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  1. #1
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    Default battery tender

    How long have you kept a battery in service by hooking it up to a trickle charger after each ride?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member RBS's Avatar
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    After the OEM battery died I installed a dura-last. 1 a year for 3 years. I used the B/T only in the colder months. When I installed this D-L, I put the bike on the charger at the end of my riding day, every day. It's been 2.5 years and still cranking strong.

    Rick

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    Senior Member Philscbx's Avatar
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    Never use it - other than a few short hours the day I'm messing with the Scoot - in the shop testing lights.
    After each Ride? Never.
    Somethings wrong if that's required.

    It's fully charged when I pulled in from a ride. No reason to be less a week later - by very little.


    I use full digital Chargers - showing voltage & percentage of charge.
    12 volts means nothing - I can get that with 8 AA's. Might get 2.5 seconds of running lights with that.

    Digital dials it in automatically what the battery wants to any given level - 2-40 amps.
    Just as the Scoot punches it out.

    The lights are on - fairly high load - then sudden discharge load of starting -
    the alternator punches it out full force to charge back the battery
    and keep the lights at full output at the same time.

    That's a hell of a load for alternator.
    Pretty obvious the high load - when yellow connector is melted/burned by many here.
    Now what if the battery was only 60% charged to begin with - now the duty is really severe.

    The battery was just put on charger for the first time in 3 months - still showed 12 volts.
    Percentage was 45%. I didn't attempt to start it - not a good idea at 1/2 capacity.
    Charging started at 11:30 PM tonight.
    It showed it was hitting battery at 14.5 volts.

    12 minutes later - it's showing 89% - hitting it with 15.7 volts.

    I suspect it will take just under an hour to go 100%.

    I was wrong - it's now fully charged in under 25 minutes - while it was at 93 % - the charger pulsed the charge on and off several times till it hit 100%.
    The voltage tapered off to 13 volts.

    If the crew showed up - we'd be ready to go.
    Vs at 45% - and have the alternator try to burn up trying to get the battery charged and fire all the lights.

    At this point - I'll switch over to the trickle charger, because now I know where it's at.
    But I'll let battery rest over night first,

    3 months is stretching it a little w/o charging.
    But I'd rather be nice to the battery - than torture it - over charging it when it's already fully charged.
    Over charging can degrade the plates.

    Rapid charging like it just went through now - cleans the plates off from partial sulfating.
    Slow trickle charging won't deal with sulfate state.

    Nothing wrong with trickle charging - just most times - no proof of what's really going on.
    Without real chargers showing the Score first.
    VOM won't say the real truth either. A dead cell can still show 12volts across all cells at once.

    Turn on the key with dead cell - everything would go black. Dead cell can't support the load and falls off quickly.

    Maybe a thousand hits in this forum of just this issue - trickle charger on all month or more - hit the key - Nothing.
    That's just not an option here.
    Last edited by Philscbx; 02-25-2013 at 01:31 AM.

  5. #4
    Senior Member Larry_J's Avatar
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    They're only needed for extended periods of inoperation. If you fire it up/ride it at least once a week then you don't need it. It's a good idea to keep one handy during the winter if you're in an area where you can't ride much. Last thing you want is a random nice day to arrive and you can't ride.

    To answer your question though a properly maintained battery should last you at least a couple of years on a motorcycle.
    2005 VTX 1300C.................................................. ...2006 Kawi ZZR600 street fighter


  6. #5
    Senior Member mightywarrior72's Avatar
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    I ride 05 1300r. Bought it in 2010. According to first owner, battery never replaced. Battery still working after 8 years. I have never used battery tender, although I do own one. Battery does seem a bit slow on starting. Maybe 8 years is long enough????
    The earlier I get behind, the longer I will have to try and catch up.
    It doesn't take me all day to get nothing done; I can get nothing done by break time.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Philscbx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mightywarrior72 View Post
    I have never used battery tender, although I do own one.
    Battery does seem a bit slow on starting. Maybe 8 years is long enough????
    That's crazy cool to last that long - 8 years might be a record.
    I have noticed - the guys that live in warmer climates that can ride often tend to get extreme use out of their batteries.

    It also says a lot of how well the charging system keeps the battery in perfect condition that's needed.
    I think it has a lot to do with pure DC applied vs battery chargers leaking AC into the process.

  8. #7
    Senior Member MrChuck's Avatar
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    I have a 2006 1300 with the original battery. Only put it on the tender in the winter. Also I switch back and forth from the lawn mower to the bike so there are weeks off and on. She seems to crank up fine.

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  9. #8
    Old Goat TennX's Avatar
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    Ive got 3 bikes,2 vehicles...all have tenders..using one cant hurt...good luck
    Phil "I should be ridin " Ford
    06 CBC 1300R Darkside Foots......



  10. #9
    Senior Member chuck_VTX F's Avatar
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    I got my bike New. February 2005. it still has the original battery. 41,000 miles.
    I put on the battery tender, if the bike is parked for 2 weeks or longer. and all winter.
    .
    But my truck still has it's original battery and its a 2004 Dodge. but never had a charger connected to it. and the Dodge has 38,000 miles. yes 38,000. and I also bought it New. June 2004. but the truck is driven at lease once a week, every week. bike not so much.
    .
    Right or wrong, Who knows.
    .
    I just know the batteries and the bike/car/truck charging systems are better TODAY, than ever before. just Don't buy cheap.
    Last edited by chuck_VTX F; 02-25-2013 at 09:01 AM.
    2005 VTX1800 "F" 2...... Silver Tribal .... 56,000, purchased Feb, 2005.

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    Trickle charger on in the Winter. Note difference between trickle charger (only when low) and battery charger (constant charging).
    A week or two between rides should not matter in warmer weather although I could never make it that long


    VTX 1800R Custom, QQ drop bags/fender, HD Street Glide fairing, 8 speakers, Rockford Fosgate amp, Kenwood deck, 4 pc Ultimate seats, so much chrome it hurts....


  12. #11
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    07 1300C bought new in 08, Battery Tender used since new...original battery still going good. Probably just hexed myself!

  13. #12
    Seasoned Member VTX1300cnME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wngd View Post
    Trickle charger on in the Winter. Note difference between trickle charger (only when low) and battery charger (constant charging).
    A week or two between rides should not matter in warmer weather although I could never make it that long
    I thought a trickle charger just meant it was a low amp slow charge vs a battery charger high amp quick charge



    I only use one in the winter, and not even the entire winter, only the last month or so before riding season. Been doing it that way since I got this bike in spring '05. Replaced my battery in 2010 (6 years old). I don't expect to replace this one any sooner.

    Bub Club member #361

  14. #13
    Senior Member kf4ocj's Avatar
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    I just replaced the original battery on my 03 1800S,it started acting a little weak,then once I had ridden to town and the bike wouldnt start and had to get a jump.When I replaced the battery I bought an automatic battery tender,fixed up a quick connect for the tender,it keeps the battery to 100% charge without overcharging and its not drawing that much current so I cant see it hurts anything to leave it hooked up

  15. #14
    Senior Member chuck_VTX F's Avatar
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    there are at lease 3 types of chargers for 12 volt car/bike batteries.
    .
    Trickle charger. steady and less than 1.5 amps

    Standard charger. steady and more than 1.5 amps.

    Float charger. like Battery Tender. to charge and than Float the charge. with smart electronics... to reduce sulfating the battery plates. that is why the manufacturer requests to leave it connected as much as possible.
    2005 VTX1800 "F" 2...... Silver Tribal .... 56,000, purchased Feb, 2005.

  16. #15
    Senior Member W9VD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kf4ocj View Post
    I just replaced the original battery on my 03 1800S,it started acting a little weak,then once I had ridden to town and the bike wouldnt start and had to get a jump.When I replaced the battery I bought an automatic battery tender,fixed up a quick connect for the tender,it keeps the battery to 100% charge without overcharging and its not drawing that much current so I cant see it hurts anything to leave it hooked up
    Do you have a small computer UPS laying around with a bad battery. They make excellent battery maintainers / tenders in their after life.
    “Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.”

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  17. #16
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    Sounds like battery tenders shorten the life to me. I replaced mine at either 9 or 10 years ( I'd have to look for sure) on the original. It was still working fine, but we were heading out on a 4,000 mile trip & I chickened out on trying to get another year out of it. Bike sits for 6 months every winter in a cold garage in SD with no tender & has never had to be boosted or hooked up to a charger. Starts fine every spring!
    03 Retro,Honda lightbar & windshield,Honda backrest & rack,Ultimate seat,Leatherlyke saddlebags,HK Kickers,MC Enterprise crashbar,hidden hitch

  18. #17
    Senior Member Bjames's Avatar
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    In aviation we use battery minders all the time and the diffence we see is a 2-3 fold increase in life. The battery minders are good in maintaining batteries however, the true health of a battery needs to be determined by performing a capacity check. I can't tell you the number of new batteries I have tested that are at or less than 80% regardless if used for an aircraft, truck or motorcycle. Voltages may be correct but if the capacity is far off from optimal that even when installed in a vehicle where the charging system is running perfectly the life and the reliability of the battery is compromised. My battery in my 06 is still the original but I did revive it when I bought the bike from an 82% battery to 94% and it has stayed there steadily. There are specific steps that can be done to revive a battery properly however a battery that shows to have a capacity below 70% is pretty much doomed as no amount of sophistcated electronic charging devices can revive a battery that is at this level or lower. The key is to maintain a good battery from the start and a battery minder is a great tool for doing this during extended periods of inactivity as it desulfates the battery as well as maintaining the overall health of the battery. We should feel lucky that our batteries are not as expensive as the ones we use on the aircraft as the battery cost each can range from $550-2900.

    2006 1300R, + many mods now

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