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NorthEast USA Rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Story short: New factory battery last August. Dead after getting gas at station couple days ago. Futzing around with it today, I noted that initial voltage was about 13.65

The manual says that a full charge is 13-13.2 volts.

After about 45 minutes it was down to 13.27

I keep it on a battery tender when not in use (when I'm not actually sitting on it and riding it).

Manual says that voltage should only drop by about 1% per day. Starting from 13.65 that should only bring it down to 13.64 after an hour, not 13.27.

So, is my 10 month old factory sealed battery dead?
And if so, why?
Is it because the battery tender keeps overcharging it?

Would a short circuit somewhere in the system cause this to happen?

Thank you all of you wizards for your help.
 

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I'm running my original battery in my 2006. One of two things is going on with your situation.

1) something on your bike is slowly draining your battery

2) something is wrong with your tender. Always hook the tender to the bike first, then plug it into the wall and turn it on.




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NorthEast USA Rider
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286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm running my original battery in my 2006. One of two things is going on with your situation.

1) something on your bike is slowly draining your battery

2) something is wrong with your tender. Always hook the tender to the bike first, then plug it into the wall and turn it on.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Hmm... First of all, I like your line about the drinking. I have some mods on my bike: Walmart driving lights, power distribution mod with various things attached including: the driving lights, Kury PowerPoint, the Tender itself, and I was about to also install the Stebel Nautilus Compact Horn. I have also installed the Kury Triple Whammy separately and some additional LED's on the license plate frame.

Ii did an amperage check with the bike off, and it seemed to keep reading about 0.56 mAmp even though I kept disconnecting all of the mods (except for the triple whammy.) Manual says that should be 0.1mAmp or less, so that may be a problem, but I am "above my pay grade" trying to figure out how to further explore what might be draining power on my bike. Maybe someone out there can help with that.

Also, I usually plug the tender into the wall first, then connect it to the bike. Why should that make a difference?

Thank you very much.
 

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Hmm... First of all, I like your line about the drinking.
Drinking????

Also, I usually plug the tender into the wall first, then connect it to the bike. Why should that make a difference?

Thank you very much.
I don't know why it makes a difference, it just does. Most tenders state in the instructions to do just that. Someone else will have to answer the tech aspect of that question.






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NorthEast USA Rider
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know why it makes a difference, it just does. Most tenders state in the instructions to do just that. Someone else will have to answer the tech aspect of that question.

Hmm. I will have to check the manual that came with the tender. Thank you. By the way, no "drinking" tonight, OK?
 

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Cafe Vendor
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Ii did an amperage check with the bike off, and it seemed to keep reading about 0.56 mAmp even though I kept disconnecting all of the mods (except for the triple whammy.) Manual says that should be 0.1mAmp or less, so that may be a problem, but I am "above my pay grade" trying to figure out how to further explore what might be draining power on my bike. Maybe someone out there can help with that.

Also, I usually plug the tender into the wall first, then connect it to the bike. Why should that make a difference?

Thank you very much.

You may have discovered your problem. You need to systematically start disconnecting all electrical feeds to find where your excess leakage is. You can pull fuses from the OEM fuse panel to begin isolating different systems.

As for the Battery Tenders. Most Tenders/Maintainers cycle the battery, they don't just provide a constant trickle charge to the battery. This cycling is what prevents the battery from sulfating, which is what kills a battery over time. That is what separates a true Battery Tender/Maintainer from the more common "trickle" chargers. By plugging into the battery first then applying power to the Tender, it allows the tender's circuitry to better sense the voltage level of the battery and figure out which mode it needs to go into. A tender/maintainer will charge the battery to full charge, then stop charging and monitor the voltage, once the voltage drops to a specified level, it will turn on the charge circuit and bring the battery back up to full charge. This type of cycling is a good thing, batteries like it :D
 

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The 13.65 voltage you posted is an over chagre for your batt. 13.2 to 13.23 is what you should be seeing. I doubt you have a problem unless your voltage drops below 12.8. it should take about a week of just sitting to get to that point after you charge it past 13.2v. Check the voltage on your car battery and you will see what I mean.
 

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NorthEast USA Rider
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jeff- thanks for your thoughtful reply. Makes me wonder why my original battery failed after about a year (before any mods were in place), and now this 10 month old battery has now failed. I must assume it's not because of any of the mods I have installed. I didn't start using the battery tender till after I bought this new battery 10 months ago, so maybe it's not the fault of the tender either? I'll do as you suggested and start pulling the OEM fuses, but not tonight, too tired. Question, though: the manual says to disconnect the negative lead from the battery and connect the amp meter between the neg wire and the neg battery post. While doing this, should I keep the negative wire that goes to the power distribution mod connected to the battery?

Thanks so much.

I am a little discouraged, as I thought Hondas were supposed to be more reliable than Harleys!

The 13.65 voltage you posted is an over chagre for your batt. 13.2 to 13.23 is what you should be seeing. I doubt you have a problem unless your voltage drops below 12.8. it should take about a week of just sitting to get to that point after you charge it past 13.2v. Check the voltage on your car battery and you will see what I mean.
Well, sitting on the workbench it's gone from 13.27 to 13.07 in the past 2 hours. I'll check it in the morning and let you know. Guessing it's going to be below 12.8 and I'll be taking it to the "Stealer" to load test it.

Thanks,and happy and continued riding without any breakdowns !!!!!!:choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot::choppersm:patriot:
 

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Question, though: the manual says to disconnect the negative lead from the battery and connect the amp meter between the neg wire and the neg battery post. While doing this, should I keep the negative wire that goes to the power distribution mod connected to the battery?
Disconnect all the wires going to your negative post. One meter lead on the negative battery post, the other meter lead on the negative battery wire.
:cheers:
 

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sounds like a bad sealed one it does happen i had one in 2002 lasted 1 year then had to buy a off brand one its been fine for all the years now i dont even plug it in smitty
 

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NorthEast USA Rider
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286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Disconnect all the wires going to your negative post. One meter lead on the negative battery post, the other meter lead on the negative battery wire.
:cheers:
OK, will do.

:cheers:

i bet smitty is very grateful you got a new battery? :drunk:
Emilio-

You've got to that photo of that babe off your posts. Wow. I'm hurting.
 

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NorthEast USA Rider
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You may have discovered your problem. You need to systematically start disconnecting all electrical feeds to find where your excess leakage is. You can pull fuses from the OEM fuse panel to begin isolating different systems.

As for the Battery Tenders. Most Tenders/Maintainers cycle the battery, they don't just provide a constant trickle charge to the battery. This cycling is what prevents the battery from sulfating, which is what kills a battery over time. That is what separates a true Battery Tender/Maintainer from the more common "trickle" chargers. By plugging into the battery first then applying power to the Tender, it allows the tender's circuitry to better sense the voltage level of the battery and figure out which mode it needs to go into. A tender/maintainer will charge the battery to full charge, then stop charging and monitor the voltage, once the voltage drops to a specified level, it will turn on the charge circuit and bring the battery back up to full charge. This type of cycling is a good thing, batteries like it :D

OK. First off, battery tender instructions do say plug tender into wall outlet after making the connection to the battery, so you are of course correct on that issue. Second: Battery voltage stayed at 13.07 all night long sitting on the workbench. Third: I put the battery back into the bike and rechecked amperage drop, still at 0.53 mA. Not good. Started removing fuses. When I removed the "odometer" 10amp fuse the amperage reading dropped to zero. So, the drain is somewhere in that circuit? I tried reading the wiring diagram for the 2006 1800C 49 states/Canada. Red wire goes to the ignition switch and to the battery positive. Other wire goes to the speedometer. At the speedometer figure, it looks like there are 5 wires connected with a solid black rectangle, but before that there is a blank/white rectangle spanning those five wires also. One of those wires is green/ground, yellow one goes to odometer reset switch but looks like it makes some other connections too, pink one goes to ECM and to vehicle speed sensor, maroon wire goes to speedometer light, oil pressure light, vehicle speed sensor, tail/brake light, license plate light, to the "neut/oil/temp/taillight/speedometer 10amp fuse, and it looks like it also makes other connections.

Are these 5 wires all connected? Where should I start looking for the problem in this circuit?

Should I bother taking the battery to the dealer to have them test it or is it OK?

Help.
 

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NorthEast USA Rider
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In case there are any other suggestions from anyone, here are today's events and thoughts:

Circuit that is draining goes to the speedometer and some other places as well. Speedo wiring goes into the headlight bucket, so that was going to be my next stop for poking around. When I put the extra driving light mod in, it called for more wires plus a relay inside the bucket, so when I put it back together things were really squished in there. Maybe a wire's insulation got rubbed off or something. I took the battery to the dealer today and they tested it, load tested it, said it was "perfect", said a charge of 13.65 was within normal limits and also said that the amperage drain of 0.53mA was OK too!!! I guess everything is OK with them !! The manual I have says anything over 0.1mA is a problem to be resolved. Any other suggestions will be appreciated, otherwise I'm headed into the headlight bucket. Thank you and ride safe, always always watch out for the other guy, all around you, pulling out from parking lots and side streets, ALWAYS. :patriot: :choppersm
 

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NorthEast USA Rider
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Seems like I'm journaling to myself, but whatever. Explored the headlight bucket. The amperage drain dropped to zero when I disconnected the connector that came from the speedometer. It had 5 wires in the connector. I pulled off the speedo but the wires were all sealed into the speedo, so, I gave up and put everything back together again. Took the bike out for a 12 mile drive with all mods running. Got back home, let the bike sit for a few hours, cranked it up and it started fine. Checked the Voltage and it was about 13.45. So, I give up on finding out why it failed after a trip to the gas station. Any insights would be appreciated.
 

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Hi Tom,
sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I will try and get an amp draw from my bike and see what she reads. I have all kinds of electrical extra's on my bike.

You may have had a fluke, or since it seems all is good now and your holding voltage, a more likely scenerio is that all your searching has either made a connection better or removed a small ground short/leakage.

Trust me I understand your nervousness in trusting the bike after getting almost stranded. I had the same feeling when my battery failed. But you have the pigtail mod to jump the bike, plus a cell phone more than likely so your chances or really being stranded are remote.

Maybe somebody else will take a amperage reading also for you. Don't give up on your VTX, they are really solid bikes :cheers:

A lesson I learned a long time ago in my career is not to overanalyze things. You have what's at worst an intermittent problem and possibly no problem now. Intermittent problems are the most difficult to troubleshoot and find. Frequently you have to wait until they become a chronic problem so you can trace down the root cause. You have done your due diligence and it appears the problem is at least in remission :D
 

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Hey Tom, first off I don't claim to be a Mechanic, but here is 2 things I know. Another extremely important reason for hooking a tender or charger (the right way) is: To possibly prevent a Battery from exploding. A Battery in the right condition will explode if a Spark is made near it, like the spark that would be made from plugging into the wall first, then hooking to the battery.

Another thing I was told by a Honda Mechanic when I bought the battery for my VTX was, take my time when adding the acid, then, follow the instructions and wait the 30 minutes, (as per the instructions) before going to the next step during that process, because some customers, that didn't wait, their battery began giving them problems, or didn't last but 1 year.

I Followed the instructions and mine is doing fine.
I don't have any other suggestions as to helping you find your drain problem except to add as others said, take your time and isolate a circuit at a time till you find the culprit.

Sorry I wasn't more help but I did want to point out that there is a Personal Safety Issue in hooking up a Battery Tender or Charger improperly, and I wouldn't want to see anybody hurt by flying battery acid.

Good Luck! hope my bumping this back up, gets the attention of someone that can really help you.
 

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NorthEast USA Rider
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, GodsBeast. Jeff probably summed it up best the post above yours. See my post above his, also. I prepared the battery as instructed, and they tested it Friday at the shop and said it was "perfect", so it's not a bad battery after all. I'm just going to carry jumper cables with me for a while, try letting the bike sit for a day or few off the tender and see how much charge it loses. As Jeff says, maybe it was just some fluke thing that is not going to happen on any regular basis. Thanks for your help and ride safe!
 

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NorthEast USA Rider
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Since last post, battery dead again yesterday.

Well, I can't figure it out. If anyone has any other ideas I am "all ears". For the past several weeks everything has been fine. I put the bike on the charger when I get home, take it out here and there, several day trips involve turning bike off and then on later on, several times. So yesterday I drove it to work, about 20 miles, parked it in the lot, got on about 8 hours later, drove home (some of this journey was stop and go for several light cycles at a few different intersections), and when I got home I parked in the driveway and turned it off. Helped a neighbor load something into her car. Went back to start the bike up to take it into the garage and it wouldn't turn over. Pushed it into the garage and hooked it up to the tender. Fully charged now. I guess I just have to live with the reality that, at unpredictable times, for no particular reason, I will have a dead battery???
Help.:banghead:
 
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