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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I try to be short.

Pre: bike stored with trickle charger in winter until last weeks. Then I rode it 1-2 times a week (approx. 20+ minutes per ride), no hiccups - thought that's enough to recharge the power draw from starting the bike.

So today I wanted to run some errands, I adjusted the handlebar, and clutch / fr brake (but not the switches) and the throttle, before I went out.
At startup the starter cranked slower than when the battery just unplugged from the charger, but thought that will be better from charging while I ride.

Stopped, did my thing (about 5 minutes), went back to the bike, and it's a non starter: slow crank, then the dreaded clicking from the relay.

...after arriving home

Voltmeter, to check battery voltage: (it rested 1-2 hours) 12.7-ish volts - oops, that's not bad, so what the...?! Turned the key on, no start (clicks). Then I turned it on again, switched the headlights on (relayed to dual mode, so all two does the same: low/high beam), the voltage dropped to 8(!) volts, which is very bad... again what the...?

...

Trickle charger plugged, about half an hour: almost all voltages okay (measured @ fusebox), except @ the 5. and 10. At the 5th the voltage wasnt steady, went down by 0,01 volts continuously starting @ 12volts (while the battery voltage was 13,5-ish)...

Engine cranked like a champ, started right up, but @ the 5th fuse the voltage still not good. At the 'good points' (where the voltage read was the same as @ battery terminal) 14.3-ish with headlights off, 13.8-ish with the lights on.

So...
1. maybe something in the wiring of the handlebar switches.
2. (I dont really think) maybe the battery can be bad while it's voltage is relatively high (12,7V) and bbecause of that, the voltage drops very fast - but then why it was normal again after a short period of charging?

Any clues welcomed, especially if it cames from a solved problem which was like mine.
 

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1998 T595 Daytona 2014 Kawasaki Ninja1000ABS
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Measure the voltage at the battery while cranking. The voltage at rest with everything off doesn't really tell you anything about the health of the battery. You can also measure the voltage at the battery with just the headlights on and observe how fast and low the voltage drops. You may just need a new battery. It may be good enough to hold a charge after charging and one good start, but not recovering properly while riding. You may want to measure the voltage after a good start at idle once warm and also at 4-5Krpm to check the R/R output.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, I'll check the battery first instead of excluding it and go straight at the wiring.

I've never had that symptoms with any of my prev batteries, and also, this one last year when the bike was unused for weeks, I had to jump it from the car, but then it was good after 30-45 min riding, that's why I suspected other (maybe wiring) issue.
Will check the cranking volts, but yesterday after the half an hour trickle charge it cranked so well, so fast that the battery is seemed fine, cranking not slowed down. Will do a 10-15 starting attempt, that should 'kill' a weak battery, right?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
(BTW it's very unfunny how the engine doesn't want to be push-started, 2/2 failed attempts - wheel locks up so hard in 2nd or 3rd... so a good working battery + electrical system is a must)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Went to the garage...

Yesterday I connected the trickle charger (.tek4000) to the battery before I left (also before I started the thread), on it's display everything was fine.

(Voltage was about 12.7V, which is somewhat low I think, but had old batteries that worked fine.)

Starting:
(lights off) 5 times in a row, no problem, even if the cranking significantly slower than with the starter cable mod allows with a strong battery.
Voltage dropped to 10.5x Volts which is bad: yesterday read the forums it should be 11V minimum.

Charging voltage: @idle @battery 14.3x Volts, @4-4.5k rpm unchanged, with lights on ~13.8 Volts.

Then I've tried with lights on, relay should switch them off when the starter motor powered, right?:
Battery voltage instantly killed in the first starting attempt, and it couldn't recover even if the lighting fuses removed.
Cranking voltage dropped below 9V, approx. 8.5x Volts.
I happened to see the headlights reflection while I did the above, and their power wasn't completely shut of while the starter button pressed on. Is it normal, or the relays should disconnect the headlights?

1. 100% sure the battery is garbage? ... or
2. possible that something shorted in the lighting circuit, and draws a huge amount of Amps? (stupid question I think, because the fuse(s) should be blown then, right?)
 

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I'll be corrected if I am wrong , but I believe you need to install Kens lighting cut mod in order to get the lights to cut before and during ignition.
Your battery fails the load test . 10.5 is .5 over the ecu cut off. Being that you were just off the charger it seems your battery is bad. Also it's not really good to get voltage and charging numbers off a bad battery. It would be best to re test the charging system after replacing the battery .
 

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All the EFI Triumphs have headlight cut while starting Norm - the definitive word is 'while'
i.e. they come on with ignition and turn off while the starter is operated. They should go completely off - this can be tested on the 955's by just pressing the start button, without pulling the clutch - lights will go off (can't do that test on the 1050's however, it's a different scheme and clutch must be pulled)

I think your battery is just past its best - certainly your generating system seems fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
How I'm not surprised that I always can count on your answers, Guys ;) ?!
And again, you saved me a good deal of time as I didn't started to search for non-existent wiring problem.
Will check the voltages when I get the new battery.

I had failing (weak) batteries, but not this kind of "whoops, I'm retiring now, without much warning" type, but maybe this is just because I did not used the S3 as frequently as the others when their batteries "past their best" (what a nice way to say :) ). I dont mint though that I'm not stranded just one time...
:)

Thanks again, and I will update when I got the new one and checked charging (& dont forget to write it here).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One more question: can the battery go to "full dead" (Voltage left in it: milliVolts) next day with ignition switched off after the above test, or, when a weak battery (~11-12V at least) should have more voltage in it?

Maybe I'm kinda paranoid, and suspecting short circuit problem for no reason. But I assume that without any load, even if the ECU draws some power, the battery should have some juice in it.
I removed it from the bike then, and put the CTEK charger on it in recondition mode. What happened: for some time, the milliVolts risen, but not above 0,19V, then suddenly gone up to 14,35 (in charging mode/step 5. if anyone familiar with ctek).
I'm not hoping that battery can be brought back to life, just be sure that I will not have problems with the new one, when I left it alone for a few days or weeks.
I think my new battery-religion will be trickle charging right after parked in the garage, until next use.
 

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Your battery seems to be toast. If it's an AGM battery, they can fail without warning. A failed battery can also show a full charge very quickly on a charger. If you were measuring battery voltage while hooked up to the charger, you were measuring the output of the charger(14.35V), not the battery's charge. An accurate measure of battery voltage is taken after maybe 30min off the charger. The ECU isn't drawing any power when off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't have much battery fail experiences to know the full spectrum of bad battery behaviors, prior to this I had only gradually weakening-failing ones, this is new.

Then I just need to choose a brand (specs) & type (nominal CCAmps; AGM or GEL) for replacement.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Because my battery is toast as you guys stated, I'm looking for one minding the price/performance ratio.

There's not much choice, and Yuasa (the Japan made) not an option, as it's price over U$150 here, while the cheapest, locally produced about $50 - Yuasa can't be three times more battery while weight is about the same, tech itself can't be enough IMHO. I think for a Yuasa's price I would order a custom made LiFePo pack at one of the Li battery shops, but I don't want to spend that much on a battery for now.

I had Yuasa YTX14-BS in the bike which: 151×87×146mm (the latter the height).
Looks like I can upgrade it (have room) with:
YTX16-BS (158mm tall) +2Ah +20 CCAmps
YTX20CH-BS (161mm tall) +6Ah +40CCAmps
(YTZ14S also could fit, and it's a higher CCA battery than YTX14, but one less Ah.)

CCA YTX14/16/20 cheap ones (even banner or varta) 180/200/230 amps, while Yuasa would be 200/230/270. But if I read correctly int the forum, the starter draws only about 90 amps, so even the cheap ones should have enough juice.

I think I'll go with the YTX20CH, as even if the bike won't charge it fully (short trips, etc.), as it will be charged in the garage with a tender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update /epilogue/.
Because there's not much choice of battery brands, I've dropped the upgrade (Ah-wise), and bought an Exide (still in the box, I will wet fill it next week, when I will swap the cage to the bike). It's a dry filled AGM.

I've read some about batteries because of this, lead acid (wet,AGM, gel), Lithium, diy LiFePo4, supercapacitors, etc.The latter is the most interesting for me, on youtube I found some videos that with a "boost pack" (capacitors) someone easily started his car, even after 2-3 days. Interesting, like the LiFePo4.

About the old Yuasa:
Because I had nothing to lose, opened it - but at the wrong place: at the valve, not at the rubber filling cap - and I could put 150+ ml (150cm3) of distilled water into it. So, I think, that maintenance free = do not open kind could 'live' longer if the water would not evaporate from it slowly...
I'm experimenting with it just to feed my curiosity: (over)filled it water (I couldn't see when is enough), then I put the charger on it. No wonder why it popped off the small rubber caps I thought it will do. Then yesterday, when I gone to the garage again (not in the same town I live in nowadays), I (have disconnected the tender-charger) connected the still not used heated grips to the battery in high mode, and left it there for about 1.5 hours. That wasn't a proper load test, but the voltage stayed above 10 volts.
(I did that earlier for about 15 minutes, after DieselGeek wrote, that seemingly good voltage, especially when the charger is just disconnected is nothing, because it is maybe just surface charge, and that time voltage went below 10 volts much shorter time.)
Now the battery is charged with recondition phase, so next time (tomorrow I think) will see how healthier the old battery become after refilled with water.
(which doesn't mean it could be used as a reliable battery, just how the slow water loss year after year could shorten the useful life of a maint. free battery - I think 150+ mililiters is no small amount for a battery this small)

All in all, I hope, my next one will last for 5 years at least as the brand new ones I had.

A good, informative site I think about batteries: batteryuniversity dot com (I hope I'm not advertising it by writing it here - I don't want to), the other one where I write this post ;)
 

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A Yuasa AGM battery has a safety/fire arrester valve in case of extreme overcharging. Normally, this valve is never used to release any gases inside the battery such as oxygen. The oxygen produced is reabsorbed as water into the battery which is why the AGM battery is sealed with no venting tube. The six cells of the battery are isolated as far as electrolyte goes so I'm not sure where the 150ml of water you poured in went. I know each cell of a 12-BS battery holds 100ml of electrolyte, so your 14-BS holds a bit more, but not near 150ml. I'm not sure your adding water means anything as to water loss in the Yuasa AGM battery. The original electrolyte is absorbed into the glass matrix. Adding more fluid does not necessarily mean there has been any water loss during operation. Just my take on the AGM battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I dont know if the old Yuasa YTX14-BS is AGM or simple wet filled maintenance free.
As I wrote, I opened/teared it up at the wrong place (it was dirty enough for the not enough observant -me- miss the rubber plug): I teared up the center part between the terminals and the first time fill-up holes (6) that plugged with rubber plug: teared up the plastic band which covers 3 rubber caps. Under that there are 3 venting holes with rubber caps, so any overpressure can escape from the battery through the caps which held in their place by the plastic cover. Between the 3 holes is a channel plus a hole with a small sponge in it, and the channel leads to the battery compartment with a small opening.
Because of my amok running with this written off battery, I certainly filled in too much water, and to the wrong holes (until it reached the 3 hole openings, then I withdrawn a bit with the syringe I used). I used a 50 ml unit, and shot in more than 3 loads. That's why I think that the battery had significant loss, as even the third (50) of 150 ml is much. I think what I injected into those holes could reach any of the cells, so 150 ml is not per cell but per all cells.
Of course what I think is not necessarily the truth, so it is possible that the empty space above the cells is 150 ml.
What I will see, that can I get it any better with the water refill, than it was before. That would mean the battery could live a bit more than it did. It doesn't matter.

My conclusions about the topic:
1. the new battery will be charged initially as factory recommendations (and cycled after that as recommended too)
2. when I park the bike in the garage, I connect the tender to the battery all the time
3. check the charging system from time to time - a voltmeter to the dash?
4. If it's possible, then I avoid park the bike to a very hot place (asphalt parking lot, etc.) in summer days, as heat is enemy of the battery.
5. ctek recommends the recondition phase once a month, I'm not sure about that
6. after (3-)5 years of use I mind that I have the battery load tested at a shop and use/replace it accordingly to avoid nasty surprises
7. a jumper cable with weak battery a must - except if you're stronger and could push start your triple (mine locks the rear solidly even in 3rd, no chance to turn it)
 

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Your Yuasa is an AGM battery. Whether the electrolyte is added by a dealer, factory or you, a sealed maintenance free battery is either AGM or Gel. A wet cell or floaded cell battery is not AGM. It has a vent tube and needs the water level checked periodically. They are all lead/acid type batteries, but behave differently due to their construction.
 
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