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bhulty20

Electric start and lighting issues

28 posts in this topic

Hey guys! new here and need some help!!

I have an 03 WR450f. I bought it with a "bad battery"

I put a new, fully charged battery in it and the electric start worked for a couple days, then the bike kind of barely cranked over the following days and wouldn't start so I had to use the kick start. Now it just makes a clicking noise and I have to kick start every time. So I guess the bike isnt charging while riding? Seems like the starter works just fine.

Along with this, my lights are very dim. Headlight dims down when i hit my brakes, taillight can barely even be seen at night, and brake light is delayed a couple seconds and not very bright at all.You can imagine m concern lol, I dont really want to be rear ended.

What do you guys think? I have no clue as I am not very good with this stuff.....

Thanks in advance!

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One thing I like to do before anything else is to put the battery on a charger. Once fully charged, wait 30 mins before you do anything else. Then with a voltage meter, measure the voltage at the battery. If it goes much below about 12.3 volts it could be a problem with the battery (even though it is new). If it measures more like 12.5 to say 13 or so, you're good there. Now start the bike and let it idle with no other lights on. Check the voltage with the bike running and see if it measures above the voltage you got with the bike shut off. Hopefully it does. Now try some throttle, not much, maybe 1/4 and check the voltage again. It should have jumped up a bit higher than your idle voltage. If you are not really showing any voltage increase with the bike running, check your battery connections to make sure they are all secure. If the connections are good and your voltage readings are low, as mentioned above, I would have your regulator checked before looking into the stator.

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To check to see if the charging system is working, put a volt meter across the battery while at high idle. Voltage should be somewhere above 13VDC. Try turning the headlight on during this test and the voltage may change, but should stay up around 13.

Remember too that the WR battery and charging system is designed for light weight. It doesn't have a lot of extra cranking power like a car.

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Sounds like I need to first invest in a volt meter haha. thanks guys!! Ill check it out and let you know asap. My guess is that the volts aren't going above 13 while riding.

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ok I checked those voltages, With bike off but switch on, it read about 11, with bike at idle it read about 12, with bile at 1/4 throttle it read about 12.4, and with lights on it read about 12.

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ok I checked those voltages, With bike off but switch on, it read about 11, with bike at idle it read about 12, with bile at 1/4 throttle it read about 12.4, and with lights on it read about 12.

Was the battery fully charged before you did this? If so, I think your battery is toast for starters.

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Was the battery fully charged before you did this? If so, I think your battery is toast for starters.

Sorry, no it wasnt fully charged. I dont have access to a charger up at college. I dont think its the battery though. what would you guys reccommend? that I bring it to the shop here in town or are the possible problems parts cheap enough to just start trying new parts myself? i do have lots of tools to work on it myself, along with the thick shop manual to help.

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Sorry, no it wasnt fully charged. I dont have access to a charger up at college. I dont think its the battery though. what would you guys reccommend? that I bring it to the shop here in town or are the possible problems parts cheap enough to just start trying new parts myself? i do have lots of tools to work on it myself, along with the thick shop manual to help.

Something tells me this may be a really simple fix, but to measure how well the battery is charging you really need for it to be charged up before beginning. I've heard it said before, and I have no doubt, the starting system for the WR is pretty weak. Maybe that is typical of most e-start off road bikes. What I mean is that with a fully charged battery, if you don't try and kick it to life first when it's cold, you can fully deplete the battery pretty quickly. My bike will start nearly first kick when cold, but if I try and e-start it first, I can usually wipe out the battery before ever getting it started. This is on a fully charged battery (less about 1 1/2 yrs old). Warm starts, no problem.

My numbers are (with trailtech stator & reg/rec):

12.7 volts at the battery with engine off

13.7 volts engine on at idle, with no lights running

13.3 volts engine on at idle, with the hid running.

So in this case, the battery seems to be charging fine from the bike's system even with the hid running. Once you can get your battery fully charged (or borrow a friends fully charged battery) and then measure, I think you'll have a clearer picture. Now, once the bike is running you mention dims lights. Do know if the bike has had the stator rewound or a replacement stator? Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I belive that the stock stator runs different circuits between charging the battery (dc) and running the lights (ac). You really need to know what kind of stator set up you have to trouble shoot this because the rewound stators or Trailtech stators run everything as dc directly to the battery and the bike gets its spark and runs the lights off the battery. A stock stator has the lights running off it's own dedicated ac circuit so they really should not dim much except just a little at idle. Based on what you've said so far, my guess is that you have a modified or aftermarket stator, running all the juice through the battery and either the battery is shot or the regulator/rectivier is faulty.

Maybe an easy check would be to look on the frame near the steering head to see if you have a small thin regulator that looks kind of like this:

RR02-a.jpg

Or one that is much thicker that looks like this:

rect0020.jpg

If this is your reg/rec, you likely are running all the power through the battery and need to get it charged up to continue.

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Something tells me this may be a really simple fix, but to measure how well the battery is charging you really need for it to be charged up before beginning. I've heard it said before, and I have no doubt, the starting system for the WR is pretty weak. Maybe that is typical of most e-start off road bikes. What I mean is that with a fully charged battery, if you don't try and kick it to life first when it's cold, you can fully deplete the battery pretty quickly. My bike will start nearly first kick when cold, but if I try and e-start it first, I can usually wipe out the battery before ever getting it started. This is on a fully charged battery (less about 1 1/2 yrs old). Warm starts, no problem.

My numbers are (with trailtech stator & reg/rec):

12.7 volts at the battery with engine off

13.7 volts engine on at idle, with no lights running

13.3 volts engine on at idle, with the hid running.

So in this case, the battery seems to be charging fine from the bike's system even with the hid running. Once you can get your battery fully charged (or borrow a friends fully charged battery) and then measure, I think you'll have a clearer picture. Now, once the bike is running you mention dims lights. Do know if the bike has had the stator rewound or a replacement stator? Maybe someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I belive that the stock stator runs different circuits between charging the battery (dc) and running the lights (ac). You really need to know what kind of stator set up you have to trouble shoot this because the rewound stators or Trailtech stators run everything as dc directly to the battery and the bike gets its spark and runs the lights off the battery. A stock stator has the lights running off it's own dedicated ac circuit so they really should not dim much except just a little at idle. Based on what you've said so far, my guess is that you have a modified or aftermarket stator, running all the juice through the battery and either the battery is shot or the regulator/rectivier is faulty.

Maybe an easy check would be to look on the frame near the steering head to see if you have a small thin regulator that looks kind of like this:

RR02-a.jpg

Or one that is much thicker that looks like this:

rect0020.jpg

If this is your reg/rec, you likely are running all the power through the battery and need to get it charged up to continue.

When I first got the battery and had it fully charged in bike, The electirc start (when cold) cranked forever but eventially started. After doing this a few times, yes the battery was very weak. When it was warm , no probllem with it starting. I will have to get a charger and test the voltages again like I did.

As for the reg/rect., I am not sure if they are stock or aftermarket, same with the stator. I will look at it next time I ride to see if they look like either of the pictures you posted. The lights generally are very dim. Cant see the tail light at night even. Headlight works but is dim, enough for me to see while riding at night however. And when I hit my front brakes (where the brake light switch is installed) all the lights dim quite a bit, when i release the brake they go back to normal - dim brightness.

And thank you very much for all of your time and help!! I greatly appreciate it!

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ok I checked those voltages, With bike off but switch on, it read about 11, with bike at idle it read about 12, with bile at 1/4 throttle it read about 12.4, and with lights on it read about 12.

You really have to start the charging test with a known good charged battery. A weak or discharged battery can load the charging system down for these voltage tests.

Your new battery maybe was discharged when you bought it. Get a Battery Tender charger on it for a day or so, then try the test again.

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You really have to start the charging test with a known good charged battery. A weak or discharged battery can load the charging system down for these voltage tests.

Your new battery maybe was discharged when you bought it. Get a Battery Tender charger on it for a day or so, then try the test again.

when i bought the battery i followed the instructions, i filled it with the supplied acid and gave a good slow charge till it was full. so it was fully charged up. I do have a tender back home in the cities, so i will have to bring that up to school with me!

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Sorry to jump in here but I have a question. Is it possible for a dead batteryto kill the engine at idle? I have been having trouble with my bike dieing when i come to a stop. When my battery is charged it will not do this. My battery is dead to the point where at idle it wont even run my GPS that is wired to it. The GPS says connection to power source has been lost.

Bike has a baja D duel sport kit and the original owner said the Baja D mod was done to the stator.

I thought is was the jetting but nothign I do seems to help. I'm going to get a volt meter soon and I have a new battery on the way.

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Sorry to jump in here but I have a question. Is it possible for a dead batteryto kill the engine at idle? I have been having trouble with my bike dieing when i come to a stop. When my battery is charged it will not do this. My battery is dead to the point where at idle it wont even run my GPS that is wired to it. The GPS says connection to power source has been lost.

Bike has a baja D duel sport kit and the original owner said the Baja D mod was done to the stator.

I thought is was the jetting but nothign I do seems to help. I'm going to get a volt meter soon and I have a new battery on the way.

Yes. A BD modified stator runs all the power to the battery and spark draws off the battery. Dead battery equals weak spark. The fact that you don't notice this unless at idle says that the bike is storing just enough charge in the battery at higher revs to keep it running. I'm willing to bet if you turn on your lights while running that the bike will cut out or stutter almost as though it would if it was not getting fuel.

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I rode it with the high beam on and the bike would still run fine so long as I was in VERY high RPM. Anything under 1/4 throttle was complete shit.

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So I looked today and am pretty sure I have the stock reg/rect still. Still havent gotten a charger for the battery yet though. Ill let you guys know. thanks

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So I looked today and am pretty sure I have the stock reg/rect still. Still havent gotten a charger for the battery yet though. Ill let you guys know. thanks

Hmmm. Well, stock reg would normally mean that the lights are still running off ac and then a trickle charge to the battery off dc. Still better to measure things when you have a fully charged battery, but if the lights are dim (and running on ac) and a new battery is not holding a charge for your e-start, my guess would be a faulty regulator/rectifier. It is a very easy unplug, I'd just unplug it and see if a shop can test it for you.

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Hmmm. Well, stock reg would normally mean that the lights are still running off ac and then a trickle charge to the battery off dc. Still better to measure things when you have a fully charged battery, but if the lights are dim (and running on ac) and a new battery is not holding a charge for your e-start, my guess would be a faulty regulator/rectifier. It is a very easy unplug, I'd just unplug it and see if a shop can test it for you.

Cool! I will try to find a place to test the reg/rect. soon and hopefully thats it!! Sounds pretty easy and cheap. Do you recommend getting an oem part or is there something better out there that I could buy?

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Cool! I will try to find a place to test the reg/rect. soon and hopefully thats it!! Sounds pretty easy and cheap. Do you recommend getting an oem part or is there something better out there that I could buy?

The nice thing about OEM is that it's plug and play. Not sure of the price, but I would imagine much more than aftermarket. If they tell you this is the problem, check the Yammi price against Baja Designs and Trailtech. The one from Trailtech (which is very similar to the BD unit) is $40. If you end up going this route, do not, repeat do not attach the blue wire to the negative battery post, despite the diagram on the side of the regulator. This is used only for very small (under 2 amp/hr) battery packs to limit overcharge to the battery. You will not overcharge a stock WR without connecting this wire, but I can tell you for sure that with it connected it will not allow the battery to charge enough. A lesson learned the hard way :bonk: .

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The nice thing about OEM is that it's plug and play. Not sure of the price, but I would imagine much more than aftermarket. If they tell you this is the problem, check the Yammi price against Baja Designs and Trailtech. The one from Trailtech (which is very similar to the BD unit) is $40. If you end up going this route, do not, repeat do not attach the blue wire to the negative battery post, despite the diagram on the side of the regulator. This is used only for very small (under 2 amp/hr) battery packs to limit overcharge to the battery. You will not overcharge a stock WR without connecting this wire, but I can tell you for sure that with it connected it will not allow the battery to charge enough. A lesson learned the hard way :bonk: .

that sounds good! i will let you know how it goes

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