Electrical System

BATTERY! BAT-TER-REEEE

I feel like my electrical system hates me. To the max. So even with the updated charging system, the bike is still acting wonky. I put the bike on a battery tender quite often. And I really never have a problem with it dying. (Altho it has been running funny for a while and making an airy sound). It’s just when I plug it into my battery tender, I’ve noticed it will build up to the green indicator (charged), and then after a while it will be back at flashing red (charging)… Just curious i threw the voltimeter on the battery and noticed there is a drain… But then… it stopped.. at 10.5 volts… I turned on the headlight and drained it a bit and then turned it off.. it creeped back up to 10.5… So I throw it back on the tender for about a minute.. unplugged and metered. dropping… dropping… dropping… 10.5.. holding…

I contacted the Triumph dealership in Plano. They immediately blamed the battery tender… (the one they sold me)… they advised that I contact Deltran and see if they will replace the tender AND the battery… of course they wouldn’t replace the battery… I even plugged the tender into an old battery (that I suspected was bad back when my charging system wasn’t working because of that stupid bulb).. and it charged the battery just fine.

So now I’m calling the Truimph / BMW place tomorrow to see what they can do. Also I can’t find the receipt. (it’s 3 months old i think?)

Update – September 29, 2010

New battery. Working Perfectly. The bike is starting a LOT stronger too.

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Tuesday, September 28th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Charging System Revisited

Ok.. so a while back I talked about how the charging system on the airhead is a bit on the weak side, and is entirely dependent on the gen lamp bulb functioning. Since then, I’ve continued to have further issues, which seemed to progressively get worse. I figured I could probably spend a few bucks and buy some new brushes, test the diode board, slip Mt Dew to the squirrels that keep the generator going. Alternatively, there are much more modern, more efficient solutions to the charging system on the airhead.

There are two solutions (that I’m aware of). The Omega System, and the EndDuraLast system.

I spoke with both John Rayski (EnDuraLast) and Rick Jones (Omega) and both were nice, very helpful guys. The more I looked at the two, the more I leaned towards the EnDuraLast system, for many reasons which I won’t really get into as you should make your own assessment as I did. Both are similarly priced. Both claim to deliver the same output. But by design, I believe the EnDuraLast will actually live a little longer.

I contacted John yesterday and said I needed it by Saturday. He said no problem. I had it in my hands by this morning (next day). All the way from Golden, CO. Land of delicious beer and awesome knives

I’ll install tomorrow.

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Friday, August 20th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Charging Issues Resolved.

Do you own a BMW R65 (or any older R bike for that matter)? Did you know the entire functionality of your charging system is contingent on the operation of one little bulb? Oh.. You did?.. Well, I didn’t.

So apparently BMW (in all their infinite wisdom) decided to make the little gen lamp a necessary part in the charging system of my R65. Without getting into too much confusing detail as to how it works, there’s basically a little bulb on your dash that says your bike is (not) charging (when illuminated). This bulb apparently provides light to a tiny magical gnome just below the light socket. When this light first comes on when you start your bike, it awakens him. He then summons the hamsters behind the front motor cover to begin spinning the wheels to charge your bike.

If you turn on your key and this light doesn’t come on, you have a problem. If you are riding and this light stays on, you have a problem. I actually didn’t hook it up when I installed the new harness. I just didn’t think it was necessary for the time being. OH WAS I WRONG. Reconnecting the bulb seems to have fixed the issue.

There is a nifty article over at http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/boxerelectrics.htm on how to hack your charging system and make it work without the bulb. Which is a good idea. If you ever find yourself out riding and that bulb blows, you better get to a parts store quick.

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Sunday, June 27th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Come on baby light my wires…

This post revolves mainly around the much-needed electrical work that has been patiently awaiting my attention. Through the use of secret internet channels (ebay) I managed to procure a headlight, left control assembly (horn, lights, indicators), right control assembly (run switch, starter button), and a big fat wiring harness. I still need to find a throttle and master cylinder / break lever assembly. But that’s another story.

As you can see the headlight is killer. It looks about 1,000,000,000^10 times better than that weird street-fighter thing that was on there.

So I’ve been carefully (but violently) ripping all the old wiring out. The old harness was chopped up to bits. Most of the connectors were cut off near the front and there were random wires and whatnots connecting the various doodads that should never have made it onto this bike.

As I went I made note of where things go to speed up the process. I also had a wiring diagram found at http://bmwmotorcycletech.info/R65Schematic.htm which proved invaluable.

New harness installed and new controls connected.

So that’s it. Of course the process took a minute or two. There were some confusing moments. And I did manage to blow at least one fuse before the end of the day. But In the end I had a bike that 100% working lights, and an actual starter button… did I tell you what I was using to start it before? Push button with one wire clipped to the battery and the other clipped to the starter solenoid.

HACKS.

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Saturday, June 26th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

Electric Six…. five.

So today I spent a little time familiarizing myself with the electrical side of the bike. Unfortunately most of the wires in the harness have been cut.. And new wires run all will-nilly to various parts of the bike. Some of the cut wires I suspect are things like sensors, etc… Things I’ll want to track down.

Thinking about building a custom panel where the speedo and tach will go with a little light cluster. That’s IF I can track down all of the wires. I ripped out what the previous guy had done. I will be replacing them eventually. Started to think about getting the motor out of there so I can get the frame powder coated. That part seems a little daunting to me at the moment. Especially since I want the bike done as soon as possible so I can ride it. But I guess it must be done.

Also I did get rid of that silly headlight thing. If I had to pick 10 things I hate most in the world that headlight would have probably found it’s way on the list somewhere.

Airbox and battery removed. I’m going to try and relocate the battery. Seems like most people tend to throw them under the gearbox, but I was always under the impression that batteries weren’t really supposed to be on their side. Something about the liquid inside covering the lead plates completely? Maybe you don’t have this problem with a new battery. I will look into it. I like that big space.

Man I hate that headlight.

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 BMW Cafe Racer No Comments

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