Why just three days ago I managed to get my headlight working again by simply changing out all of the fuses for new ones. Despite the 10A fuse looking pristine, with no discoloration or blackness, it was nevertheless blown. I was delighted that after having changed them all and turned the key that everything was finally working, headlight and all. "Job done!" I said to myself feeling rather pleased. However, the last two days has found me either unable to get the bike started at all or simply stranded on several occasions because she stalled and couldn't be turned on again. I did not touch the wires inside the bucket and as mentioned already, she has an entirely new set of fuses. Nevertheless, I spent the afternoon yesterday with a battery jump-starter strapped to the back of my bike as every time she was shut off or stalled she just didn't have any juice left in her battery to get her started again!
I have noticed that there are several hundred thousand (I exaggerate, sorry) people online who have experienced this very thing yet despite going through several pages of responses to this problem, nobody seemed to have a proper answer, at least nobody except the kind folks from Intruder Alert and a friend of mine from my riding group! Thus, armed with my Haynes Manual and most importantly, the above mentioned I found myself on a quest once again to uncover the mysteries as to why my bike is giving me ulcers at this point.
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- Battery Faulty.
- Battery Cables making poor contact.
- Load Excessive. Caused by addition of high wattage lights or electrical accessories.
- Ignition (main) switch defective.
- Regulatory/rectifier defective.
- Alternator stator coil open or shorted.
- Wiring Faulty. Wiring grounded or connections loose in ignition, charging or lighting circuits. (Haynes, 2009: REF.34)
Canadian Tire has practically reserved a parking spot just for me these past two weeks as I seem to be spending more and more time, and money, there trying to bring this bike back to a like new condition again. On the advice of Yo, Criag, Pow 2K, Navigator, & Woodburyhl, from Intruder Alert and Beakster from Dragon Riders I bit the bullet and I went out this morning and purchased a digital multimeter and some eight foot booster cables. I never intended to get to know what makes my bike electrifying but alas, if your looking to buy an old motorcycle it is an inevitability I am afraid. I shouldn't sound disappointed, I am really just being lazy. Truth be told its been exhilarating and yes, even fun, trying to uncover what makes my bike happy or sad. Though, as in any relationship, I didn't appreciate the silent treatment she has been giving me the last few days!
Beakster and I spent the early afternoon going through everything that could be gone through with the volt multimeter. The battery read as charged and when the motor was revved it read as charging! Equally, the stator was fine and the voltage regulator/rectifier is new, so no worries there. The battery is new too by the way, hence the perplexing situation to begin with. More to the point, thanks to everybody's help I figured out the problem and it is one that might surprise all of you! When I installed my new headlight I added a brand new High Intensity 55/100 Watt bulb! As you can see above, the Haynes manual list Load Excessive as a cause for weak or dead batteries. I swapped the new bulb out for a new and standard 55/60 watt bulb and voila, the battery is no longer being drained excessively!
Thus far it's the only explanation... which sounds ridiculous but alas, after taking a spin for an hour or so with Beakster I returned home and stopped and started the bike repeatedly with no difficulties. We took meter readings again and everything checks out just fine. I guess it's often the most implausible of explanations that sometimes turn out to be the most logical. It's also a reminder of just how delicate new relationships can be. Although its been a rocky start between Serenity and myself, the fault can be traced back to human error on all accounts... which is unfortunate really as for once I would like to be in the right. Alas, is there ever such a thing as being right when arguing with your motorcycle?! Hopefully now she and I can return to the matter of courting one another without any further arguments... though that won't stop me from carrying jumper cables and a volt meter during future rides!