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Discussion Starter #1
I've seen a related post on a new guy getting his bike and the battery being a little duff, and it got me thinking.

I'm new to biking and as a result, when it comes to batteries, spoiled. You can leave your car for months and get back in and it starts up no problem.

The day after I got my Honda 125 I went to a friends and left it standing with the light on for 20 mins and when I went back to it it wa s dead, so had to push start it and all was well.

So I now have a 955 Sprint which has a new battery fitted to it as it was left standing for months. What I want to know is, whats all this talk about battery chargers? Do I really need one ?

If I decide to go away for a couple of weeks am I going to come back to a dead battery, baring in mind it's got a factory fit alarm (s3)?

Any hints and tips on what yo should do and, more important, the big don'ts of batteries?
 

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Having an Optimate (one type of battery conditioner) is a good way forward. Since the idea of them is not to specifically 'charge' your battery, but to trickle feed it to ensure it is at its optimum ready for you to take out.

I keep my new ('08) bike on one, because as the temp drops, you can occasionally have your battery drop too. But it is just good care really.

They don't take much charge either, so it isn't costing you $ a night - maybe a few cents at most.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So every night you park up in the garage , take the seat off, and plug it in?

I'm one of those unlucky enough to have to leave the bike on the driveway, no garage. I use the bike almost every day, though I know when the weather turns really nasty I'll have to use the train more often.

I guess the question is, if I know I'm going to be off the bike for a week or two, is it safe to just leave it be or do I have to do to the hassle of taking the battery out and charge it indoors.

The added complication is the alarm, if I take out the battery then it's going to get upset (googles s3)
 

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whats all this talk about battery chargers? Do I really need one ?
Yep, it's that important. Having a good charge on your battery is just as important as having fuel in your tank.

You run out of fuel or electrical power you and your cycle are dead on the side of the road.

Sticks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
But isn't it just like a battery on a car.

Use it regular and it keeps itself charged and in good condition then when you start to get problems with starting just get a new one?
 

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On the Sprint 1050, there is a charging socket (you just buy a short adaptor plug to fit your batter conditioner) and like a cigarette socket, I just flip open a small cover, plug in the charger and 'bobs your uncle'!

On the driveway, then of course you have a slightly different issue.

Plenty of bikes live day and night outside, no charger and no problem. I am just being careful.

if you do manage to wire up an Optimate (or some such device) you can always run a lead to the bike, parke near the garage and your bike under a cover. Just don't forget to disconnect it before you drive off of a morning!

Oh and no, you shouldn't need to keep taking your seat off. Almost all of these devices come with leads that a) connect to your battery and then dangle on the edge of the frame and b) should not interfere with your alarm.

Best of luck
 

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Discussion Starter #7
so THATS what that socket is on my 955 on the left side fairing.

I'll get a charger before I go away, whenever I do, and put it down the side of the house and a heavy duty outdoor electrical socket for it all.
 

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What I use for mine...seems to work ok. I leave it plugged in permanently if I am not riding for a few days or more.
 

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Previous advice is all good. I would add that there is a tremendous amount of battery information in this forum and on the net for the searching. One excellent resource for those willing to read it is:

http://www.yuasabatteries.com/pdfs/TechMan.pdf

Since you stated you were unaware of the accessory socket functions, I also suggest that you would benefit from an owner's manual. That, or do a bunch of searching. The manual is easier. :D
 

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ztolly, there really in principle one main difference between your bike batt and your car batt. Size. Every battery will lose it's state of charge at a rate depending on condition, age, temp. and other factors a percentage every day not in use.
Also, the bike's charging system isn't enough to charge a weak battery. Say up don't ride for a week or two and the batery goes down a little. Then you start it up. That draws down the battery down more. There isn't enough charging to fully recover the battery.
Do this a few times and your battery will go down to the point where it will give you problems and a car battery has much more capacity.
We used to figure it took 10 miles to recover a battery after a start on a fully topped one.

There is a big difference between a battery charger and a battery tender. A charger is just that it is used to fully recover a low battery. A tender, or floater is used to keep one up.
If you keep a charger on all the time just to maintain the battery state you will fry it.
A tender, made for your battery is made to be connected continously.

Most tenders can be wired to the battery with the leads extending out so you can plug or unplug without taking the seat off.
A charger can be easily plugged in with an adapter through the powerlet.

If you bike is outside during the winter I would take the battery out and keep it on a tender inside someplace.

I just changed out the stock battery on my '02 last week and it's been on a tender the whole time when not in use.
 

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Alarms are the secret killers of all batteries. I would recommend to everyone who has an active alarm keep their battery topped up on a tender when not in use. An alarm can discharge a good battery in less than two weeks to the point where it will start to suphate.:eek:
 

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I think the best solution to this problem is to simply ride the bike daily. Keep your revs high when cruising to keep the alternator spinning faster kicking in more voltage to charge that battery.

See you don't need a battery tender just need to ride.:D
 

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I have a 2001 SAT 955 with a new gel battery , & I once left it, after a 25 mile ride, from 10 am one day till 10 am next day & there was not enough battery to start. Maybe the data tool alarm takes a lot out of it.? Sprints do need a well charged battery. Mine goes straight onto an optimate every night.
If you get anything other than an "Optimate" type device, make sure it is one of the more sophisticated chargers which do a trickle charge and then hold it indefinately, adding a little charge as required. Otherwise you may well damage your battery. Halfords do a good one. About £30.00 . ish
 

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thats odd, my 99 has a deca battery that I've left out in the cold for several weeks and once it warmed to 65f it started right up. in fact I've left the bike sitting for almost a month and she started right up. no alarm though
 

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Previous advice is good.

Riding the bike daily >10 miles will enhance batt longevity. Due to the function of the R/R, high revs are not necessary. In fact, the DC voltage decreases at high revs.

Good advice re the Optimate "type" charger.

One note, they are not trickle chargers. They are multi-mode, processor controlled chargers. Some brands have more modes than others, but the basics are the same. Initially they will charge in a bulk mode, then process through absorption to float mode. In float mode the output voltage is kept at 13.2vdc, which is below a lead acid batt gassing voltage.

Trickle chargers usually allow the current to trickle down during charging, but the voltage can go up to as high as 15 or 16vdc. Unless monitored by the user, this can ruin a batt in a day.

Ergo, multi-mode = good, trickle charger = bad.

And if I be off base, Cal will help. He is the resident batt expert.

( If this seems familiar, I did some cut and paste from one of my previous posts.)
 

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Should I bring up the whole AGM battery topic or do you think a search will reveal answers because its alot of typing. OnD touched on with voltage explanations when charging.

The main difference between your car battery and your bike battery is as was said, size but more specifically is reserve capacity.

Your Sprint requires 100cca's to start the bike. Your battery has a reserve capacity of 180 AT BEST if your bike battery is brand new and in top form with no sulfating.

A car's battery is anywhere from 400cca to 750cca depending on make, model engine size etc but the cars engine only draws about 200cca to start the car. In the case of the Sprint you have about 60-80 amps of reserve. In the case of the car you have anywhere from 200 to 550ccas in reserve. So even if you car battery has sat and it is down to 12.2- 12.4v and has lost say 30% of its amp capacity it will still spin an electric motor that draws 200amps.

The Sprint is a battery eater so only the highest quality battery that is an AGM battery should be used in these bikes. You will get probably 3-4 years out of that. A traditional battery may get you 2 seasons.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok well I think ...

For a start you've quashed one myth, I thought that if I didn't ride my bike for a week I was going to just start it up and leave it running 10 minutes to make sure the battery was topped up using the alternator. Sounds like that would end up draining it more then charging it.

It may be a good idea to have a multi mode thingy just in case so that if I dont ride it a while and it wont start I can plug it into that and it'll charge the battery back up good as new.

If I'm going to be away then I'll unhook the battery, once I figure out if it'll upset the alarm, and how I'd disable that.

But I have to say it seems kinda complicated.

On the one hand the alarms a pain that it drains the battery (if it indeed does), but then again parking in central london you want the peace of mind.
 

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Its not complicated, there is just a right and a wrong way to do things. Do you ride all year round? If you do then just ride and dont worry about it. If you are going to let your bike sit for weeks at a time then put it on a battery maintainer because its good preventative maintenance.

No battery, bike or car, likes to go dead. Remember that at dead battery is 12.0 volts. 75% charge is 12.4 volts and fully charged is 12.6volts. The act of going way down and then the act of being recharged never fully recharges the battery.

If you go to a motorcycle shop and get a battery tender then it will usually come with the ability for you to hard wire it to your battery and leave a set of leads tucked under one of the fairings. Then you just plug into those leads and let the bike sit being maintained by your tender which is plugged into a household outlet.
 
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