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Twins Technical Talk Technical Talk for Hinckley Triumph Twins: Bonneville, T100, Speedmaster, America, Thruxton, and Scrambler.

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Old 12-12-2011, 08:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ballistic battery issue Bonneville

Hey guys. I did a search but didn't find anything regarding my issue so I apologize before hand if it has been mentioned and would appreciate a forwarding link if it can be found.

Anyway I live in New York and own a 2010 Bonneville black. I bought it roughly 4 months ago so the bike has been sitting on the show room for the better part of a year. As we all know from the countless threads I've read about the battery problems and low voltage/amperage with Bonnevilles and have been left dead in the water 4 or 5 times with a bike that doesn't start. It really grinds my gears considering this bike is very new. Barely over 2000 miles.

My brother has a Moto Guzzi V7 and has owned the ballistic battery since summer and the weight savings and performance was impressive. After two clicks on his starter - always fires up strong. I was impressed and finally ordered my own from solomoto parts.

Now after a back order the battery has finally come on Friday afternoon, temperature measured a warm sunny 50 degrees, and immediately installed my battery first by removing my old one (which again likes to die on me) and fit in the new 8cell ballistic battery with the foam that it comes with. Plugged in the wires, turned on the bike, and after the initial whirring was done I hit the starter. Click. Didn't start. I tried this a few more times and was puzzled but I had no choice but to install the stock battery back in and went about my day. I repackaged the 8 cell back in the box and shot Chip at ballistic an email pretty much explaining what I had just wrote and how this can be fixed. I waited all weekend for him to respond and it's now Monday evening after a long day of work and still no response from him and I'm at loss at what I should do.

Now I know how to install batteries and did everything correctly as the lights and everything did come on and double checked twice. Does anyone have this problem or REALLY is there something that I have missed? I really want this battery on my bike as I am sick of my stock one dying on me. Sorry for the rant, just frustrated.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I also had problems when I first bought my 8-cell Ballistic. But...it was not the battery, it was a faulty Regulator/Rectifier. The bike started fine the first couple of times but after a short run of an hour or so, the bike would not re-start. Basically, the regulator was not charging the battery while I was on the move so the battery would just be drained. Changed the regulator and all has been great ever since, fires up strong and immediately. And yeah, the 8+ lbs weight savings up high is a big benefit.

Did you put an amp meter on the battery? The reading should be around 12.5 - 13.0 amps. If it is, give the battery another try. There must me something else that is wrong, considering the stock battery is also giving you problems. Measure the amps, that's where I would start. Maybe you've got another electrical issue somewhere in your system.
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Old 12-12-2011, 09:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hm, I think I'm gonna go downstairs and try the battery again. This would be my 3rd time but what the hell, why not?

But yeah, I did plug my old battery back in and all was swell again over the weekend. I have been keeping my bike leashed onto a tender daily like it's some sort of animal whenever I get home. So I'm not sure if it's the rectifier... but I'll definitely look into it.

edit: ALRIGHT UPDATE.
My brother and I went down to the garage to check out the battery situation. Now like I said he has a ballistic 8 cell also installed already so I figured we'd try my new ballistic in his bike and I'd try his old one on mine. So he put the new one in first and it roared to life as per usual. Then I put his ballistic in my bike and the lights went on, signals work, horn works, the whirring happened but when I go to start it, it just clicks. So it probrally isn't the battery and Chip at ballistic makes a wonderful product. No complaints on his part. I put my stock battery back in and it started just fine.

What I wanna know is that why that even though ballistic is a more powerful battery then the stock one it just DOES NOT fire on the Bonneville?

Last edited by davengo; 12-12-2011 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi 08 Bonnie should have said volts not amps. Put an ampmeter across a battery and you will get a large spark a small bang, and smoke come out of the meter! I've seen it done!
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Old 12-13-2011, 12:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayve View Post
Hi 08 Bonnie should have said volts not amps. Put an ampmeter across a battery and you will get a large spark a small bang, and smoke come out of the meter! I've seen it done!
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Man, did no one have this same issue with the stock battery working but the ballistic battery not? I've been doing a ton of searching and I've found nothing!
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am not sure but think it is still possible it is the new battery even though it works OK in the Guzzi.

The later model Bonnies appear to be very sensitive to low voltage. I think under about 12.6V and the bike simply won't start (I don't speak authoritatively though - I have a 2006 Thruxton so just going on my recollection of other peoples problems)

Have you got (or can you borrow) a multimeter?

If so put it (in voltage mode!) across the terminals of the new battery when it is in place on the bike with the ignition switch on and compare it with the OEM battery voltage when in the same place.

If it is under about 12.6V then that may be the problem. It is possible it may be simply undercharged in which case it could be simply solved by charging it up.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yeah I'm pretty aware of those issues as stated in the first post but I'd like to know why the ballistic battery doesn't wanna work on my bike! It's so weird.

Though I did what you said and checked the battery with a multimeter with the STOCK battery after fully charging it via tender and started it once to buy some food then came back and checked it. It read exactly 12.7 which is perfect I guess?

I'll check the ballistic with the multi meter when I get the chance but it says on the box NOT to charge the battery. Again it fires my brother's 2012 moto guzzi V7 right up. No hesitation.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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the Guzzi may not be as sensitive to the voltage as the Bonnie's electronics so worth doing the check.

NB this may not be the issue but easy to check and rule it out.

If it is reading lower than say 12.6V, then as far as charging, how about whacking it into the Guzzi and ride it for a while and let the Guzzi charge it and then try it in the Bonnie? Gives you a perfectly reasonable excuse to go fanging on your brother's bike

If it isn't the problem... my next thought would be to see if the Bonnie is drawing more current on start than the Guzzi.

You'd need to use an ammeter to see what the current draw is on starting (and as others have said place it 'in series' with the battery not across it!).
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Great idea! Could be a really weird solution but a solution none the less.

Woe is me weird to think that a brand new battery should have these issues with a modern Bonneville surely there must be others out there who have ballistic in their twins!
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