Battery shutoff switch?
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  1. #1
    Senior Member Rohnsman's Avatar
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    My '93 TW simply isn't charging my battery. I can charge it up off the bike and it will take a charge just fine, easily starting the bike with the electric starter. But, take a long ride and the system doesn't seem to be charging the battery so the lights (which seem to run off the battery directly, not the system??) quickly drain the battery down. After about an hour of riding, the battery is drained to the point where it will no longer crank the starter. (Thank goodness my '93 has a kick starter).



    Yeah, I could take the bike to the Yamaha dealer and have them fix the charging system ($$$), but I'm not ready to spend a hundred bucks or so on this. So... it occurs to me that especially when riding offroad, I really don't need the lights to be on. What if I put a simple switch in line right off the battery on one of the main leads (should I use positive or negative?), so that I could switch off the battery from the system while riding and thus prevent the lights from draining it? I could flip on the switch to start the bike and once running, switch it off. Yes, the charging system would still not charge the battery, but I could keep it topped off with a Battery Tender once home in the garage. The short use for cranking shouldn't drain the battery very fast anyway, right?



    The downside of course is for riding in town when I want lights this doesn't solve my problem, but it seems a quick workaround for those rides when I really don't need lights.



    Have any of you installed a "battery switch" like this? Tips? What I'd like even better is a "battery eliminator" such that all the lights would run whenever the bike was running. Sure, I'd have no electric start, but a good kick has always been a reliable way to start 'er up anyway, so I wouldn't miss that so much.



    Someday... a new(er) TW with no electrical problems... that would be my ideal. 'Til then? What would you do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member ezman671's Avatar
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    It might be different in Idaho but on the street you need (legal) a headlight. Maybe you have friendly police.



    If it is your charging system $100 at a dealer is just the beginning. I would bet more like $500 if you need a new stator.



    It sounds to me like a stator or rectifier problem. Neither are cheap to fix.





    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Senior Member pgilles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truelight View Post
    My '93 TW simply isn't charging my battery. I can charge it up off the bike and it will take a charge just fine, easily starting the bike with the electric starter. But, take a long ride and the system doesn't seem to be charging the battery so the lights (which seem to run off the battery directly, not the system??) quickly drain the battery down. After about an hour of riding, the battery is drained to the point where it will no longer crank the starter. (Thank goodness my '93 has a kick starter).



    Yeah, I could take the bike to the Yamaha dealer and have them fix the charging system ($$$), but I'm not ready to spend a hundred bucks or so on this. So... it occurs to me that especially when riding offroad, I really don't need the lights to be on. What if I put a simple switch in line right off the battery on one of the main leads (should I use positive or negative?), so that I could switch off the battery from the system while riding and thus prevent the lights from draining it? I could flip on the switch to start the bike and once running, switch it off. Yes, the charging system would still not charge the battery, but I could keep it topped off with a Battery Tender once home in the garage. The short use for cranking shouldn't drain the battery very fast anyway, right?



    The downside of course is for riding in town when I want lights this doesn't solve my problem, but it seems a quick workaround for those rides when I really don't need lights.



    Have any of you installed a "battery switch" like this? Tips? What I'd like even better is a "battery eliminator" such that all the lights would run whenever the bike was running. Sure, I'd have no electric start, but a good kick has always been a reliable way to start 'er up anyway, so I wouldn't miss that so much.



    Someday... a new(er) TW with no electrical problems... that would be my ideal. 'Til then? What would you do?


    A battery eliminator won't get you anywhere if your charging system is malfunctioning.



    For a simple switch, just wire in a toggle on the battery positive (edit: put a fuse prior to the switch too). It's been a while since I've looked at a stock TW battery setup but I'd assume there is a heavy gauge wire for the starter and a smaller wire for providing power to the rest of the lights, etc. You only want the switch wired into that smaller wire. Cut the wire, connect each end to the switch, and mount the switch. Should be as simple as that.
    Sold bike.



    Youtube vids of old TW's acceleration:

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  5. #4
    Senior Member mrlmd's Avatar
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    Have you measured the voltage at the battery with the engine at a fast idle, or say ~2500 rpm, to see what the charging system is putting out?

    How do you know the problem is the charging system?

    How old is the battery?

    Have you measured the battery voltage 1/2 hr to an hour after you've charged it "fully" and then again 12-24 hours later?

    Load tested the battery?

  6. #5
    Senior Member evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrlmd View Post
    Have you measured the voltage at the battery with the engine at a fast idle, or say ~2500 rpm, to see what the charging system is putting out?

    How do you know the problem is the charging system?

    How old is the battery?

    Have you measured the battery voltage 1/2 hr to an hour after you've charged it "fully" and then again 12-24 hours later?

    Load tested the battery?
    If ur battery is old or even before really testing and the working on the charging system make sure u try another known good battery first. A bad battery can cause a charging system to do weird things. We won't condemn an alternator at my shop (import auto shop) unless we know the battery is good. (we learned the hard way a few times before we learned this...lol)
    Mike Carter. Woodland, California (NorCal). '89 Tw200 (Black Widow Edition). Blood red Jimbo shield, Cycleracks, Nuvi 500 GPS, Kolpin fuel pack jr., D shield bark busters, 55t rear sprocket, Golden boy front tire, Ricochet shield.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Dave Nafziger's Avatar
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    Anybody remember that ingenious old- forum guy that figured out how to lengthen the slot of the high-low beam switch?

    Is he still with us? It still remains watertight just a bit beyond the point the inner contacts connect for high beam.

    I think I cut the plastic with a fine- toothed hacksaw; perhaps a fine file. Totally clean, no extra switch, no splices.

    Just a few minutes. I use this regularly.

    Caution: if your plastic is old and crumbly inside, you probably don't want to mess with it.



    But why does your battery struggle? Is it going down even when you don't use the bike? And when the battery is disconnected?

    There is a lot of stuff on currently about bad electrics.

    The battery leads are about a #8 if they were American Wire Gauge, which is normally a 240 volt, 30 amp switch. A lot of electric

    motors are switched that size, but they aren't very compact. Adding a relay would let you do this. You would need to switch the positive,

    or you would still have battery drains if there were short circuits to the ground. GB

  8. #7
    Senior Member Dave Nafziger's Avatar
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    OK, I slept on it. You could take a 30- or 40- amp circuit breaker of the sort that comes apart in two identical units, and mount one half in

    your electrical compartment where the tools are kept. Take the big red wire off the starter solenoid, and slide the end firmly into the slot

    on the breaker, with an anti-oxidant paste such as NoAlOx, because circuit breakers are aluminum and the wire is copper. You will need another

    another piece of wire to go to the solenoid with a fitting on the end like the old one, such as another battery lead, or a piece of #8 wire and a

    crimp-on connector. I don't think the lead is long enough to simply splice the breaker on it and get it into the electrical compartment. If you had

    it under the seat you could, but this wouldn't be as convenient or as dry. You could also cut a little hole in the bottom of the box to access the

    handle. It is a bit close to the exhaust and weather to mount the whole thing outside, I think. --GB

  9. #8
    Senior Member evan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greybeard View Post
    Anybody remember that ingenious old- forum guy that figured out how to lengthen the slot of the high-low beam switch?

    Is he still with us? It still remains watertight just a bit beyond the point the inner contacts connect for high beam.

    I think I cut the plastic with a fine- toothed hacksaw; perhaps a fine file. Totally clean, no extra switch, no splices.

    Just a few minutes. I use this regularly.

    Caution: if your plastic is old and crumbly inside, you probably don't want to mess with it.



    But why does your battery struggle? Is it going down even when you don't use the bike? And when the battery is disconnected?

    There is a lot of stuff on currently about bad electrics.

    The battery leads are about a #8 if they were American Wire Gauge, which is normally a 240 volt, 30 amp switch. A lot of electric

    motors are switched that size, but they aren't very compact. Adding a relay would let you do this. You would need to switch the positive,

    or you would still have battery drains if there were short circuits to the ground. GB
    Great idea about the headlight switch mod! I'll have to do that. There are times when u may need to go in stealth mode and not want ur lights on!...LOL
    Mike Carter. Woodland, California (NorCal). '89 Tw200 (Black Widow Edition). Blood red Jimbo shield, Cycleracks, Nuvi 500 GPS, Kolpin fuel pack jr., D shield bark busters, 55t rear sprocket, Golden boy front tire, Ricochet shield.

  10. #9
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Make sure you file the slot towards the "up" side of the switch, past "high". If you file it on the low beam side the mechanism will hit the handleber on the inside.



    I've done a couple of these but for some reason the other day I had a brainpharte and started carving the slot toward the low side on Purple's. Pretty much ruined the housing.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  11. #10
    Senior Member Rohnsman's Avatar
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    Lessee if I understand what you're suggesting here. You file the slot that the headlight switch moves in on the top of the slot (past the "High" position) so that should the switch be moved there it will make no contact? The point being that this becomes a "off" position for the headlight? Sounds like a good idea, but I'd still have a taillight/brakelight operating, no? Would any other electrics be operating with the switch in this "new" position?



    Sidenote... I took my battery to the place I purchased it - Batteries Plus yesterday and they attempted to charge it. No joy... it would not take a charge and puked acid out all over.... a mess I guess. The battery was a goner. So, I've ordered a replacement and will also be purchasing a Battery Tender Jr. which I plan to have on the battery anytime it's parked in the garage. I'm hopeful this will keep it happy until I am able to afford a proper fix to the charging system.



    I still like the idea of a "headlight off" position on the switch though. Why have the headlight on and draining the battery during daytime, offroad riding? Yamaha should have designed this into the switch in the first place. I agree that having headlights on for street riding is a good safety measure, but they keep forgetting this is a dual-sport bike. Kinda like the idiot move in eliminating the kick starter from more recent models. Sure glad my old '93 has one!

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