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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i need help... I have a 98 vulcan1500 classic and the battery died a month ago. put a new battery in and it died in two weeks. My friend said to run it and disconnect the battery and if it shuts off, it needs a stator. Does this sound right?
it has 13000 miles on it and has been garage kept.....never had an issue with it before
 

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Navy Vet Search & Rescue
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Start the bike and connect a meter across the battery terminals. At idle you should see 12 + volts. Then bring it up to about 4k rpm and see what the voltage reads. It should be around 13.5-14.5 volts. If it's not then you have problems with your charging system.

I know I use to test car charging systems with the method you mentioned but I'm not sure it it will work for bikes or not.
 

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Try this:

The Dreaded Shorting/Intermittent Electrical Problem!

Here is the most basic method I know:

1. Charge your battery and have it load tested if you can. The floating ball hydrometer can be used to check the specific gravity of the charged cells in the battery.

2. Disconnect the Black lead from the (-) Battery terminal... or Red from the (+) Battery terminal, it does not matter which one.

3. Connect one of the following test setups in series with the Battery terminal and lead:
3.1 A 12 V light bulb,
3.2 A 12 V test light,
3.3 A 12 V test buzzer or,
3.4 A 12 V horn... you get the idea.

4. With the Ignition Switch OFF, go through your harness and wiggle the wires while looking/listening for the test setup to go on/start buzzing.

5.With the Ignition Switch ON, repeat the test except this time the looking/listening for the test setup to go on/stop buzzing.

6. Be prepared to open the Ignition switch and check/test for solder joint failure and or circuit board micro breaks (don't ask how I know this ).

7. Be prepared to pull the wires out of the Head Light to test for failures at or near the grommet.

8. Be prepared to open the harness at or near the Steering Neck for failures. This is where wires tend to exhibit fatigue due to repetitive movement.

9. Be prepared to open the left and right switch gear to search for rust and or broken parts. CAUTION: watch out for flying springs, ball bearings and stuff. Do indoors on White sheet (again don't ask ).

10. Be prepared to follow the heavy gauge wire from the Starter Solenoid (Relay) to the starter for bare ware wire exposure. Especially near bends and grommets.

11. If you can reproduce the fault symptom your are pretty much home free. Be prepare to find and repair/replace any internal wire breaks, insulation break downs, exposed wires, rubber grommet failures, etc. Often, shrink tubing will solve the problem temporarily until something better can be done.

12. I use a very good electrical contact cleaner/preservative called De-oxit made by Caig Labs in San Diego Ca. Their website is caig.com - Home of DeoxIT - CAIG Laboratories, Inc. It can be purchased at Radio Shack and any other electronic supply store. I use it on all of my motorcycle’s electrical connectors , in my home entertainment center’s stereo patch cords and cordless phones charging cradles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks to both of you for this info....I hooked up a volt meter and it was 12V with the key off...started it up, RPM to 3000 and it went to 13.8...so It's charging. I then hooked up a 12V lamp to the cable and wiggled all the wiring...nothing. So i rode it to work today (in the 40's here in chicago) and tested the battery...all good. headlights are bright, still charging when running. I guess I'll just let it sit and check it again soon. Thanks again
 
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