XS1-B Sudden Stop/Motor Dying

ThomasADixon

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Ok - Yesterday my headlight suddenly went out. That was wierd and coincidental I thought. I just get this bike and after 50 years the headlamp dies?

Ok-moving on I pulled out the big sealed headlamp unit, took the ancient bulb out and carved a modern bulb on my grinder to fix the hole. Everything seemed ok yesterday afternoon. That's an old thread now. Many of you congratulated me.

Got up this am at 4am and couldn't sleep - decided to ride. Turned on he key to position #1 to admire my new headlamp. I could watch it fade a bit. I had trouble starting the motor so I went back to bed. I just put a fresh battery in yesterday 12.5V 50 cranking amps.

An hour ago (11:00am Sunday) I decided to ride after doing my chores (feed the ram, fix a fence, bring some bales of hay home, etc.). I pushed on the "jet" (choke) of the morning temperature motor (75 degrees) and couldn't crank it after 10 or 11 kicks. (the new kicking technique has saved me a knee over-extension injury) I took the choke off and it started on the third kick. I chalked it up to just learning this bike. Great - I went for a big half-hour loop out here in the country. But, a couple times, as I was coming to a stop sign and slowing to Idle with the clutch in it would died (or try to) and I had to kick start it (which makes me nervous because I haven't got starting this beast down yet). I noticed on the last stretch back to home (while going at a good recoverable speed -40 mph) if I pulled in the clutch and coasted when the motor naturally slowed to idle it might just suddenly drop-off and die.
I'd pop the clutch. I got home and turned the idle up to 1500 rpm (from 1100). It sat and rumbled for a good five minutes. I peed and I got my daughter to take a ride with me. We mad a 10 mile loop - and the same thing started happening again; the bike would die when not kept revved up a little.

Thank God! A block from home, as I slowed for the stop sign it died and popping the clutch would get the motor going. I coasted to a stop. The horn was dead, And the neutral light would not display. A kind motorcycle rider pulled over. I told him I was ok cause I could walk it home but thanked him as you would any good Samaritan. Now I was a block from home and my driveway is an 800 foot long up-hill road, but still, things could have been a lot worse!


I realize now why the previous owner was so nervous when I told him I would drive it home from north Florida. He probably didn't think it would make it.
Further he had a crappy 12V pronged style sealed up battery in this that should have made me suspicious.

If this were a car I would say the alternator is not charging the battery. Would do you all think? As bad of a mechanic as I am my electrical skills are embarrassingly substandard.

I do have this meter pictured: but dont know how to use it.
 

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Jim

Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons
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Move the black lead to "COM".... (stands for common)

Set the rotary switch to 20Vdc

Connect the black lead to any bare metal

Connect the red lead to the battery + (positive)

Measure battery voltage in the following conditions:

Key off_________
Key on__________
Engine at idle__________
Engine at @3000rpm_____________

Let us know what you get.

EDIT: a quick, not very accurate method is to rev the bike and see if the lights get brighter.


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5twins

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Yes, it sounds like you're not charging, or not charging enough. The bike will run for a while off the charge in the battery but once that gets too low, it will die. At higher RPMs, you may be getting some charging output, enough to keep the bike running, but at low RPMs, not so much.
 

ThomasADixon

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Back w new battery - sorry had to go back twice

Key off 12.78 V
Key on 11.76 V
@ idle (1200) 13.1 V
@ 3000rpm 14.1 V


May be a bad battery - or do these numbers mean anything to yoU
 

ThomasADixon

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Funny...

I when I was riding earlier (on my new fresh battery) I reached down and turned the petcock to reserve...I got a stiff electrical shock in my right arm.
Makes we think my light trick was not as successful as I thought and maybe I have a shortcircuit going on - especially when I ride with the lights on which is always.

Further when I check the voltage w/ bike it slowly ticks downward;

Bike off; 12.31V
Bike on (no lights) 11.70, 11.69, 11.68 - a hundredth of a volt every second or two. Maybe that makes sense as when if you keep the key on it will be dead tomorrow. And why do people trickle charge their bikes if there is no slow loss.
 
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