battery won't charge please help!

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by edza20, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. edza20

    edza20 New Member

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    Hi, i just passed my test and am using my old mans sportster xlh883. its a 1989. he hasnt used it for a while so with the passion of somebody desperate to get on the road i insured it, mot'd it, and taxed it. i took it out for the first time and couldnt get it started again when i stopped, the battery was too flat to turn the starter. i managed to bump start it though, and got it home where i put the battery on charge. the next evening, i took it out again, stopped and couldnt get it started again. after bumping it again and riding home in the dark, i noticed the lights getting dimmer until finally just short of my house the bike cut out and i was left to roll down my lane in almost pitch black save for the tiny bit of light coming from my headlight.
    so i came to the conclusion that the battery isnt charging at all and that the bike is running solely off of the battery. I'm desperate to fix this, but obviously dont have money to throw about, but if anybody can tell me what it is or how i can fix it i would be very greatful.
    I thought it was the alternator, but then heard from somebody that it could be the regulator, but that i had to test it somehow.

    Hope you guys can help.
    Cheers
     
  2. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

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    Get yourself a cheap volt meter and check the voltage at the battery before starting the bike. Next start the bike and watch the voltage and then increasing the rpm to 3000 check the voltage. The battery volts for a fully charged battery is 12.7 volts. The battery volts running your bike at 3000 rpm should be around 14.2. If the battery has been sitting for a long period of time it has probably sulphated and more than likey is junk.
     
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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  4. edza20

    edza20 New Member

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    thanks i will try it all, but what if the voltages arent what they should be?
    And its a brand new battery, so i really doubt if thats the problem!
     
  5. 1fltri4me

    1fltri4me Member

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    This is a good clue that the battery needs to be replaced.A properly working charging system can not charge a bad battery.
    Although expensive,HD batterys are very good.I would avoid buying an inexpensive battery from Wally World,etc unless you are only going to ride this bike for short term and then park it.
     
  6. Fossil

    Fossil Active Member

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    I have just gone through the no charging thing. Ask any of the guys who have answered you. Glider gave you a list of how to check the charging system and it is pretty simple. I would first, charge the battery over night then take it to a Harley Dealership or an auto parts and get it load tested. Any of them should do it for free. Harley changed their battery manufacturer to Yuasa and they did make a batch of bad batteries for Harley but it was a shot lived thing. Do the cheap easy things first. Fossil
     
  7. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    If you follow the link I posted above, it will tell you what the alternator and the regulator should be doing. When you find the problem, you replace the defective part then.

    Never assume that something new is good either.