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Old 01-28-2013, 09:12 AM   #9873
A Serious Man
herrhelmet's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2008
Location: USA West
Oddometer: 2,364
Originally Posted by Lupin 3rd View Post
I contracted the "stupid" virus and killed my battery (Shorai - LiFePO - Lithium Iron whatever...) while trying to start my GS. Should have noticed the kickstand switch out of place and the Oil Temp light not flashing...

I've had batteries go bad on me before, specifically due to the alternator wires melting on my old Ducati Monster. But since that bike is carb'ed, I've always been able to push start it. No such hope with the GS: even with a low battery I still couldn't push start it! The only solution was to jump start from another battery.

I don't blame the battery or the technology, it had all worked fine until I messed up. However, if I ever go somewhere really out of the way, I'll make sure and bring an extra battery probably a Sycl (sold by an inmate here). Just 'cause I can't be trusted!
I bring an extra battery when I go on long off-road trips. I've had my original 4.6 Ah for 3 years, but I've removed anything on my bike (including the sidestand switch) that could cause parasitic drain. That's the number one battery killer and most street bikes and a lot of dirt bikes have it somewhere. Heck, even those USB ports cause drain even without an LED indicator. The other killer (as mentioned in a previous post) is bad voltage regulator/low stator output.
Thats easy to check. Just idle the bike with a multimeter checking voltage (set at 20 volts DC) and watch the voltage rise. Should be 14+ volts.

Parasitic drain detection is simple but can take a while to check for faults. Here's step-by-step from Wikihow:

1. Remove the negative side battery cable from the negative battery terminal.

2. Connect the black wire to the com input on the multimeter and the red wire to the 10A or 20A input on the multimeter. the meter needs to be able to read at least a 2 or 3 amps for this test to work. Connecting the red wire to the mA input on the multimeter won't work and could damage the meter.

3. Attach a multimeter(set the dial on the multimeter to measure Amps as per multimeters instructions) between the negative cable and the negative battery post.

4. If the ammeter is reading over 25-50 milliamps, something is using too much battery power.

5. Go to the fuse panel(s) and remove fuses, one at a time. Pull the main fuses (higher amp ratings)last. Perform the same steps for relays found in the fuse panel. Sometimes relay contacts can fail to release causing a drain. Be sure to observe the ammeter after pulling each fuse or relay.

6. Watch for the ammeter to drop to acceptable drain. The fuse that reduces the drain is the draw. Consult the owners' manual or service manual to find what circuits are on that fuse.

7. Check each device (circuit) on that fuse. Stop each lamp, heater, etc. to find the drain.

8. Repeat steps 1&2 to test your repair. The ammeter will tell you exact numbers.
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