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Mike
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359 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always plug my battery in to the battery tender. However, this past week I tried starting it on several occassions and it wouldn't turn over fast enough to make it start. I thought the thing was getting weak earlier this summer, but I thought I could limp it along by keeping it plugged in and 'charged'. Is this a good sign that I need a new battery or could something be draining the battery? It's an '03 with 20,000+ miles and original battery.

Mike
 

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Color me Gone
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27,333 Posts
My guess is the battery is done. One thing to keep in mind when nursing a bad battery is that it puts extra load on the stator and regulator and could easily cost you a lot more in the end doing it that way.
 

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1130cc.comaholic
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13,241 Posts
I would say it's time for a new batterey.

I've actually been surprised how long my battery has lasted, I've got an 02 with almost 10k miles and my batterey is still going strong, and the only time I plug it in is in the winter when I'm not riding most days.

my last bike I had to switch battery's twice in 3 years (but I think I had wiring problems)
 

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1130cc Ninja
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3,972 Posts
yes definitely change the battery, it will be less costly than having to change out your stater when it goes bad from having to work so hard to charge that bad battery.
 

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Blowin' Smoke
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2,647 Posts
I know it doesn't seem to make sense, but I only keep the battery tender plugged in until it indicates fully charged. I don't leave the battery on the tender indefinitely, and my original battery was still strong after 5 years (now replaced because of age). I also only use the tender in the winter when I may not ride for two weeks or more.

I have been following the battery threads here for years, and have seen many threads start like this: "Help...my battery is only 1 1/2 years old and seems to be failing...always keep it on the tender..." you get the picture. I have come to believe that leaving the tender on indefinitely weakens the battery for some reason, over time.

I recommend using a tender for storage, but if you are not using the vehicle, use a tender with a 'charged' condition indicator and take it off when it indicates full charge. A week or two later, plug it back in for a day or two, until it indicates 'full charge' again then remove. I believe you will be rewarded with a longer-lasting battery.
 

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1130cc Ninja
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3,972 Posts
vroder said:
I know it doesn't seem to make sense, but I only keep the battery tender plugged in until it indicates fully charged. I don't leave the battery on the tender indefinitely, and my original battery was still strong after 5 years (now replaced because of age). I also only use the tender in the winter when I may not ride for two weeks or more.

I have been following the battery threads here for years, and have seen many threads start like this: "Help...my battery is only 1 1/2 years old and seems to be failing...always keep it on the tender..." you get the picture. I have come to believe that leaving the tender on indefinitely weakens the battery for some reason, over time.

I recommend using a tender for storage, but if you are not using the vehicle, use a tender with a 'charged' condition indicator and take it off when it indicates full charge. A week or two later, plug it back in for a day or two, until it indicates 'full charge' again then remove. I believe you will be rewarded with a longer-lasting battery.
VERY good advise!!!!:notworth:
 

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250 Posts
From what I've read and been told, batteries die for two reasons: heat and being allowed to sit in a discharged state for too long. Batteries can get low if used for a lot of short trips (not enough time to replace the amp/hours that get taken out by starting up.) A battery in a very hot climate, or one that was run completely flat several times probably could go bad in just a year or two.

Sometimes people say "tender" when they really mean a trickle-charger. Any charger that doesn't monitor the voltage can and will damage the battery by overcharging it (heat damage.) Maybe this is the cause of some of the reports of premature failure.

I'd say using a BatteryTender (or other brand of automatic charger that provides a safe "float" charge) can only prolong the life of your battery. I don't think BMW, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Consumer News, MMI, and AMI would endorse them if they didn't work.
 

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Premium Member
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6,248 Posts
vroder said:
... I recommend using a tender for storage, but if you are not using the vehicle, use a tender with a 'charged' condition indicator and take it off when it indicates full charge. A week or two later, plug it back in for a day or two, until it indicates 'full charge' again then remove. I believe you will be rewarded with a longer-lasting battery.
It probably doesn't hurt anything to do what you suggest: "only use the battery tender for long term storage and unplug after fully charged". But I have yet to damage a battery from 24/7 battery tender use. The trickle charge feature has never damaged a battery that I have used these on.

I have the following batteries that get plugged in as soon as I park them and only get unplugged when in use:
1) 2002 VRSCA still running the original battery.
2) 1994 vintage optima battery in my garage queen 911
3) 2000 vintage optima battery in my Subaru
4) 2000 vintage battery in my Garden tractor

These are all AGM batteries, and this feature may contribute to their long life, but the battery chemists I know say the most damaging things are deep discharge (most non "deep cycle" batteries can only survive a few deep discharges to <10.5 volts before failure) and corrosion (sulfate formation) that occurs over time but is especially vigorous when a battery is discharged (and compounded by hot environments).

I find it more damaging to use a vehicle battery in a way where it doesn't get fully charged before parking it and then not recharging it at that time. This is easy to do for many people who live a short distance from their shopping areas or job. Using a vehicle for short trips drains a battery quickly because each starting cycle drains more power than a short drive can replenish.
 

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1130cc Ninja
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3,972 Posts
stever975 said:
It probably doesn't hurt anything to do what you suggest: "only use the battery tender for long term storage and unplug after fully charged". But I have yet to damage a battery from 24/7 battery tender use. The trickle charge feature has never damaged a battery that I have used these on.

I have the following batteries that get plugged in as soon as I park them and only get unplugged when in use:
1) 2002 VRSCA still running the original battery.
2) 1994 vintage optima battery in my garage queen 911
3) 2000 vintage optima battery in my Subaru
4) 2000 vintage battery in my Garden tractor

These are all AGM batteries, and this feature may contribute to their long life, but the battery chemists I know say the most damaging things are deep discharge (most non "deep cycle" batteries can only survive a few deep discharges to <10.5 volts before failure) and corrosion (sulfate formation) that occurs over time but is especially vigorous when a battery is discharged (and compounded by hot environments).

I find it more damaging to use a vehicle battery in a way where it doesn't get fully charged before parking it and then not recharging it at that time. This is easy to do for many people who live a short distance from their shopping areas or job. Using a vehicle for short trips drains a battery quickly because each starting cycle drains more power than a short drive can replenish.
i have a few drive on a sunny sad vehicles and they all have optima yellow tops in them.. half the time I go to crank a car I have to charge the battery the night before.
 

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Mike
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359 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Alright, I've conceded that I need to break down and buy a new battery. I found this from a local guy that can get batteries. Yausa YTX14 BS for $55. Does that sound like the right battery?
 

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Ist mir scheiss egal
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496 Posts
My local dealership here sells the battery for $67 if I remember correctly. $12 difference, I'd go for the Harley Battery.
Jorgy4cy, I just noticed you live in Ankeny. My sister lives there! My mom and other sisters live in Ames.
 

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Registered
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jorgy4cy said:
Alright, I've conceded that I need to break down and buy a new battery. I found this from a local guy that can get batteries. Yausa YTX14 BS for $55. Does that sound like the right battery?
you may want to check out Bohannon battery's on the home page i just got one from them a couple of week's ago i have not installed it yet .but the service was great delivered to my home right on time.
 

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WTF?
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128 Posts
vroder said:
I know it doesn't seem to make sense, but I only keep the battery tender plugged in until it indicates fully charged. I don't leave the battery on the tender indefinitely, and my original battery was still strong after 5 years (now replaced because of age). I also only use the tender in the winter when I may not ride for two weeks or more.

I have been following the battery threads here for years, and have seen many threads start like this: "Help...my battery is only 1 1/2 years old and seems to be failing...always keep it on the tender..." you get the picture. I have come to believe that leaving the tender on indefinitely weakens the battery for some reason, over time.

I recommend using a tender for storage, but if you are not using the vehicle, use a tender with a 'charged' condition indicator and take it off when it indicates full charge. A week or two later, plug it back in for a day or two, until it indicates 'full charge' again then remove. I believe you will be rewarded with a longer-lasting battery.
that is the way I have been doing it for years and have had very good luck
 

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Mike
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359 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
cjohnson, small world. I live in Ankeny and work in Ames for the Iowa DOT.
 

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Mike
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359 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, so I'm finally getting around to buying a battery. Yuasa makes two batteries. The YTX14 and the YTX14-BS. The 14 is factory activated and sealed where the BS is sent with a separate acid pack. Has anyone else installed the BS version? The reason I ask is because Yuasa specifies the 14 for the vrod and it has a special note that says something about it being factory sealed to prevent leakage from tilting. Well, when I looked at how the battery goes in the bike, I realize now that it lays on it's side, so leakage could be an issue if you don't get the caps on tight. The local battery guy says that they are exactly the same battery and the company just wants to make sure that the seal is tight, so they specify the 14. Anyone use the self activated version?

Mike
 

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1130cc Ninja
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3,972 Posts
i would do the sealed battery as well.. there is nothing to filling your own battery with acid, i did for years when i worked for yamaha.. you open the top turn he acid upside down and line it up with the holes and give it a smack on the ass. the acid will fill up thebattery with no problems. Once the acid pack is empty you just pop the top on the battery again and then charge the battery.

the preassembled batteries usually have a charge already on them, you can drop them in and fire the bike right up. The only real benefit to the do it yourself battery is that you know the exact age of the battery, they usually last longer if prepared properly because they havent been assembled and sitting on a shelf for a year.
 

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Mike
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359 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
VenomousSVT said:
i would do the sealed battery as well.. there is nothing to filling your own battery with acid, i did for years when i worked for yamaha.. you open the top turn he acid upside down and line it up with the holes and give it a smack on the ass. the acid will fill up thebattery with no problems. Once the acid pack is empty you just pop the top on the battery again and then charge the battery.

Yeah, I did all that last night so it's ready to go. Now I'm just not convinced that the seal will work given the fact that the battery lays on it's side in the bike.
 

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1130cc Ninja
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3,972 Posts
jorgy4cy said:
Yeah, I did all that last night so it's ready to go. Now I'm just not convinced that the seal will work given the fact that the battery lays on it's side in the bike.
you gotta go with your guy instinct on that one.. you could put it in and just keep and eye on it but I personally would feel safer with a nice sealed battery.
 

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Premium Member
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10,801 Posts
Use the sealed battery. An acid battery will leak, and then cost way more in damage.
I have tried to maintain my batteries, trickle charge them, never let them freeze, keep them clean - and they last about 2-3 years. I have also totally ignored them, never charge them, leave them in the bike in freezing, unheated sheds, corrosion all over them, grease, filth.....and they last 2-3 years! When my bikes had kickstarters and carbs, not a big deal. Now, with fuel injection, fuel pumps, electronic ignition, flux capacitors and so on, the concept of getting a fresh, new, sealed gel battery every couple of years is cheap insurance. You can't push start one of these with a dead battery - it has to have enough juice to power all that stuff to get it to fire. Battery acid is amazing - it can ruin EVERYTHING in it's path - EVERYTHING! Mean stuff, made all the more risky by laying the battery on it's side, nestled in with all the wires. JMHO, Joe
 
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