Originally Posted by Wayne's Striple
Nine times out of ten when I have seen a problem with a pre-owned motorcycle it is because the previous owner/incompetent mechanic screwed something up, it is rarely a defect in the bike itself. The most frustrating part is trying to diagnose the problem. A carelessly routed frayed wire causing an intermittent short is the most exasperating. - Wayne
And so begins my frustration.
Had the R/R replaced last Friday. Battery was marginal according to the mechanic, so I decided to buy a Ballistic at the same time. After picking it up, rode back to work for a bit before riding home. Monday morning, the bike wouldn't start. (Was 8C; cold starting techniques Ballistic shows didn't seem to help -- power just vanished.)
Tuesday morning the bike still wouldn't start. This time, it was room temp. (The mechanic later told me my Battery Tender Jr isn't strong enough to charge one of these.)
Took the battery back to the dealer and the mechanic checked it -- voltage looked ok to him, and on a (traditional) charger wasn't taking much of a charge. He said the battery *should* have been able to crank it. He also said the battery was their display model and had been on display as long as they'd been selling them. I can understand thinking this would be ok, as low self-discharge is supposed to be a big feature.
Anyway. They've ordered a new one and gave me a lead acid to borrow in the meantime.
Rode to work Wednesday. Fine. Again this morning, but in heavy rain. Bike wouldn't start when I left work.
WT-? The mechanic checked the stator and says it's fine. With the lead acid, I measured idle voltage at 13.15V and ~4krpm at 14.26V. Charging should be fine.
On Friday evening, there was no rain, so at least for that case, that wasn't the problem. Today... maybe it was? Who knows.
I noticed the cable housing for the wires from the ignition is cracked. I measured current draw on the battery this evening at 1.2mA with the bike off. Tried mimicking rain by spraying water around that area. No change.
I lifted the tank and noticed that just behind where the cables go into the body on the left, there's a connector that doesn't look weather-proofed. It wouldn't surprise me if enough water could get between the tank and the frame tube there to drip on top of the connector and cause a problem. I didn't feel brave/stupid enough to try getting that connector wet.
I got rid of my last bike (a nice little '89 CB-1) because it wouldn't start after riding in heavy rain -- though not because of a dead battery. I'd leave it overnight to dry out more and it would be fine. Now I get this with a bike 20 years younger.