Battery Life? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-09-2011, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Battery Life?

Well, I hate to admit it, but it's just about the end of the riding season here in SW Ohio. Once in a while we'll get a decent temperature riding day through the winter months, but they are few and far between. So anyway, my "07" Custom has the OME battery. I keep a battery tender on it whenever I'm not riding. I have had no starting issues, but I'm wondering how long should I stay with the original battery, before just going ahead and replacing it to be on the safe side. I'd hate to be out in the middle of nowhere, which is where I usually ride, and stop somewhere and not be able to get her started again.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 03:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Akgeezer View Post
Well, I hate to admit it, but it's just about the end of the riding season here in SW Ohio. Once in a while we'll get a decent temperature riding day through the winter months, but they are few and far between. So anyway, my "07" Custom has the OME battery. I keep a battery tender on it whenever I'm not riding. I have had no starting issues, but I'm wondering how long should I stay with the original battery, before just going ahead and replacing it to be on the safe side. I'd hate to be out in the middle of nowhere, which is where I usually ride, and stop somewhere and not be able to get her started again.
There is no set lifespan of a motorcycle battery. It can be anywhere from three months to six years or more. The best way is to monitor the condition of your battery and charging system. This can be done with a cheap multimeter. Two tests once every few weeks will tell you all you need to know. Use the accessory plug under the seat as it's hot all the time. 1, take the bike off of your charger and let it sit over night. The following morning the voltage should be 12.6 VDC or more. 2, start the bike and let it warm up. Bring the revs up to about 4000 RPM and measure voltage again at the accessory plug. You should be at the mid 14's. If it's above 15 VDC then you may have a problem with the regulator. Tighten your battery connections periodically as the soft metal terminals allow the bolts to loosen over time.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 08:43 AM
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I, like you keep my bike on a tender, 3 to 5 years is not uncommon with this set up.

As i flipped into 5th, i couldnt remember a damn thing she said
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 10:06 AM
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Another way to test battery is with a load test. Since this can be a hassle, here is a home made sort-of load test:

1. Monitor battery voltage at the battery. Should be over 12v.
2. Turn on key. Voltage should stay over 12v.
3. Leave key on for five minutes. You will see battery voltage start to drop, but it should never fall below 12v. If it does, the battery is either dead or bad.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 11:08 AM
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You are using the tender, GOOD DEAL !
My stock battery '97 lasted till ealier this yr, that is over 12 yrs.
Using the battery tender is what makes the big difference. It reduces the build up of sulphate and even to some extent will break down light sulphating and extend the battery's life accordingly.
Keep using the tender and don't worry about it till it is showing signs of capacity loss, and, the only real way to determine the capacity of a battery is with a load test meter.
The biggest killers of a battery are:
cooking or leaving a constant charger on too long.
Drawing down too far below surface charge & leaving it.
Freezing, a low battery will freeze sooner than a full charged one.
These things will cause a deep sulphate that the tender can't deal with.
Also note that many of our MC batteries have a soft lead terminal (rather than harder alloy) which can loosen with vibration of MC and need perioding tightening (causion with tightening) and over time the terminal can get crushed beyond useability, Mine was close to this state when it lost its capacity as tested with a load meter !

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