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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i'm new to bikes and anything mechanical so bare with me....

is it normal for my 74 CB350 to not be able to start with the low beam lights on? i stalled my bike in town at night. seems a little unsafe to need to turn the lights off before i kick start it back up (the starter doesn't work but it does make a clicking sound).

also what is the protocol to narrow down why my starter doesn't work.
 

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Sensei
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First, make sure you have a good battery......
You can check the large "bolt" solenoid terminals with an ohmmeter, should close between them when the click is heard.... Or you can "jump across them (solenoid terminals) and see IF the starter rolls over... (Clutch pulled or in neutral)..... If that idoesn't work, we'll check the starter motor itself....
Again, good battery (I use my trucks') and regular automotive jumper cables.... Bike in NEUTRAL...Connect Battery negative jumper to a good ground (Bottom motor-mount through-bolt is a good choice usually)... Touch the positive jumper to the terminal bolt at the top of the starter motor... It should roll the engine over, or at least spin.....You'll know which....
Post results please....
 

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A note of caution: Don't connect an automotive battery to the motorcycle battery. If the MC battery is much below the state of charge of the auto battery, you can put a few hundred amp "charge" on the motorcycle battery. It won't like it, and could react violently. Jumping it to the starter post works fine, and you can do this with the ignition on to start the motor - just don't turn the key to the "start" position.
 

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Sensei
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Kerry,
I agree that directly connecting an auto battery to a bike battery is not a good idea, that's why my suggested proceedure ONLY affected the starter motor, not anything else on the bike.....
But TELL ME PLEASE, what bike do you have that you turn the key to "start" to start it?... ( You said, "just don't turn the key to the "start" position.").. I know of none....
 

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Sensei
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That's a fairly safe assumption.... Plus, the bike really won't run or idle correctly unless the battery is good.... If you remove the "bike" battery, you CAN safely jump it from a car battery for a bit...Long enough to see the improvement in idle and lighting anyway...
If you had to turn off your lights to start it, the "bike" battery could be right at the point where it needs replaced.... (enough juice to sort-of run the bike, but not quite enough to run and light it)....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ok well i picked up a Battery Tender, charged the battery for 8 hours, rode it home and then checked the resting voltage of the battery after two days of not using it.

even after having the battery charged for 8 hours, when i took the bike out, i still could not get the lights to go on until i was riding for a bit. the indicator lights didn't appear to be fully functional.

the resting voltage of the battery today was 9.27 volts.

i do have a multimeter. is there any other voltage test i could do or is this electrical problem all pointing to the battery?
 

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It does sound like a bad battery but I'm not sure 8 hours is enough for a battery tender to bring up a badly discharged battery. Just for grins you might put the tender on it for 24 hours and then check it. Of course putting a new battery in will also tell you if that was the problem, just a bit more spendy. If it is a bad battery a new one may fix your starter problems.
Maybe.
 

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Was the light on the battery tender green when you took it off? If the battery was discharged a fair bit it may take a while to charge it. Let the Tender tell you when it's charged. 9.27 volts is no where close to where it should be (i.e. > 12V).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
according to the instructions, the battery should be approximately 80% charged at 5 hours, and 100% in another 5 hours.

the light was not green as i was charging the bike while i was at work and needed to ride back home.

i'm going to fully charge the battery and then check out the voltage. if it stays around 9 volts, i'll can it (not literally) and pick up a new one. i have no motorcycle comrades to try out a good working battery one my bike to eliminate any other reason.
 

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If it's a Battery Tender, Jr., it only charges at 3/4 amp.
Times 10 hours, that's 7.5 amps at best - your battery is 12 amp hours, so it would need 16 hours minimum to recharge from a fully discharged state.........
 

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danfr said:
yes, it is a junior.

if it does turn out to be the battery, what is recommended as a replacement? is there a brand i should be looking for?
Not really - anymore they're all junk........
Used to be that Yuasa was the choice, but these days, who knows.........
 

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danfr said:
a new Yuasa fixed all. starter, signals and running lights.
We need to make you the poster child for this - we always rant about checking the battery first here, and hardly anyone ever believes it. Now we can say, "Just talk to Dan, he'll tell you..." :D :D :D

Glad you're back on the road now - let's hope your charging system keeps that new battery new......
Plug in that Jr. after every ride, as SOP.
 

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tbpmusic said:
danfr said:
a new Yuasa fixed all. starter, signals and running lights.
We need to make you the poster child for this - we always rant about checking the battery first here, and hardly anyone ever believes it. Now we can say, "Just talk to Dan or Ray, they'll tell you..." :D :D :D
The same thing happened to my CL350 last Winter remember Bill?
I changed my solenoid, starter motor brushes, the starter motor, the right side handle bar switch and then finally checked my brand new battery to find it sulfated.
 
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