Supercap battery replacement - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 25 Old 10-31-2017, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Supercap battery replacement

Has anyone done this mod to their bike? Essentially taking a bank of super capacitors and wiring them up with a balancing circuit and sticking them in the battery compartment. They're very quick to charge, really durable, basically maintenance-free (no worries about battery memory or degradation) and they'll last for as long (or longer) than the bike does. Only cons I've observed are the obvious danger of fast-discharging components (don't stick your hand between terminals...) and the fact they tend to lose their charge over about a week with certain cell balancing techniques.

I just put on a kickstarter (many thanks to souperdoo on youtube! not sure who he is on here...) on my '06 and I'm kind of interested in unique mods so naturally supercapacitors piqued my interest.

I've got next to no electrical experience, so any advice is appreciated! I love to learn new stuff and this seems like a fun project to help learn about automotive electronics.

(of course, if this is completely batsh*t insane [or just a bad idea for someone with as little technical knowledge as me] then I won't look any further than this initial research stage)

Thanks!

Last edited by insan3guy; 10-31-2017 at 10:06 PM.
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post #2 of 25 Old 11-01-2017, 05:30 AM
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You might want to take a look at using one of the battery eliminator capacitors that are available, and used on older bikes. I have one on my '71 Bonneville that works just fine. I do have to make sure that everything other than the ignition is turned off as the charging system output when kicking it over is marginal and just barely enough to fire the coils. This link is directed at older brittish bikes, but the priciple should work. The only issues would be the output of the alternator and the power required by the electronic ignition system on the KLR. I'm pretty sure one could rig a switch to cut all other power drains until the bike was running.

https://www.lowbrowcustoms.com/briti...SABEgJo4fD_BwE
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post #3 of 25 Old 11-01-2017, 05:32 PM
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My first two questions would be:

1) How long will the capacitors hold a charge with the bike parked.
2) How many times will they spin the engine over out in the woods when you are having starting problems and trouble shooting.

I don't think I would like the answers.
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post #4 of 25 Old 11-01-2017, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehighways View Post
You might want to take a look at using one of the battery eliminator capacitors that are available, and used on older bikes. I have one on my '71 Bonneville that works just fine. I do have to make sure that everything other than the ignition is turned off as the charging system output when kicking it over is marginal and just barely enough to fire the coils. This link is directed at older brittish bikes, but the priciple should work. The only issues would be the output of the alternator and the power required by the electronic ignition system on the KLR. I'm pretty sure one could rig a switch to cut all other power drains until the bike was running.

https://www.lowbrowcustoms.com/briti...SABEgJo4fD_BwE
This is a similar idea, just with multiple larger caps in series to get the required voltage instead of a single small one. Theoretically, the pack shouldn't have any trouble starting the bike even with lights on.

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Originally Posted by GoMotor View Post
My first two questions would be:

1) How long will the capacitors hold a charge with the bike parked.
2) How many times will they spin the engine over out in the woods when you are having starting problems and trouble shooting.

I don't think I would like the answers.
Ah, but you see.... these are only problems for those who don't have a kickstarter installed on their bike.

1) from what I've heard they'll hold a charge for about a week. Personally, I ride at least 3-4 times per week.
2) they'll spin the engine for as long as they hold any charge at all. They don't do the same thing as conventional batteries where the starter slows down if there's a lower charge - that sucker'll spin at full speed or not at all.

Myself, I'm loving these answers

Last edited by insan3guy; 11-01-2017 at 08:26 PM.
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-01-2017, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehighways View Post
The only issues would be the output of the alternator and the power required by the electronic ignition system on the KLR. I'm pretty sure one could rig a switch to cut all other power drains until the bike was running.
Generation 1 KLR ignition is powered by separate and independent stator exciter coils. The power from these coils is dedicated entirely to the ignition; ain't no other power drains in the ignition power circuit. Cutting any other power circuit would be of no consequence to the ignition circuit.
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post #6 of 25 Old 11-01-2017, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Generation 1 KLR ignition is powered by separate and independent stator exciter coils. The power from these coils is dedicated entirely to the ignition; ain't no other power drains in the ignition power circuit. Cutting any other power circuit would be of no consequence to the ignition circuit.
Excellent - This is the kind of stuff I was looking for.

So this would mean that even with a completely dead/nonfunctional battery then you would still be able to run the engine (if not the lights), correct?
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post #7 of 25 Old 11-02-2017, 12:53 AM
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In adition to the ignition Cicuit, the Headlight, Tail light, Gauge Illumination Lights, Coolant Temperature Guage and the Neutral Indicator light (assuming you start the bike in Neutral) are all "On" any time the Key is in the "On" position. One would be advised to disable these cicuits if you are trying to use a battery eliminator. Just the power required to run the CDI Module may well prove problematical. Those who convert the older Points and Condensor Ignition bikes to Electronic Ignition often find that the bike is now extremely difficult to start, if not impossible.
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post #8 of 25 Old 11-02-2017, 03:07 AM
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Here is a Gen 1 Wiring Diagram. This should help to sort out which circuits to interrupt when trying to Kick Start the Bike with a Battery Eliminator / Capacitor.

Last edited by Bluehighways; 08-31-2018 at 01:20 AM.
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post #9 of 25 Old 11-02-2017, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Bluehighways View Post
Here is a Gen 1 Wiring Diagram. This should help to sort out which circuits to interrupt when trying to Kick Start the Bike with a Battery Eliminator / Capacitor.
Insan3guy asked, "So this would mean that even with a completely dead/nonfunctional battery then you would still be able to run the engine (if not the lights), correct?"

My answer is, "Yes."

From the Generation 1 (I assume that's posted above) wiring diagram, one can trace ignition power from the (two) exciter coils of the stator; everything else electrical on the bike is separate and isolated from the ignition power circuit. Thus, shutting down lights, etc., is of NO CONSEQUENCE regarding kick-starting the KLR; the ignition power remains purely a function of alternator rpm on the kick-through alone.

The AC voltage from the exciter coils is NOT rectified externally; does NOT interface with the battery circuit at all (Generation 1). Notice: 3-phase current flows through the rectifier/regulator, while the exciter coil current flows directly to the CDI unit. Shutting off the lights ain't gonna help kick-start a Generation 1 KLR650, while a healthy kick might!

I have spoken.
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Last edited by Damocles; 11-02-2017 at 10:28 AM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 11-02-2017, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by insan3guy View Post
Excellent - This is the kind of stuff I was looking for.

So this would mean that even with a completely dead/nonfunctional battery then you would still be able to run the engine (if not the lights), correct?
insan3guy,
I personally would not desire to kick start my 1987 KLR650 10-30 times per day. Even if it started on the 1st kick 80% of the time.

The pivot Stop on the lever and clevis were Not engineered strong enough to endure continuous usage.
As that area wears, the foot lever angles beyond 90 degrees and your foot slips off, more & more often.

pdwestman
Modify at "YOUR OWN RISK"!

Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 84,000+ miles & counting
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