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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi friends,

First time posting to the forums. I was hopeful someone can share some insight or at least point me in the right direction.
I recently bought a 1995 Honda Shadow VLX VT600CD as my first motorcycle. She's in great condition and had a good chunk of work done prior to the purchase (the paperwork was provided). My concern is the battery, maybe? The bike is constantly hooked up to a tender and when checking the voltage prior to starting it reads around 13.9. However, once I just turn the ignition switch on, not even start it, it drops to around 10v. Sometimes it takes a couple of times to start it, and then once it starts the battery goes back up to 13.8. The voltage meter also says the alternator is in good condition.

The bike seems to struggle until I hit 20mph and then kicks in strong. Spark plugs maybe?

I have a feeling it's really not the battery, and maybe that's just a side effect of something else going on. I can provide any details needed to help diagnose what's going on.

I appreciate it in advance. Thank you.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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If the battery can't hold up when under load it is bad internally - maybe a weak cell. Replace it first then see if the running problem is any better.
I remember many times testing car batteries that the ones that stayed over 12.9 volts at rest, after getting a good charge seemed to be the ones that failed the load test afterward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the battery can't hold up when under load it is bad internally - maybe a weak cell. Replace it first then see if the running problem is any better.
I remember many times testing car batteries that the ones that stayed over 12.9 volts at rest, after getting a good charge seemed to be the ones that failed the load test afterward.

Sorry, I failed to mention that I just put a new battery in it. I did so because the same thing was happening with the old battery and I assumed the battery was bad, but now that this is happening again I'm assuming maybe it's time to look elsewhere?
 

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Are all the battery cables ends clean and tight? And engine ground?
Jump it with a non-running car battery and that eliminate any low battery crank amps.
That way you can go compare results.
A new battery can require a good slow charge to get up to full potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Really appreciate your responses. I'm going to do all of that as soon as I get a chance.

On a side note, not sure if this is related but probably can't hurt to mention. When I first bought the bike, I made a big party foul of starting it and kicking it into first gear without turning the fuel on. I did this about 3 times, all in the same sitting. Obviously the bike died immediately and I realized my mistake right away. But it started good before that. Maybe the mistake was bigger than I thought it was?
 

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So to clarify, you had the fuel valve off, started the engine and then put the bike in gear? This will not hurt anything and will not cause the engine to die unless the carb is out of fuel. But then you could restart the engine so carb was not out of fuel, Sounds to me like engine died due to improper use of throttle or clutch when engaging a gear. Reading your other sympoms I suspect the battery is weak and Swifty has suggested a test.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So to clarify, you had the fuel valve off, started the engine and then put the bike in gear? This will not hurt anything and will not cause the engine to die unless the carb is out of fuel. But then you could restart the engine so carb was not out of fuel, Sounds to me like engine died due to improper use of throttle or clutch when engaging a gear. Reading your other sympoms I suspect the battery is weak and Swifty has suggested a test.
Correct.
Thanks for touching upon that.
I am going to check the things swift said and go from there.
Really appreciate the feedback.
 

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Did you give the battery a good charge @ 2 amp. rate before using it? Is it a wet cell or a AGM battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Did you give the battery a good charge @ 2 amp. rate before using it? Is it a wet cell or a AGM battery?
This is the description of the battery I bought.

Chrome Battery YTX9-BS Maintenance Free Replacement Battery For ATV, Motorcycle, and Scooter: 12 Volts, .9 Amps, 8Ah, Nut and Bolt (T3) Terminal

It said it came completely charged. I have a NOCO Charger and Maintainer that I put it on when I got it and it said it was at 100%. One of the things I'm noticing is that the tender will say the battery is at 100%, I will take it off and start the bike, let it idle for 5 minutes just in the garage and when I put it back on the tender it says the battery is already below 75%. My voltage meter says the alternator is in good condition.
 

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You can have these issues with a good battery that is charged. As swifty mentioned check all connections. You also need to check where the ground wires (yes there are more than one) connect to the frame.

Eric


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
You can have these issues with a good battery that is charged. As swifty mentioned check all connections. You also need to check where the ground wires (yes there are more than one) connect to the frame.

Eric


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
For sure. I'm going to look into everything swift mentioned. My headlight and turn signals also dim when I'm hitting the start button and brighten back up when the bike starts up. So if there's any other recommendations for connections I should/could check I would appreciate it.
 

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Some of the guys with the same type bike might chime in, but it seems like a small battery to me.
Do this test with a meter on the battery=

Put your meter across the battery and see if at rest it is at least 12.5 volts. May need a charge first.
Then watch it while you crank it for 10 seconds and it should be above 9.5 to 10 volts.
Then while running see if it can stay up to 13.5 to 14.5 volts as you rev it above 3000 RPM.
That will tell the basic health of the battery and charging system.
 
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I thought it was low too, just checked. the factory Yuasa battery was 8.4 Amp/hr

The dying may have been from kickstand not up all the way, that usually kills it immediately when putting in gear.
 
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This is the description of the battery I bought.

Chrome Battery YTX9-BS Maintenance Free Replacement Battery For ATV, Motorcycle, and Scooter: 12 Volts, .9 Amps, 8Ah, Nut and Bolt (T3) Terminal
It said it came completely charged. I have a NOCO Charger and Maintainer that I put it on when I got it and it said it was at 100%. One of the things I'm noticing is that the tender will say the battery is at 100%, I will take it off and start the bike, let it idle for 5 minutes just in the garage and when I put it back on the tender it says the battery is already below 75%. My voltage meter says the alternator is in good condition.
The reason I asked the battery style is, a lot folk go to Walmart and buy a flooded cell battery which don't provide very good service/quality.

If you used the NOCO 1 amp. Genius, it's more a maintainer thus not a good 2 amp. charger. I used my .75 amp. Deltran maintainer as a charger on my new battery and got about one crank and the battery started slowing the starter. Applied the 2 amp. setting on my regular for 8 hrs. and never had an issue again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The reason I asked the battery style is, a lot folk go to Walmart and buy a flooded cell battery which don't provide very good service/quality.

If you used the NOCO 1 amp. Genius, it's more a maintainer thus not a good 2 amp. charger. I used my .75 amp. Deltran maintainer as a charger on my new battery and got about one crank and the battery started slowing the starter. Applied the 2 amp. setting on my regular for 8 hrs. and never had an issue again.
That's the exact charger/maintainer I have been using. I will look into getting a 2amp charger. Thanks so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I took some notes of what was happening when I tried to start the bike up yesterday - I'm not sure if they'll be any help. When taking the tender off, the battery voltage reads at 12.91. As soon as I put the key in the ignition and turning it to on without starting the bike up, before doing anything else, it drops to 12.02. It took multiple tries for it to start. I left the voltage meter on it while doing so and the battery dropped to the lowest at 9.77, and when that happened the alternator meter dropped from good to dead for a second. Once the bike is on and I let it idle the battery goes back up to 13.9 and the alternator light stays at good. I let it idle for a couple of minutes and then revved it up as suggested and the battery dropped to 11.9 and then the bike starts to putter and then stalls out. After that the battery only goes back up to 12.5.

I took a video of the battery meter while I revved up the bike to see if the sounds it's making sheds any light. It won't let me upload it, so if anyone knows how, or if that's possible, please let me know.

Again, can't thank you all enough for helping me out with this. It is greatly appreciated.
 

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Find the connector for the famous 3 yellow wires, on the wiring that goes from the stater to the regulator, and look of an overheated connector. It may be that the charge system is going low when you rev it.
The 3 yellow wires can cause that if one or two of the 3 phase alternator has bad connections.
If it is burned, we cut it out and solidly connect them.
Unplug and reconnect all the other connection points on that system to see if that helps the connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Find the connector for the famous 3 yellow wires, on the wiring that goes from the stater to the regulator, and look of an overheated connector. It may be that the charge system is going low when you rev it.
The 3 yellow wires can cause that if one or two of the 3 phase alternator has bad connections.
If it is burned, we cut it out and solidly connect them.
Unplug and reconnect all the other connection points on that system to see if that helps the connections.
Thanks, swift. Really appreciate all your responses. I'm not well versed in bikes yet, is there anything specific I should be looking for to tell if any of those connections are bad? Rust? Burn mark? Etc?
 

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It may be discolored from heat or be really obvious=
Motor vehicle Electrical wiring Gas Auto part Automotive exterior
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
It may be discolored from heat or be really obvious= View attachment 298887
So I think you're onto something here. There's no melted plastic like in your photo but I'm sure this isn't good. There's definitely some corrosion and a lot of grease build up. I saw on YouTube that they just cut off the connectors and connect the wires themselves. I'm assuming that's what you were referring to?
 
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