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Rikard the Swede 18 Nov 2004 01:00

The death of all electrics...

During a 7000km cross-Europe run, all the electrics on my 1VJ died. The flashers and signal is very faint. The headlight and taillight has a very low or no light at all.
The engine will start when I have the battery connected, but not without it.

Is it a faulty regulator?

It should start without battery, no?

Regards, RtS

GeoffE 18 Nov 2004 05:45

Hi Rikard,

I am not very technical, but perhaps a couple of my thoughts will help get your answer - I don't mind commenting and getting shot down!

I think it is only the older bikes fitted with a magneto that will start without a battery fitted (ignoring the offered battery elimination kits you see on Ebay, etc...). Our coil system requires a battery. I think I would look to the alternator not supplying sufficient charge first. The Clymer Manual has the testing method to be followed - do you have a manual?

My gut feel is that the regulator would give you a more concrete problem if it was at fault (i.e. the bike would just not start). Fyi, there is no testing procedure noted for the regulator.

Hope you get to the bottom of your problem.

Ciao, Geoff

Steve Pickford 18 Nov 2004 12:40

If your bike has a kickstart & is equipped with a CDI ignition, it should start without a battery.

You should have three wires of the same colour coming out of the stator plate. Using a multimeter, check the resistance of all wires in pairs, should take three readings. Resistancer specs should be in the manual. If out of spec, check the stator for a burnt out coil(s). If burnt out, this would explain what sounds like poor charging.

It may be cheaper to get the stator rewound than buy a new one (that's the case in the UK anyway).

While you have the multimeter out, check the resistance of the two wires keading from the ingition pick, should be located on or near the stator plate - incorrect resistance here will lead to starting problems. Replace as necessary.

mika 18 Nov 2004 17:27


please tell us what is/or was wrong with your 1VJ.

because I am also riding a 1VJ (now at 246.000km) and have the same electrical fault at the moment.

But as my alternator is newly overhauled and my battery is dead, I assume it is the voltage regulator. I dont carry a voltage meter.

But no problem riding the bike (kickstarter only), who needs lights in Africa.

Will check it out in a few weeks in Namibia.

Thanks from Lusaka Zambia



aukeboss 18 Nov 2004 19:18

Check the simple things first:
1. Is the fuse firmly in place? Just move it a bit in it's holder with the contact switched on, see what happens.
2. All earthing connections tightly done up?
3. Condition of the battery, measure voltage after 1 hour of standstill, look into the filling holes, any white residue, bent plates?


Matt595 18 Nov 2004 20:36

I think the magneto type is very old, otherwise now mostly used on small piston airplane engines, improved version of course..but very usefull in some cases to keep altitude..
Modern bikes have battery type ignition "TCI"; they won't run or start with a broken battery!
I guess Rikards bike is a one VJ the 1VJ as all 600 ténéré's have a "CDI" type ignition, which means; condenser DISCHARGE ignition.
It uses much less voltage than a TCI ignition..and it is known to be less durable than these others.
Personally..I've never ever had one only CDI
broken, and consider it very simple to bring a little spare CDI box instead of a big heavy spare battery and acid..

The regulator could be faulty, often this goes together with stator;
stator broken=regulator deteriorated

Or it could simply be a shortcut in your battery..try another!

Good luck in finding the problem (I'm sure it's a small one).


Mattias the Swede/French

DAVSATO 19 Nov 2004 00:24

"the death of all electrics"

wasn't that an Imgmar Bergman movie with Max V Sydow?

sorry, i'm not helping, am i?


Rikard the Swede 21 Nov 2004 23:59

Everything helps!

I´m tinkering...

Will report soon...

KlausXT600 22 Nov 2004 15:03

hi rikard,
as far as i remember you put a 3tb engine in your bike, isn't it?
and didn't you change the ignition system as well?
if so, it would be an important information to those who try to help you...

good luck
xt600.de / tech. dep.

Rikard the Swede 5 Dec 2004 14:22

Hi, Klaus

The 3TB engine went into my girlfriends 1VJ, it runs perfectly!

My 1VJ is still a 1VJ...
(you can never have enough Ténérés...)

Regards / R

mika 11 Dec 2004 20:12

hello xt freaks and travellers,

so, we made to Windhoek - just using the kickstarter on my bike.

here I bought a new battery and put in a new (better and bigger) voltage regulator and new light bulbs.

but now the problem started.

first there must be a loose connection somewhere, because sometime no electrical parts are works, and I cant find it.

second, it seems that the alternator does not charge the battery - only 12,3V when the engine is running. maybe I ruined it again, riding 10.000kms with a bad voltage regulator and a broken battery.

on monday I will have an expert having a look at the bike ...

wish me luck

any suggestions ?

mika from Windhoek Namibia


Rikard the Swede 12 Dec 2004 21:36


Maybe I´ll just buy another 3TB engine and do it all over again...


Matt595 12 Dec 2004 23:05

Hello Mika,

l don't mind answering, though on electrics l'm far not an expert, but very lets say beginer! l guess it is because l've had very few problems due to electrics,,,l must have been lucky,,!
A dead battery/
B old battery that can't be recharged/
C dirty short cutted battery

A,B and C will result in:
Regulator trying constantly/desperately to charge battery until its normal voltage

But if battery can't hold the power it is receiving, it'll be like pooring water thru a hole instead of pooring it in a bottle for later drinking: lot of water to pump !

So regulator will fry trying to charge battery, cause battery absorbs nothing: regulator will overheat being on max all time,

lts not due to nothing that you have to fit a condenser to eliminate the battery on a
bike, and a condenser will last much longer than a battery !
l think a good idea is to have both!

l guess that if regulator is blocked, then stator will damage, not sure though!
Have you mesured the resistance of the charge coils?

Did you buy the right regulator?

No sulfate on battery main contacts surface,,,?
Screw them tight also

WD40 on most contacts!

ALSO, check resistance of these parts:
lgnition coil
lgnition captor coil

What if it was the Neiman having bad contact inside, WD 40 thru the little hole under handlbar front on neiman !

Let me know if you need any instructions for controls,


mika 15 Dec 2004 20:40

Hi all,

thank you for the answer. But what is a Neiman ?

Ok. Yesterday and today I had to sort out the electrics - I found many loose connetions, broken bulbs, a broken neutral switch and two burned relays. The alternator is not charging 100 % anymore, but it is charging the battery (13.1 V). Yeah, riding with a broken voltage regulator is no good.

It was a difficult job for me, but I had help from a very expierenced mc mechanic. Than it was even more difficult to find the relays, finaly I got two used relays from a TW200 for a high price.

So, after I put the new battery in and the new voltage regulator (www.kedo.de - they know the business with xt parts) and also the the two relays (one is for the starter motor and the other one for the headlight, I think), put new bulbs, some new plugs and wires and cleaned it all - it works again !!!

so good to use the electric starter again, I think the last time was in mosambique a few month ago. and even better all turning lights, break lights, the head light and even the speedo lights are working. only the neutral light is on all the time, because the switch is gone.

the bike (a 1VJ) has now 248.000km on some of the worst roads in the world, and it is ready for the way up West Africa to Europe.

Thanks again for the answers and advises



Rikard the Swede 18 Aug 2005 01:34

Hello everyone!

1000 thanx for all inputs, after a couple of hours messing about measuring and tinkering my mum came over to tell me that dinner was ready.

She stood there and looked at me go for a while and then she said "maybe it´s the lightbulb that´s broken?"

I snorde something and thought that I could check them just to be kind to her.

The front light broken, both filaments,
The park light broken,
The front left flasher broken,
The front right flasher broken,
The rear right flasher broken,
The left rear light broken,
The right rear light broken,
The left brakelight broken,
The right brakelight broken,

The battery eventually was of a B- quality and has probably shorted out and then the generator has burned all my lights.

New battery and new bulbs = A-ok!

Tried to start it without a battery, it works but DO NOT turn the lights on they burn out right away.

Can running without a battery damage the bike´s electrics?

Regards / Rikard

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