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Ski Doctor
Ski Doctor, powersports repair specialist
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience:  over a decade of double time experience, excellent electrical and mechanical diagnosis capabilties
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Honda foreman not charging the battery

Customer Question

honda foreman not charging the battery
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Motorcycle
Expert:  Ski Doctor replied 6 years ago.

the honda foreman is generally a very reliable atv. i have very rarely repaired electrical components on this model.

the first test you should do is have the battery load tested. you can charge the battery for a few hours, but let the battery sit uncharged for at least 12 hours, to allow it to either hold the voltage if it is good, or it will drain voltage if it is bad.

remove the battery, and take it to your local motorcycle shop, or auto parts store. they will perform a load test, which will determine if the battery is good or bad. EVEN IF YOUR BATTERY IS 3 MONTHS OLD GET IT LOAD TESTED!! the load test is free, and this will let us know that we are working with a good battery. from this point after we know the battery is good or bad, we can continue with diagnosing the rest of the charging system.

the battery is very important in this atv, because you charging system regenerates the battery. your ignition system is battery powered, so if your battery is bad or weak your atv will stall out, and lose spark and ignition because the battery cannot sustain the ignition system if it is bad.

so remove the battery, take it to your bike shop or auto parts store and get it load tested. then and there we will know if we are working with a bad or good battery.

from there, we can continue to diagnose the system if the battery does not fix it, or the battery is bad.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

ski doctor,


the battery is a new battery. I understand it may still be bad but I replaced the battery about two years ago and this year when it did not hold a charge I replaced it about a week ago. Supposedly is was charged when I left the battery house. Put it on the Foremand and used it for severa hours that day. approx 36 hours later the battery would not start the atv as it did not have enough "juice" but I did manage to start it with the recoil rope. Charged the battery on a Wednesday and on Satruday (today) the battery was dead.


Put a volt meter on the atv today while it was running and get very few (4 to 6) after charging the battery for a few minutes. But the atv was running and we are not getting any volts.


So while I will try your first reply, I don't think we have a bad battery.



Expert:  Ski Doctor replied 6 years ago.


i do understand that you did replace the battery( which was not noted before, so i assumed it was not replaced)

because you ran the atv on the battery, and your charging system is obviously not working(now i know you just replaced the battery) you have probably damaged the battery by running it down to 0 volts.

if the battery tests bad, you need to replace it. if the battery tests good, i highly you at least change it for a new one, so your battery memory is not vastly damaged like on the new one.

by running the battery down to 0 volts, it has ruined the memory and that battery will not last a year. a good new battery properly maintained will last at least a few years. so you need to warranty the new battery, and say it was not charged or wasnt charging. they will honor their warranty, then we can start with a fresh battery to do testing.

the first tests we will do is run the atv and check voltage at the battery posts with the voltmeter or (multimeter on the DC volts setting) at idle speed.(you said you checked it, but i want to start from step 1, so i know all the test results as they happen)(no offense) after you check at idle speed, rev up engine about 1/3 and read results.

i am sure your results will be at 6 or less, and will probably go down as you rev the engine, and the ignition system starts to draw voltage off the battery.

we will continue from there to test your charging system, including the stator(which produces ac voltage) to the regulator/rectifier(which changes the ac voltage to dc voltage, and then regulates what goes back to the battery for proper charging voltage).

you will most likely need to replace your stator assembly and your regulator/rectifier(this is one component) as it is probably damaged by the bad stator.

after you replace the battery, test the idle speed and 1/3 throttle speed, and read me your results.

thanks for the patience, and we will get this problem fixed.

PLEASE let me know if i need to explain something again more clearly. i sometimes catch myself going on about stuff)

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

OK. I will get a new battery and then will test voltage as per you recommendations. Will let you know the results as soon as get that done.



Expert:  Ski Doctor replied 6 years ago.

great! i know that the battery was new, but the discharge that you did on it will never let the batter ywork the same.

after the battery is warranty replaced, let me know what voltage at the battery terminals are at idle and 1/3 throttle. we will continue from there.

thanks for your patience, and we will solve this puzzle.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

OK. New fully charged battery shows 12.89 volts with out the atv running. When I start the atv the volts go done very slowly like it's using voltage from the battery and not getting any charge from the engine while running.


Checked the frame ground and it looked ok but I still loosened, cleaned and put back together.


Checked voltage on the red wire going to the rectifier and getting the 12 plus volts. Did not know how to check past that. I can change the rectifier but not the stator. Do you think it worth trying to change the rectifier? Can that keep the batter from charging?



Expert:  Ski Doctor replied 6 years ago.

yes, the rectifier/regulator can prevent the battery from charging the battery.

the problem with teh regulator/rectifier unit is that when the charging stator goes bad, the voltage spike at first and then lack of voltage will usually damage it.

before we start to replace parts, we need to check teh chargign stator first. you need to locate the plug on teh flywheel cover of the engine. on your atv, the stator cover is on the very back cover of the motor. on the left side of your atv at the back cover, there is a big plug coming out to the left side(if looking at the back of teh atv) which will have about 5 or 6 wires on it. the plug is big and round.

when you locate that plug, you will see 3 like color wires on it. when you see the like color wires, tell me you have them in hand, and tell me the wire color that is the same on 3 of teh wires in that connector.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

OK will check this P.M. Have to work today.



Expert:  Ski Doctor replied 6 years ago.


please reply to me when you are ready to continue

Ski Doctor, powersports repair specialist
Category: Motorcycle
Satisfied Customers: 818
Experience: over a decade of double time experience, excellent electrical and mechanical diagnosis capabilties
Ski Doctor and other Motorcycle Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

OK. I have ordered a new Rectifier as that I can change and am willing to take a chance on with the new battery. If I don't get voltage with the new Rectifier then I will have to bring to a shop to look at he Stator or Wiring Harness.


Will let you know how it comes out.

Expert:  Ski Doctor replied 6 years ago.

that will work, but you needed to test the stator too. its bad to order a part, wait a week, then need another part after you already ordered one and wait another week. if you have a multimeter with ohms setting we can test your stator to make sure it is good or bad!!

let me know if you want to test it, but you have to have a multimeter to do so.

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