HOIST BY MY OWN PETARD?
Yesterday (Friday), in the recent "Rant" thread ( https://www.victoryforums.com/34-vict...3386-rant.html
), I added some comments (post #19), as the thread went off on a minor tangent about battery terminals. This is what I wrote:
Yep, good advice. What works for me, for a few years now on the Vic:
- Toothed washers.
- Di-electric grease on the bottom half of the bolts.
- Blue (medium) thread-lock on the top half, and then things snugged down tightly.
- Powerlet Termin-8 ( Termin-8 Easier Than A Fuseblock - Powerlet Products ) attached, to negate ever having to mess with the terminal bolts.
- Xtreme smart charger hooked up all the time the bike's in the garage (i.e., not just winter), to keep the battery in tip-top shape.
I have also written, over the years, this and similar comments:
You might want to mess with the battery-terminal bolts, as loose connections here cause a bunch of problems, and as the official torque spec is too low.
(That's from https://www.victoryforums.com/5-rules...hello-xct.html
, for instance.)
That was yesterday morning. Later in the day, I went for a ride with my buddy Ken.
We were at a pull-off on the Taconic Pkwy here in upstate NY, and getting ready to roll again I pressed the start button ... and nothing. Okay, I say to myself, a fluke, maybe the button needs cleaning, whatever. And press it again, and the bike fires up, and we roll.
Later, we're at an intersection in "downtown" (it must be, because there are only of handful of intersections there) Rhinebeck. And the light turns green, and I stall the bike, or it stalls itself. And pushing the starter does zilch. And I put the bike in neutral, and check the kill switch, and hit the button. Nada. And the gas gauge doesn't budge from the bottom (and I have about two-thirds of a tank). And the fuel pump doesn't make its priming sound. And the LCD is blinking, at a steady rate, showing the odometer reading (c. 34,500 miles), with some dashes or something above it.
And I wait a minute or so, try again, and nothing changes. And the stupid LCD area is doing that blinking ... with the key removed from the bike!
And I say to myself: it can't be the four-year-old battery, because I use a great smart-charger. And it can't be the terminal bolts, because I did such a good job with them some years
ago -- what with the blue Loc-tite and all -- and I haven't had to mess with them in, yep, years, what with the Termin-8 extension thingy I added, yep, years ago.
So I push the bike to the curb, we walk to the nearest restaurant, order lunch, and I call AMA towing. Meanwhile we're at a technical loss. Gotta be electrical -- maybe a relay, or voltage regulator, or sumptin. And how the heck is the LCD showing anything
with the key out?
I keep getting calls from the AMA or dispatchers, telling me that someone (else) will get back to me. I had asked for a flatbed truck, and about two hours later it shows up (so we had plenty of time for a leisurely lunch). We're about 14 miles (which is nice, because AMA towing is free for up to 35 miles, I was told) from Zack's V-Twin in Hyde Park, NY -- where I had my last set of tires, and Centramatics, put on -- and go there. I'm riding in the cab, hearing some strange towing tales (some other time), and Ken's following on his 2012 R1200RT. So we get to Zack's a little before it closes, and I talk to Zack and his two techs (one of whom is touted as a Vic electrical guru). They'll get to the bottom of this, but not that day.
So I ride bitch, on the back of the Beemer, an hour and a half back to Albany. It was mostly a dopey ride, but on some of the on and off ramps, we did do some serious leaning, what with two of us to lean off on the inside of the turns. (Note that we just did a track day -- on respective bikes -- two weeks ago.)
This brings us to the next day, today (Saturday). Late morning, Zack calls me: it's fixed. And the problem was ... ?
The fucking battery terminal bolt(s?) were loose!
So in the afternoon, my wife and I drive down from Albany to Hyde Park -- a nice ride -- and do a late lunch at the Eveready Diner there, and go to Zack's. I talk to Zack and the tech, and they both assure me that lead compresses, and you can't really do anything to permanently make those bolts stay tight. Like lubing the cable barrel-ends, etc., tightening those bolts should just be part of stuff you do during an oil change, or maybe during every equinox or something. (The tech also told me he rearranged my modest stack o' stuff on the bolts. I have only a couple of connectors -- remember, I have the Termin-8, expressly so that the bolts aren't glommed up with connector rings -- but he repositioned them so they were, apparently, flatter, and also moved the toothed washer from the top to the bottom, or maybe it was the bottom to the top; I'll look next oil change.)
So, I paid the $48, and rode back on the Taconic Pkwy late this afternoon.
What this means is that I should have written, yesterday:
Yep, good advice. What HAS UNTIL NOW worked for me, for a few years now on the Vic ...
So, from now on, if the bike ever doesn't start again, I will sit on the ground with a 4mm Allen key, take off the battery cover thingy, and check the terminals. No matter what I think I know, or don't know.
That's all I got.
Here's Bubba (who used to ride a V-Rod) loading up the bike yesterday: