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Discussion Starter #1
I hadn't ridden a bike since my college days, (which was about 30 years ago!), but since I've retured now and have more free time, decided to get a new toy. I took the Idaho STAR (Skills Training Advange for Riders) - http://www.idahostar.org/ course to see if I was still a good candidate for a bike. I had a ball and my "trainer" bike was... a TW! I so liked the bike that after I finished the course and got my motorcycle endorsement, I shopped for a good used bike.



I managaed to score a nice little '93 TW for $1,400. It needed a new battery, but other than that, seems a very good little bike. Now I need to spend some time here to learn "all things TW." I'm looking forward to learning from you seasoned TWers.



- Rick
 

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Congrats on the new bike and the M endorsement. The Motorcycle Safety Course is exactly how I found out about the TW as the TW was what I rode on two of the four days of the course (and tested with a TW at the safety course). I didn't get the TW right away as I wanted a cruiser first, but I revisited the idea of getting one this spring, and purchased my new '09 about two months ago. It's a great little bike. I have yet to take it off road (real off-road), but the next time I travel to West Virginia, I'm putting that puppy on a trailer and am going exploring. Anyhow, enjoy your new bike, and stay safe out there.



Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the congrats. Now here's a little problem perhaps you can help me iron out.



As I said, I had to put a new battery in the TW and immediately after doing so, it breathed new life into the little beasty. The lights, signals, and horn all worked as they should and best of all, the starter cranked and fired her right up. Joy! But alas, today, just a day later after a nice ride, I brought her home and changed the oil and filer. Didn't go near the battery. But suddenly she won't crank, the lights are very dim, all the signs of a weak battery. Kick starting works just fine and she fires right up like that. (Gotta wonder how you folks w/o a kick start version get by??)



Anyway, what gives? Is something draining the battery that quickly? Any idea of where to look? The electric start spoiled me real quick. I got a tuneup appointment with Yamaha, but couldn't get in until 8/13. I'd like to fix this glitch before then. Ideas??



Thanks...
 

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Howdy Truelight.

I'm fairly new to TW's but ride bikes a bunch.

I would say you have a short somewhere, perhaps same issue that took out the last battery.

I would look for the obvious of key on and other things or if the last owner wired some things up hot and

did a bad job.

I'm sure the guys here on the forum will help you a bunch.

I traded a nearly new KAW sport bike for my first TW a couple months back, a new 2010 model and loved it so much

bought a second one off ebay, a 2006 model that has lots of gear on it.



Take care,



Ken
 

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The older TW's charging system is marginal at best. I believe your bike came with a 35 watt headlight, many got replaced with a 55 watt bulb which is probably more than the charging system can handle. try unplugging the bulb and run it a while and see if it charges back up. woof
 

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Try testing for a parasitic drain... I'm terrible at describing how to's, but I would think with the bike off is there is any draw on the battery that would be cause for concern & a dead battery.



Remove the negative side battery cable from the negative battery terminal.



Connect the black wire to the com input on the multimeter and the red wire to the 10A or 20A input on the multimeter. the meter needs to be able to read at least a 2 or 3 amps for this test to work. so connecting the red wire to the mA input on the multimeter wont work.



Attach an multimeter(set the dial on the multimeter to measure Amps as per multimeters instructions) between the negative cable and the negative battery post.



If the ammeter is reading over 10 milliamps load (an estimate), something is using too much battery power.



Go to the fuses and remove, one at a time or unplug electrical connections one at a time. Be sure to observe the ammeter after pulling each fuse/wire.





Or even just hook up the voltmeter to your battery with the engine running and unplug the headlight wire (turn bars to the right and you can find the wire behind the headlight without taking anything apart).

See what the voltage does.



Your wiring diagram is your friend




But not if it's for a car
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Your wiring diagram is your friend


A wiring diagram has --never-- been my friend and I have never owned nor used a multimeter, so this sounds kinda hairy to me. Pulling the headlight bulb I can do and perhaps I can even look at it to figure out what wattage it is. (So, on my old '93 bike if somehow someone replaced it with the higher wattage bulb, stepping down to a low wattage bulb might cure the problem? (I'm assuming this means those of us with older bikes are what you might call "dim bulbs," huh?




I'm thinking this indeed could be the issue as after installating the new battery the bike worked great for a while and fired right up the next morning, but after about an hour ride and parking the bike when I got home, later that afternoon it was dead. Maybe because the headlight was on during riding it was pulling down the battery faster than the system could charge it?



Obviously in a key-off state the battery isn't being drained, but with key on, that's when something is draining the juice. I hate to have to pay a Yamaha tech to fix this (as I know it won't be cheap), but electrical stuff isn't my forte.
 

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I think if it were my bike I would unplug the headlight bulb, rotate the plug 180* and plug it back in. That should give you 1 beam of the headlight and a light off in the other position. As for curing the problem ( I'm guessing here ) you would need to update to the newer stator that has more output or have yours rewound to produce more power. If cutting the headlight keeps your battery up then you might want to consider reducing the load by installing LED bulbs in your front turn signals. If you don't ride at night there are LED bulbs that replace the h4 headlight bulb that have almost no power draw but they don't light the road. HID conversion draws about 35 watts and has twice the light as the stock bulb. Here's a pic of my 09 with HID and LED turn lights



 

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If it turns out not to be a short,check the volts when your TW is running. Either get a voltmeter or something like this http://www.argusanalyzers.com/store/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=&Product_Code=BB-SBM12-PS&Category_Code=MON-START



Volts at the battery terminals with the engine running should be in the 13.5 to 15.5 range IIRC.



I have a 96 and there's no problem with the charging system keeping the battery up.



Note that motorcycle batteries really hate to be deep cycled (drained flat and recharged), every time its done cuts capacity until you have no battery left.
 

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The 1994 stator, if in good working condition, can easily handle a 55/60 watt upgraded bulb. I've had one on my 1993 for over 5k miles. Only the 1987 (first year) models had magneto's instead of a stators.



If I remember correctly, the stator was very slightly upgraded in 2001, but was unchanged from 1988 til then.



If you don't understand electronics or the use of a multimeter, you're only left with taking it to a mechanic. Stator may be bad or there may be a short somewhere.



Tim
 

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...I have never owned nor used a multimeter, so this sounds kinda hairy to me.


For what it's worth, my Harbor Freight digital multimeter only cost $1.99 (on sale). Regular price is $2.99 to $7.99, depending on which of the displays you purchase from. And you can buy from them on line (no idea what they charge for shipping). Best $1.99 I ever spent - provides virtually instant gratification, and has saved me many, many service appointments and many, many dollars. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
For what it's worth, my Harbor Freight digital multimeter only cost $1.99 (on sale). Regular price is $2.99 to $7.99, depending on which of the displays you purchase from. And you can buy from them on line (no idea what they charge for shipping). Best $1.99 I ever spent - provides virtually instant gratification, and has saved me many, many service appointments and many, many dollars. Good luck.




I bought a Harbor Freight multimeter today - a whopping $2.99 with a coupon (grin). But, the instructions say it should not be used to measure the charge on lead acid batteries, (which is exactly what I want to use it for). Should I take this warning seriously?
 
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