How Do You Check a Motorcycle Electrical System? A Step-by-Step Guide
The inner workings of motorcycles are becoming more and more complex. When you have an electrical issue, it's tempting to go straight to the mechanic. However, it's easy to check a motorcycle electrical system when you know what to look for.
Check out this guide for ways to find the root of the problem.
About The Electrical System On A Motorcycle
The parts necessary for a motorcycle electrical system include:
If you're having an electrical issue, then one of these components most likely failed. Before your go into these areas, you'll need to rule out other potential problems. Check common elements such as the clutch, the side stand, and the kill switch before working on the electrical system on a motorcycle.
The reasons for these issues can vary from loose wires to an old battery. Fortunately, there are tests you can run yourself to find the culprit.
You need to check both your battery and your charging system regularly. For a 12-volt motorcycle battery, your voltage should read at least 12.6 volts in a resting state.
How To Check The System
Firstly, you will need a battery charger, a multimeter, and a regular toolbox. Before you can check your system, you need to fully charge the battery overnight or until it reads "full."
Then, use the multimeter to test the voltage. You can connect it to your bike by placing the red wire to the positive terminal and the black wire on the negative one. Make sure your bike is off.
If the battery voltage reads 12.6 volts or higher, you're in good shape. If not, you may need a new battery.
To confirm this suspicion, try the test again with the motorcycle turned on. Make sure you disconnect the multimeter first, warm up the bike, and then re-connect the two. When it's idle, your voltage should read a minimum of 13.6 volts and could range up to 14.6 volts.
Next, turn your throttle up to 3,000 RPM. At this number, your voltage should increase up to 14.8 volts.
If your voltage at idle is lower than 12 volts, there's could be an issue with the battery, alternator coil, or regulator. If it's more than 14.8 volts at 3,000 RPM, you might have a fried regulator. The next step would be to test those components separately.
When you look for one, you might wonder: "How many amps should you use to charge your motorcycle battery?" You should look for what is know as a trickle charger/maintainer. You should be careful if you use an automotive charger on your motorcycle, as they can quickly overcharge the battery.
Warehouse Battery Outlet has batteries and chargers for all of your needs. Contact us for advice about taking care of motorcycle electrical systems.
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