flashes out like it did before.  Rode bike for about 20 miles or so back home, grabbed my truck used that.  

 

Bought a multi meter to test the battery, it's reading about 13, the fuse above the battery is intact, also shows a reading.  Try to turn the key off and on?  Nothing happens.  Bump start the bike, it starts, but nothing on the LCD screen, neutral light works, headlights work (and brights and bright indicator as well).  You can see an obvious fluctuation in the lights due to it running off the power of the bike.  

 

I want to buy a new wiring harness and just replace the entire thing, I was told it's a cost of about $350 from the stealership for parts.  If I want it diagnosed, it'll be a minimum of $125 an hour.  What would be your suggestions oh wise ones of the DRZ community?  Thank you very much in advance for advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Advise is keep looking and find the problem. You have already done quite bit and have the multmeter needed to troubleshoot so--

Battery at 13 volts is good. Verify the motorcycle is charging the battery.  Motor running the voltage should raise above 13 into the 14 volt range.

Really sounds like the power is not getting from the battery to the ignotuon switch.  However power is getting from the charging system to the ignition and if the battery is being charged power is getting from the alternator the battery which means all the wires are intact. Needs more diagnosis.  My guess is the instrument problem is a separate problem from the lack of power to start the motor.

Simple things first - clean and tighten the battery terminals

replace the fuse

inspect the connector between the battery and the fuse holder.

verify the battery ground cable is tight at the motor.

Report battery voltage:

Key off?

Key ON not running?

Start button depressed?

Motor running?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I just went down and checked it out.

12v with bike off, reading straight off the battery.

12v with the bike on, straight off the battery

0v with the bike off off the headlight plug

2v with the bike on off the headlight plug.  

 

Nothing else turns on when the bike is on that I can use as a comparable.  Does this sound like the battery?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like your charging system is not working. Start the bike up again with the voltmeter on the battery, Rev it up a bit and read the bat voltage while running, after 30 sec. If still below 13 volts you have a charging problem. If the battery is still starting the bike, it still should be OK,  but your stator is probably fried. Pull your stator cover off and look at it, if it looks melted or burnt at all, lose it!

This is if you meant bike on, as in running. If not disregard all that stuff.

Edited by bucket list

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Battery is not starting the bike at all.  I've had to bump start it every time.

I've been riding the bike around in the parking garage a few laps every time I get it going, but without any power going to the fan to help cool the bike, I really don't want to leave it idling for too long without any fan going.

 

Thank you for mentioning the stator.  Looked up how to test the three phases and will be doing that tomorrow night! :)

Edited by drz400pvl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, drz400pvl said:

Battery is not starting the bike at all.  I've had to bump start it every time.

I've been riding the bike around in the parking garage a few laps every time I get it going, but without any power going to the fan to help cool the bike, I really don't want to leave it idling for too long without any fan going.

 

Thank you for mentioning the stator.  Looked up how to test the three phases and will be doing that tomorrow night! :)

If it was me I'd start with a fresh battery 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To interpret your results:

 

12v with bike off, reading straight off the battery.---This is low. A fully charged battery should read close to 13 volts.  12.8 to 13.2 is good, I could live with 12.6 but just 12 is pretty severely discharged.

12v with the bike on, straight off the battery----Interesting.  Turning the key on does not add any load to the battery.  Someplace between the battery and the key switch the circuit is open circuit or very high resistance.

0v with the bike off off the headlight plug-----(I assume key OFF) Normal and expected

2v with the bike on off the headlight plug. -------(I assume key ON motor not running) This is a good indication of very high resistance in the circuit  between the battery and the key switch. This supports  your initial findings.  If it was zero, the wire would be broken.  2 volts says something is getting thru.  Go back to my earlier suggestions:

clean and tighten the battery terminals

REPLACE the fuse, also inspect the fuse holder for melting  or over heating. Does the fuse fit in tightly

Find and inspect the single pin connector between the battery and the fuse holder looking for melting or over heating.  This is a critical point.

verify the battery ground cable is tight at the motor.

 

  Does this sound like the battery?-------No necessarily.  But you should charge the battery to continue testing.

 


 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Noble said:

To interpret your results:

 

12v with bike off, reading straight off the battery.---This is low. A fully charged battery should read close to 13 volts.  12.8 to 13.2 is good, I could live with 12.6 but just 12 is pretty severely discharged.

12v with the bike on, straight off the battery----Interesting.  Turning the key on does not add any load to the battery.  Someplace between the battery and the key switch the circuit is open circuit or very high resistance.

0v with the bike off off the headlight plug-----(I assume key OFF) Normal and expected

2v with the bike on off the headlight plug. -------(I assume key ON motor not running) This is a good indication of very high resistance in the circuit  between the battery and the key switch. This supports  your initial findings.  If it was zero, the wire would be broken.  2 volts says something is getting thru.  Go back to my earlier suggestions:

clean and tighten the battery terminals

REPLACE the fuse, also inspect the fuse holder for melting  or over heating. Does the fuse fit in tightly

Find and inspect the single pin connector between the battery and the fuse holder looking for melting or over heating.  This is a critical point.

verify the battery ground cable is tight at the motor.

 

  Does this sound like the battery?-------No necessarily.  But you should charge the battery to continue testing.

 


 

On the "money". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Noble said:

To interpret your results:

 

12v with bike off, reading straight off the battery.---This is low. A fully charged battery should read close to 13 volts.  12.8 to 13.2 is good, I could live with 12.6 but just 12 is pretty severely discharged.

12v with the bike on, straight off the battery----Interesting.  Turning the key on does not add any load to the battery.  Someplace between the battery and the key switch the circuit is open circuit or very high resistance.

0v with the bike off off the headlight plug-----(I assume key OFF) Normal and expected

2v with the bike on off the headlight plug. -------(I assume key ON motor not running) This is a good indication of very high resistance in the circuit  between the battery and the key switch. This supports  your initial findings.  If it was zero, the wire would be broken.  2 volts says something is getting thru.  Go back to my earlier suggestions:

clean and tighten the battery terminals

REPLACE the fuse, also inspect the fuse holder for melting  or over heating. Does the fuse fit in tightly

Find and inspect the single pin connector between the battery and the fuse holder looking for melting or over heating.  This is a critical point.

verify the battery ground cable is tight at the motor.

 

  Does this sound like the battery?-------No necessarily.  But you should charge the battery to continue testing.

 


 

The bike is ON and the motor is running and I get 2v off the headlight.

 

I have just bought a new battery and the acid is draining into it as we speak and I will be getting a reading of the battery first before I plug it into the bike.  Fingers crossed this will be the fix, is just that I have a garbage battery that caused all of this.

 

And Noble.... thank you so much for taking the time to write this troubleshooting map, this is so kind of you to put up for me, I really appreciate it.

Edited by drz400pvl
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, drz400pvl said:

The bike is ON and the motor is running and I get 2v off the headlight.

I have no explanation for this.  You have to push start the motorcycle to get the motor running. So assumedly the motor is running from the alternator generated power.  The motor will not run with 2 volts.  If the motor is running off the alternator, the alternator output has to be close to 12 volts.

Unplug the connector to the headlight. Measure voltage with the headlight switch on LO beam. Measure white wire to black wire.  If the voltage is still low measure white wire to any good ground point on the frame.  If the voltage is still low it may have something to do with your test meter.  Plug in the head light.  If is is reasonably bright you have something close to 12 volts at the headlight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:


×