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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wanted to start a new thread to summarize symptoms and observations so far. In hopes that others with same issues can follow along in the future and so that forum members can more effectively assist me. [Thanks for help so far !]

[This is a follow up to my other post "Loud pop charging battery"]

Symptom:

1) NEW ISSUE - Engine running rough 1000 to 4000 rpm: ADDED 9/19

It just started yesterday out of the blue !!! The engine is very rough when there is a load between 1000 to 4000 rpm. The engine idles and revs freely without a load. With load, the engine gurgles and pops between those rpm and I swear the exhaust note is deeper/lower.

It seems to have gotten a bit worse today. I noted a very quick almost undetectable loss of power that happens maybe every twenty seconds at 5000 to 6000 rpm going about 70mph on a highway. (Feels like a hiccup) I also think I smell a bit more gas odor than I did before when I stop. (I think this is a symptom for a bad Fuel Pressure Regulator)

2) Engine stalls when I pull the clutch with accelerator off occasionally. -- updated 9/18 MAY BE FIXED. Test riding now.

This affected me about 5 times in the last 1000 miles. So about once each tank full.

As a returning rider with 20 years in between this and last motorcycle, I initially believed I was at fault (rash clutch engagement and/or wrong gear). But, my BB recently stalled going into a exit ramp going about 30 when I pulled the clutch to down shift. It had happened prior to that when I was going 5 to 10 miles.

After coasting to the side of the road, I attempted restart but the engine would not catch even know it's cranking. Turning off the ignition and then back on after about 20 to 30 sec allowed me to restart. FI light was lit at this time, but lowering the side stand after coasting to a stop did not flash any error codes.


3) Won't crank / Charging issue ?? My BB failed to crank two days ago. This shouldn't happen as I have been riding decently consistently. (hour or more every few days) The bike only makes a "CLICK" sound every time I pressed the starter button. I charged the battery and this seems have went away. But, I have not resolved the root cause of why the charge became so low enough to not allow the bike to crank.

9/8 update- had this no crank issue again today. The voltage showed 12.83volts immediately before I hopped on. The bike clicks, but won't crank.

Observations so far:
  • Battery is 3 months old. It is diehard silver 12BS. (AGM) Showing about 12.9 to 13.05 volts disconnected off the bike.
  • Voltage across battery
    • key off =12.96
    • key on=12.27 (Lights are on, because US model)
    • idle-1100 = 14.24
    • 2000 = 14.34
    • 3000=14.29
    • 4000=14.3
    • 5000=14.33 (Spec is 14.7 to 15v. So a bit low. but few commented it's OK. Not convinced myself.... : )
    • While Cranking = Approx 10.5 ?? (hard to measure as it jumps around)
  • Current leak = .56 mA (Spec is 0.2 mA max. So I have a short ??)
    • current leak = measure mA between (in series) the battery negative terminal and the negative cable
    • Fizzy in the previous thread suggested - "0.56mA is almost the same as 0.2mA in the scheme of things. Not enough to trouble a heathy motorcycle battery. The tiny current draw is for the clock."
  • Generic info:
    • 1999 early FI model with analog gauge
    • No third party electrical accessories (i.e. alarm / USB port/ etc)
    • Purchased off a widow with 2300 miles in July 4th. Original owner died in 2018 after 15 year battle with cancer.
    • I've done the loom fix prior to stalling/cranking issue.
    • ECM is zip tied down.
    • RR looks original. But I could be wrong. Despite commented that my voltage stats "indicates RR has been replaced as I have Usable voltage at low rpm".
    • I see that previous owner mucked with a Starter relay and moved around relays under the seat. So, the original owner probably had some sort of an issue.
    • Done some of the liquids. but with only 3000miles on the bike, the spark plug and air filters is likely original. (It's in my to-do, but got busy troubleshooting this)
    • Tank seems relatively rust free. But, I can't attest to how dirty the filter is nor the correct operation of the fuel pump.

I'll update the "Observations" as I push through the troubleshooting. I'll keep other banter like my own questions in the following posts below.

Thanks to all that help !

Ken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Next steps I am thinking about performing are:
  • Check Stator: Continuity against ground, ac volt output, and resistance between three yellow wires.
  • Check current leak again. If it's .56 mA again then see if I can locate the short. (Not sure how to do that, but I'll start taking fuses out and disconnect plus, I guess ??)
    • May be see what mA leak is without the clock.

Some questions for experts here:
  • Few indicated volts/RPM looked ok. But, the 14.3 v is considerably lower than spec'ed 14.7 to 15 volts. And I don't think the RR has been replaced. What do you think ?
  • Also, is current leak of .56 mA too high ? What have others seen on their own bikes. (particularly keen to know early FI model)
  • If .56mA leak is too high, are they any known points of "Shorts" ??

Thanks very much. Really appreciate the help. I'd be beyond frustrated if you guys weren't keeping me companied here.

Ken.
 

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I would start with removing, cleaning and refitting all the earth points on the bike. Clean the live connections at the battery, starter relay and starter.
I wouldn't assume that the engine not cranking is a fault with the battery.
The engine not cranking and only cranking for a split second could be down to a bad connection at the starter button, relays or fuses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
—removing, cleaning and refitting all the earth points on the bike. Clean the live connections —
I wouldn't assume that the engine not cranking is a fault with the battery.
The engine not cranking and only cranking for a split second could be down to a bad connection —
Yeah. Thanks.
Ive had this in the back of my mind. As a matter of fact, I thought there was this one time when I barely touched the kill switch and the engine died. I flicked the switch on and off few times to ensure good contact and then never really thought about it since then.
I have to remember that this is more than two decade old and i have to keep remembering this sort of issue may be causing issues
 

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You had an FI light ? Check for hidden codes. Remove the rear cowl, there is an unused 2 pin female connector under a boot. Short with paper clip to get hidden codes. Check the manual for exact procedure and code diagnosis. If you dont have one, check the search community feature above. Type in "service manual". There is a 500+ page pdf, may take a little digging.

Also, you state the bike died. Check and clean the key switch and the RHS handlebar switches. Use a spray electrical cleaner with a nozzle. Also, check the whole start/stop circuit carefully and for proper function. This includes the clutch switch, start/stop switch, tip over switch and clutch diode and associated wiring/connectors + what Punts says above.
 

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If it's any help, I can confirm my 05 has a current leak of 0.2mA after 17 years ownership, and still reads 13.2v at 11-1200 idle, rising to 14.3 at 1500-5000 (did that test last week). My key off/on reading is 12.6/12.2, but your diehard battery might be stronger than my AGM battery.

My charging system is OEM except for the stator which was rewound after a failure at 71k kms (did not take down R/R or battery even though I rode the Bird until it slowly became obvious and stopped dead when the battery drained).

Once inspected and repaired no issues starting/ running since - now at 130k kms (81k MLS), but dirty contacts in switch blocks occasionally make headlight appear blown or indicators not flash until I spray them with contact cleaner.

I think you're on the right track cleaning all connections and isolating the source of the current drain. I have read of a tip over switch causing problems - try unplugging it and anything else one by one. Swap fuses too....I've heard about dud fuses that look ok......
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
confirm my 05 has a current leak of 0.2mA after 17 years ownership, and still reads 13.2v at 11-1200 idle, rising to 14.3 at 1500-5000 (did that test last week). My key off/on reading is 12.6/12.2,
OK.. so my readings are consistent with yours except the current leak. The leak on mine is .56 mA which is almost 3 times the amount.

I haven't gotten around to working on the bike in the last few days. ( I felt like I needed to walk away for a bit) But, I'll provides more updates as I work on it again.

My next action item will be the below rather than what stated previously:
  • Take a part RHS switch cluster on and clean out contacts for starter and kill switch.
  • Check the starter relay and surrounding areas.
  • Check for code by shorting the connector in the tail.
  • Some other Back burner tasks for now:
    • check few other swtiches that were mentioned. (side stand, key switch ??) Getting to the key switch seems like a chore..... : (
    • investigate the current leak by taking out few fuses and seeing what I see. (I feel like .56mA is too high if others are getting .2mA )
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
I may have resolved my stalling issue. I am really extra stupid if this turns out to be the case..... : (

I took the bike out and it stalled on the highway (@70mph or so) as I started braking for an exit ramp. As I went to restart the bike, I found the the "Kill" switch enabled. I must be braking with my thumb unwrapped off the throttle grip and on the kill switch.

I tested the theory at home. The arrangement of the switch, throttle and my hand size is just so that the thumb gently squeezes the kill switch to enable the "KILL" as I am braking. AND THEN for the switch to snap back (to the normal "ON" position) as I'm done braking. This time I must have braked strong enough to flip the kill switch completely.

I'll keep looking through my action items in my previous posts. But, I think I'm going to start taking the bike out more to just test the bike and be REALLY REALLY conscious of my right thumb. If this turns out to be the cause then this is one of the more stupider things I've done to myself; but I do hope it turns out to be the case.

K

P.S.
  • I think heli bar install has some thing to do with the kill switch issue. The switch cluster is installed with the switches (horn or start button) facing down too much toward the foot pegs. I've noted this because the clutch/brake levers end up being angled too high as a result. (the part of the brake lever ends up interfering if I try to angle down to match the angle of my wrist) If I could turn the switch down towards the front of the bike, the kill switch would be turned away from me.
  • The starting issue may have been caused by a new battery that wasn't charged after the acid was thrown in.
  • BTW, completely different topic, but I find the horn button to be waaaay too close to other buttons. I honk/beep at people by accident a lot and get confused looks.
 

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Aaaah yes, unsorted controls will cause a prang one day, just when you don't have time to think and need everything to fall into place.......

I have Helibars on my BB and my levers etc are sitting properly. There is a trick to getting them just right. I had to cut part of a lug off and crack both hose joints to allow the levers to move down. Look carefully and you'll see where the hoses foul the forks and adjust accordingly. No fluid will leak if you just crack them slightly, to allow the hose rotate a bit.

I've never ridden with my thumb on top of the grip ......in a sudden pull on the lever you might slip off the grip and hit what you're trying to avoid 😉.

Those levers and switchblocks can be adjusted correctly - I still have standard hoses which fit without stress to 2" Helibars, though longer braided lines would be much better.....

(y)
 

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OK.. so my readings are consistent with yours except the current leak. The leak on mine is .56 mA which is almost 3 times the amount.
One thing you've not mentioned in this thread is ancillary gizmos.

I had a USB port that was directly wired to the battery. When not attached to a USB device it was still drawing too many mA.

I knew that I had a problem (constantly needing a battery tender to avoid killing my battery) before the light dawned on me and out came my multimeter. Bought a better quality port and problem fixed.

Fyi I could have simply added a relay but I had lost confidence in the port's build quality by then plus wished to be able to use it with ignition off.

My current set up is a new (relay switched) usb up on the bars for phone/ satnav and another usb port (locally switched) under the seat to recharge my tyre compressor as and when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
9/8 update
Took the bike out for the first time since I enabled the "Kill" switch in my last post.

I Had the "no crank issue" .The bike clicks each time I press the start button, but won't crank. FYI, the voltage showed 12.83 volts immediately before I hopped on. I sat on the bike for a brief moment, turned off the bike, and then reattempted. The bike seemed to struggle a bit, but it cranked. On the second attempt, it cranked weakly, but the engine caught.

I assume the clicking I'm hearing each time I push the starter button to be the starter relay. Since it's clicking, the relay is being activated. Starter relay is suspect. It may have bad connection in the relay.

Peripherally, I measured the voltage immediately after coming home. The voltage is at 13.08 volts as compared to 12.83v prior to the 30min ride.

If anyone has any thoughts to share please do. I would appreciate any input. Thanks again as always.

My updated action items in order of importance:
  • Check the starter relay and surrounding areas.
  • Take a part RHS switch cluster on and clean out contacts for starter and kill switch. (Took it a part, but couldn't figure out how to get it off the handle bar)
  • Check for code by shorting the connector in the tail. ( looked briefly, coudn't find the plug. I'll look again.)
  • Some other Back burner tasks for now:
    • check few other swtiches that were mentioned. (side stand, key switch ??) Getting to the key switch seems like a chore..... : (
    • investigate the current leak by taking out few fuses and seeing what I see. (I feel like .56mA is too high if others are getting .2mA )
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Typical of a duff battery. What is battery voltage while cranking?
It's hard to tell the voltage when it's cranking. But, I saw around 10.5 Volts when I measured it a week or so ago. (This is when it did start)

I want to believe the previous owner when they told me (and confirmed via text few weeks ago again) that this is a new battery they bought in late july. But, I'm starting to suspect the battery again.

But I think the bike should crank fine (assuming every thing else is fine) at the 12.83 volts (@key off). Or is there a possibility of a duff battery even if battery voltage looks OK ?

I think I might just go out and buy a new battery and starter relay unless others here stop me in the next few days.
 

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12.83V key off does not tell us how the battery will perform under load. If the volts drop too low while starting, she will not fire.
Try jumping it. As stated above, if by car, make sure car engine is off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Soo... just wanted to report back on some results and updates.

1) "Engine Stall" issue fixed ??: It seems to be have went away with my conscious effort to keep my thumb away from the Kill switch. (The current theory is that I was unintentionally hitting the kill switch) This is rather embarrassing. But, it's weird as I've never encountered this with any other motorcycles I've owned. I've been "TEST RIDE"ing it for at least 300 miles now without any issues. I'll call it resolved, when I've driven few more tanks without an issue.

2) "Cranking issue: I've encountered it once more at my battery at 12.8v. But, seemed to have went away, because I've been "Test Riding" it more frequently. I don't know if I trust the battery nor the starter relay. I may just get new ones for both. I have a feeling if I get a new battery and a battery tender, I won't ever see this problem again.

3) NEW ISSUE - Engine running rough 1000 to 4000 rpm: It just started yesterday out of the blue !!!
The engine is very rough when there is a load between 1000 to 4000 rpm. The engine idles and revs freely without a load. With a load, the engine gurgles and pops between those rpm and I swear the exhaust note is deeper/lower.

It seems to have gotten a bit worse today. I noted a very quick almost undetectable loss of power that happens maybe every twenty seconds at 5000 to 6000 rpm going about 70mph on a highway. (Feels like a hiccup) I also think I smell a bit more gas odor than I did before when I stop. (I think this is a symptom for a bad Fuel Pressure Regulator)

I've "Searched" on the issue (Rough engine 1k to 4k) on this forum. what I saw for the possible cause were:
  • Fuel Pressure Regulator
  • Oxygen sensor - Possible fix=bypass with resistor
  • FI Throttle out of sync
  • Spark Plugs ? (Didn't see this info on forum, but I assume this is a possibility)

Summary:
It's incredibly disappointing to see the new rough idle issue out of the blue just when I thought I fixed the stalling issue. But, for now, the engine isn't stalling. So, that's good.

As to the rough engine issue, I may just moth ball the bike for the season. The engine is so rough that it's no longer fun to ride it. I'm thinking about taking the tank off to replace/adjust - Fuel Pressure regulator, O2 sensor, Throttle sync, and spark plugs all at once. If I hurry, I may have some decent weather in the fall to test ride after I'm done with everything.

I'm getting tired of little small issues with this bike. : ( Anything else to do while I'm down there below the tank ??

Thanks for any further input.

Ken


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My updated action items in order of importance from "Most important" to "Back Burner items".
  1. For Rough engine 1k to 4k rpm:
    1. Try the O2 sensor bypass with a resistor. (because it's so darn cheap to try and symptoms are spot on)
    2. Read up on similar symptom in this forum.
  2. For other Cranking issue:
    1. Check for code by shorting the connector in the tail. ( looked briefly for the white plug. Coudn't find the plug. I'll look again.)
    2. Check the starter relay and surrounding areas. (May be replace battery, just to eliminate that as a possiblity)
  3. Back Burner:
    1. Take a part RHS switch cluster on and clean out contacts for starter and kill switch. (Took it a part, but couldn't figure out how to get it off the handle bar)
    2. check few other swtiches that were mentioned. (side stand, key switch ??) Getting to the key switch seems like a chore..... :
    3. investigate the current leak by taking out few fuses and seeing what I see. (I feel like .56mA is too high if others are getting .2mA )
 
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