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I happened to wear down my battery a few days ago and couldn't start the bike, my buddy put a voltmeter on it and said that it had 12.4 volts so it shouldn't be the battery preventing the bike from starting. As it turns out we put the charger on it for a half hour and she started right up. A couple of days later I happened across this post below by a very pissed Aussie concerning his '09 efi Bonnie and it's apparent battery snafu/problem.
Hope the sun shines for ya.
Ted.

Some members of this forum might remember i purchased a new 09 Triumph Bonneville a few months ago. With the recent cool change, a problem has come to light.

It seems that some ‘engineer’ at the triumph factory decided it would be a good idea to set the computer to not allow the bike to start if the battery voltage falls below 12.5 volts. A fully charged battery is just over 13v, so it only has to drop half a volt and it won't go. It only affects the new fuel injected twins (2009), alternator output is fine.


Consequently, if the bike is left unridden for a few days, or you do a lot of short runs in the city, it will not start. This problem affects all the new injected bonnevilles and i assume the Americas.

Triumph Australia don’t want to know about it, they have released a statement to dealers advising them to tell customers to put the bike on a charger when they come home from a ride.

Great, every time you ride it, you have to remove the seat, attach a battery charger and let it stay on charge until you want to ride it again. Even with a fully charged battery if you do too many stop/starts in a day it will not start. Even with a freshly fitted yuasa battery.

(A short term solution is to remove the left sidecover and bridge the solenoid terminals with a coin. Much like i used to do with my old holden in the eighties.....)

The whole reason I, and many others, have purchased a new Bonny is to have old school looks with modern reliability. This problem makes a Joke of that.

I wouldn’t mind so much if triumph were interested in fixing it, but they don’t want to know.

I was just about to order a new thunderbird, but if this is how triumph treat their customers, i won’t bother.


Update:

The local bike shop has been in touch with triumph australia's warranty department and i am taking the bike down shortly to have some testing done.
This would appear to be a smokescreen, as triumph are well aware of the problem.

I received a couple of emails from alaska and the states re: same problems. seems a couple of local triumph clubs are considering starting a class action over there.

I don't really mind the actual problem, but the fact they don't want to know about it.

Further info:

I have just taken my bike to the local triumph agent where, at the request of triumph australia’s warranty department, he has undertaken the following tests:

Clutch switch operation, earth strap continuity test, charge test, battery condition test.
All passed....

Next we drained the battery to 12.4v and connected a laboratory standard regulated dc power supply and tested the starting:

12.4v – no start
12.5v – no start
12.55v – no start
12.6v – start

This would seem to prove that the ecu is set to disable starting at a battery voltage less than 12.6v.

Pretty much the industry standard ecu voltage cut off for cars, trucks and bikes is 11.5v.

With a fully charged battery topping out at around 13v, it doesn't take much to drop the initial .5v.

I have just spoken to triumph Australia's warranty agent, who was very evasive and said 'yours is the first one we have heard of with this problem'.....

Typical, won't admit anything. Promised to contact triumph england and get back to me.__________________
 

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Sounds ludicrous. 12.6 volts (2.1 volts per cell) is the normal reading for a fully charged lead-acid battery. At 12.5 the battery is still over 80%; charged, more than able to start an engine.
I was wondering why their accessory battery tender/charger has such a high profile in their OE catalogue...

It really helps then that the headlamp comes on automatically when you turn on the ignition then, if you take too long to put your gloves on...
 

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Easy Rider

Get a "battery tender", they come with a little pigtail which you attach to the battery terminals, run it out between the frame and the side cover secure with a tie wrap.
When you park the bike at home, attach the charger to the pigtail provided and walk away.
No need to pull seat or anything.

http://www.batterytender.com/

Works for me, same battery for two years never a problem.
 

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This tiny charger is available from newbonneville.com. It fits permanently on the bike and it's slightly cheaper than the Battery tender.
Measures 3.25×.75"×1". I don't know wether it's available in other than 110 volt mains though.

I can't help thinking "why do we put up with this nonsense?". My car has far more sophisticated electronics but can be left in a cold airport carpark for two weeks and it'll start straight away on my return. The battery is 4 years old...

 

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I have a new '09 EFI bonnie and I haven't had the battery tendered in a couple of months now. The bike has never failed to start and I have also had it apart several times which involved running down the battery a bit...testing different lights etc. I haven't checked to see if the battery has dropped below 12.5 V but I am quite certain it has.
I would be incredulous if the ECM does cut off start below 12.5V. Only my armchair opinion. One plausible explanation for creating a low threshold for start is poor running with low voltage but to preclude start as such a high voltage seems outlandish to me.
Perhaps others can weigh in with their findings. Where I store my bike presently, there is no power for a tender and I only ride it about once a week and again, my bike has always spun the starter hard even after prolonged periods with the battery uncharged with headlight and turnsignals on.
George
 

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About a week ago I was putting on a new seat but got called way to a crying baby, lights were on for about half an hour I guess. Wednesday when I tried to start it I heard the pump prime, lights on but when I press the starter nothing happened. Checked fuses, kill switch, tried a push start, but in the end I had to jump start it.

Normally I ride at least five out of seven days a week, so it shouldn't cause me any grief, but it pisses me off to know the tolerance is so low!
 

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My bike hasn't done it...I don't ride much and currently don't trickle charge the battery. If anybody thinks its a problem, rather than living with it...simply rewire the bike to take the ECM out of the equation from keeping the starter relay from engaging when pressing the start button. Likely a 1 or 2 wire change...what I will do if I believe this to ever be an issue.
George
 

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This is not a problem on just newer models. My 05 speedy was having stator problems so I was charging and riding waiting for a new stator. At 12.5 she would NOT start. I carried a screwdriver to jump the solenoid, pain in the azz. I for one would be interested in info to bypass this safety? feature.
 

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I thought I had the same problem with my '09 fi but found out that I had wired my after market tach to an 'always hot' lead. Moved it and no more problem. It will now sit for over a week and fire right off. When I was having initial problem, it seemed to be cutting off at abouit 11.5v, not 12.5. May not be a universal problem....
 

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I can't comment on the problem itself, but I have 4 bikes and I bought battery tenders from Harbor Freight on sale for $5.99 apiece and they work fine as long as the battery is fully charged before you store the bike.
Just my 0.02c worth
Stu
 

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Is it possible to change the setting on the ecu to a slightly lower setting?
The answer is no...the voltage cutoff is a MOSFET etched into the ECM's EPROM (DNA). The workaround for this isn't complicated however Kiwi if you are struggling with this issue. The ECM's involvement in deciding if the starter will engage is virtually identical to how the side stand and neutral switch work for determining if the bike will fire with fuel pump energized and when hitting the starter button.
If you struggle with this, I can show you how the circuit works and which wire you can bypass.

Let me know Kiwi....
George
 

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I searched the Triumph notice archives and there is nothing on that. It is absolutely ridiculous to set it that high.

If anything there might be one around 12v as that is stone dead.

As others have said 12.6 is a fully charged 12volt battery and and 12.4 is normal.

Ford for years put a 12.1 limit on their cars to save alternators but I highly doubt that there is a 12.5 min on the EFI bikes.
 

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I searched the Triumph notice archives and there is nothing on that. It is absolutely ridiculous to set it that high.

If anything there might be one around 12v as that is stone dead.

As others have said 12.6 is a fully charged 12volt battery and and 12.4 is normal.

Ford for years put a 12.1 limit on their cars to save alternators but I highly doubt that there is a 12.5 min on the EFI bikes.
Cal...you of all people know about statistical outliars...applies to electronics as well. A voltage cutoff that is out of spec can be due to an out of spec MOSFET (semi-conductor). It is rare? Yes Does it occur in a large batch? Occassionally. Normandy also mentioned a stator at the root cause of his cut out. If you study the wiring diagram, the igniter is in the sequence of fail safes for no start down stream of the diode pack that talks to the starter relay. If any of these fail safes are an open circuit, the starter relay will not close. This issue could easily be the igniter and not even related to the ECM cut off.
Best,
George
 

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I have an 09 T100. Put it away in unheated shed Dec 1, went out March 1 and it started right up (New England winter). No trickle charge, nothing. I was pretty impressed.
 

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I have an 09 T100. Put it away in unheated shed Dec 1, went out March 1 and it started right up (New England winter). No trickle charge, nothing. I was pretty impressed.

Not a good idea, if done a lot the rotor/stator will over heat trying to charge the battery back up and you could burn out a stator. I know this to be true.
 

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Stranded ... battery issue

The answer is no...the voltage cutoff is a MOSFET etched into the ECM's EPROM (DNA). The workaround for this isn't complicated however Kiwi if you are struggling with this issue. The ECM's involvement in deciding if the starter will engage is virtually identical to how the side stand and neutral switch work for determining if the bike will fire with fuel pump energized and when hitting the starter button.
If you struggle with this, I can show you how the circuit works and which wire you can bypass.

Let me know Kiwi....
George
Hi George, I was stranded yesterday with a non-starting '09 Bonneville. Context: bought her on June 29, rode it daily, two 1 hr trips but mostly around town; 30 - 70 kms/hr. On July 12 we took three weeks vacation. Came back on Aug 3rd, fired her up and have ridden solely around town till I was stranded yesterday.

Ignition switched on, fuel pump whirred till the light went out, I hit the starter and got only a click. My dear wife supplied a boost and all was fine. Drove to the fuel station, filled up and she fired up no problem.

I have read the prior posts re battery voltages. Because I have to maintain a three battery system on our boat I have a good understanding of DC battery voltages and charging systems.

I didn't have my multimeter so I couldn't check the no-load/load voltage.

I am interested in your options for bypassing the ECM in the starting circuit.

Thanks
David
 

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David,
Have to say I am really surprised by this issue. I currently keep my '09 bonny in storage without power access therefore I can't keep the bike on a trickle charger. Sometimes I ride the bike every other day and then I can go 2 weeks and not touch it. It always fires right up. A couple of scenarios...either Triumph set a low voltage cut off threshold in the ECM or the nominal voltage threshold...all voltage targets has tolerances based upon hardware variability...is not behaving to spec...bad comparitor circuit in the ECM. I haven't looked very close at bypassing it because I have not had this issue at all and I am a candidate since I don't have access to a trickle charger. What you would need to do is get a hold of a manual for the '09 bike. It would be pretty simple to bypass it. The starter relay on the '09 bike must have a hot wire coming off the ECM, not unlike the side stand switch cutting off the starter relay when the stand is down. I have the manual for the carbed bikes without ECM. All you would do is replicate the wiring for the carbed bike, but it would be worthwhile to identify the color lead from the ECM to the starter relay from the EFI manual....relay now being powered (or not as you have unfortunately learned) from the ECM.
Perhaps Forchetto could help us by providing a Jpeg of his manual in the context of the starter relay. I could compare this to the carbed bike and make a recommendation. This would only entail a one or two wire change...very simple.
A suggestion is send a PM to Forchetto and request a picture of the wiring circuit for the EFI bike in the context of the starter relay. He is a good friend of the forum here and would likely help.
Let me know.
George
 

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Battery update

After leaving the battery on a charger overnight, she fired up straight away this morning.

I did notice two differences:

1) I usually hear the fuel pump "squeal" while it builds pressure, this morning there was no squeal

2) the temp was about 68 degrees outside and usually she needs the enrichener pulled out to the first stop, today there was no need because she settled into a smooth idle of ~1000 rpm

I have to wonder if she was struggling with a low battery all the while...
 

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Actually I find this very worrying as someone contemplating an EFI. When I go to Cooma in the Snowy Mts tomorrow my trusty 30 year old Ferguson diesel will start on a buggered battery after it has been left outside in sub zero conditions for many days. As a diesel it asks a lot of the battery but it will go. I have every confidence that volts wise there will be somewhat less than 12 loitering in that battery but the Fergie will not let me down. Sad to think that if I had left a new Bonneville parked outside in the same conditions for the same amount of time that it might not.

In terms of safety in a country like Australia with the complete spectrum of climatic conditions one could park up a perfectly working bike for even a short time and find oneself stranded in possibly dangerous conditions just for a missing 0.1 of a volt. I appreciate anything can happen to a mechanical thing but this seems to be something that could easily be avoided and also become more common as these bikes and their batteries get to be a few years old.
 
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