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Thread: Brutal Starting Issue- 1983 R80 GS

  1. #1

    Brutal Starting Issue- 1983 R80 GS

    Hi folks,

    I'm a Nor'easter and it's just starting to really get cold. My 1983 R80 GS is in the garage and I've been working on it slowly. Last week, after a particularly cold evening with no tender on it, I went to start it in the morning and it wouldn't turn over, the ignition just started to slow down until there was a clicking. I figured that the battery was bad, bought a new PC680, installed it and that solved the problem. Last night, I did the same thing, left the tender off, and went to start it this evening and same thing happened. The lights come on, the engine will start to turn, but it sounds like on the first, second and maybe third try, there's just not enough juice to get it to turn. After the fifth or sixth try, it starts running low and dying out and then, after a a few more tries, it just starts clicking. Obviously I'm draining the battery, but a few questions here:

    1) How do I know if have a starter or alternator problem?
    2) Is it possible I have a faulty battery? If so, how can I know?
    3) Do I need to keep a tender on the bike every evening in the cold weather? I ride deep in to January and have never had this issue before.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    I would charge battery ,disconnect battery from bike maybe ground wire if yours is easy to get to. then next day connect it and see if battery is low again. If not, then something is draining it while its sitting .thats when the fun begins trying to find what draining it while key is turned off.Check battery wires and other hot wires for signs of wear that might be touching ground.

  3. #3
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Here's an article on starting troubles on Snowbum's site: http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/startingprobs.htm

    1) The alternator really doesn't come into play when starting the bike. Connections to the starter could be corroded resulting in little transfer of current. Same thing could be said of your battery cables. Make sure that the negative attachment of the battery cable to the back of the transmission is tight...don't over tighten the bolt however. Not sure when the older Valeo starters were used, but it's possible if you have one of those, the inner field windings can come loose which drag and can lock up the armature.

    2) You can try to jump the bike using a known good battery...usually just hook up the donor battery but don't have the donor vehicle running. You can remove the battery and take it to any reasonable auto parts store...they can load test the battery.

    3) A tender can certainly help in most situations. If you've been able to start the bike in past years under similar conditions, then something has changed.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  4. #4

    Thanks

    Thanks for all the replies. A couple of things I tried:

    1) Successfully jump started with car battery
    2) Put the tender on last night and it started right up this morning
    3) Took the tender off today when I left for work this morning, got home this evening, and battery was too low to turn starter
    4) There is a leak in oil pressure switch (which might be causing a short?)
    5) I took the tank off and observed that the starter relay is clicking and blinking green, but nothing happens after that (here's a video: https://ve.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_p...vPJ1spe6y3.mp4).

    I just replaced the battery last week. Could the battery be faulty? Could the starter relay be faulty?

  5. #5
    The battery could be faulty. The best test is to disconnect it and charge it fully. Then let it sit a day and see if it has self discharged.

    It could be some circuit in the bike causing battery drain. Disconnect the negative cable and insert an VOM on the amperage setting between the cable and the battery post. See what the amperage is with the bike just sitting key off. It should just be a miniscule number of milliamps.

    Report back.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  6. #6
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    With engine running at 3K RPM or so, what is the voltage across the battery terminals? Should be well north of 13.5v.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  7. #7
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    Exactly what "tender" are you using? Is it approved for the PC-680?
    http://www.odysseybattery.com/docume...V_chargers.pdf

  8. #8

    Update

    Thanks for the suggestions. I ordered a VOM. It will get here today and I'll update you when I run the tests you suggested.

    I kept a tender on it last night and the only change is that the clicking is faster, which you can see here: https://ve.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_p...8fS1spe6y3.mp4

  9. #9

    Tender

    Interesting question about the tender which I never thought of. I'm using (but I don't see it on approved list): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00068XCQU

    Coincidentally, it's blinking red and green now (indicating that the battery is over 80% charged, but it's been on all night- so it should be fully charged.

  10. #10

    Update

    Quick update: I disconnected the negative cable and there were no amps when I connected the VOM.

    I just took the battery off and it was at 10.94, so I'm charging it now and we'll what happens after it's fully charged.

  11. #11
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    That battery wants 6 amps minimum at 14.7V to keep it at full charge. I have 3 PC-680's.

  12. #12
    Got it- thanks. Once I have the battery fully charged, if it's acting the same way (losing voltage over a few starts) I assume it's either:

    1) Bad battery
    2) Bad alternator
    3) a short somewhere that is slowly draining the battery.

    Are there any other options?



    Quote Originally Posted by PAS View Post
    That battery wants 6 amps minimum at 14.7V to keep it at full charge. I have 3 PC-680's.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by armartel View Post
    Got it- thanks. Once I have the battery fully charged, if it's acting the same way (losing voltage over a few starts) I assume it's either:

    1) Bad battery
    2) Bad alternator
    3) a short somewhere that is slowly draining the battery.

    Are there any other options?
    You said you did not find amperage flow with the VOM set on current and between the battery post and ground cable. Thus, drain from a short is ruled out if you did the test correctly which I assume you did.

    The alternator only comes into play if you ride the bike, or run the engine a protracted period and the battery gets weaker and weaker. This is easily tested with your VOM measuring DC volts with the engine running. Look for 1 to 1.5 volts higher with engine running than engine off.

    Self discharge is measured with the battery disconnected and at decent intervals. A battery ought not show more than a slight DC voltage decrease over even a week once the 1st hour or two has passed since the charger was disconnected. Soi charge it. Let it sit an hour and test the voltage. Then test it again in 24 hours. You should not see much change. If you do the battery is junk.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  14. #14
    Thanks. The battery dropped from 12.4v to 11.5v over night. Going to try to get a replacement for the new battery today and see if that does the trick.

    Any thoughts on the tender information? Do I really need to buy an Odyssey 6amp? Will the bike bring it to full charge after a good ride?



    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    You said you did not find amperage flow with the VOM set on current and between the battery post and ground cable. Thus, drain from a short is ruled out if you did the test correctly which I assume you did.

    The alternator only comes into play if you ride the bike, or run the engine a protracted period and the battery gets weaker and weaker. This is easily tested with your VOM measuring DC volts with the engine running. Look for 1 to 1.5 volts higher with engine running than engine off.

    Self discharge is measured with the battery disconnected and at decent intervals. A battery ought not show more than a slight DC voltage decrease over even a week once the 1st hour or two has passed since the charger was disconnected. Soi charge it. Let it sit an hour and test the voltage. Then test it again in 24 hours. You should not see much change. If you do the battery is junk.

  15. #15
    Registered User PAS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by armartel View Post
    Thanks. The battery dropped from 12.4v to 11.5v over night. Going to try to get a replacement for the new battery today and see if that does the trick.

    Any thoughts on the tender information? Do I really need to buy an Odyssey 6amp? Will the bike bring it to full charge after a good ride?
    My PC-680's show at least 12.84 when fully charged. Odyssey will replace it IF you have proven to charge it correctly and it fails. (Just my opinion)
    http://www.odysseybattery.com/documents/US-ODY-OM.pdf

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