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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Vulcan 1500 Charging Issues

My battery from Batteries Plus was new in April. It seemed weak a few weeks back, so I had it tested at Batteries Plus. It tested fine. 

So I drove to Indiana(700 miles). The bike was parked outside in the rain and kind of cold for a couple days. It was pretty much a monsoon. I pulled the seat off for part of that time to dry the sheepskin cover.

I tried to start it at 45 degrees at O dark thirty to go home and it wouldn't start. I jumped it and drove 700 miles home and it started fine at every gas stop. The headlight(and spotlights) came on just fine. That means the alternator is working right? I stopped in my driveway to open the garage and it wouldn't start again. At least I was home, right?

So I checked the battery voltage and it was 11 and some change. I trickle charged it over night to see what was going on. The battery was still low, but I got it to start and I couldn't get it over 13 volts throttling it up. Ugh, alternator?? The headlight is still coming on, though.

I left it on the charger some another day. The battery finally got up and when I started it the alternator had it up to 13+ just fine.

UGH, what is up with this thing? I had the battery tested again and it showed just fine. So off to my write-up on 1500 charging systems. I got to playing with it and it will go to 15 volts at idle without the two 50 watt spots, but it couldn't keep up very well with the spots on.

Just looking at the numbers, holding 12.5 Volts at idle with the spotlight load and all the way to 15 with only the regular headlight, seems like it would still be okay. But that does not explain the two no starts and 11 volts at the end of a 700 mile ride.

I still need to pop off the left cover and look around. I would think at least one alternator is working fine, but one may be unplugged or otherwise dead.

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