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Old June 10th, 2011, 06:05 AM   #1
Lvr
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Help diagnosing electrical issue

Hi folks,
I've been having a funny problem with the headlight on my ninja for a few days now. It's been flickering very slightly while I'm riding, bothe low and high beams. It seems like it's a little dimmer when the engine is under more load, like going 60 or going up a hill, but it kind of jumps around all over. I though maybe it was a bad connection getting jostled by bumps, but it flickers at idle while the bike is sitting still too. It's not a fade either, it very distinctly jumps from one level of brightness to another.

The thing that caused more worry though is that I went to start the bike this morning and the starter motor only kicked in for a couple seconds and then died, apparently from the battery dying. I hooked up a charger and got it started, but I can't figure out a reason why this would happen. the battery is fairly new (bike's a 2010) and was properly maintained over the winter. I only have one electrical accessory, which is some switch-operated LEDs hooked directly to the battery. they were not left on though.

Any ideas? I know next to nothing about electrics, so any thoughts are appreciated
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Old June 10th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #2
DaBlue1
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Tighten the battery terminals. If that does not fix the problem. Charge the battery on a charger.
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Old June 10th, 2011, 02:20 PM   #3
Lvr
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the connections are fine. I checked them when I jumped it.
I don't think charging the battery is gonna do anything; if it was discharged overnight, that seems to suggest an electrical problem with the charging system or another system drawing power. anyway, haven;t had any problems since so we'll see what happens... headlight's still an issue though.
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Old June 11th, 2011, 07:53 AM   #4
DaBlue1
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Just the other day I noticed my lights flickering as well, both at idle and increased rpm. This stumped me for a second because the battery never gave me a starting issue even after sitting a couple of weeks at a time and not being on a charger. What gave it away was the tach. It started acting crazy, then the idle would fluctuate badly for split seconds at a time. My first check was the battery terminals. Hand check-tight nothing moved, get the screwdriver-positive battery terminal still had about 1/8 turn left- problem solved. The battery was then put back on a charger.

Batteries have been know to do weird things to the bike. The fact that you had to jump it says there is something going on with the battery. One thing that people fail to realize sometimes is a battery can have 12 volts, turn on the lights, beep the horn and still will not crank the bike because the amps are too low. A battery may even start the bike but may not receive a sufficient charge from the bikes charging system if the battery has a bad cell.

Granted your issue may be something else electrical related, but I would look at the wiki to see what else could mimic the symptoms you describe.

http://www.ninjette.org/wiki/Battery
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Old June 11th, 2011, 05:41 PM   #5
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I had the same issue with my headlights on my first long-distance trip from Austin to Dallas. I have some LED's running directly to the battery as well. The positive terminal was a little loose and tightening it fixed the problem. At first glance, that's immediately what I thought it'd be, but since you say you checked the terminals and tightened them down, I'm stumped...

What do you have controlling the LED's?
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Old June 16th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #6
Lvr
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interesting, I'll try rechecking the terminals. pretty sure they're still tight tho. still, the battery hasn't given me any issues to date.

@resoku; my LEDs just run through a toggle switch from the local auto shop, and there's also a 10 amp (I think) fuse just before the battery. it's a simple setup.
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Old June 16th, 2011, 02:41 PM   #7
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It sounds like your charging system isn't working properly. check the output voltage of your VRR with a multimeter, check the output voltage of your stator, and check the poles of your battery with it running.
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