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V7 special dying at idle (and other issues)

Discussion in 'V7/V85/V9 Chat & Tech' started by Thumpster, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. Thumpster

    Thumpster Just got it firing!

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    I have symptoms similar to Deb Sell's here, but I suspect mine may be somewhat different. To call the behavior erratic would be an understatement.

    I'm on a '14 V7 Special with approximately 15.5K miles. The only changes I've made to the bike in the last year were to add a battery tender and USB lead off the battery. Both those items have been installed 6+ months so I doubt they are contributing.

    Sometimes the bike will run as smoothly as the day I bought it, others it will be rough and jerky. Usually it will start smoothly then slowly devolve to the rough state. When it is running rough if I let the RPMs drop all the way to idle the engine will stop, usually triggering the check engine light. If I keep even the smallest hint of throttle on while stopped however it will keep running 95% of the time.

    If the bike does die then sometimes restarting via the normal starter switch will be extremely laborious. Sometimes it will even just click, but not even attempt to turn over. Often during these attempts the dash will seem to cycle through the startup procedure multiple times. Sometimes it will fire up no problem at all. If it does restart sometimes it will continue the dying at idle act, sometime it will purr along with no hint of trouble till I get to my destination.

    A few times I have noticed the Class 3 message come across the LCD when the symptoms are occurring, but not consistently. I haven't noticed any pattern in potential factors like ambient temperature, time in a riding session, etc. This started happening about a month ago very rarely and has started occurring more and more often. Now to probably 80% of times the bike is out. I'm not riding it anymore till my dealership can have a look.

    I've linked to two (very loud because of wind noise, sorry) videos below that capture most of the problems.

    I've checked my spark plug boots and battery, all connections seem strong and clean. I have a service appointment in a week, but If anyone has any suggestions on what to check I would greatly appreciate it. Missing out on some of the best weather of the year is killing me inside...

    '14 V7 problems 1:
    '14 V7 problems 2:
     
  2. pokeyjoe

    pokeyjoe High Miler

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    Have you tested the battery? There are some sketchy voltage regulators out there that are frying them. You could test the regulator's output using the battery tender pigtail as well. There's a thread on regulators pinned above.
     
  3. Thumpster

    Thumpster Just got it firing!

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    Interesting. I didn't notice that thread, but it seems to very likely be the case. Pretty much describes my situation exactly even down to the original battery dying not quite a year into ownership. I just chalked that up to a lame battery.

    I just tested it and it started off idling at about 13.6v but slowly rose to peak out at 14.3 in the 2 or so minutes I let it run. I didn't up the RPMs since it's 10 PM and I want to stay cordial with the neighbors. That'll have to wait till tomorrow.

    Looks like I have a 14 page thread to read and join.
     
  4. Hawghauler

    Hawghauler Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Battery and or the connections would be my first area of attack. Save yourself some time and fully charge the battery and load test it. Lots of people go down a lot of false trails just to find out the answer was a simple as a dying battery or bad contact. Eliminate the easy first. There is also a good thread about overcharging situation cooking batteries, worth reading. My personal general rule of thumb is a properly working charging system should put out between 13.8 and 14.3 volts. The Army taught me that. Less is undercharging, more is overcharging, but always perform the charging system checks with a fully charged battery and the battery load test may eliminate future embarrassment.
     
  5. bmacneil2008

    bmacneil2008 Tuned and Synch'ed

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    How do I test the charging system (alternator) at the battery?
     
  6. makarushka

    makarushka Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Bet you money this is battery-related. Are you by any chance running a Lithium unit? If you are and it is undersized, the bike's computer can get all messed up, creating these very symptoms. I had that happen on my v7 and there was a very similar pattern on BMWs, which was even acknowledged by some dealers. That said, running a stock battery that is dying can produce these results, too.
     
  7. GuzziMoto

    GuzziMoto GT Reference GT Contributor

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    An easy way to test the charging system is with a volt meter.
    Measure the voltage at the battery with the bike off.
    Start the bike and measure the voltage with the bike at a normal idle.
    Apply throttle to raise the rpms to a generic number like 3,000 rpms and test the battery voltage after holding it there for a moment, allowing the voltage to stabilize.
    Feel free to make any other voltage readings with other stats, like during a starting attempt.
    A battery should have around 12.8 volts before starting, it should have more voltage at idle, and at 3,000 rpm the voltage should go up over 14 volts.
    You have to watch out for over charging, where the voltage goes over 15 volts, and under charging, where the voltage does not go up enough.
     
  8. Hawghauler

    Hawghauler Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    With a charged battery and the engine running around 3k RPM, you should be reading voltage between 13.8-14.3 at the battery if the charging system is functioning normally.
     

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