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 Motorcycle Safety
 Understanding Batteries
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Male Junior Member
91 Posts

San Diego, Ca



Posted - 03/02/2014 :  8:50 PM                       Like
While doing my slow season maintenance this week, I got out all my severely discharged batteries to see if any of them could be saved with the use of both my dumb and smart chargers.

So far 2 out of 3 are showing promise after being on the old charger for a week at a low setting (2 amps).

The smart charger (mine's a new Optima for my AGM batteries. It wouldn't even recognize any of the 3 batteries when connected for a few days, so as a last resort, on went the old Schumacher.

Now the Optima reads them, and I am now letting it condition them. (If it works)

Feeling I might be onto something, I did a web search and came across the website Battery University. http://batteryuniversity.com/

It's a dry read, but has a lot of good info that may help me out.

Might this be a topic worthy of discussion while you're snowbound?

Regards from Insane Diego, Bruce

Male Moderator
2082 Posts



Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 03/02/2014 :  9:40 PM
I have not read your link yet but I will. It's a good day when I can learn something new.

What I am wondering is whether or not I would have enough faith in a resurrected battery to use it. If you can breath life back into those batteries what are your intentions?

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Male Junior Member
91 Posts

San Diego, Ca



Posted - 03/02/2014 :  10:16 PM
My intention is to try and restore the batteries and place them back into service. One of the promising batteries will go back into my Sportster which has been sitting for several months not being ridden.

It was a new battery back when I parked the bike, but failed to notice my battery tender lead was broken. The electronics drained it to zero, and it wouldn't take a charge when I tried it 2 weeks ago, hence my buying the smart charger.

I also needed an AGM battery for my trailer winch, requiring a smart charger. I went to AGM because of the corrosive gases that might leak out into the crossbed storage box where it's mounted across the front of the bed, locked from all but the most determined thieves.

Battery #3 is the auxiliary battery in my Tahoe, which is being set up as a tow rig for broken bikes on our club rides, as well as covering a lot of interstate in short order to get where my partner and me want to ride. .

She's a retired long haul trucker, and has never seen America other than a ribbon of road in front of her. As for me, I've gotten tired of taking days to cross deserts, and being rained on for weeks at a time.

Yes, I've gotten soft in my old age, saying all my riding life I wouldn't be caught dead on a trailer, but after my partner's bike broke half of the trips we took last year, it seems prudent. Just 3 U-Haul rentals would pay for it.

More about my partner later in another thread.

Hope this answers your questions, Bruce

correction- battery #2 is a group 34 that I keep handy as a power source in the garage.

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Male Junior Member
91 Posts

San Diego, Ca



Posted - 03/05/2014 :  4:49 AM
I've been checking both the batteries I have hooked up to the chargers for the last few days, and one shows promise, but the other I think might be unserviceable.

The group 34 I've had on maint. float charge only overheats with 2 amps, and even at 350 ma it is too warm.

The Sportster battery on the smart charger has been steadily increasing in voltage (13.2 now), and I've been watching the charger info panel and watched the amperage supplied vary between 0.2 amps and 2.5 amps.

I've been reading the Battery University site, but my working memory is shot since my strokes. It's difficult to remember what I've just read.

Here's what I'm focusing on now:

How to rid a battery of sulfation is what I wish to accomplish.

Ride and work safe, Bruce

Edited by - Leaky on 03/05/2014 4:57 AM
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Male Standard Member
102 Posts

Moline, Illinois


V-Star 650

Posted - 06/20/2016 :  1:51 AM
Batteries are very fickle. If not cycled on a semi regular basis; if allowed to discharge completely; if allowed to freeze -- they have a high probability of going bad. (According to an Interstate Battery manager, some are freaks of nature and will stand up to any abuse thrown at them.)

I bought an AGM battery from O'Rielly's last October, put the bike in (climate controlled) storage at the beginning of December (with no trickle charger) and by spring the bike would barely crank. Tried to charge battery with my new Battery Tender Plus (which is made for AGM batteries) to no avail.

Had battery tested at Interstate -- and it was determined to be shot. (Was only putting out 100 amps during test.) After hem-hawing around, O'Rielly's gave me a 100 percent refund.


1) Crank bike on a regular basis, and go for a decent ride. If not possible to ride on regular basis, keep on a Battery Tender Plus.

2) Remove battery during winter (if garage goes below freezing) and place on a Battery Tender Plus somewhere warm.

3) Save receipt!!

Edited by - USMarine6173 on 06/21/2016 12:56 AM
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Male Advanced Member
2266 Posts

colorado springs, co


CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 06/20/2016 :  2:34 AM
I've had so /so luck over the years too and had an AGM that was about $70 last time around. I have a voltage readout on the bike so monitoring the battery health is very easy and I keep an older cheapo trickle charger (about $10) from Harbor Freight in my bike bag. Even at work, if I think of it or feel it can use a bump, I'll hook it up. I made an extension with a pig tail plug-in on the bike that is easy to get at. At home, I've got a Schumacher small charger as well that might have run $30 or so.

I try to hit up the battery at least once or twice a month because my ride time and commute really isn't up to the min task that often. It's an 8 to 10 min ride covering 4 miles and I have not been good about setting aside time or plans for bigger longer recreational rides.

Seems like the 50 to 65 degrees temps are better for the battery too. It's been getting pretty warm here recently.
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Advanced Member
6890 Posts

Pleasanton, CA


990 Adv, XR650L

Posted - 06/20/2016 :  6:15 PM
Originally posted by bachman1961

I've had so /so luck over the years too and had an AGM that was about $70 last time around.

I had a relatively cheap WPS AGM battery in my KTM that didn't seem to be able to last a full year. After going through two of them, I finally bought a genuine Yuasa AGM battery and have had no issues at all since.

Sometimes going cheaper doesn't really save you money. Oh, and when my Honda finally needed a new one after more than six years, I went with Yuasa for that too. I want a battery that I can trust.
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