Battery Thoughts - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Battery Thoughts

I was asked to start a new thread so the original (50k on stator) would not be highjacked. The premise of the original thread was tips or idea on extending stator life. I'm not a mechanic nor advocating a specific product; I am playing my own hunches with my own money, that is, to see for myself if I never have to replace the stator, and adding my personal observations. This is what I added to the original thread:

"I replaced the 6 year old stock battery with an heavy-duty Shoria (LFX18A1-BS12). When I started the bike this morning (the first night the battery was in place after 40 miles of riding the night before), the fuel pump sounded way loud compared to what I was used to. Next, after the bike fired (a little different from most batteries; bump the starter, then wait 10 seconds, then start; it seems to help the battery work better), there was no high idle. Odd, I thought, in 35 degree F weather after a overnight low of 25 F. Let the bike idle for 15 second, shut it down, fired it back up 30 minutes later. Again, no high idle. I thought I had noticed this last night when I first fired up the bike; it ran high idle, went to a higher idle, then down to the regular idle all within about 10 seconds. Stayed at low idle even after 5 starts during the 40 miles. Took it for a short, 3 mile ride after the two cold starts above; shut her down, restarted warm, and she wanted to go to high idle but didn't. Hmmmm.

My theory is, a start is hard on a battery; if the battery is starting to go, the idle stays high, even if the bike is warm or it is warm outside, to help ensure adequate charging of the battery and the running of the electrical systems. If that is the case, then that can be very hard on the stator/regulator and shorten life span. Just a hunch, I'll see what happens during the year. "

To add more thoughts, if memory serves, the battery also helps to augment the electrical system while the vehicle is running, sort of serving like the overflow until the regulator kicks in and also a reservoir for when the stator system is overloaded (idle with lots of non-stock draw). If so, then the weaker or less capable the battery to work as the overflow or reservoir, regardless of new or old, the more undue stress is put on the stator, thus shortening the life span of the stator.

2006 VN900 Classic LT - Red and Black
Stage III Stock Pipes - K&N Filter in Stock Box - Amsoil - 170/80 Kenda Kruz - Saddlemen Explorer - Willie & Max Windshield Bag - Mutazu Passenger Floor Boards - Shorai Heavy Duty Battery - Kawasaki Lowers - Black Universal Trunk mounted on Mutazu Rack - Osram 70/65w Plus 50
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 04:16 PM
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Thumbs up Battery Thoughts

OK I will start the questions.
Where did you get it, store or online.
Did you happen to do a volt test before you installed the new battery?

I looked around when I got my bike but battery's with a higher rating would not fit the case. I lost the stator at 14 months so the battery took a hit and is now showing some lose of voltage, so it is a great time to look at a higher capacity unit.

Done some searching for this technology and most reports are good to glowing. I know the weight issue is not relevant when you are on a 650 + pound bike but the extra power capacity would be great.

I do a lot of stop and go riding with long periods of idle at city intersections as well as short trips, which does not really provide enough recharge time to the lead acid battery.

I for one think there may be something to all of your theorems

To many good things about this, to not consider.

Maybe some of the pro's will chime in with there thought's is there such thing as too much power from a battery?

John
"I am a modern cowboy, on a steel horse I ride"
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-11-2012, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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I purchased the battery from Rocky Mountain ATV. I was about to purchase it online when I realized that I was going right past their main warehouse the next day, so I picked it up there. The Shoria main site wanted $190, Rocky $170 with free shipping. I went with the heavy duty version because, even without any extra draw, I was going to be doing a lot of commuting with the bike along with lots of rides and wanted that extra peace of mind. A base lead acid replacement from Western Power Sports was $65 and their sealed version $100 (this is what my local NAPA carries); most other sites I checked had sealed batteries with names I didn't recognize, and I have used unknown batteries for other applications in the past with little success. I figured if I spent a little more now for a very good battery, I could possibly extend the stator life, which would put me money ahead in the long run.

I don't own a volt meter; the literature that came with the battery stated it was at a 90% charge from the factory. Started right up with no hesitation or slow starting. It is much lighter and much smaller than the stock; used a few of the shims they sent to snug it into place.

Again, from what I have read, there is a thing as too much voltage; between 12.9v to 14v is considered good. Anything below 12.3v or above 15v prolonged indicates something very wrong somewhere.

2006 VN900 Classic LT - Red and Black
Stage III Stock Pipes - K&N Filter in Stock Box - Amsoil - 170/80 Kenda Kruz - Saddlemen Explorer - Willie & Max Windshield Bag - Mutazu Passenger Floor Boards - Shorai Heavy Duty Battery - Kawasaki Lowers - Black Universal Trunk mounted on Mutazu Rack - Osram 70/65w Plus 50
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by King43 View Post
My theory is, a start is hard on a battery; if the battery is starting to go, the idle stays high, even if the bike is warm or it is warm outside, to help ensure adequate charging of the battery and the running of the electrical systems.
The ECU is not smart enough to do that.
Also, I have found that as a battery grows old, it is actually more reluctant to take a charging current than when new. (more internal resistance)

I am interested in your new battery. Keep us posted on the day to day performance of it.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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If the ecu is not smart enough to do see a high discharge need variable (allow high idle), then what other controller on the bike could disallow high idle, especially at low temp? Regulator? I'm at a loss as to what else could be controling the idle issue. I wish I hadn't discarded the old battery (left it with the rest of the old batteries at the local NAPA last Friday) so I could hook it up to the bike to see what occurs. If not to recharge the battery, what would be the need for high idle? Most Ford vehicles have a high idle at startup for emmission purposes (my 2000 Windstar idles at 2500 rpm at 20F; the reason is to get heat to the catalytic converter quickly so the cats can begin working sooner); does the Vulcan 900 have cats? If so, then why would the battery change negate the high idle for emmission purposes? Has anyone put in a new battery this season experienced the same thing as me? (Wow, I'm full of questions, or possibly just full of it ).

I let the bike sit from Saturday afternoon thru Monday morning (Sat low, 28F; Sun high, 58F; Mon low, 32F). So after 36 hours of non use and with the temp still at 32F, fired up the bike with no bump; fired right up with no high idle, just the regular idle. I have the regular idle on the bike set to just barely high enough to keep what I perceive as piston slap at bay. Tonight I'm going to set the regular idle to barely run and see what she does the next morning (low tonight is supposed to be low 30s F).

2006 VN900 Classic LT - Red and Black
Stage III Stock Pipes - K&N Filter in Stock Box - Amsoil - 170/80 Kenda Kruz - Saddlemen Explorer - Willie & Max Windshield Bag - Mutazu Passenger Floor Boards - Shorai Heavy Duty Battery - Kawasaki Lowers - Black Universal Trunk mounted on Mutazu Rack - Osram 70/65w Plus 50
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by King43 View Post
Tonight I'm going to set the regular idle to barely run and see what she does the next morning (low tonight is supposed to be low 30s F).
Beware setting the idle too low. IIRC the recommended idle speed for your bike is 950 R.P.M.'s and if you set it below that you risk running your oil pressure too low and starving the top end from getting the necessary lubrication.

Mark
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, yes, very true and thank you, Comet. I don't want to do that on a cold engine, regardless of the oil used. Guess I'll think of something else. Hmmm.

2006 VN900 Classic LT - Red and Black
Stage III Stock Pipes - K&N Filter in Stock Box - Amsoil - 170/80 Kenda Kruz - Saddlemen Explorer - Willie & Max Windshield Bag - Mutazu Passenger Floor Boards - Shorai Heavy Duty Battery - Kawasaki Lowers - Black Universal Trunk mounted on Mutazu Rack - Osram 70/65w Plus 50
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 06:17 PM
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i want to get one of them new fangeled lithium batteries ... but id like to find one that actually fills (or near fills) the battery compartment....i think the extra capacity would help since i run a stereo ....
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 07:14 PM
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i want to get one of them new fangeled lithium batteries ... but id like to find one that actually fills (or near fills) the battery compartment....i think the extra capacity would help since i run a stereo ....
I checked the size of the case before I ordered, the 18 amp case is only slightly smaller than the OEM battery. The battery comes with foam shims to protect and snug the battery in the case. Problem solved.

John
"I am a modern cowboy, on a steel horse I ride"
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-12-2012, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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There are two batteries for the Vulcan from Shoria; base and heavy-duty. This link should answer your question, Big. http://www.shoraipower.com/s-228669-...ulcan-All.aspx

The 18 amp is substantial smaller than the stock lead-acid; I used five different shims for a snug, snug fit.

2006 VN900 Classic LT - Red and Black
Stage III Stock Pipes - K&N Filter in Stock Box - Amsoil - 170/80 Kenda Kruz - Saddlemen Explorer - Willie & Max Windshield Bag - Mutazu Passenger Floor Boards - Shorai Heavy Duty Battery - Kawasaki Lowers - Black Universal Trunk mounted on Mutazu Rack - Osram 70/65w Plus 50
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