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I have a 2003 vtx1800r garage kept very low mileage. Battery is overly old but still tests out at 12.7-13v and holds a charge. I have ridden the bike multiple times with no issue, normally shorter trips. Last time I tried to take a long trip I got about 20 miles from my house (give or take) and the bike seemed to lose power momentarily but kept running. A few moments later the gauge cluster died and the bike lost all power as if the battery was disconnected and sputtered to s stand still on the side of the road. It was 100% dead turning the key did nothing no lights no fuel pump, nothing. Putting a jump box on the battery however the bike lit up gauges lit up fuel pump came on and it started no problem and sat there idling. The moment we took the jump box off the battery it almost immediately died. I trailered the bike home put a battery tender on it and it brought the battery to a full charge again and the bike has sat for months over the winter. I took it out to move it and fire it up a few times and even after sitting WITHOUT the battery tender connected it still fired up and ran with no issue. I haven’t actually ridden it because I’m terrified to get stranded again. We checked the voltage on the battery at rest and while running at around 4K rpm and everything tested normal. I have no clue what could have caused this problem and while it seems like nothing is wrong something has to have happened to cause this problem and I’m scared to ride the bike in fear of it happening again. It’s to be noted that my starter has continued to run on several occasions but after pushing the starter switch a couple to a few times it stops and doesn’t continue running any longer. If my memory serves me this happened that day and unfortunately I don’t know how long it was going before I made it stop.

I’ve heard some say that once the bike is started it runs off the generator not the battery. If that’s the case why did it die at all? And why was the battery completely dead? If it was running off the generator and not the battery it shouldn’t have run at all if the Generator was faulty and if it’s not the generator and it’s putting the proper voltage back to the battery as the voltage test showed then how come the battery was completely dead?

i don’t have much electrical knowledge so I’m completely stumped and want to be able to fix the problem and ride with confidence, hopefully not spending a fortune in shop fees along the way. Any help is appreciated! Thank you!
 

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I have a 2003 vtx1800r garage kept very low mileage. Battery is overly old but still tests out at 12.7-13v and holds a charge. I have ridden the bike multiple times with no issue, normally shorter trips. Last time I tried to take a long trip I got about 20 miles from my house (give or take) and the bike seemed to lose power momentarily but kept running. A few moments later the gauge cluster died and the bike lost all power as if the battery was disconnected and sputtered to s stand still on the side of the road. It was 100% dead turning the key did nothing no lights no fuel pump, nothing. Putting a jump box on the battery however the bike lit up gauges lit up fuel pump came on and it started no problem and sat there idling. The moment we took the jump box off the battery it almost immediately died. I trailered the bike home put a battery tender on it and it brought the battery to a full charge again and the bike has sat for months over the winter. I took it out to move it and fire it up a few times and even after sitting WITHOUT the battery tender connected it still fired up and ran with no issue. I haven’t actually ridden it because I’m terrified to get stranded again. We checked the voltage on the battery at rest and while running at around 4K rpm and everything tested normal. I have no clue what could have caused this problem and while it seems like nothing is wrong something has to have happened to cause this problem and I’m scared to ride the bike in fear of it happening again. It’s to be noted that my starter has continued to run on several occasions but after pushing the starter switch a couple to a few times it stops and doesn’t continue running any longer. If my memory serves me this happened that day and unfortunately I don’t know how long it was going before I made it stop.

I’ve heard some say that once the bike is started it runs off the generator not the battery. If that’s the case why did it die at all? And why was the battery completely dead? If it was running off the generator and not the battery it shouldn’t have run at all if the Generator was faulty and if it’s not the generator and it’s putting the proper voltage back to the battery as the voltage test showed then how come the battery was completely dead?

i don’t have much electrical knowledge so I’m completely stumped and want to be able to fix the problem and ride with confidence, hopefully not spending a fortune in shop fees along the way. Any help is appreciated! Thank you!
I would start with a new battery and when not running the bike connect it to a trickle charger.
See what that does for you, I have a high milage
2002 R and never had the problems you are having but I know a weak battery is never a good thing!
I also leave the kill switch in the ON position when not riding the bike and trickle charging just to make sure no power is going anywhere from the battery (someone told me that years ago not sure if it helps).


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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It will run off the generator, but if you have overloaded the electrical system with aftermarket lights, radios, etc, then the generator can’t keep up and it needs the battery to supplement, but obviously it isn’t charging the battery as a result.


Also there is a known issue with the ground on these bikes, search this forum for the ground fix. Something about corrosion build up causing ground shorts, If you haven’t done the fix I recommend you do.

Lastly, I would not keep the battery connected if you aren’t not running the bike for long periods like winter storage, this can cause corrosion buildup and other issues.

I always disconnect the battery when store a vehicle for more than a month, I have a ‘39 Ford Tudor that I rarely drive, maybe 2000-3000 miles a year in a good year, i have a quick disconnect on it and keep it disconnected all the time unless I am using it, same with my motorcycle
 

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Other people have said that engine will NOT run on generator alone. I am waiting for someone to prove pot dis-prove this. Mr Incredible??

When the starter relay contacts weld together the starter motor usually continues to run until the battery is completely discharged. Some have gotten very hot. Likely to vent some of the electrolyte and damage The battery plates. The charging system cannot charge a battery with starter motor still connected when Starter Relay contacts welded. 1800 has many Starter Relay contacts weld together due to a weak battery. Step by step 1800 board has stator test for AC voltage output with 3 wire connector open.
 

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Listen to ALL the previous replies to the OP. That should cover it.
 
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Other people have said that engine will NOT run on generator alone. I am waiting for someone to prove pot dis-prove this. Mr Incredible??

When the starter relay contacts weld together the starter motor usually continues to run until the battery is completely discharged. Some have gotten very hot. Likely to vent some of the electrolyte and damage The battery plates. The charging system cannot charge a battery with starter motor still connected when Starter Relay contacts welded. 1800 has many Starter Relay contacts weld together due to a weak battery. Step by step 1800 board has stator test for AC voltage output with 3 wire connector open.
Well my ”F“ will run with the battery disconnected. I have done that, most recently this past Saturday But the moment I turned on my halogen driving lights the voltage drops from 13.8 to 11 and the motor then dies. My guess is the FI system doesn’t like the voltage drop and stops working.

True with using the brake lights as well when they were standard incandescent and not LED.

Swapped the halogen and incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs and the voltage stays at 13.6 with no battery. Every light on. My bike is now LED, with no load resisters,.

This was part of my test process to be sure I wasn’t overloading the electrical when I wired in all the new lights Saturday.

I had issues on another bike with extra lighting (all halogen) back in 2002, and got stranded twice as they overloaded the electrical system.

So for me standard testing is to start the bike then remove the negative cable off the battery and monitor with a voltage meter while testing all the lights and accessories to be sure the bike will continue to run.

That being said I did not ride the bike like this, only let it sit and idle and monitored the voltage with and without the battery connected and the accessories being turned on and off.

I have a voltage meter attached to the handlebars, and riding yesterday it never dipped below 13.6 With all accessories running.
 

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Thank you Mr. Incredible, good to see what it takes to have a 1800 running without a battery.

Well my ”F“ will run with the battery disconnected. I have done that, most recently this past Saturday But the moment I turned on my halogen driving lights the voltage drops from 13.8 to 11 and the motor then dies. My guess is the FI system doesn’t like the voltage drop and stops working.

True with using the brake lights as well when they were standard incandescent and not LED.

Swapped the halogen and incandescent bulbs to LED bulbs and the voltage stays at 13.6 with no battery. Every light on. My bike is now LED, with no load resisters,.

This was part of my test process to be sure I wasn’t overloading the electrical when I wired in all the new lights Saturday.
 

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I have a 2003 vtx1800r garage kept very low mileage. Battery is overly old but still tests out at 12.7-13v and holds a charge. I have ridden the bike multiple times with no issue, normally shorter trips. Last time I tried to take a long trip I got about 20 miles from my house (give or take) and the bike seemed to lose power momentarily but kept running. A few moments later the gauge cluster died and the bike lost all power as if the battery was disconnected and sputtered to s stand still on the side of the road. It was 100% dead turning the key did nothing no lights no fuel pump, nothing. Putting a jump box on the battery however the bike lit up gauges lit up fuel pump came on and it started no problem and sat there idling. The moment we took the jump box off the battery it almost immediately died. I trailered the bike home put a battery tender on it and it brought the battery to a full charge again and the bike has sat for months over the winter. I took it out to move it and fire it up a few times and even after sitting WITHOUT the battery tender connected it still fired up and ran with no issue. I haven’t actually ridden it because I’m terrified to get stranded again. We checked the voltage on the battery at rest and while running at around 4K rpm and everything tested normal. I have no clue what could have caused this problem and while it seems like nothing is wrong something has to have happened to cause this problem and I’m scared to ride the bike in fear of it happening again. It’s to be noted that my starter has continued to run on several occasions but after pushing the starter switch a couple to a few times it stops and doesn’t continue running any longer. If my memory serves me this happened that day and unfortunately I don’t know how long it was going before I made it stop.

I’ve heard some say that once the bike is started it runs off the generator not the battery. If that’s the case why did it die at all? And why was the battery completely dead? If it was running off the generator and not the battery it shouldn’t have run at all if the Generator was faulty and if it’s not the generator and it’s putting the proper voltage back to the battery as the voltage test showed then how come the battery was completely dead?

i don’t have much electrical knowledge so I’m completely stumped and want to be able to fix the problem and ride with confidence, hopefully not spending a fortune in shop fees along the way. Any help is appreciated! Thank you!

SIMPLE: If battery is overdrawing current it causes these problems. Take battery to a battery store and have it tested under load. That is the only way to test a battery. I got the lithium battery when felt battery was too old when I purchased my current bike. 2005 VTX1800S and sure enough went out 50 miles out. Called my sis to bring my new battery and it works great. Tire problems take it to the tire shop, same with batteries. Battery shop. Alternator is borderline almost. Find the specs.
 
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you can call me if you would like. jules 702-513-2158
 

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Had the same trouble with the my 02 X, the battery would charge on charger and had good voltage. The problem was that the alternator and regulator did not charge the battery properly. The bike run good for the 1st 1/2 hour then, would start running rough and the bike would die When it was charged and running Voltages looked good, but the battery was slowly discharging . What I found is the connectors to the stator were burned. The burned connector did not pass enough current to charge the battery.
 

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Batteries are rated in time, and go out on time. Only way to tell is to test under a load tester from a battery shop. I used Batteries and bulbs and got a lithium. Thought my ol battery would last bit longer, no sir died 50 miles out. Bad tire, go to tire shop, batteries to get test by professionals. Keep it simple, there so many other things to learn.
 
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