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Old 28 Oct 2007
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DL650 Abs, problem starting

Hi, Im on a trip, now in central Turkey heading to Iran, and having some problem which I think may be a faulty battery, or something eating up the battery and looking for some advice as Im not very good with electronics (ok, Im actually very bad with them!!)

The bike is a DL650 Abs K7, and here´s whats been going on (and we´ve ridden some 4200kms so far, and this problem aside, it runs just beautifully and perfect)
- After a cold night, hard to get started, been a few times we´ve had to push it to do that
- After several times stopping the engine and going again, like riding in town, it might get a bit hard to start, but usually manages to do it on its own.

I had a "Suzuki" alarm unit with immobilizer fitted, but I took it completely out when this started. Does not seem like it was the answer, as Ive ridden +1000kms without it now and still have this problem.

The headlights also have an extra switch to put them on/off (just in case in some areas they dont like keeping them on for daytime), the earth wires have been cut & routed into the same switch, but I cannot understand how this could be the reason. I could try to restore it back to the way it was originally, if needed.

Other than these 2 mods, the electrical system is in totally original state. And before these modifications there were no problems, but this could be just co-incidence (the nighttime temperatures in summer were much higher, etc).

The battery´s been metered twice along the way, they said its "maybe a bit weak", but giving almost normal readings, and the current rises with the revs like it should (to around 14.5 volts or something like that) so it looks like the alternator and regulator are working ok. If they werent, I suspect we couldnt have come this far. Metering the battery right after riding might not reveal its actual state as it has just been charged, while riding.

It feels theres a significant difference, how fast it will turn the starter, depending on whether I have the headlight swithed on or off. Much easier to start when off. The LCD area in the center of the instrument panel also goes blank, when theres problem to get enough power to start.

Suitable batteries will be tough to find around here and will probably cost a bit, and wont be a Yuasa like the original, thats why I could use some convincing, that its actually the battery that is faulty, and not replace a totally good one only to see that it wasnt the answer! But Im heading further east, and this item will be even harder to find over there, so I will probably try to find a new battery now.

Somebody told me (in Greece), that there have been a lot of problems with this bikes battery, but so far I havent heard of one single case myself, so I dont know if I believe that, probably not! I had an SV650, which I think had exactly the same type of battery, and never had any problems with it in over 4 years.

The answer could be so simple, that I just have a faulty battery, which wont store the current anymore, especially when it gets cold. Then the new one will be the cure. But with electronics, you just never know, so I´m wondering, if anyone has experienced anything similar with their DL650? Any experiences or suggestions are very welcome!
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Old 28 Oct 2007
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I have the DL1000 not the 650, so cannot make specific comment about experiences with a 650.

I went through Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal in 06/07 on my Vstrom and had the battery fail when in Pakistan. We had been on the KKH for about 3 weeks in early winter, so we were very lucky we had just arrived back in Islamabad and next morning - dead. It was a little easier to diagnose than your problem, my battery was dead and would not take any charge at all. Bike & battery were about 18 months old, but it was in transit by sea for 2 months without charging I guess.

But getting a battery in Pakistan, well that was interesting. Best one I could get that fitted in holder was slightly smaller and with poles reversed compared to original. So had to turn it around, but that made poles too far forward for leads. So after pushing & pulling cables, bending connectors and packing the excess space, I got it to fit. Worked fine, its still in the bike 12 months later, but I am glad we were in Islamabad, not Gilgit!

Sounds to me like its your battery. Like most electrical diagnosis, its often best to replace something and see if its fixed, then keep going until you find faulty componant. Its best to choose the most likely componant first, but if no ideas then the cheapest/easiest ones.

Your battery should not have failed yet, but then neither should have mine!

You can get almost anything delivered to anywhere in Turkey, so if you cannot get a battery in your current area, try Istanbul, Ankara or Adana. Even better contact some of the HU community members in Turkey, I am sure they would help.

Best of luck, enjoy the trip
John & Alanna
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Old 29 Oct 2007
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Yes - contact the Turkish Hu communities..

there are 3 pssiblities

1) battery self discharging - sulphated .. not enough charge ... replace battery (easy fix .. but check the next two possiblities)

2) bike is discharging battery over night - you need to measure teh discharge currrent in to the bike when everything is off. (The alram would add to this .. ) Should be less than 0.05 Amps ...

3) bike is not charging the battery correctly. You mention 14.5 volts .. that is a little high .. especially if it is cold out. Possibly the reticifier/regulator is faulty .. this will distroy the battery .. even a new one .. so get it checked before you fry another battery. Battery voltage is temperature dependant .. hot = higher voltages .. cold = less voltage. I'd still want teh battery to get over 13 volts when running .. but less than 14 would be good.

------------------- And do turn off the lights when trying to start the bike - less strain on the battery will extend its life.
Regards Frank Warner
motorcycles BMW R80 G/S 1981, BMW K11LT 1993, BMW K75 G/S
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Old 29 Oct 2007
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thanks for the advice! I took the terminals off for the night, and im just about to go and check if its still dead, like it was yesterday morning when they were connected normally. If thats the case, then Im willing to believe the battery is bad.

Im actually carrying a spare regulator, so maybe I´ll try that next. I cannot remember the exact reading that the meter was giving, maybe it was a bit less than 14.5. A bit hard to believe the regulator couldve gone (weve not been riding in any sort of high temperatures yet, it would be much more likely if we had) but I guess anything is possible.

It seems like its possible to find a suitable battery in Turkey, too bad today´s a national holiday so nothing is open. We´re not in a hurry, but wouldnt like to wait around too long, because winter is coming to the mountains in eastern part of the country, and the political situation near the Iraqi border is quite tense. But sure I´ll need to fix this before crossing into Iran.
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Old 30 Oct 2007
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Good advice has already been given, but just in case you hadn't found these forums yet...

V-Strom Forum - powered by Tex Arts
Stromtrooper.com - Powered by vBulletin

both have endless info from fellow V-Stromers that know these bikes inside and out.

Hope you get it worked out sooner than later. Have a great trip! Damn, I really want to get to Turkey.

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Old 1 Nov 2007
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Got a new battery

the original, as suspected, wasnt available without a wait and a hefty price tag.. but a chinese manufactured 12V8Ah was (original ıs 12V10Ah), and for 1/4 of the price. So, İve had it on for a couple of days, maybe some 600kms now, and so far its workıng perfect. İm still carryıng the original Yuasa, but İ think its time to part with it.
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Old 1 Nov 2007
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Check the Batteries water level, happend to me in Venice
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Old 31 Mar 2012
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Charging Voltage

I know this is an OLD thread, but for others that stumble across this, I wanted to clarify some info here. A charging voltage of 14.5v (with bike engine running faster than idle) is NOT too high. If the bike is revved to 4,000 to 5,000 rpm and the charging voltage is 14.8 or less, you are OKAY! If it is over 14.9v, you need to replace your regulator rectifier.

If your bike is putting out more than 14.4 volts AT IDLE, then you have a problem. Be suspicious of your regulator/rectifier (RR) as it should be 'regulating' the amount of volts getting sent to the battery and 14.4v or more AT IDLE is too much.

Guidance from http://www.motorcycleanchor.com/moto...lectrical.html
* "If the reading is 12.7 volts or lower at all times, then the charging system is not charging correctly (under-charging)."
* "If the reading is between 12.7 volts and 14.3 volts at all RPM's between idle & 5k RPM, the charging system is working correctly."
* "If the reading at idle is 14.4 volts or over, or the reading at any RPM is over 14.9 volts or higher, and the battery was fully charged before you put it into the bike, then the charging system is not charging correctly (over-charging)."

For what it is worth, I ran a Datel Voltmeter in my CBR929RR all the time. With no load and running at 5000rpm, the charging voltage was 14.6v and the bike was fine. If I turned on the high beams, the voltage dropped to 14.4v. If I plugged in my electric vest and gloves, the voltage dropped to 13.7v. So I can say from experience and use that a running/charging voltage (at 4 to 5K rpms) of 14.6 is FINE! No panic. No problem.
I hope this helps someone.
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Old 31 Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by Frank Warner View Post

1) battery self discharging - sulphated .. not enough charge ... replace battery (easy fix .. but check the next two possiblities)
Luckily it was the battery, that was faulty. In fact that cheap Chinese under-ampered unit took us all the way to Sydney without a glitch – had to ditch it there at the end of the trip, when the shipping company would not allow me to put it in the freight package (bike was shipped home by sea).

So yeah, a 6-months old Yuasa went dead for no apparent reason.
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