Technical Discussion Topics related to Technical Issues

battery not holding charge

Old 07-22-2011, 03:58 PM
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battery not holding charge

does anyone know why my battery wouldn't be holding it's charge?? I bought a new battery thinking the old one was dead, but the same thing happened. As im driving all my gauges stop working. after i turn off the bike and go to start it again, it wont start. the bike WILL start if i boost the battery
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:05 PM
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Your R/R (regulator rectifier) is dead. Very common issue on this bike.

Replace it with a Mosfet one off a newer bike.. It requires minor modifications, but will fix the issue and last a long time.

edit: more info https://www.superhawkforum.com/forum...why-how-25117/
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:33 PM
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Posted in another thread, seems like the dreaded symptoms of the R/R going bad-Dead.
Brings back painful memories of pushing my bike about 1/2-1 mile in the hot humid Hawaiian Sun. Uphill Thru traffic in my 2pc leathers. Probably lost about 8# that day.
By the time I got to the Honda Shop(luckily i was going there anyway) I was down to my leather pants. Same thing, gauges out- bike stalls even down hill. Got a new battery at the dealership. Started right up-ran good for the next two days of short trips-dead again. Got my shop manual out and trouble shot per directions. Tested
with omn meter(following steps)=bad rectifier. Got a new replacement (specs for a
Yamaha) with nice fins. Cleaned grounds and recharged the battery. That was about
20K ago? Can't remember, but NO problems since. I was lucky, the terminal/connectors
plugs did not melt. Gave me enough "skeletons in the closet" to want to carry a spare
just in case. Do a search, LOTS of good threads . Good Luck and Ride Well.
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Old 07-22-2011, 04:52 PM
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Awesome!! Thanks guys! I'll give the dealer a call tomorrow
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by firestorm_girl View Post
Awesome!! Thanks guys! I'll give the dealer a call tomorrow
My 2 cents, and they come free. I've had a failed R/R twice. Both times first the tach stops working then the speedo drops out, then the turn signals and then I hope like hell I can make it home or to my buddy's shop. Made it once, flat bedded out once, once the battery was starting to melt. R/R all the way in my humble opinion.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:28 AM
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Do an easy, free test while you're at it.

Load test the new battery. I had the same symptoms as all above and did the same repairs as all above but the new battery that I put in was defective. Assuming that the new battery was good I spent countless hours trying to diagnose why my bike wasn't charging. Hair pulling left me near bald before the LAST thing to check was the battery. One forehead slap later and I was good to go.
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Old 07-23-2011, 07:30 PM
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just got a new R/R today and everything seems to be working well. hopefully it stays that way... thanks again!
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:35 AM
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Great to hear firestorm girl. don't know what type you bought but keep an eye on the
surface temp. It might be related to a grounding/contact issue. good luck and ride well.
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:43 AM
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Guys, I put 100 miles on my 2000 Hawk yesterday. She started right up when I left and didn't give me any problems on the ride. All gauges and lights worked fine all the way. When I got home and shut her off, no restart. Dash lit up when I turned the key but just a click from the starter. Temp gauge was at half the whole ride, never got hot. The battery is less than a year old. Does this sound like the R/R?
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:11 AM
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check to be sure the battery cables are tight. I've experienced them vibrating loose before. other than that, get a volt meter and do some simple checks. Check battery with motor off, should be at 12.3. then check with motor running (jump start if needed), should be 13.8 to 14.2. If readings at rest are low, but readings while running are right, it's likely the battery. if readings while running are low, it's likely the R/R. You can also remove the battery and take it to an auto parts store to have them load test it.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:33 AM
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Thanks, Old. I'll try that but in all honesty, I think this Superhawk has got to go. It seems to me that they're too problem-prone for a guy who just wants to get on and ride. My V65 Sabre has given me less grief since 1985 than this has in a year. Between the CCT's and R/R's and whatnot, I feel like I'm on a ticking time bomb.
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Old 08-23-2011, 10:50 AM
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Well those two issues are it for this bike..

There are SH's out there with over 150k miles (last I heard).. And both are cheap fixes.

Anything more than those two things are purely optional.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:37 AM
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that plus my v45 sabre had it's share of problems. I was always replacing plugs. otherwise it would grind down the battery from being so hard to start. But I feel your frustration.
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Old 08-23-2011, 03:42 PM
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Originally Posted by sheldonsl View Post
I think this Superhawk has got to go.
Maybe the super just isn't the bike for you. I've had 5 absolutley trouble free years. If it ain't worth it to ya, time to move on...
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:00 PM
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Do you have the stock R/R's and manual CCT's? I loved the 100 miles I was out the other day, but that click at the end of the ride kills me. If I had stopped for gas, I'd have been stranded. I'll check the battery and go from there.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by sheldonsl View Post
Do you have the stock R/R's and manual CCT's? I loved the 100 miles I was out the other day, but that click at the end of the ride kills me. If I had stopped for gas, I'd have been stranded. I'll check the battery and go from there.
sheldonsl... Sorry to hear about your problems mate... But it's not the bike being unreliable, it's the mechanic/rider...

You can look at any source you like, this forum and other places, any Honda manual you can find... All of them will tell you that the stock CCT's are a wear item and should be replaced at an intervall... Yeah, they don't give you a time/mileage/wear limit... But it clearly states that they should be replaced...

So with stock CCT's after 11 years, and I guess more than a few miles you are most definetly outside the wear limit with a fair margin... Ie, if the CCT's fail, you are the unreliable component, not the CCT's...

The R/R isn't a wear item though, so you won't find that in a manual... But it's not an item that requires a lot of work to replace either... If you swap it to an new OEM or aftermarket replacement (not recommended), the only tools you need is what's in the OEM toolkit... Takes less than 5 minutes and the cost is negligable... Again, not doing this when you have clearly been informed that it's something that usually fail, and that the lifetime is more than likely expired after 11 years, puts the blame squarely on you, not the bike...

Complaining of those two things failing is like riding around with the stock engine oil from 2000, and being upset when the engine siezes... It's bound to happen, so why not do the maintainance before hand?

As a sidenote... Granted, doing the swap to a Mosfet R/R to permanently fix the problem, is a bit more involved than swapping for an OEM R/R, but still the degree of difficulty is still very much DIY capable if you can change the oil, you can do this...
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Old 08-24-2011, 10:47 AM
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I know I'm swimming against the tide on this forum, but I disagree. My Sabre, bought new by me in 1986 has never had an electrical problem. Never had the engine opened up. Never stranded me. I've had the carbs cleaned twice and fork seals done once in all that time. Yes, I change the oil and fully expect it to degrade but I don't feel that any specific part on the bike is sub-par. Other than the seat (Corbin) and slip-ons (Mac) it's all original. And I'd hop on tonight and head for Florida without hesitation. I certainly wouldn't do that with the Superhawk. How many people have written on here about having the CCT's fail over and over again? Same with the R/R's. Plus, neither of those "known issues" seems to be killing my battery. That's something else entirely. Yes, I have manual CCT's waiting to go in and I'm looking for R/R's, but I need to figure the battery issue out first.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:21 AM
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I'm with you on the CCT, but then again, I've not touched mine and it's doing fine. I think some on here put too much thought into that particular subject, but that's only my opinion. I think of it similar to timing belts on older 4 cylinder engines. You should replace them or run the risk of blowing your valves.

As for the R/R, it's a known problem, not to mention that it's something that all motorcycles have problems with at some time. I had a VX800 that it went out. I also did a relocation of it on my Vulcan so that it was in a spot to stay cooler.

As for your Sabre, I'm not sure if it's the same as my V45, but they are known to pit cam lobes over time, and one reason I got rid of mine was not trusting the motor long term. Additionally, mine fouled plugs regularly which caused drag on the starting system and it left me stranded twice that comes to mind quickly.

I think we all get frustrated by our toys every once in a while. I haven't had problems with my hawk that have really been out of the ordinary for a 12 year old motorcycle. I've used mine as a daily driver at times and trust it just fine.
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:30 PM
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Yep, at one point I was looking into a Magna V65 and decided against it because my research found that these engines all need a rather substantial oil passage modification to the heads to be reliable. Failing this mod it would eventually torch the cams.

Same as CCTs on VTRs.. some say you must fix, others say perhaps: http://www.sabmag.org/phil_ross/cams.htm

Honda makes great bikes, but I have yet to hear of any MFG making perfect ones..

edit: heck, even the sabers had CCT issues: http://wiki.sabmagfaq.org/ValveTrain

Last edited by lazn; 08-24-2011 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by sheldonsl View Post
I know I'm swimming against the tide on this forum, but I disagree. My Sabre, bought new by me in 1986 has never had an electrical problem. Never had the engine opened up. Never stranded me. I've had the carbs cleaned twice and fork seals done once in all that time. Yes, I change the oil and fully expect it to degrade but I don't feel that any specific part on the bike is sub-par. Other than the seat (Corbin) and slip-ons (Mac) it's all original. And I'd hop on tonight and head for Florida without hesitation. I certainly wouldn't do that with the Superhawk. How many people have written on here about having the CCT's fail over and over again? Same with the R/R's. Plus, neither of those "known issues" seems to be killing my battery. That's something else entirely. Yes, I have manual CCT's waiting to go in and I'm looking for R/R's, but I need to figure the battery issue out first.
Well, I know what's killing your battery... And the information is readily available, I have given the answer a few times...

I'm rather sure you won't like the answer though, and I'm willing to bet you the price of that R/R, that you won't follow my instructions to fix it when given... The reason I think that, is that to date none of the poeple I have given that advice have done so, preffering to fix things the "simple" way, and not the permanent way...

Ok, so you didn't like my comparasion on the oil... Let's try another... The brake pads and discs on your Sabre, are wear items... They don't degrade on their own over time, only by wear... So when you grind the pad back material against the disc, it's you own fault, for not swapping them in time, right? Not because they mysteriously failed without reason...

How is that different to the CCT's? they are a wear item, that should be replaced regularily, and if they "mysteriously fail" after 5+ years and x miles, I tend to view that as completely normal...

Granted, there have been a few, very few instances of failures after very short time/mileage where it did really come as a complete surprise... But that number is very, very small and almost insignificant... Most failures that have been reported on the forum have been after a significant number of miles, or from botched swaps...

There is nothing wrong with the lifetime expectancy and mileage of the stock CCT's... The only "problem" as I see it is that they tend to fail in a catastrophic way, when they fail... And on that point I agree 100% with you, that's a desing flaw from Honda... It should have been done in another way, so you could safely coast to a stop, get a tow and replace them without grenading the engine...
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:46 PM
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Its not the R/R on mine. I have replaced it and still same problem. Everything that is testable is within spec. Any other ideas?
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:50 AM
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I have one word for you... Ohm...
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Old 09-24-2011, 03:19 AM
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I ordered a new MOSFET kit from ROADSTERCYCLE.com the other day and will be reporting back with my findings. Jack from ROADSTERCYCLE seems very knowledgeable on the subject and is very easy to deal with. $137 shipped for the super deluxe kit. MOSFET, wires, fuse, everything you need, I hope. And I better get a pat on the back from Tweety when I'm done!

Last edited by sheldonsl; 09-24-2011 at 03:24 AM.
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Old 09-30-2011, 09:47 PM
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Problem fixed

Hello all,

So I am going to post this in hope of helping someone with the same problem. My story is long and cost me good chunk of money so I will just cut to the chase.

My hawk would not hold a charge even with 2 battery replacements and 2 rectifier swaps; turned out to be a bad rectifier.
Some advise:

#1. When testing the charging voltage; start with a fully charged battery or else you will get false readings. I made that mistake.
#2. Do not start the bike and disconnect the battery while the bike is running; if the rectifier is bad you will fry stuff. I fried the tach and all of the LED lights (stupid I know).
#3. If you pair a good battery with a bad rectifier it will melt the battery internally (gel battery) in about 2 days and lead you to beleive that you purchased a defective battery.
#4. If you pair a good rectifer with a shorted battery it will cause the rectifer to blow up and leak "rectifer fluid". I think the fluid was some insulating oil or melted glue or some something.
#5. An OEM rectifer off of a R1/R6 gsx'r works swimmingly; my bike even runs better; probably the result of a hotter spark.

I hope this helps someone. Thanx.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Onomea View Post
Posted in another thread, seems like the dreaded symptoms of the R/R going bad-Dead.
Brings back painful memories of pushing my bike about 1/2-1 mile in the hot humid Hawaiian Sun. Uphill Thru traffic in my 2pc leathers. Probably lost about 8# that day.
By the time I got to the Honda Shop(luckily i was going there anyway) I was down to my leather pants. Same thing, gauges out- bike stalls even down hill. Got a new battery at the dealership. Started right up-ran good for the next two days of short trips-dead again. Got my shop manual out and trouble shot per directions. Tested
with omn meter(following steps)=bad rectifier. Got a new replacement (specs for a
Yamaha) with nice fins. Cleaned grounds and recharged the battery. That was about
20K ago? Can't remember, but NO problems since. I was lucky, the terminal/connectors
plugs did not melt. Gave me enough "skeletons in the closet" to want to carry a spare
just in case. Do a search, LOTS of good threads . Good Luck and Ride Well.
Hey. What R/R did you buy to fix this problem. I have the same issue. Do you have a part number by any chance?
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 996thehawk View Post
Hey. What R/R did you buy to fix this problem. I have the same issue. Do you have a part number by any chance?
Alright, I'll make it easy. Read this and this and you should be good to go.

Last edited by Wolverine; 06-07-2013 at 03:13 PM.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolverine View Post
Alright, I'll make it easy. Read this and this and you should be good to go.
Thanks alot man. I appreciate your help. I actually tested my R/R and it turns out its ok.... for now... I did some tests on my Stator and sure enough its bad. Luckily under warranty because the PO bought it 10 months ago. I have a new one coming to me now. Hopefully it'll be good to go after this. Only had the bike for a week and rode it 60 miles and ran into this problem. Can't wait to get back on the road. Take it easy.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by 996thehawk View Post
Thanks alot man. I appreciate your help. I actually tested my R/R and it turns out its ok.... for now... I did some tests on my Stator and sure enough its bad. Luckily under warranty because the PO bought it 10 months ago. I have a new one coming to me now. Hopefully it'll be good to go after this. Only had the bike for a week and rode it 60 miles and ran into this problem. Can't wait to get back on the road. Take it easy.
That's weird. 99%+ of the time it's the R/R on this bike.
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Old 06-14-2013, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by 7moore7 View Post
That's weird. 99%+ of the time it's the R/R on this bike.
Well, the previous owner had a problem with it charging and it was most definitely the R/R about 10 months ago. Well, he decided to go and replace the battery, R/R AND Stator instead of finding the problem and fixing it. So it has an "updated" R/R with fins, most likely a cheap but somewhat better replacement form Rick's Motorsport Electronics in MA. Well after I bought it last week sure enough my brand new Interstate Battery was dead after 47 miles. I did the proper Diode test on the R/R and it checked out. The stator was grounding out though. So I pulled it out and it was burnt out pretty bad. I'm assuming it was from a bad wiring job for the R/R. So I fixed all that up with solder the proper way and got the stator under warranty. Should be putting it back together next week. I'll let you know.
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