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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Problem with starting my 1994 GL1500A. Kept it on a trickle charger all winter. Started it up periodically until at operating temp. Now that it's spring, took the trickle charger off. It appears the battery is not holding a charge. For example, I had to put a regular battery charger on it and start it this weekend. Rode for about an hour at speeds in excess of 50mph. Went to restart on Sunday, would not turn over without the charger on it. I put the voltmeter on it and it shows 14 (+-) amps when running. Battery is 3 years old. Installed by PO. Doesn't look like a very good one. Should I replace the battery? I tried to check for parasitic draw, but not comfortable with that process and if I'm getting accurate information. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

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If you are unsure how to check for a parasitic draw using a meter you could try charging the battery or running the bike for a while then take the battery out. Leave it a day or so and put it back. If the bike wont start because it's flat you can be reasonably sure the battery is no good.
You could also take the battery to a shop for load checking just to be sure. I think their test is usually free.
 

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you didn't say what type of battery you had. 3 years is a looooong time for a wet cell bike battery. have it load tested as the 1500's don't play well with weak batteries.
 

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the 1500's don't play well with weak batteries.[/QUOTE]


And THAT is the truth!

:readit:

T.
 

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Gregarious Greeter
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Yuasa lasts about five years for me.
 

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Token Canuk
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How are your connections. Clean & tight:?:?
 

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Problem with starting my 1994 GL1500A. Kept it on a trickle charger all winter. Started it up periodically until at operating temp. Now that it's spring, took the trickle charger off. It appears the battery is not holding a charge. For example, I had to put a regular battery charger on it and start it this weekend. Rode for about an hour at speeds in excess of 50mph. Went to restart on Sunday, would not turn over without the charger on it. I put the voltmeter on it and it shows 14 (+-) amps when running. Battery is 3 years old. Installed by PO. Doesn't look like a very good one. Should I replace the battery? I tried to check for parasitic draw, but not comfortable with that process and if I'm getting accurate information. Any advice would be appreciated.
Parasitic Draw is pretty easy to check.A DIGITAL muti-meter is really the only accurate way to check for this.All you have to do is unhook one of the battery cables.Doesn't really matter which one because you're just tapping into the circuit and the amperage is the same throughout the circuit.Take your meter leads and hook one to the battery post and one to the cable end.Ignition key off.Turn dial on the meter to the mA(milliamp scale)which is 1 thousands of an amp.Here again it really doesn't matter which lead goes to where because if it is hooked up backwards the reading will just come up as a negative(eg -.005 or.005 would be a 5 mA draw).Another good reason to use a digital meter.You will get a very very small reading from the radio memory and probably the ECU,but it I would bet less than .005 mA's.Even 25 mA'S would take a while to kill a battery.Don't think you would ever find a spec from Honda for this,but a general rule for a car/truck is less than 50 mA's.My bikes still in storage or I would get you a reading from it to give you an Idea.Maybe one of the other members could take a reading and post it.

P.S. Saying all that I believe also that your battery is toast.
 

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Yuasa lasts about five years for me.
+1,
I'm selling another goldwing that needs a battery. If I'm buying a new battery, it's going in MY bike!! So I'm swapping out a perfectly good battery (wet cell) that has served me well for four seasons. The guy tried to sell me a gel battery, then dropped his jaw and darn near called me a liar when I told him I have 4 years on the "wet" one.
The 1200 has parasitic draws and will go flat over the winter, but this battery has never failed to recharge and hold a charge. I don't use a battery tender.
Sometimes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut.....
The sad thing is, the battery is so old, the writing has disappeared, so I can't tell you who makes it! :grin:
 

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killer driller
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just charge your battery,take it to the auto parts store and have it load tested,I bet its bad and you can go ahead asnd buy another one while your there
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone. I'll check the parasitic draw, but I believe it's the battery.
 

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+1,
I'm selling another goldwing that needs a battery. If I'm buying a new battery, it's going in MY bike!! So I'm swapping out a perfectly good battery (wet cell) that has served me well for four seasons. The guy tried to sell me a gel battery, then dropped his jaw and darn near called me a liar when I told him I have 4 years on the "wet" one.
The 1200 has parasitic draws and will go flat over the winter, but this battery has never failed to recharge and hold a charge. I don't use a battery tender.
Sometimes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut.....
The sad thing is, the battery is so old, the writing has disappeared, so I can't tell you who makes it! :grin:
I've had some lead/acid that have lasted pretty long,but after having AGM's(3 of them.1 in the wing and 1 in each of my atv's)I'll never buy another lead/acid.JMHO.
 

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Wet cell battery life 5-8 years typical.
Keep charged
Equalize at least 2x a year
Test the electrolyte, it can become an insulator especially when not fully charged.
Never leave on a tender for a long time...charge with higher amps, then back on the tender
Keep battery clean and connections tight
Check all cables
Check starter, starter connections and starter contactor
 

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Equalization
Requires higher amps. A multi-tap battery charger say has 2A 10A and 50 A charge ratings.
Start off charging at 10 A, when fully charged, test the electrolyte with a battery hydrometer, then charge at 2 A to a full float
Check voltage and electrolyte
Now charge at 50 A, this will over charge and boil the electrolyte 10 minutes max, test for heat, let sit 10 minutes, test electrolyte.
Redo for 5 minutes at 50A, let sit for 10 minutes then test the voltage, the electrolyte and add distilled water if needed.

Boiling the electrolyte will change the composition of it changing areas that are an insulator to a conductor. Depending on the battery shape it may take a couple equalization tries. Equalization is done with deep cell batteries, but automotive batteries can be done with care and not being over charged too long. DO NOT HEAT UP THE BATTERY. A hot automotive battery will warp the sponge plates. Over charging will cause deposits of spent lead onto the bed of the battery, so care is needed. Automotive batteries are very different than deep cell batteries, they are cheaper built, not as robust, not as big, less bulk in the carrier package, smaller spongier lead alloy plates and cannot be treated the same way...but with care, a deliberate ethic the automotive battery can have its life extended.
 

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I noticed you said you left the bike on a trickle charger. Did you mean battery tender? If it is in fact a trickle charger I made the exact mistake once and had the same result. It seems that even a trickle charger all winter long can wreck the battery. Battery tenders just bring batteries up to a certain voltage then turn off and watch.

I have only heard of equalizing deep cycle batteries. When a battery is discharged and recharged some of the plates can become sulfated. That is common on deep cycle batteries. Regular automotive batteries should just stay charged and I don't think it is necessary or even wanted. The idea of charging at 50 amps just sounds scary. That would be like exposing the battery to 700 or 800 watts for 10 minutes. That seems like it would make lots of heat and heat kills batteries.
After all is said I too think your battery is no good.
 

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Answer Seeker & Kibitzer
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A local store...

Take the old battery out and find a local Batteries Plus store..

They will load test it and recommend a new one that you can walk out with...

I have an X2 Extreme in my bike for the past 3 years. I use a Battery maintainer to keep it juiced up. The tender mainatiner will actually monitor the battery and add charge when it needs it at low amperage so it doesn;t cook your battery.

The maintainer is about $35 and a new battery for the bike in AGM (all glass mat sealed - no water adding) is about $100 after coupons and rebates (look online on their site).

The new X2's are about 310 -330 CCA. Your bike needs 10+ volts to start after cranking the engine. So a failing battery will be a problem sooner rather than later.
 

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More info please....

I have fought with power on my 1500 for years. First, when you turn key on, are the lights bright, or dim?
If bright, and then go VERY dim when you try to start, it could be a couple things:
1) Draw at starter due to poor starter selenoid (usually NOT the culprit, my experience, they work, or they don't)
2) Consider routing a heavier gauge wire from battery to starter. I got tired of power issues, and pretty much rewired the 'short' runs, then completely rewired all of my accessories due to a constant draw and stray voltage. Suprisingly easy, once you map it out in your head, and use inline fuses.
3) Check battery voltage when you draw power, either from all acc. or when turning over.
4) Never assume that riding will re-charge the battery. Not designed to charge, designed to run and keep charged.
Good luck!
Paul
 

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Equalization
Requires higher amps. A multi-tap battery charger say has 2A 10A and 50 A charge ratings.
Start off charging at 10 A, when fully charged, test the electrolyte with a battery hydrometer, then charge at 2 A to a full float
Check voltage and electrolyte
Now charge at 50 A, this will over charge and boil the electrolyte 10 minutes max, test for heat, let sit 10 minutes, test electrolyte.
Redo for 5 minutes at 50A, let sit for 10 minutes then test the voltage, the electrolyte and add distilled water if needed.

Boiling the electrolyte will change the composition of it changing areas that are an insulator to a conductor. Depending on the battery shape it may take a couple equalization tries. Equalization is done with deep cell batteries, but automotive batteries can be done with care and not being over charged too long. DO NOT HEAT UP THE BATTERY. A hot automotive battery will warp the sponge plates. Over charging will cause deposits of spent lead onto the bed of the battery, so care is needed. Automotive batteries are very different than deep cell batteries, they are cheaper built, not as robust, not as big, less bulk in the carrier package, smaller spongier lead alloy plates and cannot be treated the same way...but with care, a deliberate ethic the automotive battery can have its life extended.
A little off-subject....
Have you ever tried the aspirin trick on battery with "dead" cells? I know it sounds stupid, but it does work on auto batteries to get an extra couple months out of them.
Just an FYI....
 
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