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Mighty Manfred

Battery question

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Mighty Manfred

I laid my bike down last October - slick highway, boom! down on the right side for a slide down the road.

 

Since then, the bike has been hard to start, especially when it's cold outside.

 

I've cleaned the carbs and chokes, put new plugs in, have new plug wires, added a second ground wire, replaced the battery (with a WalMart AGM 200 CCA), and replaced wires into and outta the diode board.

 

She doesn't like to start with the choke engaged - as if there's no fire. I've verified fat, blue sparks and there's no indication of choke malfunction or wet plugs. Once running, she runs fine and idles fine. Battery loses steam quickly when trying to start.

 

Now to the question: I've seen lots of good reports on Odessey brand AGM batteries, putting out up to 380 CCA. Is it possible that the battery I bought is too little for this Bosch starter and engine combination? Is it reasonable that a bigger, beefier battery would make a noticeable improvement?

 

Curious minds want to know, before the good riding weather gets here.

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MacRunch

Mighty Man, is this on the 80RT? You mention that the bike is hard to start but when it does it runs fine. That makes me wonder if the "choke" on the Bing carburetor (it is a Bing?) was reassembled correctly. The choke enrichment plates inside are 'handed' and can be quite sensitive to their adjustment. The other thing that comes to mind is the butterfly valve in the carb. Did you replace the o-rings on the butterfly shaft? If not reassembled and centered to spec this can cause hard starting. Once the engine is warmed up most of these symptoms go away so it's hard to diagnose.

 

As for the correct battery, the CCA could be on the low side. The alternator only puts out about 235 watts and you need to have the rpm up to around 3500-4000 to fully charge the battery. See Rick Jones Motoelektrik website for more information. http://www.motoelekt.com/charging.htm

 

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Mighty Manfred

Mac,

 

Yes, this my R80RT (my only ride). I worked on one carb at a time, so no mixing of parts. I don't recall any adjustments on the choke plates - only the spring on the inside and proper orientation of the plate. I did confirm that the cables are moving the choke. Yes, they are Bing and I have the Bing manual.

 

I did not replace the butterfly valve O-ring. I will read up on that and see what I recall about reassembling the carbs.

 

I've been in touch with Rick Jones, having bought some parts from him in the past. As you noted, this is difficult thing to diagnose.

 

Sometimes it starts within 1.5 seconds, like it always did before the crash. Many times, it takes a lot of cranking and this is where the battery fails to live up to its requirements. My brain is thinking that the low capacity battery may not deliver enough power for adequate spark under compression.

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MacRunch

I need to think about this some more. Did the kill switch on the throttle experience any damage? Is it possible that some of the wiring to the kill switch may have become damaged or loosened as a result of the slide?

 

Any possible air leaks in the carb tubes to the cylinders? I'm sure you've checked all of this but I'm just running through the list of usual suspects.

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Mighty Manfred

Mac - good question. I took the kill switch apart and cleaned it and put it back together. It's working fine.

 

I've had the carbs off a couple times and the tubes are in good shape and don't seem to be leaking. I've had leaks in the carb boots on Yamahas and know what to listen for :-)

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Mighty Manfred

I jumped the bike from the car battery this morning (lower 30s) to see how it went with more CCAa available. Cranked easily with the choke engaged and fired right up. So I ordered an Odyssey battery and will if that sucker keeps me from weeping :-)

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Mighty Manfred

I've had the Odessey battery in the bike for three days. It cranks the engine with vigor, unlike the WalMart battery. It's nearly twice the size of the WalMart battery, but still a wee bit smaller than the wet cell battery that was in the bike when I bought it.

 

The Bike is still hard to start, but no longer do I wonder if it will start - only how long will it take.

 

So I think I have a spark or fuel issue. With half choke, slightly cool temps, it fired right up but didn't stay running. Then it was a buggar to get her to fire up again.

 

Any bright ideas?

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Paul Mihalka

Try full choke and a little throttle. It should run but rough. Bring the choke back slowly to smooth out the running.

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Mighty Manfred

Paul,

 

Thanks for your note.

 

I should have mentioned - I've started her with full choke. It behaves about the same as I've described with half choke. Sometimes it starts right up and we're good. If I don't get her to stay running, it takes a bit a playing with the choke and throttle to catch fire and keep her running. She will fire up with no choke, but won't stay running. I can sometimes get her going with no choke and slide into half choke and be good.

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Mighty Manfred

Well, for the last 3 weeks, she has been starting quick with full choke. Guess the crash re-set her starting procedure :-)

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