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I have a new to me 05 Bonneville. The other night I got on and started to ride home. I had gone about 8 blocks when the bike died. I pulled over and tried to figure out what had happened. Everything was dead. No oil, neutral, or head light. Nothing when I try to start it. Had the bike towed home. Next day went to look at it the light of the day and make sure I hadn't just been stupid. Turned the key on still dead, As I sat on the bike I started pulling the levers and shifting the gears up and down while thinking about the problem when the power came on. I stopped right away and turned the fuel on and oulled out the choke. I then pressed the start botton and the power died again. I tried to make it come back on to no avail.
So far I've checked the battery, it shows 12.5v. I have it on the tender overnight just to make sure. I checked the fuses, both by eye and with a tester and they are good. I don't know how to go about trouble shooting the problem. All the info I can find begins with the bike not starting, not with the bike having no juice. My hanes manual comes tomorrow. Any help would be great
 

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I'd guess that your battery's dead. It's obviously got a little juice left in it but not enough. They don't last forever, get a new one.
 

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my o5 did the same thing, needed to tighten the cables real tight, if that is the battery that came in the bike, go buy a battery, no matter how many times you charge it, it will go dead, one of the cells have weaken.
 

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As I sat on the bike...when the power came on.
That would suggest to me a loose battery cable. Maybe the seat shifted just enough to make temporary contact? But you say you have a Battery Tender on it so the cables should be tight. Double check them anyway.

There is nothing you can do with the levers and switchgear that would cause the headlight to go out (assuming you do not have an early Euro-spec HL switch). Maybe a bad relay?

/Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #6
from no electrics to a little bit

After charging overnight the battery still reads 12.2v. I put it back in and still nothing. I rechecked the fuses and tried the key again and had power! I tried to start the bike, it clicked and the lights went off but it least now it sounded like a run down battery. I just talked to the guy I bought the bike from and he told me that that is the battery that was in the bike when he got it from the auction and it had been sitting for a year and half. My next step I think is to get a new, fully charged battery and try that.
 

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If that's the history of the bike, then I would definitely get a new battery before spending a lot more time looking for a problem. Would probably be a good idea to put the new one on your tender overnight before fitting it to be on the safe side. By the way, the lights will go out when you press the starter button as there is a relay that cuts power to them whilst the starter circuit is engaged to take the load off of the battery.
 

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Let there be juice!

I picked up a new battery this afternoon and started right up! I'm glad it was something so simple. I'm going to keep an eye on the charging system just to be sure, for the moment I'm done with my simulation of what it would have been like if I had bought an old Triumph! Thank you all for all your prompt replies. And all of them spot on! "Step One-start with a known good battery!"
 

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I hope my reply is received in the friendly spirit that it is being written :)

Turned the key on still dead, As I sat on the bike I started pulling the levers and shifting the gears up and down while thinking about the problem when the power came on. I stopped right away and turned the fuel on and oulled out the choke. I then pressed the start botton and the power died again. I tried to make it come back on to no avail.
So far I've checked the battery, it shows 12.5v. I have it on the tender overnight just to make sure. I checked the fuses, both by eye and with a tester and they are good. I don't know how to go about trouble shooting the problem.

I picked up a new battery this afternoon and started right up! I'm glad it was something so simple. I'm going to keep an eye on the charging system just to be sure, for the moment I'm done with my simulation of what it would have been like if I had bought an old Triumph! Thank you all for all your prompt replies. And all of them spot on! "Step One-start with a known good battery!"
I read your post and replies hoping to see a logical course of troubleshooting develop. I'm glad you're running but doubt you know why. Basic electrical/electronics troubleshooting starts with verifying power supply and then proceeding backwards from the output (the load not working......in this case, your entire bike) back to the input.
Following this type of tree, you actually started to verify power supply (the battery) but stopped after measuring no-load terminal voltage....I've assumed this as you didn't mention turning the ignition switch on while measuring the voltage. At this point, looking at the terminal voltage while applying a load across the battery would help verify it's ability to deliver power. This could be as simple as rigging up one or more automotive headlamps in parallel and connecting these across the battery, while measuring the voltage to look for a drop to zero or an inadequate inability to keep them lit. IF you saw that the battery actually could deliver power then your next step would be to see where the bike's wiring was failing to transfer that power. IF the battery couldn't deliver significant power then you'd attempt to charge it.....VERIFY that it's charging by measuring that current is flowing into the battery and that power can be delivered by the battery after even a brief period of charging (use that simple test load).

It sounds like you probably have enough equipment to do this work.
I recommend researching basic DC circuit theory, Ohms law and the use and interpretation of your voltmeter in different parts of the the simple circuits that comprise your bike's electrical system.

Throwing parts at a problem may fix a problem, but knowing why you're replacing furthers an understanding of how your bike works. How many times have you heard someone say, "I tried replacing this, that, and then that and NOTHING helped".....That's the mark of a person who did not troubleshoot logically and will always be back at ground zero when the next problem occurs.

Sincerely - Gord
 

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Glad you're back on the road.

Sometimes a battery will do that. The best test is a load test, where you actually put a load on the battery. Load testers for MC batteries are fairly cheap.
 

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I'm with Gord (SPARKSS) on this one. In particular, I am not sure you addressed the root cause of the problem since you stated the bike was running the first time it died. Generally, if the bike is running it is doing so off the alternator not the battery. I am thinking that you have not even checked the charging system andou should measure the voltage being delivered to the battery while the bike is running at something like 2500 RPM. It should be up around 13.8v or a little higher. If not, you are just going to drain this battery and start from scratch again.

Let us know what you find.

Fred
 

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I had the same problems when I first installed the NARK, in my haste I reconnected the battery cables coming in from the side rather than the front of the NARK kit. What was happening was the positive cable was arcing out on the NARK and earthing it when going over bumps and cornering. I felt like a real goose until I inspected someone else s bike and they had done the same thing.
:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
the next step

I haven't had a chance to test anything yet. All that I did was put the new battery in and start the bike. The problem I was having was that all the information about troubleshooting the electrical system I could find at the time all started with "your bike won't start". I finally found one web site that had a breif note at the bottom of the page that said to always make sure you are working with a known, good battery. There really was nothing I could do about checking the charging system when the not only was the bike not starting, I couldn't get the oil pressure light to come on. Knowing what I know now about motorcycle batteries, finding out that the battery in the bike was the original that had been sitting dead in the bike for at least the last year and a half, it seems to me that my first step would be replace the battery. Now that the bike will start I can begin to check the charging system etc....
 
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