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  1. #1
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Starter or Battery 2004 R1150RT

    I've been working my way through trying to figure out why my '04RT has gotten progressively slower starting over the past year--on the first cold start of the day. I've tested every aspect of the fuel system from the strainer to the injectors and verified the HES. The battery seems fine and the starter turns over quickly (I think since I've got no comparison). Throttle bodies are balanced and it idles well.

    With two new stick coils (and the replacement of all four plugs), my '04RT is running like great. And it starts fine ... other than that first start of the day, which takes 4-5 seconds.

    Yesterday I decided to take some data on the first start with the GS-911 via bluetooth to my phone. With it connected to the 911, the samples are logged every half second (400 mS) versus every second (800 mS) to the PC i usually use, nearly twice as fast.

    Looking at the battery voltage in the log, here's what I saw:

    12.19 V, 0 rpm
    12.11, 0
    12.11, 0
    6.82, 0
    10.24, 350 rpm
    10.89, 350
    10.73, 200 rpm
    11.05, 1400
    13.73, 1500

    My battery appears to be in good health (a one year old PC680, it will crank the bike for a long time with a bright headlight) and the starter seems to turn over fine. But looking at the voltage dip I decided to try jumping from my car with its motor running.

    This morning I pulled the left-side panel, got good jumper connections all around--ground to the bike's battery and +12V to the starter lug. Set up logging and pressed the starter button ... er, er, vroom. According to the log (and my ears) the bike started in 1 second.

    Here was the voltage log:
    13.98 V, 0 rpm
    9.99, 0
    11.46, 300
    11.95, 1350
    13.9, 1400
    14.06, 1450

    Last winter, I pulled my starter because of a high drain on the battery and very hard starting every so often. The planetary gear cover had fallen onto the armature. Based on the test today, I'm leaning toward replacing the starter. My reasoning is the cables and connections look good, and even with the jumper cable to the starter lug the voltage dipped from 14V to 10V.

    I'm thinking that without the jumper cable connected, the dip to 7-9 volts when the starter is pressed is upsetting the Motronic, or coils, or injectors.

    Starter or battery, which do you think?
    RB

  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Hi Roger, I think you will find that a dip to 9.2 volts won't let the bike start- or at least that is what I have found. I went looking for one of my fav-o-rite get me out of a jam the easy way tools to measure problems and here it is....and apparently a thing of the past.



    it's (or was) a great way to check these kind of problems, you just rest it on the wire in question and the draw was measured.
    In your case, if you did have one, you could compare to another bike and help you with amperage draw info.
    Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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  3. #3
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Hi Gary, That's a blast from the past. I don't have one which leaves me stuck trying to deduce what's wrong.

    Since my starter is original and had the planetary gear cover arcing on the armature I'm tempted to replace it, and then my relatively new battery if needed. RB

  4. #4
    ONE LESS HARLEY 04r1150rs's Avatar
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    I can't say for sure about the battery or starter, but a one year old battery "should" be good. I had an 04 R1150RS starter fail, seemed like bad battery symptoms and wasn't. Two known weak points on the vaelo starter. the magnets which is a well documented problem. There is another problem that isn't talked about much. The bendix has a small gears inclosed with a thin metal plate. This plate comes loose and intermittently shorts out the armature.











    if it's the magnets that are loose I may still have the old housing w/ magnets still in place.
    Richard
    2004 R1150RS
    1984 R80 G/S
    2003 Suzuki DRZ 400S

  5. #5
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    I've been working my way through trying to figure out why my '04RT has gotten progressively slower starting over the past year--on the first cold start of the day. I've tested every aspect of the fuel system from the strainer to the injectors and verified the HES. The battery seems fine and the starter turns over quickly (I think since I've got no comparison). Throttle bodies are balanced and it idles well.

    With two new stick coils (and the replacement of all four plugs), my '04RT is running like great. And it starts fine ... other than that first start of the day, which takes 4-5 seconds.

    Yesterday I decided to take some data on the first start with the GS-911 via bluetooth to my phone. With it connected to the 911, the samples are logged every half second (400 mS) versus every second (800 mS) to the PC i usually use, nearly twice as fast.

    Looking at the battery voltage in the log, here's what I saw:

    12.19 V, 0 rpm
    12.11, 0
    12.11, 0
    6.82, 0
    10.24, 350 rpm
    10.89, 350
    10.73, 200 rpm
    11.05, 1400
    13.73, 1500

    My battery appears to be in good health (a one year old PC680, it will crank the bike for a long time with a bright headlight) and the starter seems to turn over fine. But looking at the voltage dip I decided to try jumping from my car with its motor running.

    This morning I pulled the left-side panel, got good jumper connections all around--ground to the bike's battery and +12V to the starter lug. Set up logging and pressed the starter button ... er, er, vroom. According to the log (and my ears) the bike started in 1 second.

    Here was the voltage log:
    13.98 V, 0 rpm
    9.99, 0
    11.46, 300
    11.95, 1350
    13.9, 1400
    14.06, 1450

    Last winter, I pulled my starter because of a high drain on the battery and very hard starting every so often. The planetary gear cover had fallen onto the armature. Based on the test today, I'm leaning toward replacing the starter. My reasoning is the cables and connections look good, and even with the jumper cable to the starter lug the voltage dipped from 14V to 10V.

    I'm thinking that without the jumper cable connected, the dip to 7-9 volts when the starter is pressed is upsetting the Motronic, or coils, or injectors.

    Starter or battery, which do you think?
    RB
    Do an equalize charge on the Odyssey of 14.9v - 15v for at least 8-10 hours.
    Then test again. You will be surprised.
    I am betting that your "new" battery is not fully charged.
    The Motronic does not operate well below 9.5v
    The problem with AGM's is they want (and need) a higher charge voltage than 14.0v which is what Oilhead alternators typically put out.
    I have seen this problem on a few bikes now.
    My solution on my own machine is I modified the voltage regulator to charge @ 14.7v years ago and never had any further issues.
    I love Odyssey batteries and recommend them. The catch is they must be periodically equalized (with a 5-10A charger) to maintain peak capacity in our application.
    This was all confirmed by one of the engineers at Odyssey when I had this problem myself. Their site has a lot of engineering data confirming the requirements.
    My machine (1150GS) always starts within 2 seconds.
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  6. #6
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    If you jump inside your starter, this Best of Forum http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthre...e-your-starter
    had some great info.
    OM
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  7. #7
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04R1150RS View Post
    I can't say for sure about the battery or starter, but a one year old battery "should" be good. I had an 04 R1150RS starter fail, seemed like bad battery symptoms and wasn't. Two known weak points on the vaelo starter. the magnets which is a well documented problem. There is another problem that isn't talked about much. The bendix has a small gears inclosed with a thin metal plate. This plate comes loose and intermittently shorts out the armature.

    if it's the magnets that are loose I may still have the old housing w/ magnets still in place.

    Thank you. This is just how my starter looked in February when I opened it. Almost exactly. I put things back where they belonged, magnets were good.

    At the moment, it seems like the starter spins fine but it may be drawing a lot of current, not sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    Do an equalize charge on the Odyssey of 14.9v - 15v for at least 8-10 hours.
    Then test again. You will be surprised.
    I am betting that your "new" battery is not fully charged.
    The Motronic does not operate well below 9.5v
    The problem with AGM's is they want (and need) a higher charge voltage than 14.0v which is what Oilhead alternators typically put out.
    I have seen this problem on a few bikes now.
    My solution on my own machine is I modified the voltage regulator to charge @ 14.7v years ago and never had any further issues.
    I love Odyssey batteries and recommend them. The catch is they must be periodically equalized (with a 5-10A charger) to maintain peak capacity in our application.
    This was all confirmed by one of the engineers at Odyssey when I had this problem myself. Their site has a lot of engineering data confirming the requirements.
    My machine (1150GS) always starts within 2 seconds.
    GS, Thanks. It seems like the condition came on slowly, not positive. After 16 hours my voltage is 12.93. So is this a situation where the internal resistance of the battery increases?

    I'm going to look into this. As good as the PC680 is if it takes this kind of coddling, I'm not sure it is worth it. RB

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    My solution on my own machine is I modified the voltage regulator to charge @ 14.7v years ago and never had any further issues.
    How To?

  9. #9
    Registered User dieselyoda's Avatar
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    There was a post here by Roger04rt an hour ago?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott.lambert View Post
    How To?
    Where did that post go?

    The answer would have been great. To the best of my knowledge, integral voltage regulators are totally electronic and they are what they are.

    I had hoped to learn something new. (is that "hoped" as in hope or "hopped" as in "pay attention my little bunny friend"?)

    With integral voltage regulators in my career, the best you could do was full field the alternator to see the maximum voltage. Other than the smell of your fingers and alternator burning, it was the only way I ever learned to determine whether it was the alternator or the regulator at fault for poor voltage and amperage.

    Could we get that answer back please?
    1997 R1100RT (Restored Basket Case) , 1981 KZ 440 LTD (Restored Basket Case)
    1986 K75S(the beutch), 1993 K1100RS (blown engine), 1997 Chev Short Box (4x4 with an LT1)
    "You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him."

  10. #10
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    ...
    In 35 years of being a paid wrench, I have had bad batteries, bad starters, bad cables and a few times, really bad engine bearings. I once had an apprentice go to put his third starter on an engine when I stopped him and asked him if he did those tests. He said he did but didn't know what the data meant. Good batteries, excessive current draw twice, no voltage drop, engine was seized.

    It took me longer to use "spell correction" and write this post than it does to do those tests.

    ...
    So, with 35 years of instinct under your belt, since I have none of the tools you mentioned, is it starter or battery causing the voltage dip? And since the symptoms are the headlights are bright and the starter spins quickly, which system is being affected by the starter or alternator causing the lean, first 29 seconds, on the first start of the day?

    When you have 35 years of spell check under your belt these posts will take much less time than your tests. Stay with it man!

    BTW, 45 years ago my two jobs were: morning/night, dairy-barn gutter-shoveler, and: day-job, greasy handed auto mechanic. The two smells were a lot to bring home at night. Because of the dairy-barn job I don't like to get a lot of what I was shoveling then, now.

    Quote Originally Posted by dieselyoda View Post
    Where did that post go? ...

    Could we get that answer back please?
    The link I referenced is locked. Here is another thread I found using GOOGLE search by a guy whose handle is mouthfullofflake: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showp...7&postcount=22
    Last edited by Roger 04 RT; 10-08-2013 at 12:09 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User R100RTurbo's Avatar
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    Odyssey Charge Rates

    Quote Originally Posted by GSAddict View Post
    Do an equalize charge on the Odyssey of 14.9v - 15v for at least 8-10 hours.
    Then test again. You will be surprised.
    I am betting that your "new" battery is not fully charged.
    The Motronic does not operate well below 9.5v
    The problem with AGM's is they want (and need) a higher charge voltage than 14.0v which is what Oilhead alternators typically put out.
    I have seen this problem on a few bikes now.
    My solution on my own machine is I modified the voltage regulator to charge @ 14.7v years ago and never had any further issues.
    I love Odyssey batteries and recommend them. The catch is they must be periodically equalized (with a 5-10A charger) to maintain peak capacity in our application.
    This was all confirmed by one of the engineers at Odyssey when I had this problem myself. Their site has a lot of engineering data confirming the requirements.
    My machine (1150GS) always starts within 2 seconds.
    I have to admit not researching the AGM charge behaviour very diligently, and find the above numbers quite surprising. I'll further reveal ignorance on the subject with a question as to the tendancy of the closed case to vent or loose medium when charge rates go over a threshold? (as flooded cells are so vulnerable to).
    I had added a PC925 to my airhead a few years ago, and left the system charging it at the traditional 13.8v (albeit that system a refit that provides 900w and is flat line 13.8 throughout all rpm's). I did a cursary read on the Odyssey paperwork back then but either missed this or it didn't provide such detail.
    I'm interested to follow your final accessment Roger, on your battery, and course of action. Not having problems but wish to treat the Odyssey as it should be.
    I have a link on file for an external voltage regulator that can be "dialed" up/down to customs output levels, others may have seen that.

  12. #12
    Still a learning newbie !
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    Quote Originally Posted by R100RTurbo View Post
    I have to admit not researching the AGM charge behaviour very diligently, and find the above numbers quite surprising. I'll further reveal ignorance on the subject with a question as to the tendancy of the closed case to vent or loose medium when charge rates go over a threshold? (as flooded cells are so vulnerable to).
    I had added a PC925 to my airhead a few years ago, and left the system charging it at the traditional 13.8v (albeit that system a refit that provides 900w and is flat line 13.8 throughout all rpm's). I did a cursary read on the Odyssey paperwork back then but either missed this or it didn't provide such detail.
    I'm interested to follow your final accessment Roger, on your battery, and course of action. Not having problems but wish to treat the Odyssey as it should be.
    I have a link on file for an external voltage regulator that can be "dialed" up/down to customs output levels, others may have seen that.

    I agree, the more I read about the subject of the Odyssey Battery, the more I realize that I may be short changing the life of the battery with the Jr charger I am using. I asked the person at Odyssey when I bought the battery if the float charger I had would be sufficient and he at the time of purchase, assured me it would. Sufficient vs Optimal are 2 different things.

    What I do have are a couple of Jr tenders that I use on my lead acid battery(s) and recently a DieHard Gold Charger / Starter that I use for the cars. My previous Sears charger lasted about 32 yr, before I put it out to pasture. My new unit has a AGM setting and will 2 amp / 10 amp / 30amp charge or 3 sec start at a 80amp discharge. I would not use this to 30amp charge or to start a motorcycle battery with. Car or similar yes. I have put this charger on the PC680 on the 10amp and now on the 2amp setting. It will get bring the battery up to 14.68v or so. When it initial charges it will go to 15.2v but for only about 10 secs then it floats down to the 14.6v range.. But after several hours it shuts it self off and the battery settles down to 13.1v or so. Then I don't consider this a true float charger and don't think I will use this to maintain the PC680 long term. Course at the time I also did not do the needed indepth research and believed this charger would charge and a Jr would float the PC680 to a best level. It looks like I was wrong to believe that....

    So now I may have (or is that need, do I really have to have?) to purchase a charger that cost's near the price of the battery to support it...

    This is an interesting subject, My thanks to you gentlemen for the research and sharing it with us..
    Last edited by Dadrider; 10-10-2013 at 04:03 PM.

  13. #13
    Still a learning newbie !
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    This Diehard charger has medium size clamps that isn't safe to leave unattended for days on end to keep the battery floated.

    With my work schedule, the bike sits for weeks if not a month at a time between rides right now. Should I float as part of a maintenance schedule and disconnect the battery between rides? That neg cable isn't the easiest thing to get to.

    I want to keep the battery near or at the top of it's game, but rather would not have to partially disassemble to hook a cable up, go on a day ride and then repeat to set it back up for 3 or 4 weeks.

    That is my small concern.

  14. #14
    Registered User roger 04 rt's Avatar
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    Here is what I heard from odyssey on the subject of pc680 maintenance.

    Hello Roger,

    Thank you for contacting EnerSys/ODYSSEY.

    See attached manual reconditioning cycle for your reference. If your headlight will stay on, this would work fairly well for a way of discharging the battery.

    Proper charger maintenance is critical to maximize the life and performance of the ODYSSEY battery. ODYSSEY Battery 101?

    The usable energy of the ODYSSEY battery is from 11.2V (0% state of charge) OCV to 12.84V OCV (Open Circuit Voltage should be checked after a minimum of 6-8 hours rest period with no loads) or higher. When the battery goes below 10.0V OCV, you are getting into the chemical part of the battery and can cause permanent damage. At less than 8.0V the ODYSSEY limited warranty deems the battery over-discharged due to abuse or neglect. At less than 6V the battery can develop reversed cells depending on the condition of the battery. The ODYSSEY charger/maintainer can maintain the battery at a full state of charge indefinitely in or out of the application without harming the battery. If the battery becomes over-discharged (below 11.0V) then the sooner the battery can be fully charged the better and if the battery remains connected to the application during storage or extended periods of non-use. There is a link to a list of ODYSSEY approved 12V chargers located on the ODYSSEY website Product Support page for your reference. Any of the approved chargers can be used to maintain the battery indefinitely without harming the battery.

    The list of approved 12V chargers is provided due to the many chargers that are programmed for the vast majority of batteries on the market that prefer low amp charging and lower float voltages that do not fully charge or maintain the ODYSSEY battery properly. The recommended charging current for an ODYSSEY battery is 40% of the 10 hour amp hour rating of the battery for cyclic applications (about 6A for a single 16Ah rated PC680), a constant float voltage of 13.5-13.8V and no constant voltages exceeding 15.0V in any kind of automatic de-sulfation/reconditioning/equalize mode. At greater than 15.0V the battery can overcharge, overheat, and/or go into thermal runaway. Maintaining the battery at less than 13.5V will bring the battery down and maintain it in an undercharged condition causing sulfation and premature failure.

    For seasonal applications (non-daily use applications that set for more than 3 days in a row consistently) frequent use of an approved maintainer that meets the charge voltage requirements noted in the previous paragraph is highly recommended during the season. The preferred storage method is to fully charge the battery before storing and disconnect the battery from the application (shelf storage mode) Stored in or out of the application with no loads, the battery would not require charging for up to 2 years at 77?F or until it reaches 12.0V, whichever comes first. The self discharge rate increases significantly for temperatures above 25?C (77?F) and for every 10?C (18?F) temperature increase the storage time to recharge is decreased by half. Charge maintenance is critical to maximizing the life and performance of the battery. Freezing will not harm the battery and self discharge rates reduce significantly at colder temperatures.

    It is recommended that the ODYSSEY battery be charged if it is less than 12.65V when put into use per the ODYSSEY Owner?s Manual (link provided on website Literature page for your reference). Most standard alternators/stators are not meant to be deep discharge recovery chargers and can damage the alternator/stator as well as not fully charging the battery with limited use. The Cyclic Charge Voltage range printed on the top label of the battery is the recommended voltage at the battery from the applications charging system (alternator or stator). At less than 14.1V the battery may not be getting fully charged for infrequently used applications. You can verify the battery voltage by checking the voltage at the battery at least 8 hours after application use (or off charge) and if the battery voltage is not at least 12.84V then the battery is not considered fully charged. Voltage readings taken right off charge or after use (alternator/stator charging) will be inflated and inaccurate so for a true OCV reading, you should wait at least 8 hours before checking the voltage (OCV) with 24 hours being preferred.

    Any feedback is always welcome and appreciated. I hope this helps. Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or need further assistance.

    Sincerely,
    ODYSSEY Sales/Support Representative

  15. #15
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger 04 RT View Post
    Starter or battery, which do you think?

    RB
    I'd get a 500A carbon pile load tester from Harbor Freight and do a load test on a fully charged battery. They're are on sale now and then (like right now) for $55. You won't have to guess the next time you have a battery or starting issue.

    The load test is a test of a battery's internal resistance.

    Also get a 200A shunt off eBay. Along with some cables and a multimeter with Max or Peak Hold, you can take a current draw measurement of your starter in action.

    Of course another way would be to use another battery on loan to you and not a car battery that has gobs more CCA which might overshadow a starter issue.

    Your alternator should be putting out 14.0 to 14.2V off idle.

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