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Battery dead again!!!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Private, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. Private

    Private XS400 Member

    Hey guys, wondering if you can help. Left the bike sitting for three weeks and went to start it and the battery was almost dead ... Wouldn't turn the bike over , just had some clicking sound. The lights are all dim. It has a newer battery on it ( replaced last year )

    Can anyone suggest where I should start with trying to sort out the problem?
  2. xschris

    xschris XS400 Guru Top Contributor

    Check to see if the acid level is full first. I have had new bike batteries only last a few years. Heat and vibrations in bikes will kill them fast. If you get another go with a gel they hold up much better:thumbsup: I have left batteries for months and they still work fine.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  3. drewpy

    drewpy Excess twin Top Contributor

    I use an optimate to keep 'em fresh
  4. Start by finding out if you have anything drawing current when the bike is sitting. With the ignition off disconnect one of the battery cables and use a multimeter. Put one side of the multimeter to the cable and the other to the battery. You should have a reading of zero. Any reading other than zero indicates that something is drawing power from the battery and you likley have a short somewhere. There should be no draw whatsoever on these bikes when the ignition is off.

    I see that you are in Canada so if you do not have a multimeter or cannot borrow one try Canadian Tire or Princess Auto for an inexpensive one. You should be able to get one for under $20. You will be surprised how handy they are once you have one.

    As for batteries, here is what I did back in April;

    I ordered one from XS650 Direct. I ordered it late Friday, they shipped it via FedEx ground Monday, and I got it today, Tuesday. They are only about 100 km. from me but I was still impressed with the speed of delivery. Cost was $48.02 + $12.50 shipping + $7.87 HST for a total of $68.39. It fits perfectly and seems to have good power. As for longevity, only time will tell.

    It is their part number 61-2026 (AGM Battery CBTX12AHL)

    Can't remember exactly what town XS650 Direct is in but they are around Woodstock or Stratford, Ontario.
  5. norrie

    norrie XS400 Addict

    This is the problem I'm having. I'm green when it comes to using a multimeter. What setting do I put it on when doing this test between the battery and cable to see if there's a draw when the bike is off?
  6. norrie

    norrie XS400 Addict

    So assuming I use the same setup as I do when testing battery charge, I measured from lead to battery on the negative side. I got 0.03. So I then did the fuse test to narrow it down but with each fuse out, it still measured 0.01 or 0.02. Not really narrowing it down for me. Does this mean anything or do I just put up and shut up and throw it on the charger every Friday night?
  7. Johnny3D

    Johnny3D XS400 Enthusiast

    Unless you keep the battery topped up all the time, it will erode the plates and the battery will eventually go bad. To keep my battery in good shape I use a BatteryTender and I keep it plugged in while it sits in the garage. I just mounted mine under the seat and out of sight and have it wired into the battery so all I have to do is plug my bike in to keep the battery topped off. A Battery Tender will keep a battery in good shape for years... well worth it in my opinion.

    Also, a Battery Tender and a charger are different. A Battery Tender does charge up a battery, but when the battery is fully charged it doesn't keep trying to charge. Instead it goes into a maintenance mode or "float" mode where it only puts a bit more charge into the battery as it loses charge from sitting there. A lot of chargers don't have those maintenance modes or float modes so they have to be used differently. There's more info out there on the web about it, so you might want to look into it some more as well, but I hope that helps.
  8. norrie

    norrie XS400 Addict

    Thanks for your reply. That's what I have, a charger with float mode and leads which stay connected to the battery, but unfortunately we don't have a garage or an external power point up that side of the house. That's also why my nice new car currently has hail damage all over it.

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