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#827927 10/27/20 1:41 pm
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My B50 has a battery and capacitor just like the stock set up. I removed the box and mounted all the components under the seat. I don't have an ignition switch, just a toggle switch and the rectifier and zener have been replaced with a Podtronics unit. I still run points. Wiring harness obviously isn't stock because of the changes. The bike starts right up on the battery from cold if the cap is disconnected. It starts right up on the cap from cold if the battery is disconnected. If both are connected, it takes a half an hour to forty-five minutes of kicking to get it to start from cold. Once it has started, it fires right up with both connected. Any thoughts as to why? I am assuming it is something in the way I wired it.

Ed from NJ

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Something is wrong, but not sure what. All my bikes have batteries and capacitors and start with both connected as per the standard circuit as long as the battery is good. If the battery is dead then I remove the fuse and the bike will start on capacitor alone with Boyer ignition.

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The only part that makes sense it its being a B50 that won’t start.


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edunham Offline OP
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I haven't tried another battery or done a load test on the one in it, but I am starting to wonder if it is a bad battery. My 250 used to start up in a couple of kicks on the cap with a dead battery without disconnecting the battery. This electrical stuff is a mystery to me!

Ed from NJ

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First of all IME the B50 is one of the most sensitive bikes to start.
After a couple of pints I would describe it as a real bitch.
I suspect that your battery is well on the way to going to battery hell.
Quite possibly a bad cell.
With the capacitor disconnected the battery has only to power one set of points which it probably can do with just 9 or 10 volts.
With the battery disconnected the capacitor is doing what it is designed to do.
With both battery and capacitor connected I suspect that the capacitor is discharging into a bad cell and very little electrical energy is left for ignition.
My next step would be to load test the battery or if you don't have a load tester then try substituting a known good battery.
No need to fully instal it--just jump the second battery while making sure that the first battery is out of circuit.
BTW---IMHO a battery load tester is a really good tool to have.
If you are in US you can get a reasonable one for about $35--well worth the money.
Even new batteries are often total crap these days (made in C----).
A friend of mine with a HD asked for my help as he had a bad battery and had bought a new one but it made no difference.
"Cant understand it" he said "it is a new battery so it can't be the battery".
I load tested the battery--totally crap.
He took it back to the store and returned with another new one.
I load tested it before he fitted it--again total crap.
He rook it back to the store and got another new one which was OK.
Three new batteries to get a good one!
HTH

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I agree probably a bad battery. In lieu of having a load tester, you can perform a load test with a headlight bulb; it just takes a little longer. After charging the battery, hook up the headlight bulb for five to ten minutes. If the battery is ok, the voltage will drop into the high elevens, but will recover to over twelve when the bulb is disconnected.

I too have seen my share of bad brand new batteries. Also, if a dealer tells you a battery is fully charged when you get it, don't believe him. Always put a full charge on a new battery before putting it into service.


Mark Z

'65(lower)/'66(upper, wheels, front end, controls)/'67(seat, exhaust, fuel tank, headlamp)/'70(frame) A65 Bitsa.
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I have a spare battery that appears to be good. I will plug it in tonight and report back tomorrow!

Ed from NJ

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My battery read 12. 7 volts. Turning the ignition on dropped that to 11.7 volts. Turning the headlight on dropped that to 11.4 volts. So I guess the battery is not up to snuff. My spare was not much better. 12.5 volts at rest, 11.9 with the ignition on and 11.3 with the headlight on. Interestingly, I think the bike idles better when cold on just the cap instead of just the battery.
In years of screwing around with these things, I never thought about how the cap worked and did not realize that you should disconnect the battery if you are going to run on the cap. Seems obvious now. As I mentioned previously, my 250 ran for years on the cap with a dead battery in place that was still connected.
Right now, it starts right up from cold on the cap, so I think I will just dispense with the battery. That is the way my 441 is set up and it always starts right up.

Ed from NJ

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I don't like running around just on the capacitor, I run lights on so pulsing lights at traffic signals plus stalling as well. The capacitor is a good get you home if your battery dies and for off road but in traffic I prefer strong lighting.

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I fitted a capacitor to my A65, it’s always in use. Fuse each one individually so when you need to run with out the battery you can just take the fuse out.

I have 3 phase charging on my bikes which helps if you need lights on. It’ll tick over with a 55w main beam and brake light on without a problem.


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I have a fuse on the battery and insulated connectors on the cap so it is easy to disconnect one or the other (although I do have to take off the side cover). I don't tour anymore and I rarely ride at night. NJ doesn't require lights on during the day. I haven't had a problem with stalling (maybe I set my idle too high, 1100-1200 rpm). So I think that I will simply dispense with the battery. Having a bunch of bikes means batteries are a constant PITA. One reason I like magnetos.
Regarding the lights on during the day requirement: when I was younger I always rode with my lights on because I thought it was safer. I don't think so anymore. Back then, cars didn't have their headlights on during the day and a bike with its headlight on really caught the eye. Kind of like the third high brake light on cars when they first came out. Now everything has its lights on, all the cars have the third high brake light and all we see is a sea of lights.
I don't think riding without lights is safer, I just don't think riding with them is safer any more. No one sees you anyway.

Ed from NJ

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I’ve had a few people pull out on me whilst running with lights on during day light hours is silly. I no longer run with lights on in daylight hours and haven’t had another person pull out on me (so far so lucky) I think the bobbing up and down from the forks gives people the impression your flashing them to pull out.

I agree about batteries being a pita. I decent battery that gets swapped between bikes is preferred by me. But a bit of a faff also. Luckily that some of my Bikes are running caps or Boyer power boxes.


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Lights
No Lights
Don't Matter
They are ALL our to get ya.

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i think the bsa engineers may have thought a battery was a good idea for some reason


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Originally Posted by Ignoramus
i think the bsa engineers may have thought a battery was a good idea for some reason

I doubt engineers had anything to do with the decision. Probably more to do with the charging systems capability at that time and Lucas may have made that recommendation.


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Both store energy in the form of electricity, and both have life-spans.
batteries, shorter., 3 to 5 years.
Capacitors, longer, about 10-15 years, whether in use, or left on the shelf.

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Originally Posted by Allan G
I think the bobbing up and down from the forks gives people the impression your flashing them to pull out.
Run with lights without a battery and they'll really think you're flashing lights at them, especially at intersections.


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Originally Posted by Irish Swede
Both store energy in the form of electricity, and both have life-spans.
batteries, shorter., 3 to 5 years.
Capacitors, longer, about 10-15 years, whether in use, or left on the shelf.

I think your take on this is rather ancient.
Caps are much better than they used to be.
Many electrolytic s last much longer than 50,000 hrs at high temps and full load.
Solid types have huge lifespans when not subjected to overload.

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Originally Posted by DavidP
Originally Posted by Allan G
I think the bobbing up and down from the forks gives people the impression your flashing them to pull out.
Run with lights without a battery and they'll really think you're flashing lights at them, especially at intersections.


I kinda agree and disagree but this is relative to what charging system you have.

On the stand at tick over I don’t see any difference in the main beam, back brake on and with/without revving the engine. I think a 100w bulb might make a difference (in fact I know it will at tick over as I used to run with one on a battery system) and I had to just raise the tick over if I had the headlight on. (It was the only bulb I had at the time)

But I have a high output 3 phase setup, theres enough Power to support a sensible electric setup.

A standard RM19/21 will be a different kettle of fish I think.


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honestly im so out of touch with what modern land rockets use or dont use these day .......DANG someone even told me they have indicators now and the gear change is on the wrong side? ..........it will never catch on!

But do modern bikes use a lead acid battery or a capacitor ..........that will kind of tell you which is best ?

If someone says the MotoGP bikes use Caps then i will hold my tongue ........for a while anyway

Sure the GP bikes dont use indicators ....i dont recall Valentino indicating his intent to pull out and over take ( I've always thought those guys need to show more road manners ) ,,,,,BUT they do use a *[***] load of electronics which sure would need a "clean" power supply


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But do modern bikes use a lead acid battery or a capacitor ..........that will kind of tell you which is best ?

Neither, universal use of starter motors has killed the capacitor, lead acid is now lithium. Ask again in a week for a different answer.

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Originally Posted by Allan G
lucky) I think the bobbing up and down from the forks gives people the impression your flashing them to pull out.

Many a car driver has made the prosecution case against himself by telling the Police that the motorcyclist flashed a signal for him to pull out.

“What does that mean, Sir?”


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Originally Posted by kommando
Quote
But do modern bikes use a lead acid battery or a capacitor ..........that will kind of tell you which is best ?

Neither, universal use of starter motors has killed the capacitor, lead acid is now lithium. Ask again in a week for a different answer.

yep lithium didnt even occur to me ..........so do u know what the GP bikes use?

however i do know that a friend who owns a bike shop sure sells a lot of lead acid batteries still, all of which have to go by "hazardous goods courier" even if the acid isnt actually in the battery........more expense for sod all advantage i recon


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I believe the GP bikes are now running on uranium rods coupled in parallel. wink

The GP bikes are probably stripped of most charging mechanisms and have a battery to supply enough power to last the race. They won’t be running Boyer mk4 ignitions but something which uses very little power and costs a fortune.

Modern motorcycles don’t have a kickstarter so they need something which a decent output to start the thing.

The cap will hold enough power to last a few seconds (A few pips of the horn will drain it) but relative to The supply imposed on it , but essentially it’s evening out the current flow. And in that single instance works like a battery. So providing you have a charging system big enough to give enough output to keep that capacitor charged at tick over it’s not a bad thing to have.

It’s lighter, it won’t die if left discharged like a battery will and fairly maintenance free. It also takes up a lot less space than a battery.

Also if you a kind hearted soul you can also lend your battery out to a mate when your out and about and you both need to get somewhere (should you have both fitted) which is why I come to fitting a cap to mine.


Now let’s all have a beer beerchug

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yeah but the GP bikes have so much electronics.......computerized everything all that would drain a fair bit i would say, they even have computerized traction control the list goes on


"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)
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