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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody! First off wanted to say thanks because I've enjoyed reading and learning on this forum even before I joined. Now that I've got some new questions that haven't been answered in any threads yet, I went ahead and joined so I can get more involved. Anyways, I'll get to the point...

I've got an '06 S83 Boulevard and I love all 1360 cubic centimeters of it! Awesome bike. Living here in Florida, I've had a few unfortunate days where I'm caught in the rain but I do my best to clean and dry the bike when I get home. One day however, I was riding when it began to sprinkle a little bit but it only did so for about 10 minutes and by then I had arrived at my destination without a problem. A few hours later when I went to start it and leave, I put the key in and powered it up and before I could even reach for the ignition the power shut right back off. After fiddling with the key, the ignition switch, checking fuses, and battery voltage, I couldn't immediately diagnose the problem. So I borrowed a trailer and towed it back to my garage for further testing. Here's where it gets a little unusual. When I turned power on, nothing would come on but if I pressed the ignition, the instrument lights would dimly come on. I couldnt located my multimeter at the time but a few days later I located it. I tried the same procedure turning on my bike and pressing the ignition but this time, nothing came on. So I tested the battery and it was great (12.7 volts, fairly new battery). However, when I turned on the power, the voltage dropped off completely. Obviously, there is a short or bad relay or something but I have no idea where to begin looking. I've tried re-seating all the cable harnesses and looking for pinched or exposed conductors. Anyone have a similar electrical failure who might know what else I could try or where to start diagnosing?:electrocute:
 

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Hey everybody! First off wanted to say thanks because I've enjoyed reading and learning on this forum even before I joined. Now that I've got some new questions that haven't been answered in any threads yet, I went ahead and joined so I can get more involved. Anyways, I'll get to the point...

I've got an '06 S83 Boulevard and I love all 1360 cubic centimeters of it! Awesome bike. Living here in Florida, I've had a few unfortunate days where I'm caught in the rain but I do my best to clean and dry the bike when I get home. One day however, I was riding when it began to sprinkle a little bit but it only did so for about 10 minutes and by then I had arrived at my destination without a problem. A few hours later when I went to start it and leave, I put the key in and powered it up and before I could even reach for the ignition the power shut right back off. After fiddling with the key, the ignition switch, checking fuses, and battery voltage, I couldn't immediately diagnose the problem. So I borrowed a trailer and towed it back to my garage for further testing. Here's where it gets a little unusual. When I turned power on, nothing would come on but if I pressed the ignition, the instrument lights would dimly come on. I couldnt located my multimeter at the time but a few days later I located it. I tried the same procedure turning on my bike and pressing the ignition but this time, nothing came on. So I tested the battery and it was great (12.7 volts, fairly new battery). However, when I turned on the power, the voltage dropped off completely. Obviously, there is a short or bad relay or something but I have no idea where to begin looking. I've tried re-seating all the cable harnesses and looking for pinched or exposed conductors. Anyone have a similar electrical failure who might know what else I could try or where to start diagnosing?:electrocute:
How old is the battery? A battery can test 12.7v and still have failed.

It could also be a bad connection or a failed charging system.

Battery voltage while cranking should not drop below about 10.5v but you would need a min/max feature on the meter to get an accurate reading.

I suggest taking the battery out completely and charging it with something like a ''batterytender Jr'' with a charging rate of less than 1 amp. this charger will also shut off when the charge is complete.

That is when you will get the best indication of your battery condition.

When the bike finally starts, use the multimeter to check charging voltage. (14.0 - 15.5v)
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thank you for the quick replies!

When I took the battery out, I realized that it actually wasn't a fairly new battery. I had recently bought a battery for a different bike last year so I was confused. There is no bulging or damage but the battery is at least a year old, probably more, and looks like it needs to be replaced. Before I buy another one though, is there a way I can test the bike without the battery to see if it truly was the problem? Could I reinstall the old battery and then try to jump start the bike from a car battery? (with the car off of course)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have a pair of jumper cables that had clamps small enough to fit. I will give that a try tonight when I get home. And I'll be ordering that motobatt ASAP. Thanks for your help, 03volusiarider! I'll let you know what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So I reinstalled the battery, carefully attached the jumper cable clamps so that they were making good contact and not shorting against anything else, turned the key and everything came on and the engine turned over like normal! You guys were right, it was definitely the battery. I coined the term "phantom power" as the battery voltage registered as sufficient but when the load is applied, it drops off and disappears. I'll be securing my order for a new and better quality battery. Thanks guys for the help, I would have continued pulling wires and harnesses till hell froze over looking for a short somewhere.
 

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Glad it all worked out. Just remember to always check here before going to a dealer or anything like that, We can usually help. And don't be afraid to send me a PM if u need anything, I can usually find it and have nothing but time on my hands.

Oh, and get yourself a battery tender jr. Wal-Mart about 35.00.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I do have a battery tender. My guess now though is that the battery wasnt in good shape when I bought the bike last year because I've had to use the battery tender a lot and sometimes the bike would really struggle to start even after being on it for a while. I just thought it needed much more time or wasnt a very strong battery
 
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