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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Started the bike up (2008 XL700VA) this morning and noticed that when I started up the ABS light started to flash (18 times or so) and then as soon as I started moving it turned off. I rode the bike twice yesterday for around 40kms and didn't notice anything like this so it seems to have started this morning.

I had a look in the workshop manual and it has no mention of the light flashing on engine start and the number of flashes doesn't line up to any fault codes.

Has any one experienced an issue like this? I've seen it mentioned on other forums for different bikes that it may be due to low battery voltage so I will try and measure and pop it on the trickle charger this evening once I'm not at work.

Thanks
 

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The ABS light flashes until the front wheel rotates sufficient times for the sensor to pick up the movement.

Then the system is set, if it continues to flash whilst the wheel is in rotation, there is a problem.

Same on my other bikes.

de-Smiffy.



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Discussion Starter #3
Hi @de-Smiffy - thanks for the response. This bike (and I assume other 700s with ABS) has always had a solid ABS light until you start moving and then it goes out, I've had the bike for a year now and I can't remember it ever behaving differently.

To clarify exactly what happens:
  • Key in ignition, turn ignition on (with kill switch off) -> all lights illuminate and then turn off (except for red to left of neutral, neutral and abs)
  • Start engine using ignition switch -> red on left turns off, neutral remains, ABS light starts flashing 18 times and then remains steady
  • Start moving -> ABS light turns off above whatever speed it is
The old behavior the ABS light would stay on after ignition start but would be solid. Once moving it would turn off.
 

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Just looked at mine.

Solid red ABS light on start up, then goes out on movement.

My BMW on the other hand flashes on start up, then goes out on movement.

I think I was confusing the two bikes when I replied....

So, if it is flashing then going off and remaining off when moving, then I would imagine that the ABS is good.

It maybe worth a call to a main agent and ask to talk a fitter to get a view as to why it has started flashing?

It sounds to me like the ABS is checking it's self then settling. Have you checked the front and rear sensors to see if there is anything on the ring or the sensor like grit or mud?

Cheers,
Tony.

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Discussion Starter #5
So went and popped on a mutlimeter over my lunch break. Sitting at >13V when idle and >14V when running.

Checked all the bulbs - no issues.
Checked connections and condition of ABS connectors and ABS sensor rings and both looked good, gave them a wiggle for good measure.

Turned the bike over and wasn't able to replicate the issue, tried twice.

I'll keep an eye on it and see if it comes back but seems to be behaving itself now. Slightly strange as nothing has changed besides the temperature.
 

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Nothing worse than an intermittent electricalfault.

I haven't used my bikes for 7 weeks, I have them on Optimates, but I start them on a Friday and run them up for 20 mins or so.

No doubt the first time out, there will be a series of warning lights come on?

Good thing about my old Triumph is it had no warning lights to come on at all.

de-Smiffy.

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Discussion Starter #7
I've only had the bike for a year but so far have had no electrical issues. Starts first time, every time - no issues. Only when it's been cold (and cold = sub zero) have I needed to give it a little blip on the throttle when I start it up just to get it idling normally.

The wheels are coming off soon anyway so maybe can have a better look at everything then, if not I'll talk to a tech!
 

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As long as the abs light goes off when moving, everything with the system is ok - if there was an issue, the light would stay on and abs would be inoperative (but brakes would otherwise work normally).
Low battery voltage sounds plausible.
Keep an eye on it, probably nothing serious.


Edit, although comments like the one from de-smithy about starting the bike 'once a week' or whatever put the fear of god in me.
Leave the thing switched off, you are doing no good whatsoever, unless you are going for a decent ride


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Clearly people will have a different opinion on the merits, or not of running the bike up periodically.

My advise came from my mate who is a motorcycle mechanic, he said it will heat up the oil and transfer it round the engine and also allow the alternator to top up the battery rather than the Optimate.

As I say, people will have different views on this.

I just love to hear a V Twin, a Triple Cylinder and an Horizontally Opposed Twin all with after market cans reminding me of what I'm missing.



de-Smiffy.




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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry, little bit of a long weekend. I can't speak for running the bike in the garage as I only have the one and run it year round so no battery or oil issues so far.

Unfortunately the ABS blinking seems to be quite sporadic as it's come back a couple of times over the weekend although I haven't noticed any common conditions causing it.

Hopefully @piguglyshandydrinker is correct as the light always turns off. Guess I'll try doing the diagnostic to see if any error codes show themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hi all, sorry didn't see all the replies! Just taking it one at a time:

@queasy rider - It seems to come and go but always turns off when riding. I was servicing the bike at the weekend - I haven't had it reappear since but it does seem to be hit and miss.
@Ash92 - It always turns off so I'm not that worried about the ABS working. My front brakes are very worn (new ones have been sitting in the shop for 3 months, long story!) so maybe this is contributing.
@morgansofas - The owners manual and shop manual describe some behavior similar to this, however it's refers to error codes. I have looked through the owners, shop and haynes guides and haven't been able to find anything unfortunately.

In short. It seems to come and go, I haven't been able to work out what causes it but so far I haven't had any major issues. The bike still seems to run fine, and after rebuilding the head unit this weekend it's stopped making a rattling noise at 4000rpm so that's nice, if not completely unrelated.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
In case it's of interest to anyone - so the error hasn't shown it's face in a long while which is great. Now interestingly I went to turn on my auxiliary lights and they don't seem to work anymore; this seem to correlate to the error going away. I haven't put a meter on anything yet but suspect that something was shorting or faulty which was causing the fault code :) I'll post an update when I've checked.
 
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