Could a WR450F electrical system "burn out" in a way the bike still runs?
Posted November 08, 2008 - 11:12 AM
I have an '03 WR450F that went in for a new top end... when I left it at the mechanics the battery was marginal at best... and after sitting almost a year while the bike got fixed (don't ask)... it was totally dead. I could still kick-start fine.. bike ran like a top... but e-start was _dead_... and I had other symptoms like the bike would blow headlight bulbs in a couple of minutes (another post I made here).
So I bought a new aftermarket battery... trickle-charged it to top it off... then ran it on a weekend DS trip. Bike started fine: e-start always lit it up right away all weekend... but I wasn't really using any battery power (i.e. headlight was shut off). Though I did test the headlight for about 20 minutes into the first ride to make sure it wasn't eating bulbs any more.
Bike sat one week. Then I had to ride about 2 hours in the early morning, headlight on, doing 50-80km/h... to where we were going to ride that day. Headlight worked fine... but after stopping after the ride in the e-start wouldn't work: just a rapid clicking sound when you stabbed the button. Also, perhaps related, I had put on a new pipe during that week when the bike was parked (didn't touch the electrical system: just 2 bolts to put on the new pipe)... and during about the first 30 minutes of the new ride when I stopped I could smell a faint burning smell. I thought it was just the packing in the new pipe heating up for the first time. Maybe not?
Anyways, by the end of the day the bike showed symptoms of a really dead battery: even the _LED_ turn signals refused to come on some time... and the electronic flasher didn't even "flash" them anymore. Also... normally at the end of the day I'd air up my tires using one of those small Slime air compressors. Normally I'd leave the bike running while the compressor was on (didn't have to, but wanted to keep the battery fresh). This time the compressor wouldn't run at all when plugged directly into the battery... and when I started the bike up (kickstart) it would _stall_ the second I flicked the compressor on. Limped to a gas station to get some air instead...
So, I know that's a long story: but the bike still kickstarts fine. Is it possible the electrical system is "broken" in a way it can still keep the bike running (i.e. enough power for a spark) but not be able to keep the battery topped off?
Also, I went out and bought a new OEM (Yuasa) battery: exact same model Yamaha shipped the bike with. Gave it a full trickle charge to top it off. Put it in the bike... hit the e-start: rapid clicking again and the bike didn't turn over. Crap!
I have a manual and multimeter: so I can get a start on diagnosing the problem myself. I'm just hoping some of these symptoms sound familiar and someone will point me towards whatever little electronic gadget may be dead.
Posted November 12, 2008 - 05:14 PM
Since you have LED turn signals and a flasher, and you run an aircompressor your system is obviously modified. You need to get a WR manual if you don't have one and start with checking the wiring diagram to your bike to see what's different.
Back to the first paragraph, if your stator has not been modified for the extra load of the add ons it won't be able to keep up.
Posted November 12, 2008 - 08:03 PM
Posted November 12, 2008 - 09:29 PM
Posted November 13, 2008 - 02:19 AM
Posted November 13, 2008 - 07:42 AM
doctorchopper : I think you may be on to it. A bad Rectifier/Regulator was probably blowing the headlights. Someone probably rewired the lights to the DC side so they would not blow, but that caused another problem and did not fix the reg/rec problem.
Do the charge coil and lighting coil tests in the manual. They will tell a story.
Posted November 13, 2008 - 07:57 AM
Posted November 13, 2008 - 02:57 PM
i am also plated and only time my battery goes dead is when i leave the ign. switch on
i use the drc kit from www.wheelingcyclesupply.com
and run a langston racing headlight
Posted May 01, 2009 - 03:23 AM
I tried a new starter relay, and that wasn't the problem. Then I checked the AC voltage running to the headlight when the bike was revved... which pointed to the rectifier/regulator being bad. Swapped that out and I was almost back in business... because I had gone on a couple rides with the old setup and the new Yuasa battery... which apparently permanently damaged the battery.
So, put in yet another battery... went for a test drive... now I'm no longer blowing headlights... and the bike still cranks over fine at the end of the ride (hopefully meaning the new rec/reg isn't eating this 3rd battery).
The first suggestion in this post was the right one... if I hadn't convinced myself it was a stator or relay problem... and just hooked up a multimeter to the headlight as my first test... I would have saved myself about $150 in battery, new relay, and a handful of headlights.
Live and learn I guess