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efi mag wheel Bonneville (2013) startup problems

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  • efi mag wheel Bonneville (2013) startup problems

    For about the last month, I'd noticed the fuel pump sounding "intermittent " when I would turn the key on. But, I couldn't be sure of what I thought I was hearing, due to helmet, earplugs and traffic noise. The bike started fine, so I didn't worry about it.

    On Monday, rode to work. No apparent issues. At lunch time, swung a leg over, turned the key, heard the pump sound normal, hit the starter: click.

    I put a meter on the battery: 12.7v. (Bike came with the Ctek battery indicator, which I can easily put probes on without having to remove the seat.) I hit the starter again: click. A couple more times and the speedometer light went off. (And at this point, the meter read 11.2v)

    No fuses blown.

    Got the bike home (thank you, AMA!) and have had it on a trickle charger. Fired it up this morning. Started fine.

    Meter readings:
    Key off: 12.92v
    Key on: 12.37v
    During startup: 11.37v
    Running at idle: 13.57v - 14.37v
    @3000rpm: 14.67v
    After switch off: 13.27v

    Left it for an hour: came back, metered at 12.92v. Turned key on, lights lit, heard fuel pump (but only after a couple of seconds had elapsed), hit starter, nothing. *But*, I absentmindedly kept my thumb on the starter while wondering what was going on and, after about a second, the bike started.

    With key off, I put the meter inline to the battery negative terminal and measured milliamperes: 0.00 - 0.01.
    (Doesn't seem like much, right?)
    Measuring amps at each fuse, with key off, shows zero.

    I did a diode test on the rectifier and I get a consistent 0.5 between 6:1-2-3 and 4:1-2-3. l also get open circuit indication when swapping positive and negative probes.

    Continuity probes at the fuse terminals all give a steady tone.

    One hour later, keyed on at 12.7v. Hit the starter and got:
    - two clicks
    - instruments went dark on second click
    - meter dropped to 2.4v
    - heard a relay toward the back of the bike click (off, I'm guessing?)

    20 minutes of trickle charging later, the bike started. So, still stumped.

    What else would you do?

    I can't ride it anywhere again, till I get this sorted out.

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    That's some great information there to base a recommendation from. Sure looks like your charging system is working. Battery takes a charge. Yet "I hit the starter again: click. A couple more times and the speedometer light went off. (And at this point, the meter read 11.2v)".

    I'd make sure my battery connections were tight and clean, and if that's not the problem load test the battery. I'd suspect it is on it's last legs myself. Hopefully someone else will come along with a cheaper suggestion.

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    • #3
      I agree it sounds like an intermittent electrical contact somewhere. I'd also spray some contact cleaner or WD-40 in/behind the start switch.
      Like BonnieBlack said- be sure the battery cables are tight on the battery. I've found them loose on a few bikes through the years.
      I once was so convinced my battery was dying that I bought a new one from Amazon and when I went to install it, I noticed the cables on the old one had worked loose. Tightened them up and all was good. Now I have an extra battery on the shelf in my garage that I put on a tender once a month.

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      • #4
        Well, I'm in the same boat. Wife's EFI bike wouldn't start. It's been sitting for two weeks, not on a tender. But that should be OK. It gave her a hard time. I think the safety switch in her clutch lever is bad, and that needs be move moved around for it to catch. But during that struggle the fuel pump did it's thing several times. Then a short, two mile ride to the gas station, and another struggle to start it. And we wore out the battery. Had to jump it.

        Hers is a 2009, so that battery is 8 years old. Only about 23k on it though.

        So, that pump whiring up a few times might be enough to drain the battery enough that the bike won't start. And the EFI bikes want quite a bit of juice in the battery before the it won't even try.

        I'm replacing her battery. It's old enough that it's probably a good idea even if it's not the problem. And I'm going to take apart the clutch lever and see what's going on there.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BonnieBlack View Post
          Well, I'm in the same boat. Wife's EFI bike wouldn't start. It's been sitting for two weeks, not on a tender. But that should be OK. It gave her a hard time. I think the safety switch in her clutch lever is bad, and that needs be move moved around for it to catch. But during that struggle the fuel pump did it's thing several times. Then a short, two mile ride to the gas station, and another struggle to start it. And we wore out the battery. Had to jump it.

          Hers is a 2009, so that battery is 8 years old. Only about 23k on it though.

          So, that pump whiring up a few times might be enough to drain the battery enough that the bike won't start. And the EFI bikes want quite a bit of juice in the battery before the it won't even try.

          I'm replacing her battery. It's old enough that it's probably a good idea even if it's not the problem. And I'm going to take apart the clutch lever and see what's going on there.
          it will be the battery, as I understand the first couple of years of the EFI bikes had a slightly smaller battery than the previous carbed bikes and due to staring problems Triumph manage to fit the larger battery into the later EFI model. as such the storage capacity of the your battery is a lot less than other models. [lus, an 8 year old battery regardless of mileage would be on its last legs

          as for the OP, agree with Bonnieblacks second post, clean the terminal posts for starters with an emery and see what happens

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          • #6
            Only time will prove or disprove me. But, I believe the problem was a badly corroded ignition switch. (From a bad, rainy, snowy ride, last spring.) I cleaned out the switch (a replacement costs $192!!) and put it back on the bike, while at the same time fitting 2 relays to the bike and routing ignition current away from the switch and to the relays, instead. The switch is now nothing more than a keyed, low amperage trigger for closing the relays. (I followed the instructions on "that other forum" to do this.)

            So far the bike has not needed to be on a tender. This morning, the charge was at a solid 12.75V, after sitting (again, not on a tender) overnight. The bike started right up. I risked riding it to work and it started up again, at lunch time. (That was when it failed me, previously.) And at the end of the day, it started up again, without any nursing needed. As I put it away, I metered it and saw a 12.9V charge, going into the garage for the night. We'll see what tomorrow morning shows.

            Like I said, time will prove or disprove that this was the problem and the fix. But, I'm hopeful.

            Thanks, everyone! Pictures will come soon.

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