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Answer Seeker & Kibitzer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few years ago I won a Battery Bug (voltage monitoring device that measures battery output and shows as a % reliable available starting power left in the batttery). It also acts as a voltmeter while riding.

After every start the Bug shows the last start and the average of the last 10 starts and eventually when the battery is low it shows and even beeps at you that the battery needs replacing -- SUPOSEDLY...

Here is my questions - for those who HAVE and have USED a Battery Bug (experience counts) ...

Mine is showing my battery is going low (even bad). It did start the beeping at me and I unplugged it and 'reset" the calibration by doing so. According to the battery bug I need to buy a new battery.

HOWEVER - When I went to the battery plus store andhad them LOAD TEST the battery it showed as fine with 281 CCA under load (it starts at 330 CCA 3 years ago).

SO - With a 3 year old battery costing nearly $100 is it reasonable to conitune using it or just replace it as the "Bug" wants me to do...??

$100 is a lot of money right now...but so is a dead battery ...

Discuss ....
 

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Hey Wingsconsin,

Upfront: I don’t have one. But I have seen them and know how they work and calculate things out. My background is in the electronics field for many decades now.

You have heard the saying “Horsepower is nice but torque is your friend”? Well, in this case your battery bug is “nice” but a true load test is your “friend”.

The battery bug just keeps an average of the voltage drop on your battery when you go to start your bike and makes a very rudimentary calculation on your battery condition. Thinks like “accessories on” and temperature, a weak or dirty starter, a cold or warm engine and not entered into that equation at all when it calculates things out at the time of starting the bike and monitoring what is going on voltage wise.

These all make your battery have to work harder to provide the current needed to turn over your bike.

A load test actually puts a prescribed load on your battery that is static and watches how much your battery voltage drops over a prescribed amount of time – no variables introduced. A much more accurate “look” at the battery chemistry condition is obtained.

Though the battery bug is “cute” and may have a good voltage meter being displayed (which would probably be accurate), as a true piece of test equipment… no way.

Go with the Load Test every time. You got what you paid for with the battery bug.

Tim.
 

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I have a battery bug and it's been a useful tool. However, I found out, talking to a factory rep. that they are calibrated for cars, not motorcycles. So when you crank your engine, the bug thinks a herking battery is behind it. This causes the occasional bad news. I mostly use it as a voltmeter and a low voltage warning device. Stu Oltman, though, seems to think its information on battery deterioration is valid.
 

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It aint rocket science
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I would trust what the store told you. They are in business to sell batteries and if there was any question they would have tried to sell you a new one.:waving:

It wouldn't hurt to test charging system voltage with a regular meter now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Simplify...

I would trust what the store told you. They are in business to sell batteries and if there was any question they would have tried to sell you a new one.:waving:

It wouldn't hurt to test charging system voltage with a regular meter now.
I have a compufire alternator that charges at 14.4 at idle.
The battery is an X2 AGM and it works fine as far as I am concerned.
I MAY just take off the Bug and put on a Volt Meter instead...
 

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It (the Bug) is probably is acting as a good volt meter already… just don’t trust it to determine when to toss your battery.

If it were me, I’d leave it on and check what it is telling you volt wise against a good quality (Love my Flukes) meter hooked up to the same place (at the battery posts).

If they are within a ¼ volt I would continue to use the bug. I like the bugs display with its digital and analog output.

Tim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It (the Bug) is probably is acting as a good volt meter already… just don’t trust it to determine when to toss your battery.

If it were me, I’d leave it on and check what it is telling you volt wise against a good quality (Love my Flukes) meter hooked up to the same place (at the battery posts).

If they are within a ¼ volt I would continue to use the bug. I like the bugs display with its digital and analog output.

Tim.
The down side to the Bug is when it thiks the battery is too low it BEEPS at you (warning) . It is ANNOYING when I know (think) the battery is still good.

I took it off last night and have another Digital Voltmeter I will install ASAP to replace it. With my Compufire I am always charging the battery if the bike is running so it is almost a moot point...
 

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Busdriver
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Your other best friend is a battery tender. When used regularly it will greatly extend the life of your battery, saving you $$$.
 

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Pwhoever
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Although I don't have Battery Bug experience, I do have Batteries Plus experience. I had a bad Batteries Plus battery that was only a little over a year old. I had just installed my compufire and was having starting problems. I was stumped and decided to have the battery load tested and the clerk ( who was less than helpful but that's another story) load tested it and declared it good. I ended up the next day going to another Batteries Plus store who was very helpful. He also did a load test and said that it checked normal but agreed to replace it under warranty. It turns out at least one of the cells was bad causing my problem. The new battery started the bike right up and it ran fine ever since. So my point is that even though the battery may load test ok, there may be an underlying problem with it. I will admit that I don't know how to test for a bad cell but maybe the Battery Bug sees something the load test doesn't.

Edited to add: HERE is the thread with my adventure. I almost forgot until I re-read the thread, in the load testing, it was rated at 330 cca but in the load test, it showed over 600 cca which was way too high. Maybe that is a way to see if you have a bad cell????
 

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It aint rocket science
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A fully charged at rest with static charge removed battery should read no lower than 12.6V IIRC. If you park your bike for a few days it should still be 12.6 as long as you got nothing more than a 2mA or so parasitic draw.

If you come back a few days later and it is 12.2 or 12.4V you got a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Your other best friend is a battery tender. When used regularly it will greatly extend the life of your battery, saving you $$$.
Own one and use it regularly.
 
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