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Author Topic: Advice please, electrical issue  (Read 1254 times)

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November 03, 2018, 06:36:24 PM
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
Having an electrical issue with my 2016 Sportster.  Symptoms seem to point to needing a new battery, but not totally.

The XL is bone stock except for accessories; mileage is 15,400 and it is 30 months old. Last items done to it are:  New seat, added engine bars, dealer performed 15k service about 1,100 miles ago and gave it a clean bill of health, new rear tire (thank you, roofing nail), headlight bulb element, warranty replacement of engine and transmission at 9,200 miles.

In the past week we made a 180 mile ride from the desert to mountains, roughly a 4,000 foot elevation change.  MPG once home showed 51.2.  No issues noted.  Two days later we went out to do some errands.  Rode 2 miles and stopped, and she refused to restart.  Did this twice, then started normally.  Pattern was a hesitation then the starter would kick in.  The first tries did not have any starter action, the third one did.  Rode home.

Checked the battery with a HF VOM.  After the Sporty sat for awhile, voltage was 12.76.  When I turned on the key, voltage dropped to 12.27, when I hit the start button the voltage dropped and fluctuated.  The voltage showing varied, the lowest I saw was 8.9 something.  Plugged it into the Battery Tender and checked the next day, roughly 16 hours later.  The tender lights were amber initially (normal), blinking green after an hour, and solid green the next day.

Voltage check right off the tender was 13.10 but was dropping as I watched.  Settled in at 12.75, with key on at 12.22. 

Prowled the forum and found this thread:  https://hdbitchin.com/index.php/topic,3280.0.html.  I have the accessory Harley speedo with the Range and fuel level indicators and have the same symptoms.  So to me it looks like we're due for a new battery but could it be anything else?  Seems a bit soon for a HD battery to quit, but as the wife pointed out it was a very hot summer. 
When the going gets weird, the weird turns pro.

- Hunter S. Thompson

November 03, 2018, 07:04:57 PM
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J F Go

Community Advocate
Take it out and get it load tested, then you will know for sure. Does sound like you need a new battery to me.

November 03, 2018, 07:14:55 PM
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
Agree, and thanks.

That's on the agenda for tomorrow or Monday. 
When the going gets weird, the weird turns pro.

- Hunter S. Thompson
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November 03, 2018, 07:23:46 PM
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HDBitchin

Administrator
Great post, you covered it well and I think you detailed the symptoms well. I am a firm believer in the speedometer range low memory getting reset on a low/bad battery start.  If you are getting that same low range memory reset issue it just may be your battery.

But one last thing to be certain of are the positive and negative cables tight?
HDBitchin aka Tank

When shopping for anything look for Made in the USA and save American jobs and families


November 04, 2018, 05:14:00 PM
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
All resolved, and thanks for your input.

Battery replaced and Magia Negra runs like new.  :)
When the going gets weird, the weird turns pro.

- Hunter S. Thompson
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November 04, 2018, 05:28:57 PM
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HDBitchin

Administrator
Thanks for the follow up! Good outcome and what you detailed and the solution should help others.
HDBitchin aka Tank

When shopping for anything look for Made in the USA and save American jobs and families


November 04, 2018, 06:14:00 PM
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r_k_dragon

Global Moderator
Well, I'll have to chime in!  My 2011 Electra Glide Ultra got it's second battery under  warranty!  Then that one died!  Guess when?  13 months later!  Yep, I don't think you can put a life span on these things!  Some just can't take the HEAT!  Glad you got it resolved Bill!  And yes I use a tender!
ARMY 69-71, IB 1K, AZ HOG, PGR, AMA, VVA, RFTW  SR

November 04, 2018, 06:28:49 PM
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J F Go

Community Advocate
Well, I'll have to chime in!  My 2011 Electra Glide Ultra got it's second battery under  warranty!  Then that one died!  Guess when?  13 months later!  Yep, I don't think you can put a life span on these things!  Some just can't take the HEAT!  Glad you got it resolved Bill!  And yes I use a tender!

 My only question to you @r_k_dragon is , do you put your battery on a charger and fully charger before you put it in your bike and use it ? This has been where a lot of folks have not helped with the battery having a lot longer life span. Even though those retailers say there ready to go I have personally seen that they are not. Just something for you to consider.

November 04, 2018, 06:46:12 PM
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r_k_dragon

Global Moderator
Something I'll use in the future @j f go!  Thanks!  I have not checked in the past but will from now on!
ARMY 69-71, IB 1K, AZ HOG, PGR, AMA, VVA, RFTW  SR

November 04, 2018, 07:04:23 PM
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
One item the HD service mgr. told me today was that as the battery voltage drops  to below a certain value (around 11.8 volts, missed the exact figure), the speedo or ECM no longer holds the miles-to-empty figure.  The speedo reverts to "Lo Range" when started up, switching to the exact miles once rolling.  The later model tourers also get a "VIN ERR", which my Sportster did not. 

This would serve as an early warning of a failing battery.  I don't have the exact numbers but you get the idea.

Just a heads up.
When the going gets weird, the weird turns pro.

- Hunter S. Thompson
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November 06, 2018, 06:48:45 AM
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maniacmac

Global Moderator
Are you using a battery tinder or the new smart chargers. Battery tinder IMO are not good for your battery,  a smart charger exercise the (cycle it )

November 06, 2018, 07:27:54 AM
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AbueloBill

Supporting Member
Battery Tender( brand).  Won it at a dealer drawing years ago.

Will look for a smart charger.  Thanks for the info, will proceed per your advice.

Bill
When the going gets weird, the weird turns pro.

- Hunter S. Thompson

November 09, 2018, 09:25:55 PM
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bc45

Global Moderator
Thanks for the fix @AbueloBill  nice write up with the symptoms

 




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