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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm new to the forum and a proud owner of a yellow 1997 T595 955cc.

I have only had the bike for a couple of weeks but am having a problem with my battery going flat.

First up I checked the condition of the battery in it. Levels were well below the minimum mark so topped them up and charged overnight. The bike ran fine for a couple of days. Then one morning wouldnt start as battery was flat. I presumed the battery was stuffed, so bought a new one and fitted that (after filling, charging etc). This seemed ok until after a night (12 hours approx of no use). The battery was flat again.

After push starting it, I ran the bike for 5 mins then switched it off and it started fine, therefore the charging system seems ok. It seems to point to a slow voltage drain. I do not have an alarm. I have heated grips but unplugged them and have discounted them. My earth seems ok from what I can see, hard to tell. Battery connections are good.
Any one have any clues? I'm guessing that alternator, regulator/rectifier should be ok if its charging when the bike is running. If I cant figure it out I will take it to a shop, should any motorcycle shop be able to test it/fix it?

Thanks in advance
 

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Do you have a volt test meter that you can measure the voltage?
You can get them really cheap at auto parts store these days - doesn't have to be sophisticated.

I wouldn't necessarily discount the battery even though you have replaced it. You get what you pay for with batteries generally
A good sealed battery would be preferred - quality brand like Yuasa.

You need to charge the battery, then measure its voltage on the bike with the lights on and see what you get - that is a load test.
If it's less than 12V with headlights on, (not running) then your battery is inadequate.

Also check your chaging voltage - measure across the battery terminals with bike running. The alternator on that bike rarely has issues.

One of the biggest electrical issues with this bike is a part referred to as the ground block or earth block - depending on which side of the ocean you live.
A bad ground block could mean that your battery is being inadequately charged.
Bike often suffers with erratic starting & running conditions also

See details here - inspect that before you do anything and if it is not the latest described, start by replacing that.

Good luck & enjoy your Triumph!
 

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what's the drain

Hopefully you know how to use the amp setting on a volt-ohm meter. Disconnect the connection, put it in series with the batter and ground or the positive side, eithe one, just need to match the + and - correctly. My tt600 draws a few milliamps which is going to the digital dash, but it is not enough to worry. If you see something significant you have a short cause a continuous drain.
At that point you have to start isolating the systems and working backwords.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello again.
I seem to have an old ground/earth block (white plug with heaps of wires going in, one black loop on other side - located in battery compartment). I will call a triumph dealer and see if they can mail me one. Sounds like a good place to start. Thanks. Anyone know what I should expect to pay if they dont send out free (due to factory fault).

I thought that if there is a power drain you could check it by leaving the positive cable connected and touching the negative cable to the battery with keys off. If you get a visible spark then something is still powered. Any truth to this, cos didnt get a spark.

Bike runs great when going, am stoked with it.
 

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charging?

NZ
Meant to tell you that just because it started again 5 min after you started it and turned it off -doesn't mean the charging voltage is sufficient and working correctly.- The voltmeter is needed to see the actual voltage at the terminals. If you aren't familiar with electical systems, I don't recommend you start buying new parts until you get a proper diagnosis. You could be wasting a lot of money and the dealer should quickly identify the real culprit. Suggest you get familiar with a volt-ohm meter down the road. It is not a complicated instrument and invaluable for many things just like this.
Electrical problems are hard to diagnose without more info than what you have right now. Good luck with the dealer.
 

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Your 'spark test' is not very scientific (& definitely not recommended!) but probably does show that you have very little standing current drain.

While Bill20850 has described the correct process, I see countless quests of people looking for phantom drain current - there rarely is one unless someone has added an accessory.
Pretty much always come down to bad battery or bad charging system.

You definitely need the new ground block kit NZ-UK-T595 - I believe you should be able to get that at no charge (no pun intended! :p ) - give your VIN # to the dealer along with the part number listed in the other thread and I believe the reference Service Bulletin is #268

Even if you have to pay, I believe it is only $20 or so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks heaps guys. You guys are awesome.
I have been doing further reading and someone who had this problem (for a few years!!) traced it down to the realays. They found that even if the relays were correct spec (have checked this) if they were aftermarket (eg halfords), they caused problems. Switched them with Triumph relays and it sorted it. I believe some people change them to get both headlights on at the same time. I will check tomorrow if both lights come on, on dim and if the relays look aftermarket or genuine. Will get a volt-ohm meter as well.
 

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NZ-UK-T595, The spark test can be the same as the 'how well can I stand an explosion test' as wet batterys generate hydrogen gas. Don't do it!

Without a multi meter all you can do is work on a process of elimination. Remove 1/2 the fuses one night. If it starts it's one of those removed fuses and break them into halves and so on. If not, remove the other half the next night after a recharge.

Oh yeah, cross your fingers that the culprit is a fused circuit.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok thanks for your help guys.
Here is the latest. Currently I have just been unplugging the battery at night and at work for the past 3 weeks and havent had a problem. However if I leave it plugged in for a long enough time it goes flat.

I bought a multimeter and the results are as follows.
- Ignition off - Battery voltage 12.7 (seems ok)
- Ignition off + Lights on - Battery voltage 11.5 (is
this too low?)
- Ignition on + Idling - Battery voltage 14.3 (seems
that alternator is charging the battery ok)

I tried to measure current drain but couldnt get a reading (no doubt Im doing it wrong)

Also on a side note, my left indicators work fine. But my right ones - the rear works fine when riding, front right doesnt - bulb is ok, socket, wiring seems ok. If the ignition is off and you turn indicators on. The left work but if you try the right. The indicator relay just buzzes and the right indicators stay off. I dont know if this is connected to my flat battery problem. Any ideas? Thanks in advance
 

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Ok thanks for your help guys.
Here is the latest. Currently I have just been unplugging the battery at night and at work for the past 3 weeks and havent had a problem. However if I leave it plugged in for a long enough time it goes flat.

I bought a multimeter and the results are as follows.
- Ignition off - Battery voltage 12.7 (seems ok)
- Ignition off + Lights on - Battery voltage 11.5 (is
this too low?)
- Ignition on + Idling - Battery voltage 14.3 (seems
that alternator is charging the battery ok)

I tried to measure current drain but couldnt get a reading (no doubt Im doing it wrong)

Also on a side note, my left indicators work fine. But my right ones - the rear works fine when riding, front right doesnt - bulb is ok, socket, wiring seems ok. If the ignition is off and you turn indicators on. The left work but if you try the right. The indicator relay just buzzes and the right indicators stay off. I dont know if this is connected to my flat battery problem. Any ideas? Thanks in advance
It sounds like your battery may be at the end of its lifespan.

My signals did the same thing. It was a bad signal flasher relay -- common to most, if not all, pre-2007 Triumphs.

Tridon makes a great (and cheaper) electronic replacement.
http://www.tigertriple.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6086
 

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Battery retaining insufficient charge if drops to 11.5 under load from headlight.
Charging system looks fine.

Flasher module is common to both sides - only the switch driects the current (after the relay) to left or right.
You must have something wrong with the front right lamp or the wiring to it.

If you still want to check the current draw with power off, set meter to DC Current mA range;
disconnect the battery -ve cable; connect meter leads with one on the cable and other one on the battery terminal.
Note that if you attempt (or had attempted) to connect the meter across a voltage source while on current range, the internal fuse in the meter would blow.
i.e. don't connect across the battery terminals when on a current range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks for the quick replies. The battery is new so should be ok. It is a bosch one, but the old yuasa was just as bad (didnt test that though - just replaced it)

I will go over the wiring to the flasher in greater detail. I will also test the current tomorrow. I did work out how to check it and seemed to detect some leakage. I pulled the alternator plug and the leakage stayed similar. I pulled the indicator relay and the current stayed similar too. Will pull the other relays and see if that alters the current.

So could it potentially mean my battery is a dud/or the bike needs a more powerful battery, or could a current leakage cause the low voltage?
 

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It could be another bad battery, wouldnt be the first time. You really need to see what the amp draw is and that will send you down the right path.
 

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NZ-UK-T595, Place the new battery on a 2 amp charge overnight to 'condition' the plates...the charging cleans the surface of the plates. Battery should be rated at 14 cold cranking amperage.

Brad
 

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leaking current

I did work out how to check it and seemed to detect some leakage. I pulled the alternator plug and the leakage stayed similar. I pulled the indicator relay and the current stayed similar too. Will pull the other relays and see if that alters the current.

So could it potentially mean my battery is a dud/or the bike needs a more powerful battery, or could a current leakage cause the low voltage?
NZ Don't know if you are all fixed up by now, but if not, you left out the most important information in your reply. What was the current you measured as leaking? Were you on the lowest setting and seeing a few milliamps? Pull each fuse one at a time until it goes to zero at the lowest setting of milliamps. This will tell you what circuit is leaking and narrow the individual loops you need to check. Based on your explanation of the front indicator problem, it does seem reasonable that it is the contributing problem and the first place to try and isolate. Hard to diagnose from here. If the leakage is minimal, suggest you take the new battery back to place of purchase for replacement/inspection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Latest update. I have taken the bike to an auto electrician who fixed the indicators. Corroded wire on front indicator was the culprit.

In relation to the flattening of the battery, he found no current leakage. The regulator/rectifier and alternator are fine. Fuses and relays seem ok. He thinks the battery may be the culprit, although is surprised as he says the bosch batteries seldom give problems (plus its new). He is putting it on a tricle charge overnight and is going to investigate further. Will keep you posted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Ok so heres the latest - Have had the bike back from the auto electrician. He tested the circuit for any current leakage and got zero (with quite sensitive equipment). Alternator, rectifier, regulator etc is all good. Therfore he suspected a dodgy battery. He put it on trickle charge and then left it for a couple of days and it dropped by a small amount (didn't say by exactly how much), so he thinks the battery may not be the best. It is the largest CCA for its size so I cant upgrade along that route. It seems my only options if the battery drain reappears is to replace it with another of the same battery (in case it was a dud), or upgrade to gel (which may have the same problem just hold the charge for a bit longer).

What confuses me is that when the battery was going flat everynight, I just unplugged the earth overnight and it would be fine in the morning. This simply points to current leakage however none was found!?

One possibility:
There was a bad earth wire on the indicator which he fixed - which may have contributed to the problem even though he said this was unlikely.

Have defo checked the relays unless its an intermittant issue. I unplugged all relays and it still went flat (this was quite a while ago).

Will let you know if it goes flat again.....The saga continues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Battery when flat again within about 48 hours of getting it back. Have reverted to unplugging the battery at night and it has started after reconnecting it in the mornings for the last two weeks. Therefore the battery must be ok. It must be an intermittant drain. I think I will just wire in a battery isolator switch - I know it isnt fixing the root of the problem, but I could chase my tail for ever.
 
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