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I bought a used, but very clean '08 VN900 Custom about a month and a half ago. Just recently, I've been running int a problem where the bike will start up just fine, then a little later it'll give me that clicking sound you get when batteries are out of juice. The first time it happened was out on a ride in the middle of nowhere. I had been riding for a while, then we stopped for a quick break. It started up fine after the break, but we moved just down the road to take some photos, shut it off again... then the battery was powering up the bike, but not turning over the engine, and making that clicking sound. Good thing I was with someone, we were able to give it a push and pop the clutch to get it started.

I rode it every day last week, no problems, then it sat over the weekend and Sunday evening I went to start it... same problem. So I got a tender charger, put it on, charged it till the green light turned green (storage) and drove it to work Monday. This morning, I go to take it to work again, same thing... so now it sits on the charger for the day.

After that winded description... do I just need a new battery? Like I said, it's a clean 08, has about 8500 miles on it.
 

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whether it charges depends on if the charging ciruit is working... and how long you ride it. If you only ride it 10 miles or 20 miles to work in a day that is not enough time to allow the battery to recharge.

however...if the charging ciruit is ok the it does sound like the battery is not holding a charge any longer. Here is a link to how to check your battery charging on the bike..
http://www.ehow.com/video_2330193_check-motorcycle-battery.html

google the word "sulfation" if you want to understand how batteries die like this....espeically if they sit in the bike for a long time without proper charging ( and the batt tender is not able to fix sulfation..it only maintains a charge on an already decent battery.... )

you probably need a new battery...








I bought a used, but very clean '08 VN900 Custom about a month and a half ago. Just recently, I've been running int a problem where the bike will start up just fine, then a little later it'll give me that clicking sound you get when batteries are out of juice. The first time it happened was out on a ride in the middle of nowhere. I had been riding for a while, then we stopped for a quick break. It started up fine after the break, but we moved just down the road to take some photos, shut it off again... then the battery was powering up the bike, but not turning over the engine, and making that clicking sound. Good thing I was with someone, we were able to give it a push and pop the clutch to get it started.

I rode it every day last week, no problems, then it sat over the weekend and Sunday evening I went to start it... same problem. So I got a tender charger, put it on, charged it till the green light turned green (storage) and drove it to work Monday. This morning, I go to take it to work again, same thing... so now it sits on the charger for the day.

After that winded description... do I just need a new battery? Like I said, it's a clean 08, has about 8500 miles on it.
 

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If you have or can get your hands on a decent voltmeter, check the charging voltage. You should be getting about 15v at upper revs (never over 15.7v). If you're getting overly high voltage or steady low voltage (~12v) your charging system is failing. If that's the case, changing the battery won't help. In fact you could end up with further damage to charging system. The shop manual has detailed instructions for checking out the various components. Don't continue to charge and ride. Hopefully you don't have a serious problem, but you could end up with one if you don't diagnose and repair the problem.
 

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15 volts might be a bit high to watch for..... but the volts should rise with the rpms towards that..... watch the video I linked...or just read the transcript...


If you have or can get your hands on a decent voltmeter, check the charging voltage. You should be getting about 15v at upper revs (never over 15.7v). If you're getting overly high voltage or steady low voltage (~12v) your charging system is failing. If that's the case, changing the battery won't help. In fact you could end up with further damage to charging system. The shop manual has detailed instructions for checking out the various components. Don't continue to charge and ride. Hopefully you don't have a serious problem, but you could end up with one if you don't diagnose and repair the problem.
 

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Found the freaking battery dead this morning, put it with the battery tender and nothing, took it to Autozone and they said it is dead; is the battery included in the standard 24M warranty for the classic LT?
Thanks
You will have to ask the dealer if the battery is covered or not. But a battery "should" last more than 2 years. Mine is at 4 years right now. It could just be a bad battery. Sometimes you get one of those. However, it may also be that the charging system was not working properly and this caused the battery to die early. I would still stick a volt meter on the bike to check your charging system. There has been some talk on the forums about some of the stators not working all that well. If you are still under warranty, this is something I would have checked by the dealer. If the stator or some other component in the charging system is bad, it definitely should be covered under warranty. Good luck. Hope your baby gets well soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I went ahead and replaced the battery. We'll see how it does. I hope it's not the stator.
 

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My bet is that it is just the battery. Since you just bought it second hand, there is no telling if the previous owner maintained it correctly over the winter. Batteries go bad, it is a way of life with motorized vehicles, so don't try to make it complicated. Start with the easy low hanging fruit, replace it and stick a voltmeter on it to make sure it is charging and then forget about it. Have fun riding...
 

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Just to be on the safe side do go ahead and put the volt meter on the battery with the motor running and check the voltage. I am one of those that have had to replace the stator at 6500 miles, also recommend a volt meter mounted to bike to be able to watch the charger. This is how i knew the stator had quite. A good one is made by Kuryikan and is LED lights that show good charge or not.
 

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Confirmed, battery is nor cover under the warranty, they want $86 for a replacement battery; any idea where I can find a better deal?
I shopped around online and went to some place local.. I got the one local, about the same price. I think I paid about $85 after taxes.
 

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Confirmed, battery is nor cover under the warranty, they want $86 for a replacement battery; any idea where I can find a better deal?
DON'T BUY IT! I hope I'm not to late. Go to Sams or Wal-mart. Their batteries work fine and are just as good a quality as the one from the dealership. They also usually cost about half as much. I'm betting you could get out for $50 or less at Sams.

PS- Their warranty is usually longer too.
 

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Tallannie said:
If you only ride it 10 miles or 20 miles to work in a day that is not enough time to allow the battery to recharge.
I've ridden my 08 Custom regularly since July of '08 on a 20 mile round trip commute and have not had any issues with my battery not having enough power to start the bike. I ride from March through December, but it is garage kept. Contrary to popular belief, heat is what kills lead acid batteries, not cold. Cold actually inhibits the chemical process of sulfation, heat accelerates it especially when a battery isn't fully charged. I've never even hooked it to a trickel charger such as a Battery Tender over the winter or even during the summer. I have, on occasion, hooked it up to my full size battery charger just to be sure and it's never pegged the amps on the charger even when switched to the low 2A setting. I have it load tested at the beginning of each season when the bike is in for it's spring oil change. If it starts to show diminished cranking ability; I'll get a new battery on immediately.
 

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Technically a battery tender replaces the lost volts hences reduces pbso4 deposits buildup .A battery charger 1to2 amps actually charges the battery back up.True -heat kill batteries.
My suggestion is to put a voltmeter across bat and look at increase volts ,as suggested.
Also check the bat connections for oxidation build up,loose connections.
 

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Technically a battery tender replaces the lost volts hences reduces pbso4 deposits buildup .A battery charger 1to2 amps actually charges the battery back up.True -heat kill batteries.
My suggestion is to put a voltmeter across bat and look at increase volts ,as suggested.
Also check the bat connections for oxidation build up,loose connections.
Bikeman is correct once again. This phenomenon is called sulfation and occurres when a battery is allowed to discharge reducing its life. A battery tender will extend battery life. Ask any car collector.
http://www.boatelectric.com/sulfation.htm

"hue-e" Check the electrical connector at the rectifier behind the front wheel. I have read about, but not experience problems with water getting into the connector causing charging system problems.
Hope this helps.
 

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Do you have a GPS installed that is wired to the battery?

X
 

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mdsimon80, that was my next step ( u beat me to it) There is a logical sequence to trouble shoot.When i see bikers just spending (wasting) so much money on replacements it hurt me.If water is collecting at the RR post back there is a $1.00 cheap fix.
 
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