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Stephen_Spencer

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OK, so it‘s confirmed, my Norton is openly screwing with me! I have‘nt ridden her for a while so maybe it’s payback! Been riding the 990 and DRZ quite a bit and rode the Norton this morning for the first time in a number of weeks. It’s on a charger full time and started every weekend.

As ever with our favourite machine I had a little reliability gremlin festering away somewhere in my central cortex. Before my last ride I was congratulating myself on the choice of a new lithium battery and how well she was starting, given previous difficulty. The irritant was the fact that the bike idled slightly lower than normal (1100 rpm) and was prone to stall occasionally.

Today I had exactly the opposite; the bike idled at 1200rpm perfectly for the whole ride however, when I stopped for coffee the bike struggled to start. With 13.1 - 13.2v on each attempt the bike would start and then immediately die. 5th time lucky, she started - why is it that you are always surrounded by other bikers when this happens!?:rolleyes:

The charging rate shown on the clocks whilst riding was all over the place, but generally between 13.2 - 13.8v. Previously, from memory, it was stable (ish) at 14.2v. It was quite hot today and other than the starting problem the bike ran beautifully, pulling strongly and idling correctly. So now I’m thinking battery again. Or some other gremlin related to heat. Love this machine but it can be a little frustrating to say the least!
 
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Are you running this Shorai ? This is the recommendation from the website :

lfx19a4-bs12​


When you say struggling to start , because it was cranking too slowly or just not firing ?
 
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I get more gremlins in the heat. Lately, my rides in just above freezing temps have been spectaular. Yup. Always in mixed company and the bike is hot. I've taken as many as 3 tries, not 5 in the heat. Betting its that damned head temp sensor. Your voltage does seem a bit low. I had almost 5 years on my lead acid so I'm satisfied with it.
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Are you running this Shorai ? This is the recommendation from the website :

lfx19a4-bs12​


When you say struggling to start , because it was cranking too slowly or just not firing ?
Hi Tony, yes got the correct battery as you state above. From memory, the first attempt turned over without starting (13.1v). The next two attempts started but died instantly. Fourth started went to build revs and I tried blipping the throttle and she died. Fifth attempt she started. I left it for a short period between each attempt (just to prolong the agony and entertain the audience).

The fact that the battery is not building to the usual 14.2v whilst riding is worrying. It has me looking at my charger again and whether by leaving the battery on the tender full time it has been damaged. Some interesting information below - 13.1v is at the very lower end of the capacity of the battery “the battery should be recharged when voltage drops below 13.1V”. Going to look a little more closely today - may need to go back to a good lead acid; I know others have had poor performance from the Shorai Lithium although when first fitted it was great and the bike started well. I have a good quality NOCO Genious 3500 charger with dedicated Lithium charging capacity - who knows - I don‘t believe that it has a ‘defsulfation mode’. More research required:rolleyes:

E264BB5B-6201-41E6-B244-579512472868.jpeg
E9DE9B34-DC3F-46EA-BFA2-B70A5F55F8D0.jpeg
 

Stephen_Spencer

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I get more gremlins in the heat. Lately, my rides in just above freezing temps have been spectaular. Yup. Always in mixed company and the bike is hot. I've taken as many as 3 tries, not 5 in the heat. Betting its that damned head temp sensor. Your voltage does seem a bit low. I had almost 5 years on my lead acid so I'm satisfied with it.
The heat does’nt help for sure, but I live on the Sunshine Coast where the weather often climbs into the 30’s. As it did the other day whilst riding - bike was also parked in the sun before my starting woes began. How that impacts on a bike with a potentially dodgy battery, who knows!

The head temp sensor was replaced a couple of years ago for a Bosch item. Not discounting that that may have become defective.

Strongly suspect the battery though - we shall see. Thanks for your input guys.
 
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OK, so it‘s confirmed, my Norton is openly screwing with me! I have‘nt ridden her for a while so maybe it’s payback! Been riding the 990 and DRZ quite a bit and rode the Norton this morning for the first time in a number of weeks. It’s on a charger full time and started every weekend.

As ever with our favourite machine I had a little reliability gremlin festering away somewhere in my central cortex. Before my last ride I was congratulating myself on the choice of a new lithium battery and how well she was starting, given previous difficulty. The irritant was the fact that the bike idled slightly lower than normal (1100 rpm) and was prone to stall occasionally.

Today I had exactly the opposite; the bike idled at 1200rpm perfectly for the whole ride however, when I stopped for coffee the bike struggled to start. With 13.1 - 13.2v on each attempt the bike would start and then immediately die. 5th time lucky, she started - why is it that you are always surrounded by other bikers when this happens!?:rolleyes:

The charging rate shown on the clocks whilst riding was all over the place, but generally between 13.2 - 13.8v. Previously, from memory, it was stable (ish) at 14.2v. It was quite hot today and other than the starting problem the bike ran beautifully, pulling strongly and idling correctly. So now I’m thinking battery again. Or some other gremlin related to heat. Love this machine but it can be a little frustrating to say the least!
Have you had a chance to check what the actual voltage is at the battery charging plug when you're reading the speedo voltage ? Go to the Norton OEM supplied charging plug at the rear l/h shock top bolt boss , and verify with a dvm (mine is within 2/10th's volt) . If you can't find this , then remove the seat and read it on the opitmate/clocks fuse connection. If you return it to an AGM style (Yuasa) at least for peace of mind , this could be helpful. I still have my original Yuasa , on a Tender but have not used it since going to the Shorai .
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Literally just done that Tony. I have the NOCO lead wired directly to the battery. The charger is indicating 100% Charged - disconnected charger. Multimeter reading from direct battery cable is 13.48 v. Same from the battery charging plug hiding out in the rear left shock of course.

Ignition on, clocks read flicking between 13.1 -13.2v. Checked battery cable again 30 mins later voltage down to 13.37v - noting that I turned the ignition on once to check voltage reading.

I’m going to monitor it throughout the day. Maybe the battery is toast, or on its way out, or the old parasitic drain through the clocks is at work. I’ll let you know how I go.

Meanwhile, the sun is shining and my 990 Adventure is looking at me with that ‘do ya wanna go for a ride‘ look on its fairing!!:D
 

Fast Eddie

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Are you using a proper Shorai charger? And the lead that plugs directly into the battery?
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Are you using a proper Shorai charger? And the lead that plugs directly into the battery?
Hi FE,

No, I was remiss and didn’t look at the Shorai charger. Bought the NOCO Genius G3500 Smart Charger (whatever that means). Similar price to the Shorai charger, with dedicated 12v Lithium charging facility. No desulfation mode. Tender lead direct to battery and runs down the RHS of the frame. Best write-up I could find at the time for a lithium battery bike charger.

I put the bike on charge and checked voltage when it showed 100%; voltage at the battery measured 13.48 (using fluke). According to the Shorai table above, 100% no-load voltage should be 14.34. A little over 24hrs later voltage is 13.30. So, down to 90% no-load voltage. Parasitic drain or underperforming battery? Not sure. There have been periods since I fitted this battery that I have left it off the charger, when I was trying to work out what best practice was. I guess the battery could have dropped below 13v for a period and been damaged. Who knows.

Would be really useful to me if any forum members with the same battery could report voltage figures when fully charged (no-load). Maybe also voltage from the clocks immediately before start up and when riding the machine. Thanks guys - feedback appreciated.

Regards.

Steve
 
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The only problem I see is it is summer there and freezing winter here . The only way to get no-load is to completely disconnect the battery ? If memory serves I seem to have read that same mid 13 volt range when on the bike key off. But will check again , remembering it is 1 deg F outside ! Too cold ! Is the bike spinning the starter fast or struggling to spin ? I am not sure you answered that.
 
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When a tender charger says fully charged, isn't really only indicating fully charged to the point of the capacity or remaining life of the battery even if its not at optimum voltage? Mine will read fully charged on a battery that's almost done.

Also, not to question your intelligence, but on your multiple attempts to start, are you turning off the key and resetting? I get the same results as you if I don't so I always reset the ignition key with much better results.

I think you are right. Time for a new battery.
 
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Li is a completely different beast to lead acid and whilst modern chargers are happy to claim that they re 'Li friendly' the fact that they put a charge across the +ve/-ve terminals (as does the bikes own charging system) and maintain the battery at full charge tells a different story, and goes against the literature that Shorai provide. The dedicated charger maintains each cell independently (hence the multi pin connection) and keeps the cells at 60% charge to maintain the health whilst bike is stored for a few days between use. I note that the latest software for the iphone now monitors your usage/charge cycle and only charges to 100% close to the time that it 'thinks' you are likely to be using it in order to preserve the capacity of the battery.
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Thanks guys all good points. 1 deg F! Geez Tony, leave the old girl wrapped up warm in your garage! Anything else would be bike abuse!

Always ignition off before attempting to restart of course. :)

Bike has been off the charger for a few day and voltage is 13.20. Went to start the bike this morning and she fired up first touch. No hesitation. Idled perfectly. So, I’m guessing this may be related to starting gremlins when the bike is really hot, noting it was also quite a hot day. Dealer swapped out the coil a couple of years ago for the Bosch item, but I did not fit the red HT leads or Iridium plugs. May be worth doing that now I guess. Head temp sensor was swapped out with the coil.

Get your points about the charger and it’s indication of 100%. Think I will look at the Shorai charger and switch the NOCO across to another bike. I will likely be riding the bike this weekend and will see how she performs. Appreciate the feedback. Steve
 

Fast Eddie

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My 961 (with open pipes and factory remap) had an appetite for spark plugs. Admittedly this would have been exacerbated by being used on track days etc, but even though I was using iridium plugs, I could tell when they were ‘going off’ quite accurately and the first symptom was less than perfect starting.
 

MAK

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My 961 (with open pipes and factory remap) had an appetite for spark plugs. Admittedly this would have been exacerbated by being used on track days etc, but even though I was using iridium plugs, I could tell when they were ‘going off’ quite accurately and the first symptom was less than perfect starting.
What’s informed by Kev French,remember him,Norton tech guy that iridium plugs were very good when first fitted but the performance dropped off sharply compared to normal plugs.
Iridium plugs therefore need to be renewed more regularly.
He got the information from a University in the midlands I believe.
I think a clean running (normal) engine does not need iridium plugs!
I use to them in my Rotary!!
 
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What’s informed by Kev French,remember him,Norton tech guy that iridium plugs were very good when first fitted but the performance dropped off sharply compared to normal plugs.
Iridium plugs therefore need to be renewed more regularly.
He got the information from a University in the midlands I believe.
I think a clean running (normal) engine does not need iridium plugs!
I use to them in my Rotary!!
I went back to NKJ because the iridium plugs break down quite often with out doing a lot of miles.
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Thanks guys. Just checked my service history and paperwork- plugs should have been changed at the 2 year period (or 20k) - did’nt happen on that service; bikes has only done just over 9000 km. May just stick a new set of standard plugs in and see how we go.
 

Fast Eddie

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Thanks guys. Just checked my service history and paperwork- plugs should have been changed at the 2 year period (or 20k) - did’nt happen on that service; bikes has only done just over 9000 km. May just stick a new set of standard plugs in and see how we go.
I think you’ll notice a difference...
 

Stephen_Spencer

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I’ll let you guys know how I get on. Never dull owning this machine :oops: ! Wonder if we are ever going to be able to say ................................”Yeh mate, she’s really reliable, for a Norton!”...........
 
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