Yamaha Battery/Charger Problem

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
Houston, we have a problem

Haibike sDuro HardSeven SL 2015 Yamaha

Background to the problem

The plug that locks the charger lead into the Yamaha battery has always to me looked a little fragile.

I am lucky to be able to leave my bike in a room at work where I can also plug in my charger.

Some time ago when I returned to the room to ride home I found that the plastic locking mechanism of the plug had broken, probably by the bike being accidentally knocked over by someone who never made themselves known to me although may not have realized that any damage had been done after righting the bike.

Ironically it was probably the fact that the plug locks in place that made it vulnerable to damage when the bike fell over although if it had been a metal plug I do not think it would have broken. Part of the broken locking cap sheared off and remained lodged in the battery charging socket on the battery and remains there still.

I consider myself very lucky to have a room where I can leave my bike to charge at work and decided not to make a fuss about my broken plug. It did make me realize that the plug is definitely not the most robust design.

Anyway I found that the plug could still be connected and the battery charged although no longer held and it could easily fall out.

I use a neoprene battery cover all of the time and when pushed down to partly cover the charging port this helps to hold the plug in place now. It can occasionally fall out now, but mostly works well enough.

About three months ago at home when I tried to attach the charger I found that I could not. I inspected the battery and found that one of the four pins that the charger plug locates into was slightly bent. I very carefully and gently bent it back so I could attach the plug
and charge the battery.

Anyway on Tuesday night last week I got my battery ready to charge and found that the charger light did not come on. When I inspected the battery and charger I found that the pin that had been bent had totally detached which explained why the charging light had not come on.

A separate issue I had with my charger was that wires from the end that connects to the plug became frayed close to where the cable enters the charger inside the outer casing that led to a short circuit and loud bang and a dead charger. Luckily the fuse protected the charger and I was able to use insulating tape to effect a repair and after replacing the fuse it all worked again.

I carry my charger to work with me in my panniers and the connecting wires are wrapped around the charger to put it in a pannier and unwrapped to charge the battery when I arrive at work and this constant wrapping and unwrapping may not have helped.

Now as I have documented I bought my bike from Martin at Ebike shop in Farnham and have had nothing but top notch after sales customer service when I have required it and found them to be a nice and helpful crowd.

So I dragged out my old B bike (2011 Oxygen Emate City) and used that to get me too and from work for the four shifts I had to do making a note to ring Martin to explain the problem and ask for help. What I expected to be able to do was to give Martin the battery and charger to be sent off to Yamaha to have a new plug connector put on the battery and likewise new leads put on the charger and have to pay a reasonable sum for the repair now that the bike is out of warranty.

What actually happened was that I was told that there was nothing that could be done and I would have to buy a new battery, and that he as a dealer cannot open up the battery and would appear to have no facility to get it repaired.

Now I can understand that Martin may not be able to open up the Yamaha battery but I was taken aback that the battery cannot be sent away to be mended. It just does not sit well that a battery I know to be in good shape and that may have lasted a good deal longer has to be ditched just because it needs a new charging plug fitting.

I have been incredible impressed up to now by the quality of the battery after just over three years usage and just shy of 9000 miles. Right up to the time the plug broke it had performed almost like new although the capacity must have been reducing it was not at all noticeable.

I do not think I am the only person to have had this failure but due to my regular use of the bike to commute to work on might be more vulnerable to this sort of mishap.

Of course I could just slap down the cash and buy a new battery and charger for £800 and carry on, but would be very worried that the plug could break again and in so doing right off potentially both the battery and charger.

That plastic locking plug really worries me now and ironically is not as strong as the metal plug on my oxygen and could fail again.

Martin did say that as the battery is out of warranty there was nothing to stop me effecting a repair myself, but I would be on my own.

So fellow pedalec members, what suggestions would you give me in the position I find myself. Do any of you know of someone or somewhere I could approach to effect a repair? Has one of you been in a similar scrape and got out of it? How did you manage it?

What precautions should I take if I have to open up the battery case?

I am going to take it to a mate of mine tomorrow afternoon who used to be a BT engineer and generally very handy to explain the problem. I have the pin that sheared off. The least intrusive repair is probably best, perhaps as simple as a dab of solder to re-attach the pin.

The battery has about a 60% charge so can last a relatively long time without being charged.

In every other regard up to this point Martin and Ebike shop Farnham have provided excellent service.

Maybe I have an antiquated attitude but it seems just plain wrong to ditch a perfectly good battery and charger that just needs a new plug and lead.
 
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Izzyekerslike

Esteemed Pedelecer
Apr 3, 2015
447
415
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Hi, I'd be very surprised if someone on here doesn't come up with solution. However if you don't get a positive response I have a Yamaha charger that I would let you have £100 + postage.
As to the battery if you need one, I have now had a 480watt Yamaha pattern battery from Allbatteries.co.uk for 15months it cost around £300 and has performed really well.
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
Thanks for your kind offer lzzekerslike, If I have no luck repairing it, an Allbatteries battery and your charger may be the best way forward.
 

GLJoe

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 21, 2017
426
178
UK
The Yamaha charger connector is indeed a very weak link in the reliability chain. They certainly should have chosen a more robust design.
However it is what it is, and as such, you are asking for trouble leaving the bike on charge anywhere where the cable can be knocked, and also constantly moving it too and from work is also going mean its only a matter of time before something bad happens. Given how fragile the charging system is, it seems the logical option is just to suck it up and buy a second charger and leave it in work. Annoying given how expensive the things are, I know!

Not a definitive answer to your problem, but there might be some info to help in this thread:

http://www.pedelecs.co.uk/forum/threads/haibike-yamaha-battery-replacement-options.29754/page-2#post-421997
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
My charger still works, and my battery is still good. It is the broken pin at the battery connection that has me stumped at the moment.

The point I am making is that however careful you might be the weakness of this connection can fail and Raleigh and Yamaha do not offer a repair option.

My connection did at least fail only after three years of use and 9000 miles.

The frustration for me is that there is no facility to send the battery and charger to Raleigh/Yamaha to effect a repair.

If you were very unlucky this could happen just after the warranty had expired on a bike with a low milage and little used battery. The outcome would be the same and you would be asked to buy a new battery and charger.

I know it is symptomatic of our modular throw away society, but it does rather dent the green credentials of riding an electric bike with this system to work and back rather than driving a car to then be told that rather than mend a probably circa £20 plug connector they want you to throw away a perfectly good lithium iron battery and charger and buy new ones. Not very green really.

Anyway for anyone with the same system be warned. Be very careful as if you break this connector you may have written off your battery and charger!

This is the official line of the importers Raleigh.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
Necessity is the mother of invention.
IMG_20180424_171505.jpg
I guess if Raleigh are not going to fix it I am going to have to do it myself!

A mate and I took the plug at the charger end apart to find four colour coded wires. We soldered four appropriately coloured wires onto the wire pegs at the battery shrink wrapping each wire. We also managed to solder the yellow wire onto the metal base of the sheared of peg. We shrink wrapped all the wires together.

To see how we were doing we connected the wires individually to the four wires that we had exposed removing the broken charging plug from the charger.

We turned on the charger and the green light illuminated showing the battery was charging.

We will need to tidy things up now, probably silicon around where the leads enter the battery.

I will buy an appropriate four way connector so that the battery and charger can be easily connected and disconnected and that should be that allowing me to resume my ride to work and back on the Haibike and wear the battery out properly.

It has taken about half an hour so far and the bits will come to less than a tenner. A lot greener than throwing a good battery and charger away, as well as saving the odd £790.

apollo_13_liftoff-ksc-70pc-160hr-4.jpg
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
DIY easy fix for Yamaha Battery/Charger Connection Problem

Well we ended up opening up the battery and soldering the wires directly inside where they cannot be bent or broken.
Yamaha Battery and Charger 013.JPG
Nothing dreadful happened when we opened the battery case and the battery charged just as before when we had put it all back together.
Yamaha Battery and Charger 020.JPG
We used external silicon sealant for where the wires exited the battery case.
Yamaha Battery and Charger 037.JPG
The rather ugly generic four way connector that was less than a fiver hides inside the battery cover.
Yamaha Battery and Charger 046.JPG
We also added the corresponding connector to my charger and opened it up and tidied up and replaced the wires that had become frayed over time.
Yamaha Battery and Charger 012.JPG
My last ride to work on the sDuro was on the 13th of April with a short 20 mile return trip and the milage on the bike and battery reaching 8932. I was then off for four days and discovered my broken connector when I retrieved my battery to charge it on Tuesday evening the 17th April , not suspecting that I was in for a bit of a saga.

I used my trusty and in electric bike terms ancient Oxygen Emate City to get me to work for the ensuing four days of work.

Who knows if I would have bought a new battery and charger if I could not have overcome this problem, but I am still a little flabbergasted that if I was not able to effect this repair that would have been my only option.

I am not due back at work until around the 8th of May when the sDuro will resume service, but it might have to share the odd trip with the super sub Emate city now and then when the start time dictates a road trip too and from work rather than any off road. However I have always taken the old Oxygen on more forgiving off road tracks and found its unsuitability just adds to the fun!

Post Script

The sDuro returned to service on the 8th of May 2018 for three return trips to work and 66 miles. Due to being early shifts these rides were on the road and did not involve any off road elements.

As expected the battery and charger worked as before and my 20 mph average speed 10 mile return trip on the last day (Friday 11/05/18) used 37% of the batteries capacity.

The amount of the batteries capacity that I use on my journeys to work and back has not really changed very much from when the bike was new, which I think shows that the battery and its management system must be pretty good.

Although I love my old Oxygen Emate City the battery on that needed replacing after two years of the same use.

Now that the wires to the charger have been properly tidied up and new connectors added to the charger and battery, connecting the charger to the battery is easier and more secure than before.
 
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mike killay

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 17, 2011
2,653
1,314
Frankly, your experience of Yamaha was disgraceful.
Moral: Don't buy Yamaha (although they make so many things it could be difficult)
 
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wheeliepete

Esteemed Pedelecer
Feb 28, 2016
1,447
487
56
Devon/Dorset
Glad you hear you were able to find a simple solution without parting with £££'s for a connector. As you say, it is utter madness that big manufacturers like Yamaha go to the expense of creating a bespoke fitting which is going to wear or break over time in the real world and make it totally unobtainium as a spare part. They obviously care nothing about the green credentials of their ebike products. Makes me wonder if they apply the same rules to their motorcycles, "sorry, I'm afraid your gear selector shaft oil seal has failed on your R1, you'll be needing a new engine" I think not, but if not, why not?
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
Done another 100 miles since connector fix. This time late shifts allowing me to enjoy some proper off road fun on the way to work. This is the environment where a crank drive comes into its own and my reason for buying the bike, to open up the more demanding routes available to me and get me into the fantastic countryside between where I live and work.
Bike to work post battery connector replacement 001.JPG
Ride to work Thursley 19 05 18 001.JPG
You can see the bulge where my new connector hides beneath the battery cover in the second picture. A total of 214 miles now under my wheels since the fix.
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
Just an update to this thread. When my battery/charger connector broke I thought it very possible that it could happen to someone else.

I was contacted by another pedelec member with the same issue copied below.

Battery Connector Failure

I bought a Haibike sDuro HardSeven SL 2017 Yamaha 4 months ago. I have just suffered exactly the same connector failure that you did back in April except my bike was not knocked over and is still in warrantee. A tiny ring of plastic on the battery connector has broken off and now the connector falls out when you try and charge it. I only noticed when I went to plug in the charger after returning from work.

The response from Haibike via my dealer was

"This is not repairable the customer will need to buy a new battery, Yamaha do not cover this under warranty as the only way it can happen is user error.

(Either the cranks have spun and hit it or the bike has fallen over whilst the charger is attached) "

I bought the bike on the bicycle to work scheme and was expecting to commute on it for several years and was not expecting it to have a connector with such an obvious design flaw. I am sure even if I agreed to buy another £800 battery for a £1300 bike the same thing will happen again long before the life of the bike. It is a shame as otherwise the bike is in perfect condition.

Obviously I will not be excepting that response. "

I replied

#154
Sorry to hear of our similar battery/charger issue.

Your situation highlights that their customer service is even worse than I thought as your bike is under warranty and they still will not fix it.

As I have shown, with care it is just a matter of replacing the Yamaha connectors (which are a bit crap anyway) with in my case a generic four way connector bought very cheaply of ebay.

My very handy ex BT friend did the tricky opening up of the battery and soldiering of the wires directly inside before re-securing the battery case and water proofing the opening where the lead emerges.

I did joke with him that he could probably set up a service on ebay that due to the deplorable customer service offered to people with this problem and the likely hood of it happening might get more takers than he might expect. Especially when the cost of a new charger and battery is taken into consideration.

I am sure that Jimmy at insat would be able to do the same sort of repair.

Also Dave who offers his services part time in a bike shop in the midlands said he would have been able to repair a problem like mine brought into the shop. He is now deleted member 4366

Joking apart my friend is very good at fixing virtually anything he puts a mind to and now after selling his pub 10 years ago (Freehouse) works for himself very successfully doing mainly garden maintenance (mostly mowing large surrey lawns, cutting hedges etc, with the odd small building project), although being surrey he has had to re wire the odd classic car and service and get going a few classic motorbikes.

I must admit that I was feeling a little bit more optimistic about keeping my out of warranty bike going without having to resort to buying brand new expensive parts by my own dealer (ebikeshop Farnham) offering a main bearing change for £80 same day turn a round and after watching "The Bearing Man's" video offering a similar service but also a more comprehensive motor overhaul if required.

Then I made another comment after realizing

Actually thinking about your issue I realize that if you change the connectors on your battery and charger while warranty remains you absolve the company from fixing any other warranty issue that may arise with either item.

I think this is more about the service or lack of service that the importers Raleigh are offering (though I might be wrong) and is just not good enough.

After all they don't mind taking your money to sell you it in the first place. I am sure that this connector has failed and will continue to fail for other people.

My replacement generic connector off Ebay was under a tenner. Are they seriously saying it is not their responsibility to replace this weak link and that you should throw away an almost new battery and charger. Madness. I am sure that if this issue was more widely publisized they would quickly back down as it would effect peoples decision whether to buy in the first place.



As to my own fixed and replaced battery and charger connectors.

They are still working brilliantly and my original battery is still going strong after powering me through another Winter of riding to work and back and my bike has completed a further 1724 miles since the battery/charger connector plug fix was completed and the bike 10702 miles to my place of work and back since I bought it in March 2015.

A picture from yesterdays sunny ride to work
Ride to work Feb 19 sunny 007.JPG
 
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RaBirdman

Just Joined
Apr 2, 2019
2
1
Almost the same problem here. Bike is about 8 months old and I think the pedels got turned while plugged in and broke the plastic battery ring off inside the charger plug. This was after the bike was about 3-4 months old, was told same thing from dealer that essentially to bad its not covered by warranty. I have until today been able to very carefully plug it in and get it to recharge.
Unfortunately today something went wrong when plugging it in and a couple of pins most have touched as it made a a shorting sound and left a terrible smell in the office.
I am only writing to confirm that this must be happening quite often and is indeed a bad design, hopefully someone will read this and look for other options as there are many that won't leave you in this situation.
I noticed that one of the pins in the battery is no longer visible and because it will not function I am going to attempt to see if the fix you described will work before dropping about $1200 (US) for a new battery and charger and praying this doesnt happen again. I started using a reusable zip tie around the crank when charging to help ensure this doesnt happen. pretty sad that you have to use a zip tie on a $4K bike.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
Sorry to hear that RaBirdman.

I thought when I first had this problem that I was unlikely to be the only one.

All the manufacturers need is a competent electrician available wherever this system is sold to replace the connector for clients when it breaks. That simple.

Although I did not make an exhaustive search the connector may well have been made specifically for Yamaha and is not generally available.

When we fixed mine we had to overcome the security screws to gain access to the inside of the battery case to solder the wires into place. That did not worry me too much as my bike was by then out of warranty and my dealer had pretty much said that although he could not help there was nothing to stop me effecting my own repair.

However this is still in my opinion really poor customer service (from the manufacturer not my dealer) especially as they take the same attitude when it happens to a bike within the warranty period.

There is a protection fuse in the plug of my UK Yamaha battery charger that should blow if you get a short circuit. This happened to me and I used electrical tape to effect a repair and replaced the fuse with no harm done.

When my friend repaired the battery connections he also sorted out the connection to the charger.

If you also have a protection fuse it should have blown protecting your battery and charger from a short circuit and you may still be able to replace the connectors as I did and replace the fuse and find all is well.

Good luck.
 
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Eagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 31, 2012
381
134
How can it be poor customer service from the manufacturer when two customers’ battery connectors have suffered damage due to:
1. A work colleague tripping over the charger cable
2. Owner operating the pedals whilst charger is connected to the battery?

Whilst I do sympathise with both of you, would it not be much safer in future to charge the battery off the bike and away from possible interference from flailing limbs?

I am sure that everybody is familiar with laptops being damaged in a similar manner by somebody tripping over the charger cable, causing the laptop to be scrapped or needing an expensive repair.
The laptop manufacturers do not entertain warranty claims in such circumstances, so why should Haibike be any different?
 
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georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
The issue is that this connector is prone to failure and cost me almost nothing to change and was actually easy to fix by my friend with some electrical knowledge but I was lucky as we had no guidance and anyone who faces this failure really should be able to have it fixed by their dealer at a reasonable cost.

Are you saying that you think is perfectly fine to throw away a perfectly serviceable and very expensive battery and charger with a lot of life left in it for the price of a £10 electrical connector because I certainly do not.
 

georgehenry

Esteemed Pedelecer
Nov 7, 2015
701
649
Surrey
I just checked and I am 11 days short of a year since my connectors broke.

I have completed 1924 miles since mending my connectors with the battery and charger showing every sign of lasting a lot longer still.

The battery and charger are obviously high quality items and it would have been extremely wasteful to have thrown them away as the only option given by the manufacturer for the want of an inexpensive replacement connector.

My other electric bike is a old Oxygen Emate city with generic Chinese battery and charger with a metal connector plug that is much sturdier than the Yamaha one.

I am actually very impressed by my Yamaha powered Haibike and have now completed 10856 miles since I bought it in 2015 but I think it is not unreasonable to expect the dealer to be able to fix it.
 

Eagle

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 31, 2012
381
134
Are you saying that you think is perfectly fine to throw away a perfectly serviceable and very expensive battery and charger with a lot of life left in it for the price of a £10 electrical connector because I certainly do not.
Where did I suggest that the connector could not be repaired?

I am making the point that, just as with a laptop damaged by accident, the manufacturer is perfectly correct to reject a warranty claim.

I also disagree with your claim that this connector is prone to failure. There is nothing wrong with it.
I raised this exact point with my Haibike dealer before my purchase of my Sduro FullSeven.

He showed me exactly how to connect and disconnect the charger to/from the battery.
He warned me about tripping over the cable and suggested charging the battery off the bike to minimise that risk.

He replied that in 6 years only one connector had failed (more correctly the owner admitted he had accidently damaged the unit whilst on charge).
 

soundwave

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 23, 2015
9,951
4,116
a mag safe connector would make more sense tbh esp for on bike charging but i have never used the charger with the batt on the bike but with bosch it is not direct to the batt but would still get damaged if you tripped over the cable and ripped it out.

jimmy at insat could have done a better job tbh :cool:
 

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