Some simple steps to determine what is working and what's not:
1.Fully charge and test the battery(most bike shops can load test the battery, and then use a floating ball hydrometer to check specific gravity in the charged cells).
2.Clean all battery terminals of corrosion.
3.Tighten all starting related connections(Positive RED(+) battery terminal, Negative BLACK(-)terminal) and from the terminal to the engine case. All connections must be clean and tight.
4.Clean the cable from the starter solenoid to the starter motor.
5.Clean and check the "bullet connectors" going to the coil side of the starter solenoid.
6.Try again to start the bike.
7.If no luck, go to step #8
8.Wearing eye protection, bridge with pliers or a screwdriver the two heavy duty(large)terminals on the solenoid. If the bike cranks, your solenoid may be bad.
9. If the starter won’t turn over, one of several things has happened; The starter motor has seized due to brushes binding up, lack of lubrication in the bushings of the motor, the battery is weak , the engine has seized or it could be a combination of any of the above. Some websites for starter motor rebuild kits are:
A. RICK'S MOTORSPORT ELECTRIC STARTER BRUSHES
B.starter motor repair kits
10.The dealer may want $$$ for a new solenoid, but take your old one along and visit the nearest riding lawn mower shop. They have solenoids for about $15 that with a little work will fit.
11. I’d recommend upgrading from the existing battery cables to at least 6 gauge welding cables.
They are available in two colors(RED and BLACK) have more flexibility due to being constructed with finer conductors, and will fit in tighter areas.
12. The welding cable is sold by the foot ,so take careful measurements or bring your old cables along. Most battery shops might be able to supply the cable too, so call to find out. The battery shop should be able to crimp/swage on the end of the welding cable the terminal ends or lugs using either a dedicated crimping machine or a tool that looks like a bolt cutter that has special dies to terminate the cable.
Mfolks advice is on the money. A small V charger is all you need to recharge a motorcycle battery. A large V charger will do damage. IIRC. Get a voltmeter from an autoparts store. They are like 15 bucks or so. Set switch to 20 DCV and touch red lead to positive terminal and black lead to negative terminal. Need to know that V > than or = 12.8 V for healthy battery.
thanks for all your help guys, i did some playing around in the garage last night and went threw all the checks. turns out the batteries toast, swapped it with one of the other bikes and turns right over.
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