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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I am off to a bad start.

Just bought my first bike ('03 M800 w/ 900miles) on 11/26/06. After seeing the bike a few times, the private seller brought the bike to my house and I rode it for a few hours after the purcahse everything ran fine. Didnt get a chance to get back on the bike until the following saturday. Bike wont start.....click click click. Engine doesnt turn over but all electrical equiptment works. Lights, blinkers, etc. Figure its just the battery. Bring battery to local dealership, they charge it say its good. Now back at home on tuesday with charged battery, bike starts right up with no problem, im relaeved and happy. Come back last night and once again bike is dead with a slight engine turn over on first attempt and back to.....click click click...wont start. Just got back from dealership and he seems to thnk there is something wrong with the charger or possibly a ground that is not set right.

I am no mechanic and want suggestion from u guys before I pay to tow and get maintence on a bike I haven't truely even had the pleasure to ride.

I suggested just buying a new battery but he fears the battery might work and than be drained by something, only for me to wast the money on a battery ill have to buy again due to a larger scale problem.

Any siggestion would be appreciated.
 

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start by cleaning the battery connections and making sure they are really tight (use a whench not a screwdriver)
that could cause those symptoms.
also follow the ground wire to where it attaches and the other end and make sure that is tight too.

After that, there is a starter relay box under the seat that can go out...and it costs $25ish, i would try that next.

Also a battery tender is a good long term investment and can be had for $40ish (i use the junior version on mine)
 

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Rather than replacing electrical components at random, spend $30 on a decent digital multitester, start the bike up (with a fully charged battery -- you can use the one you have for now) and check the voltage across the leads at 3000rpm. You should be reading 13.2V or thereabouts (check your Haynes). If you are reading much less, you have a fault in the charging system somewhere. I had such a problem and it turned out to be frayed wires coming off of the alternator; no big deal, cheap easy fix. If you are getting a good reading, take your digital ampmeter (using the same multitester) and check for a drain on the battery at rest. If you are getting any thing about . 02mAmp you have a ground somethere in the system, which could be a loose wire/connector or a faulty component. This can be time-consuming to diagnose, but it is much cheaper to just trace the wiring yourself than to pay someone else to do the same thing! I had a drain on my battery and it turned out to be the wiring in the starter switch. 20 minutes of soldering later and I was ready to go! If everything in the system appears to be working (good charging, no drain when off), you almost certainly just have a dead battery.
 

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Spidey said:
/threadjack

Jeff, doesn't Karen get pissed when you use whenches instead of screwdrivers?
no, i meant have her to it...cuz she is stronger than my gurly-mon lilly-white typing hands.

Then while I watch, I can drink an orangejuice and vodka drink (i like to throw some rum in mine too)

(and you guys cut me some slack..i gave a technical answer that was more-or-less correct, and there were no hammers or vice-grips involved!)
 

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My first step would be to take the battery to Sears, or auto store of some type, that can load test the battery and check for dead cells. This bike is 3+ years old and only has 900 miles on it. Hasn't been ridden very much and if previous owner didn't have the battery hooked to a battery tender while sitting it has probally gone bad. Quick charging can bring it back to life for a day or two but it won't hold a charge for much longer than that . Check with the previous owner and see if he kept it on a battery tender and if he had to charge or jump battery to bring it to your house.
 

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+1 on checking connections for the battery cables, just be sure to also check the two connections on the starter solenoid. The one cable to the solenoid comes from the + terminal on your battery, the other goes from the solenoid to the starter motor (black cylindrical thing under your horizontal cylinder).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
First thanks to everyone for the prompt advice

I did have a chance to bring the battery into the dealer to get tested, worked fine when i brought it home, but dead the next afternoon. Unfortunately bike mechanics, electrical systems, etc are foreign to me. So I guess Ill have to bit the bullet and bring it into a pro to be sure. Man this hurts so bad tho. Paid more than I could afford to begin with and didn't even get to ride it before I have to bring it in to get fixed. I expected the maintenance, but man, just didn't think it would be so soon.
 

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jmoses said:
I expected the maintenance, but man, just didn't think it would be so soon.
sorry for the early troubles...but these are no different than what you could expect on any moto that has pretty much sat unused for 3 years.

i would recommend learning how to do little things like this sooner rather than later. (even if you end up making mistakes as you learn!)
taking your bike to the dealer is going to be painful.
 

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I feel bad for ya. Having all that pent up excitement, getting the bike and then not be able to ride it. :( that sucks. I hope you don't think that the bike is a piece of ****. Like M900Sie said, the bike has very low miles and the battery didn't get to go through the cycles (charging/discharging) . If you were closer, I'd have you bring it over and give you a hand. Hopefully after you get through this, we can all help you "make it your own". make sure you give us an update on your problem.
MM
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
MichMonsterS4

really appreciate the kind words. It's been a trying few days over this as you ould imagine I'm really dissapointed and wondering if i got a" lemon". Just hoping for the best now, I will let u know how it goes. gonna try and get aquinted with the electrical system this weekend and see if I can find the bug. if I have no progress, on tuesday I am going to tow it to the dealer. Didnt even have time to insure it, so there are no plates.

Thanks for the support.
 

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I've got 3 "newish" Monsters with the same electrical system and they suffer sitting for 2~5 months with no attention. I charge the battery overnight and they're good to go. ( they get neglected at/by and then rescued from lame-o vendors :p )

Good luck... btw, I always start answering electrical questions for customers with "how old is your battery?" If it's more than 1~2 years, I suggest they start with a fresh one and go from there.

I consider the 620/800/1000/S4R family Ducatis to be very reliable.
:)
 

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Did you try cleaning up all the connections with a wire brush and sandpaper?

I'm having the same exact problem with my '93 900SS - similar motors.

Since it's not turning over it could be the igniters or the solenoid or relay. I've swapped all those on mine from my other supersport and still no go. My two last options are the starter (pain in the ass but not that bad to work on) or to start tracing for a short.

Either way, it's good to learn to do it yourself - especially since you got all those potholes on the BQE and there's sure to be more maintenance (I used to live in Hell's Kitchen - kept my bike in Brooklyn).

Keep us informed,

Eric
 

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chris said:
Good luck... btw, I always start answering electrical questions for customers with "how old is your battery?" If it's more than 1~2 years, I suggest they start with a fresh one and go from there.

I consider the 620/800/1000/S4R family Ducatis to be very reliable.
:)
Once again, Chris has great advice on the life of the battery.

Some people only get 2-3 years on a battery, and to me, it sounds like you have a bad one.

I would replace the easy cheap stuff (battery, 100$, you will need a new one soon anyway), and eliminate that first.

mitt
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a feeling it may be battery too. but dealer seems to think that since the battery he tested held a charge and died so quick it is a deeper problem. He was concerned that i get new battery only to put a temporary band-aide over a larger issue. Do I buy the battery anyway and risk breaking down somewhere else or gain peace of mind worth more expensive routes? I want it to be only the battery but want it working right. if it was I would ride all weekend in the expected 4 degree weather here :)

Anway thank to everyone each and everytime

I will keep you guys posted
 

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chris said:
I've got 3 "newish" Monsters with the same electrical system and they suffer sitting for 2~5 months with no attention. I charge the battery overnight and they're good to go. ( they get neglected at/by and then rescued from lame-o vendors :p )

Good luck... btw, I always start answering electrical questions for customers with "how old is your battery?" If it's more than 1~2 years, I suggest they start with a fresh one and go from there.
+1

My '99 M750 has an aftermarket alarm fitted (a SpyBall) which drains a few tens of milliamps while the bike is parked - it makes the bike a bit marginal to start if it sits unridden for 4 weeks or so...

Once a lead acid battery has sat discharged for a reasonable length of time, it'll never hold a full charge quite as well again. I'm not too sure how flat you can go or how long you can leave it, but my (undersized) AT7Z battery is going on for 2 years old now, and it's twice been left to sit for 3-4 weeks (while I've been out of the country), the most recent time it didn't quite have enough oomph to start the bike first time, but it rollstarted fine down the ramp in my driveway after which I rode it for 30-40 mins, and hasn't had a problem since.

I'm with Mitt, replace this battery anyway, it's the most likely problem and it's almost certainly going to need replacing soon-ish anyway. Keep a close eye on it afterwards though, just in case it is a symptom and not a cause, it it's not behaving normally with the new battery make sure you get things seen too before you destroy the new battery...

big
 

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+1 on battery life (2-3 years under good conditions, less under infrequent use). First of all, the kind or problem is not only common, it is to be expected on a machine of your vintage/mileage. This problem is not a big deal and is certainly not a symptom of lemonhood so put your mind at ease on that score.

It will certainly do you no harm to replace the battery - and that may be where you are headed anyway - but rather than spend $80-$100 on a new battery only to have the same problem I suggest spending $30-$50 on a good digital multitester that you will continue to use while learning to work on your Monster. Checking the charging system and the load at rest will (honestly) take you 10 minutes. Just put the bike in neutral, prop up the tank so your battery is visible (after carefully cleaning and tightening the leads), then lay your tester prongs across the battery with the bike running at 2800-3000rpm. If your reading is below 13.2V, switch off the bike and examine the wires comng out from the alternator (left side of the bike, to the left of the little plate). Most likely they are frayed; if not, you probably have a faulty voltage regulator. If the charging system is fine, checking the load at rest is even easier: just remove the key, prop up the tank and lay the leads across the battery -- any significant reading above .02mAmp indicates a drain. Alarms and other low-load systems can cause this, or you may have a short. If this reading is fine (or when drain is identified/fixed), then any continued problems with low voltage at starting indicate a dead battery.

You can get a battery and just hope that fixes it (which is what most shops will do), but you are out-of-pocket if it is not. Or you can get a tester, diagnose the problem while assessing the overall health of your electrical system (while learning more about your bike) and be sure that the issue is fixed properly. I would recommend the latter, but if you feel more confortable bringing it into a shop, you should do that -- Monsters are supposed to be fun and whatever gets you moving again is best. [thumbsup]
 

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nomadwarmachine said:
If the charging system is fine, checking the load at rest is even easier: just remove the key, prop up the tank and lay the leads across the battery -- any significant reading above .02mAmp indicates a drain. Alarms and other low-load systems can cause this, or you may have a short.[thumbsup]
About laying the leads across the battery to measure amps - don't you need to remove the positive cable, and put the tester in series with between the positive terminal of battery and positive cable, to measure current draw?

Also, make sure your multimeter supports this type of current measurement, some cheap ones do not. Also, do not try to start the bike, or even turn the key on while the meter is in series, because the current draw going through the multimeter will fry it or blow its fuse (if it is a good unit), because they can only measure a few amps(<10), and the bikes systems draw 10's of amps.

mitt
 
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