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2003 sv650s with about 10k miles on it.
No modifications.

Alright guys, here’s the deal. Typical “with a fresh battery, bike rides great during the day even with starts and stops, but then won’t start after sitting overnight” scenario. I have dug into lots of forum posts around how to diagnose, what tests to run, and hopefully I’ve done my homework before posting here.

In short, because of the stator output voltage, I think that’s the culprit. I wanted to see if anyone else had any other recommendations before I spend the money on a new one.

I’m a little surprised this is the case because ~300 miles ago I fried my old stator and a shop installed a new one plus a new R/R (short story: was riding a while ago, bike wouldn’t start after stopping for gas. Got it jumped, then it died while riding. Jumped it again, found it would die while riding if I used blinkers or if it dropped below 3k rpm. Limped it home (~40 miles) without letting it drop below 3k. Shop said stator was fried, not sure if that’s what caused the issue, or due to my limping home process). So the new/current stator only has <300 miles on it, and when I cracked open the case this morning, the stator looked totally fine, no signs of burning or anything. Magnets were all in place, not loose, no extra epoxy anywhere, anything like that. That said, last fall before I put it away for winter, I rode around on an undercharged battery (including a few jump starts to get it going) so I wonder if the stator was fried while trying to charge what might have been a dead battery.

Is there anything else I should check to try to confirm that the stator is bad and is the only thing that’s bad? I’m a little afraid I put in the THIRD stator and some other issue kills it shortly thereafter.

Here’s all my test results from things I’ve checked so far (by the way, when I take the battery off the tender, the bike starts up beautifully no problem, so it’s almost definitely something in the charging circuit causing the issue).

Thanks so much for any potential help/advice!

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Battery Voltages:
• Battery before hooking up: 13.1V (also load checked at auto parts store to be good)
• Hooked up (everything off): 12.6V
• Ignition On: 12.15V
• Ignition On + High beams: 12.1V
• Engine 1400rpm: 12.25V
• Engine 3000rpm: 13.0V
• Engine 5000rpm: 14.0V
• Engine 5000rpm + High beams: 14.0V
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Regulator/Rectifier test
• B/R to B1,2,3 = all 0.5V
• B/R to B/W = 0.8V
• B/W to B1,2,3 = all 0.5V
• B/W to B1,2,3 = 0.8V
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Stator (Generator Coil Resistance test)
• Between pins: 0.4ohms (same measurement with all 3 pairings)
• Pins to ground: OL/infinite ohms (same measurement between all 3 pairings)
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Stator (Generator no load test)
• Engine 2000rpm: 16 VAC (same across all 3 pairings)
• Engine 5000rpm: 43 VAC (same across all pairings)
 

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There is something draining the battery while it sits. A short somewhere, or something that is not turning off. All the tests performed look pretty good to me. The major test is the 14V DC at 5k RPM with/without high beams. That means the stator and reg/rect are doing their job.

So that means that there is a drain that is not getting disconnected when the key is off.
 

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Thanks r0ckrat for the response!

I put the multimeter in line with the battery to test for current leakage and everything seems to be in spec: measures 89mA for about 10 seconds, then drops down to 0.88mA afterwards.

I've been leaving the battery inside just on the tender while I try to figure this out. Maybe what I'll try is leaving it in the bike hooked up overnight without running the bike and see if it starts in the morning. At least it's a quick/cheap test...

Are there any other tests you'd recommend to see if your suspicion is right and the battery is getting drained somehow?

Thanks again for the help!
 

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• Engine 5000rpm: 43 VAC (same across all pairings)
You should be seeing 70+Volts so something isn't right there. Couple things it could be considering the story you told. Either the stator they put in isn't the right one or the magnets are not as strong as they should be.

The stator relies on being very close to the magnets to generate the proper amount of electricity. Using a slightly smaller stator with coils a bit farther away from the magnets greatly reduces the charging capacity. Some aftermarket stators are not exactly the same physical size as the stock one...so I'd tend to suspect that they might have used an undersized aftermarket one.

Longer shot is that the magnets have been damaged and aren't creating as strong a flux which will also reduce the charging ability. Something is reducing the AC voltage output you're getting so even a good RR is going to find it hard to keep the battery charged up the way it should.

Best way to test the battery is to let it sit for 24 hours after taking it off of the charger then see what kind of voltage it is holding. Should see 12.7 or so...if less then either it wasn't fully charged up or it's having internal problems. But even a bad battery isn't going to be causing the low AC generation...so I'd go there looking for the fix.
 

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The stator relies on being very close to the magnets to generate the proper amount of electricity. Using a slightly smaller stator with coils a bit farther away from the magnets greatly reduces the charging capacity. Some aftermarket stators are not exactly the same physical size as the stock one...so I'd tend to suspect that they might have used an undersized aftermarket one..
Ah ha... I never thought of that. That seems like it could make sense given that everything else seems to check out, the stator LOOKS perfect and outputs consistent, but low voltage. The only thing I'm wondering is why it wasn't necessarily an issue from day one of their replacement. Also I'd love to think they checked the output after they installed it to see if it was working, but maybe not. But I did ride it, park it, ride it a few times with the replacement stator, so that's the only thing that keeps me from saying AH HA, that must be it!

I'm sure the difference in size would be minimal, but for what it's worth here's the stator when I took it apart: ht tp://imgur.com/a/LbGYr

Thanks for the insight RecoilRob!
 

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Hmmm....can't get the imgur link to work.:( Years ago I put an Electrosport stator in mine that was supposed to be 'extra capacity' and it did have more turns of winding per coil...but it ended up being a little smaller in diameter than the stock one. This made it a lot easier to get the side cover back on where the rotor fit so tightly over the stock stator that it was a bit fiddly reassembling it. As a result the charging at idle isn't as strong as it had been, though out on the road it's fine with plenty of power to keep the battery fully charged.

If you spend a lot of time idling...particularly in town where the cooling fan will be running a lot, the battery can and will be slowly drained if the stator is a bit too small. With a fully charged battery this could take a considerable amount of time to happen to the point where the bike won't want to start or shut off. So this could have been happening ever since the new stator and it's just taken this long for the battery to be drained to a sensitive point where you start to notice it.

One thing I think should be installed on every SV is a volt-meter so you can monitor the charging. The other thing that is missing is the ability to shut off the headlamps should the charging system start to have a problem. Those dual 55W bulbs take quite a bit to keep lit...and if the charging system isn't keeping up, they make the largest draw on it so being able to shut them off could allow you to limp home on the battery where you'd be stranded miles away with them burning. A volt-meter you can monitor while riding would be a great investment considering your current situation. (see what I did there!:))
 

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Yeah, I had to put a 'space' in between the "http" in that url since I don't have enough post cred to actually post a link. If you copy and paste it and make sure it doesn't have that extra space it should work out.

This definitely is making a lot of sense, as it seems like everything is working perfectly, the stator is putting out balanced, predictable voltage... just not enough of it!

I think I may need to go ahead and get a new OEM one, when this first became an issue after taking the battery off the tender I drove it around all day with a few stops for a few hours without issue. Then when parking overnight it wouldn't start at all. Since that's a pretty "normal" use case that I'd like to be able to use the bike for, I may have to pony up for a bigger/OEM stator. Dang.

How difficult was it for you to install the new one when you put it in? It seems like it's just a few screws and then running the new cable up to the R/R, but I haven't looked closely at it.

Also I do really like your idea of the voltmeter, especially given the current situation (badum bum, haha). Maybe I'll see if that's something I can easily sneak in somewhere.
 

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Man...still can't get the pic to come up. Darn Internet!

What does it look like....color? The stock stators have naked copper coils where many of the aftermarket ones are green insulation covered.

I know you said the battery had been load tested, but have you checked the voltage after sitting for 24 hours? Right after taking it off of the charger it might very well load test OK...but have a slight internal short that drains it in time. After sitting even a few days it should hold 12.7V. Mine can easily sit a week off the tender and still read 12.7V and that battery is now going on 6 years old.:) (dang...hope I didn't just jinx it)

Even though the charging system isn't putting out what it should, it also should be enough to keep a good battery up while riding. Not enough for extended idling with the fan running...but out on the highway the battery should be kept happy enough that you shouldn't be having a problem.

Is there anything else on the bike that we should know about? Alarm? Security system? Heated grips? The bike, by itself, should have a VERY low parasitic draw while sitting only needing to keep the clock running..which is almost nothing.

Do you lock the steering when you park it? I know this sounds dumb, and forgive me for mentioning it (don't mean to offend you) but if you lock the steering be sure to not turn on the parking lights unless you do it intentionally. We've had more than a couple people with mysterious dead batteries overnight when they unintentionally turned the key too far when locking and activated the parking lights.
 

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Hm, no idea why that picture isn't working, that's frustrating! I tried plugging in the url into my phone as well and that seemed to work, so I'm at loss on that one. The mysteries of the internet...

All the wires/windings are "naked" copper coils (although they are covered in an epoxy/varnish that looks mustard yellow when in large clumps) wrapped around green... winding holders? Not sure what that's called.

I have left the battery off the charger (on the ground, not in the bike) for 48 hours now:
* 0 hours off: 13.11V
* 36 hours off: 13.03V
* 48 hours off: 13.03V

And you're right, it was working great during the day while riding, but when I left it parked overnight and tried to start it it did the whole almost started, then just the click of the relay, then total silence.

As for anything else on the bike, I don't believe so, I'm the second owner, but I was made to believe it was stock, which I have no reason to believe otherwise. The parasitic draw was 0.9mA when I tested that, so that does seem fine.

I do lock the steering, and you're right, I have accidentally gone too far over and turned on the parking light, but I don't think that was the issue this time as I learned that lesson a few times. No offense taken at all! I'd LOVE it to be a dumb error on my part!

If I can find a way that's not particularly sketchy to hook up the multimeter while riding around the neighborhood, I might try that just to see if for some reason maybe it behaves differently when under load vs just in neutral in the driveway.

Also, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me diagnose this electrical gremlin, RecoilRob! It's incredibly helpful just to have something smarter than the bike itself to talk to, haha.
 

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To eliminate a faulty fuse connection get some electrical Switch cleaner like,"Dexoit" and pull each fuse one at a time a few times and then replace it after spraying the socket holder with Switch cleaner.

In the past I had a motorcycle that had charging problems and starting problems caused by the main fuse holder having corrosion.It was preventing current from the charging system getting to the battery and the when found when running was hot and could have led to an electrical fire.

Also Google ,"Parasitic battery drain" where you can also use the fuse box to try and isolate battery drain if that in fact the cause,

HTH :)


Note:Best stuff you use after switch cleaner is ACF50 to avoid future corrosion,electrical problems and as a protection.

http://www.acf-50.co.uk/motorcycle.htm
 

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OK. Let's review: battery sits a couple days without discharging internally and also passes a load test. We'll call the battery good.

Hook battery into bike...and overnight it goes dead. This means the bike MUST be discharging it I'd think. In your earlier post you said it had 89ma draw...then later .88ma. Is this correct...or is there a chance that you're moving decimal points where they shouldn't be? What kind of meter are you using? Some of them can be confusing depending on which scale you choose...so be sure what it's reading. 89ma is close to 100...for easy figuring...and a 12,000ma capacity battery will then take 120 hours to discharge fully. How far down it can go and still start the bike is another question, so please be sure of the measurement on the draw.

When you're measuring the parasitic draw again, you could unplug the RR just in case it's internally shorted somehow. Continue unplugging things you can...like the stator...and see if the draw goes down with something unplugged. Same goes for the fuses...pull each one while watching the draw and if you find one that drops it a bunch, then see where it goes and what it does.

I've had a few go-rounds with mysterious dead battery vehicles and one in particular was tough because it wouldn't show the draw when first tested. Took a while then suddenly it would start discharging the battery something terrible...which turned out to be the voltage regulator going iggy inside somehow. When you test the draw...if you don't find anything out of the ordinary (should be well under 50ma and I'd hope to see single digits) leave the meter on it for a while and check it every hour or two during an overnight sit. SOMETHING is draining the battery!!! You can find it.:)
 

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...passes a load test.
I have a strong hunch the battery is toast. Never trust the autoparts store to test your bike. The clerk may be doing his best but battery tests are not their expertise. Their true expertise is selling you the wrong part for your vehicle. ;D

Simple battery test: Fully charge the battery. Leave the battery sit overnight with the neg terminal disconnected; this will eliminate any possibility of parasitic drain. In the morning, connect the neg lead then try crank the starter. If the starter motor does not crank long and strong then battery is toast. Be sure the battery terminals are clean and tight.

Bonus points for monitoring battery voltage while cranking the starter. If voltage drops below 9.5v while cranking then 2nd confirmation the battery has failed.

43VAC @5k rpm is a problem too but I would start with being sure the battery is healthy.
 

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In your earlier post you said it had 89ma draw...then later .88ma. Is this correct...or is there a chance that you're moving decimal points where they shouldn't be? What kind of meter are you using?
Yeah, your concern is well-placed, those are correct measurements, it's just odd they're so similar. From what I read, the first 10 seconds at ~100mA is due to the computer still being on full-power. Then it drops down to ~1mA after 10 seconds when it shifts into low-power mode. I'm using a multimeter that automatically adjusts the units as well, so I'm pretty sure I'm doing that whole mis-match of units.

Simple battery test: Fully charge the battery. Leave the battery sit overnight with the neg terminal disconnected; this will eliminate any possibility of parasitic drain. In the morning, connect the neg lead then try crank the starter. If the starter motor does not crank long and strong then battery is toast. Be sure the battery terminals are clean and tight.
Thanks for the suggestion, I just put the battery in per your recommendation. The battery is a solid 13.0V right now, so I'll check in the morning and see if it cranks up. Out of curiosity, what's the purpose of this test? What does leaving it connected to positive only achieve?

Bonus points for monitoring battery voltage while cranking the starter. If voltage drops below 9.5v while cranking then 2nd confirmation the battery has failed.
I'll definitely keep an eye on that as well when I test it in the morning.

I have a strong hunch the battery is toast. Never trust the autoparts store to test your bike. The clerk may be doing his best but battery tests are not their expertise. Their true expertise is selling you the wrong part for your vehicle. ;D
Yeah, I definitely wonder about that as well, the combination of the low charging output of the stator, the fact that I had to jumpstart it with a car (on a scale of 1 to "dear god you're an idiot," how bad is that?) a few times over the life of the battery, plus, to your point, when the auto parts store load tested it, he seemed a little apprehensive that his testing machine/method was accurate...

43VAC @5k rpm is a problem too but I would start with being sure the battery is healthy.
I'll try the various tests to confirm the battery is good (including some of the earlier recommendations to pull fuses to see if there's any other potential drain scenarios), but I agree, the stator output is an independent concern, yes? Should I just bite the bullet and buy a new--and legit OEM--replacement?
 

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So curious about this. What was the mysterious reason? Please share
I am pretty sure the problem turned out to be a failed battery, lol.

The low stator AC voltage (45VAC vs 75VAC) was probably due to measuring it while connected to the R/R instead of disconnected (open circuit).

Too bad some folks do not report back and leave threads hanging like this.
 
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