Start with the easy stuff: Is a fuse blown? Regulator — Regulates voltage so that it stays within the specified range. If connectors are corroded, sand with emery cloth to remove corrosion and coat with vasoline or dielectric grease. If battery voltage is not present, check your connections and wiring. Check the user manual to find out how to time your motorcycle correctly. In practice, the meter leads themselves have some finite resistance and this probably accounts for most of the non-zero meter reading. By selecting this point, the negative meter lead is guaranteed to be connected to the most negative power source point, regardless of the condition of other ground connections on the bike. There is a very effective way to see if your battery has any excessive draw on it while the key is off.
I've had lots of false positives where a battery tests as okay but replacing it fixes the problem. Tracy lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Note the function switch is pointing to 200 in the Ohms section. Tracy Martin writes for Motorcycle Consumer News, RoadBike, Friction Zone, PowerSports, and Dealer News magazines. Fortunately, even though the electrical-system section in your operators' manuals has gotten bigger in the past few years, the basics have not really changed much. Our experts decided to break out the books and provide us with all the basics of electricity as it pertains to our motorcycles.
Next, repeat this test, but this time hold your red tester lead at the battery's positive terminal. Make sure that it is gapped to the manual's specs. Here the resistance between two stator connector pins is being measured. Your bike may also have safety cut outs that will prevent you from starting the engine. Click to read about how to safely jump-start a motorcycle.
. You still may have a problem with charging, cranking, safety-interlock or accessory electrical systems. The actual number of the voltage is not terribly important. Current measurements will not be made in this writeup, so don't worry about its usage. Here the meter is set up to measure resistance. If you do not have any constant power accessories, you have tracked down the preliminary source of the problem.
Do all three troubleshooting tests if this section applies. The black cable supplies the ground. If cable itself is corroded i. If connection is bad, tighten or replace ground screw as necessary, replacing star washer also. Check your service manual to find out what the resistance is supposed to be if you are still curious. Park motorcycle in neutral with engine running, on center stand if present, on racing stand if no center stand is present, and on side-stand with a chock-block under the front wheel if neither other option is available. If you do not, then the switch is defective, and you should replace it.
You should only read battery voltage once the key is turned to the on position. We will cover a lot in this class and the beauty of it is that you can stop, fast forward and review any topic at any time. First, check to make sure that the battery has a full charge. Is a wire cut or broken? It is usually a lighter-gauge red or a brightly colored wire, or you can trace it from your keyswitch. Many of these problems have been found to be due to the same failure mechanisms. Step 4 - Checking for Corrosion If your motorcycle is difficult to start but does start eventually then this could be due to corrosion. With the bike running at operating temperature.
It should not read higher than 14. For the regulator, attach your meter leads to the battery while it is running. The multimeter should read under 1 Ohm for all three make sure to take into account the resistance between the leads. The best ways to help ensure that your wiring lasts as long as possible is to cover your motorcycle from the rain and sun either using an indoor parking spot, or a waterproof motorcycle cover when parked , and to never use a pressure washer on your motorcycle. Do not test for spark at the spark-plug electrodes the old-fashioned way of grounding the plug to the head of the engine. Either way, testing is pretty much the same. Any fuses that have blown out will need to be replaced with the same type of fuse that was removed.
Let me tell you here and now that bare, twisted-together wires wrapped with a yard of electrical tape, household-style wiring nuts and old extension cords pirated from the kitchen junk drawer generally do not make for a reliable transmission of current, and have no place on your motorcycle. This is an example of a common interlock problem and illustrates how you can think your way through an interlock-system-troubleshooting procedure. · Press the starter button. If you read less than 12 volts, then your regulator does not allow enough voltage through to charge your battery. Excess power is converted into heat by the regulator to get rid of it. Has the problem with other items flashing disappeared? A multimeter is all that is needed for most troubleshooting and cheap one will work fine. The purpose of this guide is to help riders to begin the process of troubleshooting motorcycle electrical problems.
Make sure any throttle controls, ignition switches, safety interlocks, etc. First, support this site by visiting our sponsors, then with questions! In the real world, this step is sometimes omitted, generally without any dire effects. To test the rectifier, you will need to disconnect all of the wires and turn your multimeter to the diode function. The stator needs to be replaced. So don't forget to perform this troubleshooting procedure when trying to repair a machine that will not crank or run. For the purposes of this article, we will break down a machine's electrical troubleshooting into five main systems.
If your tester does not show a bright-blue or consistent spark, check your electrical connections, armature air gap and flywheel key, and clean off any rust from your flywheel magnets. Consider borrowing a known good battery to help diagnose if that's the problem. An electrical switch is very easy to test with an ohm meter or continuity light. It also may include a keyswitch or an ammeter see Figure 3, below left. Those are topics for other articles, and we will assume that these systems are functioning properly.