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Charging Fault various Hondas

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cb1rocket
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PostPosted: 12:04 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Charging Fault various Hondas Reply with quote

I have come accross two Honda's in my time that have thrown up a really weird charging fualt.

Honda S-Wing 125 2009.
Symptom: won't charge at idle unless I take headlight bulb out.

Honda Varadero 125 2005
Symptom: again the same thing, take out the bulb or clocks power lead and it charges fine.

On both bikes with everything connected the voltage is a miserable 11.9 to 12.3v and eventually the bike cuts out.

When something is disconnected ie a load taken off the electric circuit the power jumps to a healthy 13.2 volts and 14.5ish when rev'ed.


On both bikes I have changed the reg/rec, checked the alternator output, changed the stator and I'm still at a loss. I even went as far to check earths and check resistance. I even went far to mock up a new wiring direct from genny to reg/rec to eliminate poor wiring.

It seems that there is an excessive load on the electric (or maybe not) but if rev'ed and held there i get reasonable charge but it's pointless and unrideable.

What do I check next?

I have changed and swapped everything bar the rotor, even went far to change the stator 3 times on the s-wing even with a new one, no difference.
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Kawasaki Jimbo
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PostPosted: 12:17 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Re: Charging Fault various Hondas Reply with quote

cb1rocket wrote:
It seems that there is an excessive load on the electric (or maybe not) but if rev'ed and held there i get reasonable charge but it's pointless and unrideable.

Only pointless if you plan to somehow ride around at idle.

cbrocket wrote:
What do I check next?

Nothing, it's normal. It's why you check the charging system output voltage at the battery terminals by revving to 5k. It's also another reason why those who store their bikes over winter but start them fortnightly as some form of maintenance are making a mistake. Not enough charge at very low revs.
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rpsmith79
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PostPosted: 13:00 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was about to say pretty much the same as Jimbo, perfectly normal for bikes (especially small cc bikes) to not charge much at idle (if any)

My CG125 was the same, only showed over 12v when revved (don't know what rpm though as had no revcounter)
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 14:53 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

As above, bikes don't charge at idle.

Also. Where are you measuring the voltage? It will be different in different places.

I have a voltmeter on my VFR750, I get just under 12v at idle with the headlight on, 11.2 with the grips on too at idle. It sits at a steady 13.6 when being ridden, droping to 12.8 with the grips.

I know the drop for the grips is artificially large because the voltmeter is on the relay controlling the grips.

I suspect you may be disconnecting the "sense" wire from your reg/rec (that monitors the actual loom voltage on a switched live, usually a black wire) so it is not regulating the output.
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cb1rocket
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PostPosted: 15:48 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok well i agree and disagree. I have had another s-wing and looking into that the voltage is alot higher than the faulty s-wing.

Remember this is a always lights on model. The voltage gradually drops ands drop after 5 mins of idling cuts out.

The other s-wing doesn't cut at all and will maintain steady volts.

Agreed the volts won't rise unless revving but even at idle there is always some charge coming through to battery. The revs also fluctuate badly at idle but goes away when rev'ed.

My own scooter Honda Pantheon 125 charges and will idle happily forever. I had it running for a good 30 mins at idle while i was working on another bike. The s-wing cuts out less than 5 mins on a fully charged battery. Even swapping the battery out from a good scoot yields the same results
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Last edited by cb1rocket on 15:56 - 09 Aug 2018; edited 1 time in total
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rpsmith79
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PostPosted: 15:53 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried another battery, could be the battery is on its way out, a fresh one might hold charge longer

But even at idle, it should take a long time to run a (healthy) battery down to the point where the bike cuts out
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 16:16 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd expect a fully charged s-wing battery (7Ah) to run the bike with the lights on for at least an hour with no charging system at all.

So either there is a partial short circuit draining your battery or the battery is duff.
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cb1rocket
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PostPosted: 16:32 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
I'd expect a fully charged s-wing battery (7Ah) to run the bike with the lights on for at least an hour with no charging system at all.

So either there is a partial short circuit draining your battery or the battery is duff.


exactly where i find that short is beyond me. Tried the same result on a fully charged good battery from a working bike with alternator disconnected and it drains the battery a bit quicker. Same result with working bike.

How would I test with an amp meter without blowing up the amp meter upon starting? Just so I can see how much current is being drawn?
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cb1rocket
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PostPosted: 16:39 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

What also baffles me is when i take a bulb out i get acceptable charge as per my working bike and will happily tickover for ages? Something points to a short or a genny that is not powering the minimum voltage at idle?

It's clearly a problem otherwise I wouldn't be asking the BCF massive Sad
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Kawasaki Jimbo
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PostPosted: 22:20 - 09 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

cb1rocket wrote:
What also baffles me is when i take a bulb out i get acceptable charge as per my working bike and will happily tickover for ages?

You're reducing the load, so there is more current available.
cb1rocket wrote:
Something points to a short or a genny that is not powering the minimum voltage at idle?

As mentioned, as standard there may not be enough charge at idle, so it's not a failure as such.
Stinkwheel wrote:
I'd expect a fully charged s-wing battery (7Ah) to run the bike with the lights on for at least an hour with no charging system at all.

Actually thats a good point. Perhaps there is a problem after all.
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 17:18 - 10 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

cb1rocket wrote:

How would I test with an amp meter without blowing up the amp meter upon starting? Just so I can see how much current is being drawn?


The starter current doesn't go through the main fuse but all the other electrics should so measure the current there, not at the battery.

Or borrow a clamp meter.

May be worth a quick test to check your stator coils aren't grounding. Test resistance between each of the three yellows and the green on the reg/rec connector block. Should be an open circuit.
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I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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cb1rocket
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PostPosted: 17:59 - 10 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stator checked for resistance about 4 ohms And ground is open circuit.

Clamp meter sounds a good idea or they generally unreliable?
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 19:02 - 10 Aug 2018    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the meter. They are generally accurate enough though. Better for larger currents but also much more convenient in terms of use. You can also use one to see if there is current flowing in a particular wire.
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“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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