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Battery Problem

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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 09:28 AM     #1
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Battery Problem

Hi folks. I'm a bit puzzled about my battery.
I have a Sporty with about 1700 on the clock. I keep it attached to an Optimate 4 tender when I'm not riding it - apart from a 3 week period about a month ago which it spent at my dealership having the 1200 conversion done I while I was away. I rode it very little up to this week because of bad weather and salted roads - I just did the 30-60 break in.

I've put two different battery chargers on to the battery and both are going into "Recovery" mode trying to restore it from being sulphonated. I took her out for a good ride with Hobbit and a few friends on Wednesday and she ran well but I have noticed a moment's hesitation before the engine turns over on pressing the start button.

I've checked the battery with a voltmeter and it's reading about 12.7-12.9.
It displays high 13s when the engine is running.

I don't know why the battery has gotten into such a poor state if the tenders are reading true. I don't know what else I could be doing to keep it in good order.

Any thoughts or advice. Thanks guys.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 11:26 AM     #2
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Re: Battery Problem

Battery sulfation is when deep discharge has occured and salts settle out of the electrolyte, fall to the bottom and turn into a conductive slurry, eventually shorting out a cell (battery will read less 2V for every on shorted). That said, did you read the voltage at the tender attached...should read 13.8V or so as well. Battery tenders use logic and voltage window comparator circuit to manage charge.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 11:45 AM     #3
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Re: Battery Problem

It could be the brand new pistons & rings and 300 more cc's generating a bit more strain on the starting system. I'd suggest breaking it in and see what happens. It might just be different than what your used to.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 01:43 PM     #4
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Smile Re: Battery Problem

Could just be that there is a wee bit of corrosion on the ends of the battery cables you need to take them off and clean them at both ends to ensure a good connection
even if the battery is good the power dont flow through if there is a restriction somewhere

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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 01:53 PM     #5
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Re: Battery Problem

I'll have them off tomorrow and clean the connections. My dealership suggest they will link it to a car battery charger for a short burst next week if I leave the bike with them but I've read somewhere that that can damage the plates. If there is a problem with the battery, I don't know where it's arisen from - it's literally had all the tender loving care I could've given it lol.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 02:01 PM     #6
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Re: Battery Problem

12.8 is what a brand new battery should be reading, could be everything is still really tight from the conversion still and cleanning all the terms like Brian said is always a good thing. Colder weather and a higher compression could affect it also if you have ether.
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Old Mar 6th, 2010, 02:10 PM     #7
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Smile Re: Battery Problem

Hooking up to a car battery charger may put too much amps in and warp the plates the optimate is a much better charger for the motorcycle battery
but also you may have a little more compression than you had before the 1200 upgrade and this will be harder on the battery and starter but any drop in power flow from battery to starter will show more when it needs more
so start simple and work to complicated and get the cable ends cleaned first

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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 05:21 AM     #8
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Re: Battery Problem

Thanks guys. I'll try that first and see what happens. I had read on this site about the risks of jump starting from a car and thought the same even moreso may apply from a car battery charger.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 12:47 PM     #9
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Re: Battery Problem

You are correct, car battery chargers are basically "low tech", step down transformer (converts 120/230VAC to 14-16VAC or so) followed by bridge rectifier (diodes)...and some sort of thermal protection...DONE.

What this means is no control logic to taper charge once battery is up and no regulation (other than maximum rating for voltage and current) which can "boil" off what little electrolyte/gel moisture that may be present, weakening bonding of the plate materials, and destroy the battery if left on too long. A "Rule of thumb" is 1/10 of CCA for for no more than 1 hour...followed by proper battery tender trickle for the balance.
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Old Mar 7th, 2010, 03:50 PM     #10
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Re: Battery Problem

Thanks R. Cleaning the terminals and connectors made no difference so I'm going to let the dealership have it this week as that's the only way I can get it established that the battery is a goner and should be replaced by them. Worst case scenario is that they bring it back to some sort of health for a while but I presume all those sulphates don't just go away, they'll just sit on the bottom. In that case I think I'll just buy a new battery. I don't want a dodgy battery hanging over the start of my season.
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