FJR Owners Forum banner
  • Hey Everyone! Enter your bike HERE to be a part of this months Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
2009 FJR1300, 2000 VFR800, 2004 V-Strom 650, 2003 VFR800, etc.
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2009 FJR is showing signs of charging system weakness. The aftermarket voltmeter is showing lower voltages than expected, especially when the Gerbing liner and Oxford grips are on; lower than my other bikes, drifting occasionally towards the low 12 volt range, even at road engine speeds.
Another tell is that the Gerbing produces significantly more heat at highway speed when on the V-Strom or VFR than on the FJR.
The battery is a year and a half old and tests good on the dealer's tester.
After sitting three weeks recently, it failed to start and needed a jump. It's never done such a thing in my five years of ownership.
It cranks slowly after sitting for any length of time. That at first made me think of a failed battery, despite the good test and good voltage while ignition off.
Then, after starting, even with no accessories on, the voltage takes a while to climb up to 14.2 indicated. I'm more accustomed to seeing 14.5-14.6 on the other bikes.
Usually, you get a failure and then you find and fix it, but this one isn't throwing me any clear indications. Stator failure? Reg/rec failure? I'd hate to just go changing parts trying to track it down.
Suggestions welcome.
 

·
Premium Member
Versys 1000, VFR800
Joined
·
11,615 Posts
Well, the battery has to be good to start with... if failing it can "suck up" charging voltage..... perhaps get it load tested again. If it sat 3 weeks without being on a battery tender, then it is possible it was discharged due to the parasitic drain of the system (keeps clocks, trip meters powered up).

Charging systems on FJR's are pretty robust, and the regulators are genuine Shindengens.... yours should be an FH020AA. First thing to do is unplug the regulator (underneath the seat tray), clean the contacts and refresh the connections. See how that works..... but that battery has to be good. At least have it freshly charged for your next test.

Measure the charging voltage at the battery with a multimeter in case your other voltmeter is reading low. You should have 14V or so at idle or say 2500 rpm. Not unusual with a full compliment of heated gear the running voltage may be in the mid-12's, and be sure to charge the battery when you return home. So what do you have now that the system is cleaned up??

Regulator - a couple of guys here found a weakness in the OEM harness, so bypassed the wiring by going direct to battery, i.e., in the two-way connector, tie in to the OEM harness and connect power and ground right to the battery. There does seem to be a direct path per the wiring diagram of red wire to the battery already, but ???...... I'm not sure what the path of the ground is... you could check the connectors under the tank near the steering head for corrosion. Main ground is at bottom right front of engine on one of the bolts that holds the engine cases together.

Will await your results before talking any more about regulators..... at the moment, I'd be more concerned about the battery.
 

·
Registered
2009 FJR1300, 2000 VFR800, 2004 V-Strom 650, 2003 VFR800, etc.
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I was onto the battery first thing. But the mechs all said, no, it's fine, it load tests fine.
I did try the meter on the battery for comparison to the panel one and they agree perfectly.
Cleaning connections sounds like a good idea.
The thing about it not starting after the three-week hiatus is that that was new behavior- (or, behaviour north of the border) it had sat more than that, more than once, with no trouble. Plus, the slow cranking, even after only sitting an hour.
I may just go ahead and ditch the battery, but shucks, $160US? Pricey!
And so many bikes howling for new tires...
 

·
Premium Member
Versys 1000, VFR800
Joined
·
11,615 Posts
Can you try a different battery?
Charge your battery, fully charged it should read 12.8-13 V. Let sit for 3-4 days and check the resting voltage again. If it's dropping to 12.5 (50% discharged per Yuasa), there's a possible indicator of either battery condition, but it's not the be all end all.... you mentioned slow cranking, so that's saying voltage may be OK but it hasn't got the current capacity to spin the starter normally...... if you've not been hooking it up to a battery tender for weeks of sitting, too many times, sulphation will be happening if discharged too many times below 12.5V (per Yuasa).
 

·
Registered
2009 FJR1300, 2000 VFR800, 2004 V-Strom 650, 2003 VFR800, etc.
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Resting it's holding about 12.9-13.1v after a few days, so that number's okay.
It gets on the battery tender all winter and any time it's going to sit more than a month or so, which was rare.
Slow cranking pretty much always speaks to me saying, "battery fail".
 

·
Registered
FJR1300A 2008
Joined
·
2,152 Posts
Cleaning connections sounds like a good idea.
Cherryriver,

At the risk of being obvious, every battery cable has two ends. If the battery connections are all clean and shiny-bright, and the problem persists, check the other ends of the cables. Nobody ever cleans those ends. :cool:

The auto-parts stores will have small fine-wire brushes to help with cleaning away corrosion. These brushes look like toothbrushes, but with wire bristles and wooden handles.
 

·
Registered
2009 FJR1300, 2000 VFR800, 2004 V-Strom 650, 2003 VFR800, etc.
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Figuring to do that this week. Finding the time and having the bike in the garage at the same time isn't always easy this time of year.
The old tech at the local dealer did say that slow failure of the stator is a thing that can happen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DesertBike

·
Registered
Joined
·
603 Posts
I measured the battery drain on my '10 FJR1300A with key off at only 0.60 milliamps which is 0.00060 amps so in 30 days the battery has lost only 0.018 amps capacity which seems insignificant. This represents current drawn by the load with key out of the ignition with a battery in good condition and not yet affected by age. I wish my other bike were as frugal but we are talking about 29 year old technology in its case so it for sure is always on a battery tender. Also, it uses a Kisan signal minder which adds to the quiescent drain to the point where if not on the battery tender startup after only 3 weeks becomes problematic.
 

·
Premium Member
Versys 1000, VFR800
Joined
·
11,615 Posts
Going to slightly disagree with that tech....... if the regulator is failing, the stator will have nowhere to send current, it won't get shunted to ground to get rid of the excess... so, eventually the stator will fry with a bad regulator/bad connection. If regulator and connections are good, stator will not be in danger, they don't fry on their own.

Add to JohnC's recommendation to check stator resistance, additionally check each of A, B, C to ground and there should be no short to ground (if fried there would likely be). If all good, check AC volt output of each lead while engine is running, should be 40-60AC volts, increasing with rpm.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JohnC

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,218 Posts
Good point, Ray. I should have remembered the possibility of a ground. After fifty years in the business, I sometimes think I am an idiot. Other times, I am sure of it. :(

Actually, because the stator is an interconnected three node ring, if the three stator checks are good, you only need to check for a ground once.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
KISS. Replace the battery. Otherwise you are just chasing your tail. While all other kinds of possibilities exist, they are not common. Why go to all these great lengths until you positively, absolutely, KNOW it is not the battery?

That being said, my '09 FJR experienced a fading charging system. It was fixed by installing the bypass cable Ray spoke of above. I posted about it here on this forum somewhere around here.......
 
  • Like
Reactions: RaYzerman

·
Registered
Joined
·
208 Posts
Here's a thread that details where several have had issues with the wiring, or more likely the connector from the Regulator/Rectifier to the battery and the 3rd party replacement parts which are the solution.

How to check R/R voltage on a Gen II?
 
  • Like
Reactions: RaYzerman

·
Registered
2009 FJR1300, 2000 VFR800, 2004 V-Strom 650, 2003 VFR800, etc.
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well, not quite up to a conclusion yet. Life keeps interfering with the important stuff.
However, I did reach a determination point. After riding the bike a fair amount, then leaving it sit for three or four days, I hit the battery with the handheld voltmeter and got just a nick under 13 volts. Sounds decent.
So I turned it on and hit starter button. Moderately slow cranking and no fire at all. FJRs are like that, if there's not enough voltage to make it happy the ignition doesn't go.
Hooked up the little jump box and it started right off.
That, to me, utterly screams failing battery. So I went over to Rich's Yamaha and got a new GS-brand battery. But I didn't ride the bike, I hooked up the fancy-pants battery charger/maintainer and let it sit for a couple of days to make absolutely sure it's fully charged.
I don't want to get into a rushed situation where the acid was put in and a short charge (or none) was applied before selling it to me, and me riding merrily off with an 80-percenter.
That's what I'm thinking went on here with this 18-month-old battery.
I might get some real-world riding in in the next couple of days, even if I don't have time to settle down and do some proper meter-testing of this and that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DesertBike

·
Registered
2006 FJR1300 AS
Joined
·
22 Posts
I really don't know about the failing battery theory..
I got my 07, new battery... and it would always go flat...even tho I rode almost every day.
Charging was good... but after 12 months, I got another new battery... still having the same issues.?
Now...
I have an 07 Ford Territory... the battery ALWAYS going flat. The forums were coming up with charging issues etc.
I would go to start the car after it came off the charger the day b4... sometimes it would start..sometimes it wouldn't even unlock the doors.
Forums said STARTER MOTOR..nnahhhh!! to me it was battery issues
Eventually, I bought a new starter motor..chucked it in... and NEVA had an issue in the past 7 yrs.
QUESTION..??
Could this also be an issue with the FJR??
I'll look into it today..getting new treads fitted as I write this... going the Dark Side..hooking up my little trailer..and heading off for a 4 week ride
Really need to sort this battery issue.
 

·
Registered
2009 FJR1300, 2000 VFR800, 2004 V-Strom 650, 2003 VFR800, etc.
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, hmm.
I have ordered a Roadstercycle harness kit. I like his stuff, I fixed up one of my VFRs with a full kit from him.
That will lead into a rabbit hole of inspecting and testing.
Meanwhile, I hope to get to some real-life usage testing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DesertBike

·
Registered
2009 x 2 FJR, 2004 Concours, 2017 XR650L
Joined
·
86 Posts
Well, not quite up to a conclusion yet. Life keeps interfering with the important stuff.
However, I did reach a determination point. After riding the bike a fair amount, then leaving it sit for three or four days, I hit the battery with the handheld voltmeter and got just a nick under 13 volts. Sounds decent.
So I turned it on and hit starter button. Moderately slow cranking and no fire at all. FJRs are like that, if there's not enough voltage to make it happy the ignition doesn't go.
Hooked up the little jump box and it started right off.
That, to me, utterly screams failing battery. So I went over to Rich's Yamaha and got a new GS-brand battery. But I didn't ride the bike, I hooked up the fancy-pants battery charger/maintainer and let it sit for a couple of days to make absolutely sure it's fully charged.
I don't want to get into a rushed situation where the acid was put in and a short charge (or none) was applied before selling it to me, and me riding merrily off with an 80-percenter.
That's what I'm thinking went on here with this 18-month-old battery.
I might get some real-world riding in in the next couple of days, even if I don't have time to settle down and do some proper meter-testing of this and that.
I hope not to dash your hopes but this exactly what happened to me when my starter went (over the course of probably 2 seasons. Because the bike would start fine with a new battery or when I boosted it, I was certain it was the battery. Eventually, even that didn't work and when I hooked it up to a marine battery with 1000CCA, it fried my relay. Turned out - as I understand it - the starter was screwed and slowly drawing more and more current with each start causing real drops in voltage and capacity in the battery over time. Eventually the battery itself couldn't couldn't turn the bike over (especially when hot) and needed help. Starter continued to deteriorate and drawing more current until it exceeded the amount the relay could allow through. As I understand it anyway.
 

·
Registered
2009 FJR1300, 2000 VFR800, 2004 V-Strom 650, 2003 VFR800, etc.
Joined
·
270 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Randy, I find that entirely credible and I will be looking in that direction.
I did see a couple of other indications that had me suspecting the battery apart from slow cranking.
One thing that was going on was my LED turn signals were blinking erratically at stoplights, despite the aftermarket electronic flasher I'd installed. With the new battery, that symptom is gone even at long stops.
I'm pretty cynical about batteries now. In my old ZX1100E, the OEM Yuasa went almost eight years and the replacement one went a good five-six.
Don't see that much these days.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DesertBike
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top