After I posted last night, bells started to go off in the brain. This
seemed really familiar to me. Sure enough in March 2005 (I did a
search on the forum and found my original post), I had the EXACT SAME
no start symptom. Guess what fixed it?
Occam's Razor wins again. All else being equal, the simplest solution
is the best. Changing the handlebars was a total red herring, as I
figured when I attached the original wiring but the no start condition
What's amazing is that the battery voltage NEVER fell below 10v,
usually remaining at 11 or so while I was cranking it over.
The clock, once again, was the most accurate indicator. So, here's my
Triumph Trophy Troubleshooting Poem for you:
When the clock runs slow,
It's time for the battery to go.
I guess I can't complain. The AGM battery from Batteries Plus lasted
me three and one half years, which is about two and one half years
longer than the standard batteries I used before that. I am equally
sure that the battery tender also helps.
I am REALLY glad the battery failed two days BEFORE my trip. Could
have been a LOT worse.
I was at my business this morning, and called Batteries Plus with the
old battery number. They had a newer equivalent. Like the older one,
this one was a sealed battery not specifically for our bike, but it
fit and has more cranking power. So, I bought it and took it home.
Before changing it out, I used my battery jumper that I had charged up
last night. Started pretty much immediately, which of course sealed
the deal. Didn't have to pull the plugs or anything else. This may or
may not have anything to do with running Iridium plugs or Nology coils
and HT wires. When this happened the last time, I was running totally
stock and didn't have to pull the plugs then either.
Once I changed out the battery, I again took my trusty voltmeter to
the new battery terminals. First, the bike started almost immediately,
and the battery voltage did not reduce but about a half a volt. This
dip was quite rapid, and once the bike started, the voltage came up
The battery number for Batteries Plus is XTAX16-BS. It is a bit taller
than the stock battery, which causes no problems. It mounts physically
reversed compared with the stock battery (+ on right side) but the
leads all fit fine without modification. About $80 with a $3 core. It
is an AGM maintenance free battery. Battery Tender highly recommended.
Like many of you, I have done most of my own work on a lot of cars,
and virtually all my bikes. I even have a background in
troubleshooting electronics. Even so, diagnosing a bad battery in our
bikes can be confusing and misleading.
As everyone who answered my post yesterday can attest, with these
bikes, and many that use electronic ignition, the battery does not
have to be all the way dead in order for the bike not to start.
Now, you would think that if it had enough juice to turn the starter
motor, that that would be more than enough to fire the ignition, but
it just doesn't seem so. Seems to me, that it is not, per se, a
condition of supplying enough current, but rather being able to
produce a particular voltage level under load that is more important.
I think that's what tends to be misleading. At least it was to me.
Hopefully all this information will help some of you avoid what is
undoubtedly the primary source of the no-start electrical condition.
Having that portable battery jumper lying around is very useful if
this happens at home. On the road, well, probably buying a new battery
is less time consuming than trying to find a shop that knows your bike
or worse, trying to troubleshoot it yourself while far away from your
own workshop. Unless of course you can get a jump from a friendly
Thanks again to everyone who answered my post. You guys are the greatest!
Off on my trip, as scheduled, Friday.
'99 Platinum 900