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Author Topic: Question about battery charging voltage  (Read 247 times)

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Online Skee

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Question about battery charging voltage
« on: February 03, 2020, 07:40:03 PM »
I know normal charging voltage varies up and down around 14.4 volts.  I wouldn’t be concerned to see 14.1 or 14.6 on the gauge for a short while, especially after start up.

However, I’m seeing fairly frequent spikes up to 14.9 on my Kawasaki, even on longer rides.  The voltage will stabilize around 14.4, and the shoot up for no apparent reason to 14.9 for 15 seconds or so at 10 or 15 minutes.

Is this normal?  Didn't see it on my last bike.  Do I have the makings of an overcharging problem?
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

Online chornbe

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2020, 09:53:15 PM »
The answers to both questions are yes. It *can* happen under "normal" conditions at spikes, but it can also *absolutely* be signaling future regulator failure. On rare occasions it can signal intermittent or periodic stator failure, battery cell plates shorting (if you have that type of battery), and occasional other oddities, but I'd put a regulator in it as preventative medicine, and 9 times out of 10, that'll make Bob end up being the uncle you didn't know you had.
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Online Andrew

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2020, 10:07:51 PM »
Is the bike equipped with an alternator or a stator and RR?

If this bike has a stator & RR, your regulator rectifier is not looking too healthy.

Have the battery checked, as well as the connections at it.
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Online maddjack

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2020, 10:16:24 AM »
I know normal charging voltage varies up and down around 14.4 volts.  I wouldn’t be concerned to see 14.1 or 14.6 on the gauge for a short while, especially after start up.

However, I’m seeing fairly frequent spikes up to 14.9 on my Kawasaki, even on longer rides.  The voltage will stabilize around 14.4, and the shoot up for no apparent reason to 14.9 for 15 seconds or so at 10 or 15 minutes.

Is this normal?  Didn't see it on my last bike.  Do I have the makings of an overcharging problem?
Frequent spikes, yeah its a problem starting to rear its ugly head.
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Online HipGnosis

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2020, 10:36:06 AM »
I'd start by cleaning all the connections; battery posts, stator-rectifier, voltage meter.
I've got a good, used 07 Ninja rectifier you could have for the price of shipping.

I got my Stator from Ricks MotorSports  via Amazon.
It's been doing good for over 20K miles.
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Online Skee

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2020, 05:44:28 PM »
I know normal charging voltage varies up and down around 14.4 volts.  I wouldn’t be concerned to see 14.1 or 14.6 on the gauge for a short while, especially after start up.

However, I’m seeing fairly frequent spikes up to 14.9 on my Kawasaki, even on longer rides.  The voltage will stabilize around 14.4, and the shoot up for no apparent reason to 14.9 for 15 seconds or so at 10 or 15 minutes.

Is this normal?  Didn't see it on my last bike.  Do I have the makings of an overcharging problem?
Frequent spikes, yeah its a problem starting to rear its ugly head.

I gather you are not seeing this on your Versys.  Leads me to suspect there is trouble brewing. 

Thanks for the input Folks.   

It’s a brand new bike; less than a year old with 2800 miles on it.   I ain’t doing shjt. 
It’s going to the shop so I have the basis for a warranty claim.
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

Offline OHScot

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2020, 07:01:28 PM »
Be careful not to let the smoke out of the wires. 

May want to ask if the newer batteries need higher charging.  But back it the Old Days 13.8 volts to 14.2 volts was the gold standard.

I would check it with a couple of meters before getting too worried.   I am assuming this is some kind of dash gauge you are looking at.

Always helps to beat on them a little, organic adjustment if you will.  Sometimes it just makes you feel good.
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Online Skee

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2020, 08:36:54 PM »
Be careful not to let the smoke out of the wires. 

 :rolf: been quite awhile since I heard that. 

To your point, could be the built-in gauge.  I’m going to put my multimeter across it and see what I get.  I’ll be careful not to let the smoke out of the wires. 

Think I’ll still ask the shop to check it out.   Prolly cost me an hour of labor but I’ll feel better.
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

Offline minimac

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2020, 08:36:01 AM »
I installed a China voltmeter on the dash of one of my scooters. With a fully charged battery, it reads 11.8 with the bike running at idle. While tooling down the road, it reads 13.3-13.8.  It's been like that for two years now and has never caused any battery issues, so I figure that my $5 Chinese voltmeter reads short one volt.  I checked it with two different(China) multimeters but got two different readings. Someday I might might get a real multimeter.
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Offline Black Hills

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2020, 09:02:01 AM »
as mentioned check it with a decent voltmeter (fresh batteries) to make sure you actually have a problem. We use nice (as in expensive) Fluke meters here at work and even they give wild reading when the batteries are low.
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Online PatM

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2020, 09:43:52 AM »
What Andrew said, check the battery and all connections in the charging circuit.
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Online Skee

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2020, 06:52:53 PM »
I have a good multi-meter, I was thinking I could strap it to the bars or tape it on the tank and watch it while I ride.  But it is also pretty sensitive, which means I might see even more variation.   Have to wait for fair weather on the weekend to check it out.

I'd like to think the built in meter on the bike is just overly sensitive.  This has been consistent behavior since the bike was new, so I don;t think its getting worse that I can tell.   

Just checked the manual - imagine that - do some research (I though posting questions on line was research).  Seriously folks, I do appreciate your advice - anyway - the Charging Voltage Inspection - Kawasaki Versys Service Manual says...

"If the charging voltage is kept between the values given in
the table, the charging system is considered to be working
normally.
If the charging voltage is much higher than the values
specified in the table, the regulator/rectifier is defective
or the regulator/rectifier leads are loose or open."

The manual says normal range is 14.2 - 15.2 V.   

Thanks to MADJACK for the link

The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh

Online chornbe

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2020, 06:55:11 PM »
I was all in for the preventative R/R assuming it was the old bike. I'd forgotten all about the new bike. If you're still worried, run it back and ask them to have a look-see, but I think you're going to be just fine.
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Online maddjack

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2020, 07:08:13 PM »
I have a good multi-meter, I was thinking I could strap it to the bars or tape it on the tank and watch it while I ride.  But it is also pretty sensitive, which means I might see even more variation.   Have to wait for fair weather on the weekend to check it out.

I'd like to think the built in meter on the bike is just overly sensitive.  This has been consistent behavior since the bike was new, so I don;t think its getting worse that I can tell.   

Just checked the manual - imagine that - do some research (I though posting questions on line was research).  Seriously folks, I do appreciate your advice - anyway - the Charging Voltage Inspection - Kawasaki Versys Service Manual says...

"If the charging voltage is kept between the values given in
the table, the charging system is considered to be working
normally.
If the charging voltage is much higher than the values
specified in the table, the regulator/rectifier is defective
or the regulator/rectifier leads are loose or open."

The manual says normal range is 14.2 - 15.2 V.   

Thanks to MADJACK for the link
. I was just going to post that Skee,it also states that if you check at the battery teminals with the engine running 14.4 to 15 volts is fine.
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Online Skee

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Re: Question about battery charging voltage
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2020, 09:33:15 PM »
I was all in for the preventative R/R assuming it was the old bike. I'd forgotten all about the new bike. If you're still worried, run it back and ask them to have a look-see, but I think you're going to be just fine.

Chalk it up to PMS. 

Endnote 2020-02-09:

I did a little testing and a little more reading.  With the engine off, my voltmeter and the in-dash meter agree very closely.  Voltage across the battery is very consistent 14.4-14.5 V with the bike running.  It appears the in-dash meter is reading charging voltage, which I did not understand.  According to the manual, as long as charging voltage doesn't go over 15.2 V, all is well.  The manual gives the procedure for checking resistance across the rectifier, but I don't think that is necessary. 

In the process, I somehow discovered that Kawasaki is now offering 24 months warranty on 2019 & 202 models.  I only got 12 months on mine; don't expect I'll be needing it anyway.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 03:35:14 PM by Skee »
The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible,
but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.   Vincent van Gogh