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Discussion Starter #1
hi i have a 1999 xl 1000 can you help

at the battery i have 13.4 volts with no ignition or lights

when i start her i have 14.4 volts and the same with the side lights on

and when i start her and turn on the head lights on low beam i only have 12.4 is this ok or what should i check
 

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hi i have a 1999 xl 1000 can you help

at the battery i have 13.4 volts with no ignition or lights

when i start her i have 14.4 volts and the same with the side lights on

and when i start her and turn on the head lights on low beam i only have 12.4 is this ok or what should i check

That doesn't seem to be anything to be worried about to me.

What was the reason that caused you to check the voltages?



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Not an expert but think you will be okay as long as your batter doesn't go flat while you have the lights on. I have an Africa twin that did similar to yours and I ended up fitting a Mosfet. You are still charging just 12.4v.
 

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Sounds perfect to me .
If your worried get yourself one of those led voltage monitor thingies from eBay , five minuets to fix and you will see exactly what the battery and charging system are doing , catch a fault before it becomes critical
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That doesn't seem to be anything to be worried about to me.

What was the reason that caused you to check the voltages?
my battery went flat when stopped for a couple of minutes

this also happened 2 years ago but the battery died and had no power at all

i just started it after stopping for petrol and drove less then a mile

i drove for about 40 mile before stopping for the petrol
 

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I'm not an expert either, but I thought the ideal charge voltage when the bike is running was meant to be between 13.5 and 14.5 volts roughly (give or take a little fluctuation at either end of that scale in different circumstances)?

As a perfectly healthy battery with no load tends to level out at around 12.7v to 12.8v when fully charged (perhaps a little more for some of the sealed battery types), I'd have thought 12.4v to keep a healthy battery fully charged wouldn't be enough (unless it only drops to 12.4 when its idling then goes up when you increase the revs)?

I might be wrong.

I got one of these little volt meters from china someone here recommended:

DC 12V Car Electric Voltage Meter LED Display Cigarette Lighter Auto Car Battery | eBay

Think it took a couple of weeks or so to turn up, but they sell them for not much more on ebay from uk sellers too.

If you have a cig socket on your bike already then it or something like it should be quick and cheap to plug in without faffing about with wires. If it's not wired direct to the battery then the readings might not be perfectly accurate but they should be accurate enough and if you compare it with a multimeter to start with it'll give an idea how it's performing (mine seems quite consistent though it wavers by a fraction of a volt or two in use compared to the multimeter but can't complain at £2 and it's more useful for judging how loads are effecting the voltage than a multicoloured LED light I had on my last bike). I chopped the end off mine and soldered some spade connectors in and made a little mount for it, but it seemed to work OK from the cig socket too before I did that.

I noticed there are a few other similar plug in volt meters available now, so one of the other models might be better perhaps.

If you've got any concerns about your charging system then it's worth adding one imho as on my last bike when the regulator was failing it was looking OK when testing it at home, but then when I added a charge meter started noticing it going bad while I was out riding it for a while. Having a voltmeter fitted will allow you to keep an eye on what it's doing and might alert you to a problem before it gets too bad.

It's worth taking the opportunity before you do anything else though to clean up the connections between the regulator and the loom, particularly the 3 pin connector (usually the one with 3 yellow wires in) that goes to the alternator. They tend to corrode and build up resistance and seem to be the culprit for iffy voltage readings, and ultimately regulator failure on many bikes (not sure about the varadero, but the africa twin and other models definitely). Its worth cleaning up the battery terminals and connectors, and the main earth connectors too while you're doing it if they're looking a bit dull.

I know from a recent unfortunate experience that you can get quite a few miles on the battery charge alone, so if you're making lots of shortish trips and its undercharging, then it might take quite a while for it to run flat completely (particularly if you have it on a battery tender in between rides).
 

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P.S. There are some diagnostic tests below I found quite useful (though charging your battery then cleaning up contacts is probably a good place to start before you try anything else as I say):

Charging System Diagnostics - Rectifier/Regulator Upgrade - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums

I think the state of the battery can also have an effect on readings, so if your battery is on its way out, that might be something to consider too before you consider changing the regulator or doing any other changes (I think garages and some shops that sell batteries can do a test on them to check their condition for you).

If you do a google for "12v motorcycle charging fault finding" there are some flow charts available that take you through more involved tests step by step (though they may be a bit more of a pain to follow as they try to be all-encompassing and ramble on about wire colour counts on different models that can be slightly misleading, so that triumph rat thread is probably easier to follow to start with).
 
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