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  #1  
Old 28 Aug 2012
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F650GS indicator strangeness

F650GS 2004. Had the bike 4 days and the indicators are acting strangely. Yesterday, they didn't work at all at the beginning of the journey. After a few miles, I tried them, and they were working, but at half speed, a very slow flash. By the end of the journey they were working normally. This morning, coming home from work, they didn't work at all. But when I got home, switched off the engine, and then tried them with ignition on but engine not running, they worked again - slowly, and gradually getting faster until after 30 sec or so they were normal.

I have never known indicators work in this way before, and I am stumped. Could it possibly be something to do with the immobiliser? The immobiliser doesn't use the indicators when arming or disarming, but the hazard switch was removed to give a location for the LED tell-tale. Possibly it is cut into the indicator circuitry somewhere? If not the immobiliser, what? Duff relay?

In my experience, indicators either work (normal) or don't work (bad relay, loose connection), or flash like mad (blown bulb). I've never known them go slower than normal unless the relay is the wrong rating for the bulb wattage, but then they would be slow the whole time.

Any electrical wizards out there want to have a guess at what might be wrong? I won't have much free time for the next 2 weeks, but after that I will grab the circuit diagram and have a proper look. (And probably rip out the immobiliser.) Any clues would be very welcome, as I am mystified at the moment.
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Old 28 Aug 2012
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Is your battery good?

I mean really good? It's a typical teething problem (the batt I mean) of purchasing a second hand bike when the history is not known to you.

I tried looking online about the Meta immobiliser of your other post but I couldn't add much; there is a XJR forum out there that discusses the same things you do, but, like lots of posts in websites, there is no clear conclusion.
Certainly, that model of Meta alarm has a bad reputation for reliability.
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Old 28 Aug 2012
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Referring to your other thread about the Meta alarm - are you sure the alarm doesn't flash the indicators when arming and disarming? It might be worth asking the makers. (I think they have a website somewhere).

My Meta M357T did flash the indicators. It may be older than your M53. (Mine was fitted in 2001, removed in 2007 - that's how long they seem to last....)

I'm trying to remember what happened when my alarm started to pack up, apart from randomly refusing to let the engine start.
I remember the beeper would sound randomly after arming and disarming, which is the clue that led me to realising the Meta was preventing the engine starting. But I have a vague memory that the indicators played around too.
So the fact that your alarm doesn't flash the indicators might not mean that it's not wired to them. Perhaps it is, and that bit of the Meta's circuitry has packed up. And is now interfering with the indicators' normal working.

So check with the makers or a Meta installer.
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Old 28 Aug 2012
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Sounds like low voltage to me. Given the alarm is using power all the time it would be an obvious cause.

If disconnecting the alarm or a new battery doesn't fix it you need a digital flasher relay of the type used with LED indicators. You don't need the (utterly pointless) indicators or ballast resistors that go with them, just the relay. Horrible Gherkin used to sell one that just dropped in place, but as they've gone bust, I'm sure they'll be available on e-bay. As an electronic unit they are basically a timer. So long as they see enough voltage to work (usually about 9v) you get flashing at the right rate. What you have now is a bi-metalic strip so the voltage effects how fast it warms up and breaks the contact.

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Old 28 Aug 2012
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Clean the battery terminals/clamps and make sure they are really tight.

As said, it sounds like low voltage with the connection getting better as the bike/battery/etc gets warm on the journey.
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Old 28 Aug 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Is your battery good?
Battery is an unknown. I suspected low voltage to start with (even though it turns the engine over fine) and put the battery on charge overnight. It seemed to cure it for a while, but that may have been just the random nature of the problem. Usually with a low voltage, the indicators won't work at all, as there isn't enough juice to heat up the bimetallic strip. But you are correct in saying that a duff battery is a common problem with s/h bikes. Next chance I get I will have a good look and perhaps replace.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrankpin View Post
Referring to your other thread about the Meta alarm - are you sure the alarm doesn't flash the indicators when arming and disarming? It might be worth asking the makers. (I think they have a website somewhere).
The M53T was discontinued long ago, and there is nothing on the Meta website about it. I don't think it flashes when arming/disarming, but I can't be sure. As the bike is new to me I have no 'normal condition' to compare against. But the flasher behaviour is so strange to me that I suspect something is interfering with them, rather than a simple low voltage state or poor connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Sounds like low voltage to me. Given the alarm is using power all the time it would be an obvious cause.

If disconnecting the alarm or a new battery doesn't fix it you need a digital flasher relay of the type used with LED indicators.
Last resort - I'd rather have the originals working properly if possible. I will get the multimeter out when I next get a day off and start the investigation. Starting with low voltage!

Thanks all for your input.
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Last edited by BlackDogZulu; 28 Aug 2012 at 18:04.
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Old 29 Aug 2012
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I know it sounds basic, but have you looked at the connectors inside the indicator lamps? Loose connections in here can short out and cause all kinds of weirdness.
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Old 29 Aug 2012
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I ruled out loose connections in the indicators because when the fault occurs it is to all 4 lamps at once, or none. But I will certainly check all the wiring as soon as I get the time. Thanks.
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