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  #1  
Old 06-14-2009, 06:35 AM
Sleeping Sleeping is offline
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Unhappy Electrical problem...

Hello,
I have a 81 XS1100 Midnight Special. I've had it for awhile now and I can't seem to figure out the electrical problem it's having and I could really use some help.

Everything will work fine for a length of time, anywhere from a couple days to a month or so. Then after that I will start having to charge the battery every day or so to make it start or disconnect the headlight when I try to start it. It randomly seems bogged down shortly after I start it when it's having these starting problems and will shut off if I give it too much gas, if I let it run for a little bit that goes away. The battery is pretty much new and all the fuses seem to be in order.

Any suggestions you have would be very much appreciated. Thank You.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2009, 07:01 AM
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dbeardslee dbeardslee is offline
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My suggestion is start going through your electrical connections and make sure they're clean and have good continuity. Take your time and do it right. Pay particular attention to the connectors that live behind the fuseblock mounting plate. There's a relatively large white wire back there that likes to burn it's insulation off and will short out the whole works. If you see any connections that look like they've gotten hot replace them. Heat is generated by resistance and resistance comes from poor connections. Also, don't forget about the connectors in the headlight bucket - particularly the one that runs to the ignition switch. All the power to your coils runs through the handlebar kill switch, so cleaning that is beneficial as well (be careful if you take it apart - there are some very small springs and a tiny ball-bearing in there that will pop out when you take it apart). Z1 Enterprises has a nice selection of connectors. I would also put a digital multimeter on your connections at the TCI and make sure your pickup coils are OK, and I would test your ignition coils as well. Even if you've done the pickup coil wire fix, I just learned recently that the fix can 'wear out'.
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I think I have a loose screw behind the handlebars.

'79 XS11 Standard, Jardine 4/1, Dyna DC1-1 Coils, 145 mains, 45 pilots, plastic floats - 25.7mm, XV920 fuel valves, inline fuel filters, speed bleeders, Mikes XS pods, spade-type fuse block, fork brace, progressive fork springs/shocks, manual petcocks, 750 FD, Venture cam chain tensioner, SS brake lines

Last edited by dbeardslee; 06-14-2009 at 07:04 AM.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2009, 03:55 PM
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Mighty Eleven Mighty Eleven is offline
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I just had the same problems and went over every wire and connection. My battery was only a few months old but had a short in it allready. Every thing is made in china. JAT.
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  #4  
Old 06-14-2009, 08:57 PM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
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Hey there Sleeping,

DB provided lots of good advice. You need to take a voltmeter and put it across the battery terminals, start the bike and test the voltage at idle, should be about 12 or hopefully a little higher, but then rev it to 2500 and recheck it, should be ~14.5 volts, if still only 12 volts, then the charging system isn't working properly. Do like DB said in checking and cleaning the connectors, especially the ones behind the fuseblock. Also remove the gastank, check/clean the connectors on the Reg/Rect unit. The R/R unit is very common problem to die and cause loss of charging much more so than the actual stator and windings.
T.C.
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2009, 08:47 PM
Sleeping Sleeping is offline
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Thank You

I'm going to try going over the wiring tomorrow. I'll let you know how it turns out. Here's hoping.
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  #6  
Old 06-16-2009, 06:53 AM
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b.walker5 b.walker5 is offline
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Just to add to everything above, if your alternator isnt charging, your rev counter will likely not be working, it runs off one winding of the 3 phase alternator. If it's flickering intermittantly, or not working at all, it's a fairly good clue that the windings plug (3 white wires) could be crook. If it's not flickering then check the regulator, as TC has suggested. Careful of how many extras you may be running, the alternators are weak as water and cant handle much extra load, I fried mine a few years back with some heated hand grips. I got it rewound and had it beefed up and now I could run a house off it.
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  #7  
Old 06-16-2009, 07:05 AM
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dbeardslee dbeardslee is offline
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Oregon Motorcycle Parts sells a replacement regulator/rectifier that puts out twice the amperage of the stocker, and provides full charging at 1200 rpms as opposed to the stocker's 2k rpms. I haven't tried it yet (but it's on the list), but it's supposed to be good if your running extra electrics. JAT
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I think I have a loose screw behind the handlebars.

'79 XS11 Standard, Jardine 4/1, Dyna DC1-1 Coils, 145 mains, 45 pilots, plastic floats - 25.7mm, XV920 fuel valves, inline fuel filters, speed bleeders, Mikes XS pods, spade-type fuse block, fork brace, progressive fork springs/shocks, manual petcocks, 750 FD, Venture cam chain tensioner, SS brake lines
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  #8  
Old 06-16-2009, 07:24 AM
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egleaves egleaves is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeping View Post
The battery is pretty much new and all the fuses seem to be in order.
Keyword here is seem. I used to have intermittent electrical problems and one day it finally quit. First thing I checked was the fuses, but I moved on because they all seemed fine. On the advice of another member here (I can't remember who) I whipped out the multimeter and checked for continuity across the fuses and much to my amazement a fuse that seemed fine was in fact not. I replaced a fuse and was back on the road.

I still had intermittent problems, though, so I did TC's fuse block upgrade and you might be surprised at how many little problems just "went away". Plus, it's much easier now to visually inspect a fuse.
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I know this, because Tyler knows this.

1980 SG
3J6 003509
Kerker 4-1 (sans baffles)
Fuse Block Upgrade
Mike's XS Green Coils
Pods w/Homemade Velocity Stacks
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