After a long (2.5hrs so far), hot (NC summer), highway ride and hitting slowdown traffic, my meters/clock started blanking out and headlight dimming. When I stopped soon after (also for gas), the bike would start (seemed like not enough juice to get it rolling). Luckily, as I was out and on the way back from a trip, I managed to roll start the bike on a hill (thank god there was one at that particular gas station...) and get home.
I haven't ever had any electrical issues other than a busted/rusted ignition coil, but last time I changed by spark plugs and ignition coils I noticed some wear on the wiring harness passing under the air box. it had worn through the plastic housing on a couple wires, but not into the wire itself. I taped it up and ziptied it out of the way, but this is certainly a possible conflating factor.
I've since purchased a battery tender, and have a new battery, stator, R/R and tools on the way. However, I'm still troubleshooting to determine the 100% cause.
At first, it seemed the battery was taking a long time, but I guess a 10A/hr battery w/ a 800mA tender could take upwards of 12 hours to charge, and after letting it rest for about an hour (perhaps a bit shy) and testing the voltage on the battery it's within range. And now the battery tender's showing a green light too, so I guess the battery's charged up and probably functional.
According to this troubleshooting guide
, if the voltage is in range, the battery should be good - it was on the low end, but also maybe not all the way charged up after having 100% died the afternoon before.
Next test on the list is voltage with the starter - it mostly stayed above 10V, but once or twice dipped to 7/8V during starting for just the shortest moment (and other times never dipped below 10V). I've never done this test before, but since it was mostly upwards of the 9.5V it seems like it's probably ok?
The 3rd battery test on the guide is testing the charging system.
3. The charging system output voltage should be checked, again with the multimeter at the battery terminals and this time with the engine is running. Start the engine and operate at various RPM with the headlight on and off (to turn off the headlight, disconnect the headlight connector). The readings may show nearly battery voltage when the engine speed is low, and, as the engine speed rises, the readings should also rise. But they must be kept under the specified voltage.
According to the Kawasaki Service Manual the measured voltage should be 14.2 - 15.2 volts DC at about 2000-3000 rpm. In reality it is more likely to be in the range of 13.5 – 15.0 volts DC.
NOTE: If the alternator is outputting more than 15.2 volts DC to the battery, the Regulator/Rectifier (R/R) unit is bad and should be replaced. Over-charging a battery will quickly ruin it and may cause severe damage or failure of other electrical components such as the ECU.
If the charging voltages are too low and do not rise as engine speed increases, suspect the alternator or R/R. If the charging voltages are too high, suspect the R/R unit firstly, then perhaps dirty or corroded electrical terminals. The procedure for checking all of these is too detailed to describe here so consult the Service Manual for additional details.
My voltages drop when the engine speed increases, so it would seem that it's the alternator (stator?) or R/R. This makes sense, but it seems weird that the guide would specifically say "if voltages drop as engine speed increases..." anyhow, they are certainly low.
Q: Does my logic so far check out?
The final test in that section (battery tests) is to test for something in the wiring causing battery discharge. I haven't tested this yet, but will, and it should tell me if the wires are causing any issue.
Q: However, I believe test 4 in the guide won't tell me if there's extra resistance from corroded connectors or damaged wires in the system, is that correct?
I did the first test for the stator, and assuming I have the right connector, got OL, indicating that the stator's all burnt up. This seems likely since I'm overdue for an oil change, at 36K/mi and it was a particularly hot day when it failed.
Is this the Alternator Lead Connector? (sorry the images are sideways...)
Q: Could someone confirm that this is indeed the correct 3 wired alternator lead connector pictured in the guide? The image isn't particularly informative and there's a lot of wires in the bundle (but this is 3 wires, which seems like it should check out).
Next I'll also want to test the R/R per the guide, but it's a little hard to get to so I may not do this this morning.
I would love a second opinion on my testing and thinking in general and confirmation that I've got the right connector for testing the stator before I go pulling apart the side cover to replace it
I know there are many stator threads, but many are long and involved and each takes it's own route, so I figured I'd create my own for trouble shooting purposes.