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Alaskan Explorer on a Valk
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I have a two yr old battery that was very low on water. I filled it up and put a charge on it. Bike ran great for three weeks and I checked the battery level and it was very low again.



I took the battery out and put it on the bench and filled it up with distilled water and charged it again. Thinking the case was cracked. no water has run out of it.



Is it possible that my bike is charging and frying the battery?



any suggestions would be helpful.

any thing I should watch for?
 

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02 GL1800 w/Auto Pilot
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I suspicion the plates just soaked up the "lost water" and that it will now be pretty good for you.

Let a battery get low on water and you normally won't be able to recover it. Sometimes yes, but it usually does not return to 100% capacity.

I would just make sure that there is no battery drain on it when the key is OFF.

Some bikes have a bit of electronics that stay activated even though the key is off.

All of my cars and my 1998 Dodge Cummins truck has stuff that stays fired up. Clocks, etc.... Electric door lock receivers...........

My 1991 Honda ST1100 has a clock that stays on all the time, that got changed, it now is wired to the switched accessory terminal. It now tells me how long I have been riding, not the time of day. More fun that way :action:


As for "frying the battery", a simple voltmeter check can allay that idea. Should be 14.3ish volts when the system is cold and the battery nearly charged. Then as the engine warms up, the regulator should pull the voltage back to about 13.6 volts and stay there.

I would keep a Battery Tender on that bike battery anytime that you are not riding it. I do, on both my ST1100 and the GL1500 and also on my Dodge truck's batteries. Those two batteries are nearly $200 each!!! Can't afford to let them get low.
 

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Junior Grue
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Check the voltage at the battery at 3,000 rpm both cold and after a ride.
I had a regulator that charged at 14v when cold but slowly climbed to over 18v as it heated up and yes it was boiling batteries.
 

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Postpubescent member
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If all cells are going low on electrolyte I'd second Ken's diagnosis as a regulator fault. A voltmeter should prove that out easily and quickly. One other check is to see if the battery gets hot, if it does it's another symptom of a failed regulator.
 

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1987 GL1200 Interstate
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I have to add water to mine all the time. It's normal maintenance, liketopping offthe oil and tires.

You can get a sealed battery if you don't want to mess with it.
 

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It might not necessarily be a FAILED regulator. If the "sense" wire (I believe it's the black one) on the regulator has a bad connection somewhere between the regulator and the battery (it goes through a fuse, several connections, and the keyswitch on its way to the regulator), and presents less than 12 volts to the regulator, the regulator will increase output trying to "make up" for what it perceives to be the low voltage. This will end up running your bike with voltage that is too high, and boil off your electrolyte.

Start the bike up, run it at 3500 RPM for a few minutes to let the battery recharge and recover from the start, and while holding it at that speed, use a meter to measure the voltage at the battery terminals.
 

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Postpubescent member
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Agreed, I didn't mean the regulator itself was shot but that the regulator or it's wiring was disfunctional. One would surely check out the connectors and wiring first.
 

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i know on my 1100 i gotta check the battery acid level at least once a month if not sooner if you let it get too low you'll burn up the platees then buh-bye battery

for some reason i dunno but my 1100 seems to burn up the acid maybe it gets hot i dunno a buddy of mine has a 1100 also and he dosent have those issues like i do

musta been a friday built bike
 

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Alaskan Explorer on a Valk
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Thanks for all the replys. Now I know I do have a problem.

MC what voltage should I get at 3500?



If I hae to replace battery how is a gel battery?
 

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Junior Grue
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Wilcoy02 wrote:
Thanks for all the replys. Now I know I do have a problem.

MC what voltage should I get at 3500?



If I hae to replace battery how is a gel battery?
Numbers please.
At 3,500rpm when first started.
At 3,500rpm after a minute or two.
At 3,500rpm after a half hour ride.

And yes an AGM battery is good but a run away regulator will destroy even the best battery.
 

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Alaskan Explorer on a Valk
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ok at first minute 1/2 hour what voltage should I get?
Thanks
 

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If the battery is a bit on the weak side and never fully charges it will lose water quicker than normal. If run bone dry in the past it can be on the weak side. Check spec. gravity after charging or after long ride. 1275 to 1300 is in the good range. Specific gravity below 1275 can be asking to be charged all the time.

Keno
 
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