Battery life span?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by indr, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. indr

    indr .

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    #1
  2. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware Supporter

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    You could just have the battery load tested w/o even removing it from the bike.

    Lot of factors determine battery service life but it is not uncommon for many sealed batteries to last 7 or 8 years.
    The battery in my K75s is 6 years old...

    There is a stickied battery thread at the top of this forum, might want to search it.
    #2
  3. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Four years is about average for a good sealed battery. Some go a lot longer with proper winter care, many batteries are neglected and don't make it through their first winter.

    Usual symptoms are noticeably slower cranking. This can slowly sneak up on you, so it may not be easy to tell.

    You can also put a meter on the battery and see how much voltage drops while cranking. Anything below 11 volts is cause for concern.

    If you're unsure, I'd personally stick with a good conventional sealed battery (I like MotoBatt batteries, personally).

    If you're interested in one of the alternate chemistry batteries, you'll want to do a good bit more research. They mostly don't explode any more but there are still significant trade-offs you should be ready for, and there are a lot of crappy quality batteries out there. A good one is bloody expensive, and you may need a special charger to keep it going over the winter.
    #3
  4. mrphotoman

    mrphotoman Long timer

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    Every battery will be different, if you are worried just buy a new one they are not expensive. You can go to an autozone or advance auto parts if you are worried and they will test it for you for free.

    does it start the bike fine? unless it is cranking the bike over slow I would not be too concerned but if it worries you just buy a new one.
    #4
  5. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Unless it's been on a battery tender during winter lay-up...4 years on a wet battery...You Won!!! If concerned about charge capacity. Charge it up, let it sit for a few hours at least and put a volt meter on it. If "fully" charged it should read 12.65v minimum. Don't check right after charging, you won't get a useful reading. Just cause it takes a full charge doesn't mean it'll hold a charge. I let'm sit over night after charging to get a good read. Bottom line: after four years don't be surprised it's not up to spec. I've got too many bikes so I use tenders but on un-tendered bikes I expect a good two years out of'em. By the third they usually get a bit wonky by year four pretty much junk . If you ride year round with no long lay ups it may be fine. Worst thing you can do to a battery is not use it. If in regular use they last much longer.
    #5
  6. BossMaverick

    BossMaverick Been here awhile

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    The short answer is that there are too many variables for a "normal" lifespan. Variables include the size/type/quality of the battery, the bike (cranking amps needed, alternator output, electrical demand, etc), riding use (amount of miles, amount and frequency of starts, etc), STORAGE (mainly charging practices and storage temperature), poor habits (like letting it run down a lot), good habits, etc...

    Proper battery storage is a huge factor, and as you can see, everyone has their own practice. Some will say that you need a battery tender, some will say you only have to charge it in the fall and again in the spring, some will say that you don't have to do anything, and the list goes on. I don't use a battery tender but instead top off the battery when the voltage gets to 12.63ish for AGM's and under 12.6 for standard batteries.

    If it matters, I'm always happy when I get four years from a motorcycle battery. I personally have the best luck with Yuasa AGM batteries. It will be at least a few years before I would consider a li-ion battery. I think that in a few years they will be more advanced and we will know more about them for what works and doesn't work.
    #6
  7. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    If your worried about it .. replace it. Not worth the worry.

    If you want to asset it .. the most testing situation for your battery is cold starting the motor ... after it has sat for an extended period. Try this... cold start the bike and immediately kill the motor, Then do it again and again. 3 times a cold start. Did the battery start the bike with vigor each time? Then your good to go. If not you have the feeling of how 'good' the battery is.
    #7
  8. shu

    shu ...

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    I consider the battery to be a wear item (like brake pads) and replace it before it gives me trouble. For batteries: I replace them after 3 years of service whether they've given me any reason to doubt them or not. That works out to about $30/ year for the Yuasa I currently use. It's nice to be stopped on a lonely country road, and *know* that when you thumb the button, the bike is going to start- no doubts.


    ...............shu
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  9. TheProphet

    TheProphet Long timer

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    Brakes, Tires and battery.

    When in any doubt, replace 'em. Cheap Insurance, and much, much better than... what can happen.

    Every three to four years sounds sensible as a Battery replacement program.:D
    #9
  10. xveganxcowboyx

    xveganxcowboyx Sitting on my ass

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    I believe that is the same battery that is used on the DR650. After reading a lot about people's experiences with those it seems that 5-7 years is not uncommon at all for the factory Yuasa battery. I just replaced the battery in my 2003. It is the third battery the bike has had which is an average of 5.5 years each (the second one was not a Yuasa).

    The only bummer is that the factory battery is pretty expensive. I replaced mine with a Deka which has a great reputation and is half the cost of the Yuasa.


    I also have a couple years of running a "total fail" system on a street bike of mine, meaning it gets discharged substantially every time I ride. It's an AGM battery on a standard charger. Left to rot all winter. It's surprisingly still doing well. It's a decent quality battery though, which I think makes a big difference.
    #10
  11. broncobowsher

    broncobowsher Long timer

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    The sealed batteries tend to fade to death. I have had wet cell batteries start fine, shut off, and are gone. I can't ever remember having that happen to a sealed battery. They get weak, you can tell they need replacing. Not that they all do, but just a personal observation.
    #11
  12. B02S4

    B02S4 Aye

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    Wet or AGM?
    Which size?
    Price?
    #12
  13. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    have never heard of a single instance where a 12v LiFePO4 motorcycle batterie explode .. liCo batteries like on Boeing 787, do go into thermal runway (explode) ... both are correctly called li-ion .. but LiFePO4 used in 12v motorcycle batteries are almost impossible to make explode.

    now you can overheat it to point of melting with a dead short .. but very_difficult to cause LiFePO4 to go into thermal runaway ...
    #13
  14. B02S4

    B02S4 Aye

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    I just answered that question for myself by buying a BatteriesPlus XTAX12-BS for $64.99 instead of a Yuasa YTX12-BS. The XTAX12-BS had a 1 year warranty.

    There were two XTAX12-BS batteries on the shelf at the local BatteriesPlus store...one tested at 13.01V resting, & the other was .05V resting...guess which one I took :D

    Moral of the story...if you are buying local, at least bring a volt meter.
    #14
  15. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    You can't add acid to a sealed battery. Wet cell batteries have caps for adding electrolyte. Maintainance free batteries don't.

    http://www.batteryuniversity.com

    Mixing metaphors is like killing two birds with a dog that won't hunt.
    #15
  16. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    Er... many MF sealed batteries (including Yuasa, and the AGM batteries sold at Walmart) are sold dry with a pre-measured acid pack. You dump in the acid, let it fizz for an hour or so, then tap on a permanent cap (the cap is designed so that it cannot be removed once installed). Presto, factory-fresh sealed MF battery.

    That said, the majority of sealed batteries (gel, AGM, whatever) are filled and sealed at the factory. They do deteriorate a little bit on the shelf. With these, you'll do better buying from a higher-volume retailer or checking dates to ensure you get the freshest possible battery.
    #16
  17. Lomez

    Lomez Been here awhile

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    Things that kill lead-acid (standard duty) batteries:
    * discharging more than 10% frequently
    * discharging more tan 50% does significant damage, immediately
    * over-charging (leaving it on some chargers for too long)
    #17