Battery recomendations ?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by The Civil One, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. The Civil One

    The Civil One Been here awhile

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    Hey .

    Yesterday whilst out for a spin , on My 88 R100GS bumble bee , i was proceeding along nicely ,,,
    my bike just stopped ,, i had all kinds of notions running thru my head as to what had happened .
    Initial thought was it had to be electrickery , because of the way it just Stopped motoring ..
    Having a look over the bike i couldnt see anything amiss ,,,,,, checked fuses , run my fingers along all the main leads
    outa the battery area , Nada .
    I called a friend with a van ,, had it vanned back to base .
    On inspection , there wasnt a kick outa the battery at all ,absolutely nothing.
    My Battery is about a year old , Motobatt , I have never heard of a battery " Just failing ".
    Digging out the Voltmeter , she is charging , nothing astounding , sitting about 13.5 ,but that is about it on a Std R100Gs.

    Have you ever heard of a battery "Just failing " ?
    What battery would you suggest as a good fitment ?
    #1
  2. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Sounds fishy to me... I would look for a blown fuse/circuit breaker. What is the battery voltage when it isn't "charging"? Broken wire, something ain't right.
    #2
  3. ME 109

    ME 109 Long timer

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    I think 13.5 volts charge is too low.

    Maximum is 14.3 volts .........I think.

    I have a motobatt, so far so good. Hey, that yellow battery would look appropriate in a bumblebee:D
    #3
  4. boxerkuh

    boxerkuh Been here awhile

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    As far as battery recommendation I am running an Odyessy PC 680 in both of my airheads. I have one for 8 years in service and still going strong. I just last week had a replace a failing "other brand" and replaced it with a PC 680.

    A bike just stopping or shutting off sounds very strange. Exactly what happened? You were just motoring down the road and it quite? I would run a check on the electrics, wires, relays, etc. Something is amiss here. The best way to test a battery is with the assistance of a friend, and take a reading when the starter button is hit; if voltage drops below 9 volts the battery is done, but that is not what it sound like happened in your case.

    More info please.
    #4
  5. Biebs

    Biebs BMW Airhead

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    Odyessy PC 680 yes reccomend smaller than stock battery - BUT I have an 89 GS100 same thing happened to me multiple time the positive battery cable keep coming loose - Vibration of bike I'm guessing. Finally used some Blue loctie on positive battery cable and no problems since. Go figure.:freaky
    #5
  6. 100RT

    100RT Long timer

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    PC680 in mine also, Many years of service. Just put one in my 03 R1150RT also.
    #6
  7. The Civil One

    The Civil One Been here awhile

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    I have now tried a full 24H trickle charge and nothing.
    My 1 year old Motobatt has Failed.
    I was just sailing along nicely and the whole bike just stopped !!!!!! ...
    Having a backround in Road transport , i have been asking and no one i have
    spoken to has EVER heard of this ..

    Pulled the Battery from another bike and the GS fired straight up , no issues.

    Thoughts ?
    #7
  8. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

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    Are you sure it wasn't the broken indicator switch that caused it Phil? :lol3

    Seriously. I had a lead acid battery fail completely a few weeks ago. Cheap chinese one off Ebay. That'll teach me not to buy a decent one in the first place.
    #8
  9. The Civil One

    The Civil One Been here awhile

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    Ha ha :jomomma:jomomma
    If it wasnt goin to cost me the guts of a Ton , it would be funny .
    Every corner i turn its another bill ,, Its never ending ..
    #9
  10. Beemerboff

    Beemerboff Long timer

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    I have Motobatts in everything, no problems.

    They are 1/3 rd the price of an Oddesy in Oz, and test just as good.

    But if they get flat 13.5V or a trickle charger wont recharge them - they need 14.4 Volts and a decent shot of power.

    Go to the Motobatt site - it has a comparison test on it, and recharge it the same way they recharged the batteries between tests.

    I have had two PC 680s, both failed at two years, no warning, in normal use one minute, next start just died under load, still with full resting volts, but SFA under load, and I think this is typical of the newer style batteries.
    #10
  11. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    sounds like there's a good possibility nothing is wrong with your battery. your charging system should be putting out 13.8v to 14.2v at medium rpm.

    here's a repost of basic trouble shooting list .. go to my LiFEPO4 battery testing thread for LOTS more info, AGM is covered too ...

    -----------
    to test PB battery ...

    1. charge at least overnight with preferably a std size automotive battery charger. some batt tenders charge so slow, it may take several days.

    2. allow fully charged battery to rest overnight to bleed off surface charge

    3. use a known to be correct meter ... 12.85v shows a fully charged flooded PB at rest, 13v for AGM

    4. next is a load test.. no problems if you don't have a load tester... your starter will draw about 150amp, then drop to about 95 amps. if your battery cranks strong with a verified full charge, then it passes the load test.

    5. your charging system should put out at mid-rpm range.. 13.8v to 14.2v measured at battery. intermittent charging issues are the worst...

    6. test for parasitic drain... set meter to measure amp in series ... connect meter in series to neg side between battery and ground. depending on what's running with everything shut down, a tiny drain may be ok... like a clock

    note: AGM cells like to be charged at [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]2.40V to 2.45V/cell = 14.4v to 14.7v for max [/FONT]capacity with less sulfation. [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]2.30V to 2.35V/cell = 13.8v to 14.1v for max service life [/FONT]

    AGM batteries that's gone thru a severe discharge. a reconditioning charge cycle may be in order. but that takes a charger with a conditioning cycle and/or a constant voltage charger that delivers 15.5v

    for more technical information please consider visiting my battery testing thread. which contains the most technical information on LiFePO4 motorcycle batteries anywhere on the WWW that I'm aware of.

    Earth-X ETX36 and Shoria LFX 36 .. both LiFePO4 batteries have plenty of cranking/AH capacity for adventure bike duties. Earth-X ETX36 weight 3lb 11oz... vs odyssey 925 at 24lb ... substantial weight savings, but costs $$$...

    link in sig ...

    Shorai LFX36 next to Earth-X ETX36 right
    [​IMG]

    Earth-X ETX36 under going a regenerative discharge/charge Amp hour capacity test with Powerlab 8 (world's most advanced li-ion charge station)
    [​IMG]

    ------------
    #11
  12. Mobiker

    Mobiker Long timer

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    I just stumbled onto this somewhat old thread. I don't know if the op figured out his problem or not, but I can answer the question " Have you ever heard of a battery "Just failing " ?"

    Yes I have. I had an '84 H-D Sportster. Around 1990 I was doing some servicing on the bike and dropped the battery about 2 feet onto a concrete floor. I inspected it and it wasn't cracked, no rattles, thought hmmmmm. Installed it and the bike fired up. Took off down the road, around 10 miles later the bike just quits like I shut it off with the key. Told the guy at the dealer about dropping the battery. He said a plate probably came loose, fell against another plate and shorted the whole thing out. He said it was rare, but he had seen a couple of other batteries over many years that shorted and the bike would quit running. I don't know if he knew what he was talking about or not. It was the only time I've ever seen a vehicle just stop running due to a bad battery.

    Dropping batteries on concrete is apparently a bad idea.
    #12
  13. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch Been here awhile

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    I have a question regarding cheapo lawn mower batteries - I'm chasing down some electrical issues that may have killed this battery for the last owner.

    Do I automatically go to the hottest circle of Airhead hell if I buy a Lawn Boy battery to beat up while I chase this down instead of dropping the full $160 for a nice one?

    I fully understand that in most areas of life buying the nice stuff saves you money. You're better off buying one pair of $200 boots that fit than 5 pairs of Shoe Carnival junk that hurt your feet. But I also wouldn't wear a pair of Bruno Maglis to dig ditches.

    It's a stupid comparison, I know. But more importantly, is the cheap battery just a $35 waste of time? I'd just hate to get the nice one and ruin it right away.

    Thanks
    #13
  14. Beemerboff

    Beemerboff Long timer

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    I had a cheapie in my lightly used 900 cc R75/7 for more years than I can recall, but at least five.

    Never failed to start the bike untill I let it sit flat too long, and main reasn for changing to a Motobatt is because I decided to move the battery between bikes , and that is a lot easier with the much smaller Motobatt.

    Mine was PowerVolt brand, came dry with a six pack of acid which you trickled in.
    #14
  15. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    BTDT.

    The venting on the lawn mower batteries isn't good enough. Corroded the inside of the side covers, ate the side cover tabs of completely and corroded a hole through the main frame tube.

    You can track down electrical issues with a good one as well as a cheap one. The only ones that affect the battery in a bad way are over charging and not charging. The latter is limpable by keeping it on a trickle charger. The over charging thing is detectable immediately. Then you fix it. Anyway it goes, you can sort the problem loooong before it has an impact on the battery---like in half an hour.
    #15
  16. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch Been here awhile

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    I wish that were true. I have bad luck chasing down electrical gremlins in vehicles. If I gave a chimp a multimeter and a six-pack he'd come in from the garage and tell me (in adorable chimp sign language, of course) that this stuff is just too far over my head to explain.

    I can build guitars and wire them up, I can repair tube amps, I can disassemble, clean, fix, and reassemble most anything you put in front of me. That all feels mechanical, and I can handle that. Electrical feels like voodoo and parts that only work when you're looking directly at them. It's frustrating.

    I'll take the "buy a good battery anyway" under advisement. I found a couple of batteries (Odyssey PC680 and PC545) for around a hundred bucks on FleaBay, and Interwebz research says those are good.

    I searched on here for recommended batteries, and it seems to be a popular thing to disagree about, without much definitive results.

    Thanks, guys.
    #16
  17. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    I got a DEKA agm battery, sealed unit, been going strong for over 5 years or so now.
    No spillage, no acid stains on mufflers, maintenance free, bike has always started easily (famous last words...I hope not).

    Cheaper than Odyssey and not bright orange either.


    http://www.everybattery.com.au/proddetail.php?prod=ETX16L
    #17
  18. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    PO put Panasonic sealed unit in mine. Seems to have lasted a long time. I'd replace it with same.

    You have an attitude problem about electrical stuff. You are competent and skilled at many things, no reason simple electrical work (and it IS simple) should be any different. I see this a lot---people that don't hesitate to tear into an engine are terrified of diagnosing an electrical issue. What's with that? You need to be plodding, methodical, analytical. There are some tricks here and there to know and such. But looking at a number on your meter is no different than looking at a scratch on the side of a piston. If you break the setup down into it's various circuits you will find that having a good understanding of each is pretty easy. Get the charging system manual (Mottorad Electrik) and start reading.
    #18
  19. CaptainCrunch

    CaptainCrunch Been here awhile

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    I've got a list of attitude problems as long as my leg. Especially about the "Perversity Of The Inanimate". http://www.case.edu/med/microbio/artslab/Humor/SciencePrinciples.htm

    I hate it when things break, but at least that means they did the best they could, then exploded. And even a broken con rod can be relied upon to never work again. I like reliable. Electronics can be broken only half the time, and I HATE that - good connection only when cold/good connection only when hot/good connection only when I've got a meter on it/good connection only until I get it home/good connection only after I get rid of it. It can start to feel personal.

    I have a 1976 BMW, a Haynes, a Clymer, a printed out original owner's manual, this forum, a subscription to Airheads, a big toolbox, 3 multimeters, and two soldering irons. I can probably muddle through.
    #19
  20. Plaka

    Plaka Brevis illi vita est

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    A can of chiller spray is handy for thermal issues on solid state stuff.

    On a 37 year old motorcycle cleaning ALL the connections goes a long way. I use an air eraser and either Baking soda or Aluminum oxide, depending on the connection. 12VDC just won't punch through corrosion or oxide layers. I've had only one connectivity issue and several dead component issues. That connectivity issue was my fault.

    I do know the feeling. My K bike died on a trip and I knew nothing about the electrics on that thing, didn't have a meter and was stranded in a rest area in the middle of the night with no headlight or ignition... dozen little plack boxes under the seat, big computer with a plug in it. Utter mystery meat. It fixed it self and I limped 100 miles home. It wouldn't run again and insomuch as I didn't like it anyway, I eventually sold it. I found out later the ground at the starter is a classic weak spot and if I had cleaned it all would likely have been well.
    #20