Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)
  • Motorbikerists – advice on battery/starting issue
  • Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    So, the bike has started a bit rough last few times, and yesterday after work it wouldn’t at all. Turned over (with apologies for non tech speak) I could hear the starter motor turning over, but wouldn’t spark.

    Eliminating the easy things first, I took the battery out, jumped on the bus and went home. The battery charged up again in about 40 mins(I don’t have a doohicky to measure the charge).

    Popped it back in this morning – ping – started first time, so definitely an issue with either the battery not charging, or not holding the charge.

    When I was putting it back in I noticed the wee pile of fuses etc leading from the red lead was loose – would that be enough to stop the battery charging if that wasn’t connected tight ?

    Also – if I get it started after work and ride home without really identifying the problem – is that a really bad idea ? The light is on all the time I have no easy way of stopping that. I plan to folow the bus route !

    Or should I just wimp out and buy a new battery I may not need….

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    P.S if anybody cares – it is a Yamaha YBR 125. It’s blue, and has about 7000 miles on the clock. I was naughty this year and didn’t garage it over winter, and forgot to take the battery out too. Oops.

    b r
    Member

    hels

    For the price of a battery, it might be worth just putting a new one in. For anything more, try the little garage in Walkerburn, they do m/c’s and shouldn’t be expensive. Small-m/c’s can be rather troublesome with electrics once they’ve a few years/miles on.

    towzer
    Member

    as an aside can you bump it (or learn to) if it has no kick ?

    (ps re storage – draining the carb recommended as well)

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    In simple terms, the doohicky you mention, a Multimeter is £6. Please invest £6 or we’re just guessing at the cause/symptoms and fixes for you.

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    It has a kick start, as I recall from the manual there is a complicated sequence of switching things on/off that has to happen for that to even consider working, will look that up before I leave tonight.

    OK – so invest in a multimeter – good advice ! I am not hugely keen on trying to bump it in busy traffic. Standing by the side of the road looking useless and waiting for help would probably be more effective.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Maplins or Halfords will sell you one cheaply… Once you get it and work out the settings etc do the following.

    1. Battery terminals with ignition off
    2. Battery terminals with ignition turned on but bike not running
    3. Battery terminals with bike running at idle
    4. Battery terminals with bike revving to 4000rpm

    Put the figures for each and lets go from there.

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    Cool – thanks heaps weeksy – I shall research and report ! Got to get home first tho, my work is NOT a good place to leave a 125 parked overnight.

    trail_rat
    Member

    if you leave it …. the local scrotes will get it started for oyu in short order … no keys needed…..

    may struggle to find it afterwards though 🙁

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    I could follow the smoke when they set fire to it ! I just spoke to Security and they said I can leave it in the pool-car cage if it won’t start tonite, but I reckon it will.

    Premier Icon kilo
    Subscriber

    Just learn to kick start it, my 125 Gilera battery used to go flat all the time, kick start and off I’d go

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    I know I know – when I bought it I always meant to test the kick start in a low pressure environment, not when I really need it to work !

    towzer
    Member

    if you’re ever feeling really brave you could try the old speedway start method….

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    You said it’d turn over but not fire, did it turn over well, sound healthy? Or was it labouring?

    (from where to where is this commute, and, do you still have my mobile number? I’ve got a jumpstart pack in the car 😉 I don’t know your bike specifically though)

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    Cheers Northwind – it was turning over pretty sharp, didn’t sound sick, just no spark, and as I say started first time with freshly charged battery. Commute Saughton to Peebles, will avoid the Bypass and stick to the 62 bus route just in case !

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Well give us a shout if you need a rescue. I’m skeptical about charging being the problem tbh, if it turned over strong, a weak battery can struggle to turn the engine over hard enough to start but you’d normally hear that.

    Is it the carbed one or the fuel injection?

    philholmes
    Member

    I had this problem with my wifes ybr125, although it didnt have a kick start so a newer model I guess.

    There are guides on how to check the alternator using a multimeter, the one in her bike was fine, so next up was the rectifier (changes AC to DC to charge the battery), that was having a fit, a new one cost about 20 pounds off ebay.

    All was good with the world after that.

    I had the same issue with my R1, but that was the alternator which was a common issue, cost me a lot more than 20 pounds to replace it 🙁

    Hope you have a cheap fix!

    julzm
    Member

    Sounds as if you’re battery has knackered over the winter. They get to a point where it can no longer hold a charge (assuming it wasn’t used regularly over winter?) hence the need to use an optimate or a similar trickle charger. If it still needs to be recharged after having had a full charge, sounds like you need a new battery. They are not expensive at all for that type of bike.

    tetchypete
    Member

    If the engine is turning over strongly there’s nothing wrong with the battery surely? My first course of action would be a new spark plug, if the plug is on the way out you could easily have flooded the engine trying to get it started. Leaving it overnight has given it chance to dry itself out and the freshly topped up battery has given the dodgy plug enough of a spark to get it going. If a new plug doesn’t sort it, take it out again and see if it’s wet with fuel. If it is then you have an ignition problem, if it’s dry it’s a fuel supply problem.
    Good luck.

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    techypete may have it.

    Went out after work – started ping ! Ran for about 5 seconds then died. Wouldn’t start again. I am now thinking points or perhaps fuel line blockage.

    Definitely has petrol, gauge at 1/4 and I listened for sloshing.

    So at this point I got all “Women Know Your Limits – Don’t Try To Fix Your Own Motorcycle !!” and called the nice man at Saltire Suzuki (just call and ask for Mike) who is collecting it tomorrow.

    I tried – honest !

    Thanks for all help and advice.

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    P.S and DEFINITELY garaging it next winter – that was a mistake…

    tetchypete
    Member

    Absolutely no shame in calling in the professionals Hels, sometimes discretion is the better part of valour (and besides, what do a bunch of blokes on a mountain bike forum know 😀 )

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Ah what a bummer. But that means it’s time for for MECHANICAL FAILURE GUESSING! I’m going with fuel pump. And everyone who said battery, reg/rec etc starts on -10 points.

    PS, good shout on Saltire, Carrick Yamaha are vagabonds.

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    Cheers Northwind – and cheers for offer of rescuing the damsel.

    Saltire are close to my work, and win the Hels’ Least Patronising To Women Motorbikerists Award.

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    So, here we are again.

    Saltire sat on the bike for two weeks, then concluded that there was nothing wrong with it (charged me £70 and spoke to me like I was stupid, so that’s them off the list). Admittedly it started fine when I picked it up.

    Hadn’t used the bike really since, a couple of trips to work, but in all honesty have no confidence when it might not start, and have been pretty busy with other stuff and can get a parking space at work now.

    Yesterday I took it to Inners – 6 miles. Go to head home 4 hours later and it won’t start.

    AAARRRGHHH.

    Sorry just venting. I am still liking techpetes theory about plugs or points getting wet, dry out over time and it starts, then a wee run spills something. Will run that past the proper mechanics at Darl Services.

    5thElefant
    Member

    What I would do is…. use the kickstart.

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    Does that circumvent the points ?

    5thElefant
    Member

    Points haven’t been used in 50 years.

    One gentle push of the leg and it’ll start, so no need for won’t start anxiety.

    It’s worth changing the battery to an expensive gel one to see if that sorts the problem. But it’s not like you need to get stranded.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    It won’t have points (will it?) even my MG has been upgraded to get rid of the hateful things! You know if a car has points because they need adjusting about as often as a modern car needs filling with diesel.

    Spark plug may be the culprit, but I’d have though it would have more problems than just occasionally refusing to start (running rough, down on power, always refusing to start).

    New plugs are cheap so it’s a good place to start anyway.

    Do you have a multimeter? Check the battery is about 12.5V or higher when you get to it in the morning. Then after starting check it again while it’s running, should be about 14V. If it passes those two tests it’s not the alternator/rectifier/regulator or the battery.

    In which case it’s somewhere in the fuel or ignition system.

    5thElefant
    Member

    Sorry, I picked up on a bit of the text in the original post about recharging the battery solving it.

    If it’s turning over then kick starting probably won’t be any different (unless it’s barely turning over).

    If it’s turning over but really isn’t producing a spark I’d assume it’s a dodgy connection somewhere. I’d check connection, then swap out, the kill switch, the plug, HT lead and cap, coil and CDI in that order.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    weeksy – Member

    Maplins or Halfords will sell you one cheaply… Once you get it and work out the settings etc do the following.

    1. Battery terminals with ignition off
    2. Battery terminals with ignition turned on but bike not running
    3. Battery terminals with bike running at idle
    4. Battery terminals with bike revving to 4000rpm

    Put the figures for each and lets go from there.

    sobriety
    Member

    See, you shoul’ve gotten something reliable, like an Aprila* 😉

    Electrical stuff is most frustrating.

    Does it have a spark when it’s not working?

    You need to take the spark plug out of the engine, connect it up, earth it and turn the engine over to look for this.

    If yes, then it’s a fuel/air problem, if no, then it’s electrical.

    *This is a lie.

    Premier Icon hels
    Subscriber

    I am thinking about selling it anyway – it was good for learning on and beating the traffic but I need to get around to getting full licence, and buy something that doesn’t need 3 days notice and a note from my mother to pass a bus on an A road.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    You need to take the spark plug out of the engine, connect it up, earth it and turn the engine over to look for this.

    Or take the cap off, it it hurts like nothing else* when you press the starter whilst holding it, there’s a spark.

    *sobriety’s method may result in less death.

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