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Author Topic: Winter Battery Blues  (Read 7119 times)

singhg5

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Winter Battery Blues
« on: January 01, 2010, 10:24:38 PM »
Wish you all a very happy new year.

After many days of cold and snowy weather, the temperature slowly crawled up to 40F and I was all excited to go for a ride.  There were only a few hours of clear weather, more snow showers are on the way again.  Right now the roads were clean though there was  snow on the sides of the roads.  Riding in such scenery can be very pretty.  While I was still contemplating, 2 Harley guys just roared past my residence.  That was enough.  I had to go too.  Got ready and drove to my storage place, where my motorcycle is sheltered in a small room away from the elements.  As I took the bike out and turned the key and pushed the electric start button, it cranked a bit and did not start.  Waited a bit, tried again, grrr, grr, grrrr, grrrr.  Stop.  Waited and repeated.  Same thing.  It was not starting.  Kicked the kick start but no reply.  I could see the battery was draining.  I gave up after a few tries.  Took out the original battery - it is EXIDE 12MF 14L - A2.  (it has MX FREEDOM stamped on it - I did not think it was delivering freedom).  Got back to my place, and checked, it read 12.20 volts.  Hooked it up to charger and it is charging now.  The fluid levels are perfect in the battery.  

I had recently charged the battery and put it in the motorcycle about a week ago.  At that time it had read 12.4 volts.  I had a short 1 mile run on the bike and left it there until today.  Can one week of below freezing weather take juice out of battery ?

Now I am thinking of replacing it.  What do you guys think of YUASA - YTX 14 AHL - BS.  It is 12 Volts, CCA 210 and has same dimensions and polarity as the original Exide battery.  Is it worth it ?  Or they are all going to behave the same as temperature drops to freezing and below.  

  
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 10:38:19 PM by singhg5 »
1970's Jawa /  Yezdi
2006 Honda Nighthawk
2009 Royal Enfield Black G5

clubman

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2010, 12:34:43 PM »
I don't claim any expertise on this matter but a battery should certainly work through winter unless it is knackered. (Years old I mean - I take it this original battery is quite new?) My own bike is still starting fine at zero and less. I crank the engine over with the kickstart just to get some oil to the top and then hit the button. (Of course I use the choke though this can be backed off very quickly.)  It turns over a few times but so far it's always fired. I think a gel battery is a good route to go anyway. A friend of mine put one in a bike that he only runs a few times a year and it always starts up even after months of inactivity.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2010, 09:37:25 PM by clubman »

UncleErnie

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2010, 02:55:50 PM »
A sealed battery costs a lot more money, but it's worth it.  They aren't affected by temperature as much.  For winter- especially if you're going to use E-start, I recommend a thinner oil like 10-40 because it's much harder to get things moving when the oil thickens up.
The big thing though, is your head light is drawing power.  These bikes don't have a HL cut-out like most new bikes do, so your HL and starter are competing.  I think the HL usually wins.  Inside your nacelle/casquette is a short (3 or 4 inches) cable that connects the wires.  It has a plug on both ends.  Just take it out and re-connect the cable to itself.  This will make it so you have to use the HL switch on the handlebars.  The light won't be drawing power, BUT YOU WILL NEED TO TURN YOUR LIGHTS ON manually from now on. 

I also keep my battery on a battery tender.
Run what ya brung

Geirskogul

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2010, 08:44:30 PM »
Does that jumper exist on the UCE bikes?
All hail Sir Lucas, Prince of Darkness.

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r80rt

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2010, 12:34:33 AM »
There used to be a jumper on my C5, it's gone now.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2010, 06:31:31 PM by r80rt »
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JMHAZ

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2010, 01:41:33 AM »
A jumper? That's excellent information! I noticed the non-operating headlight switch, and planned to dive in to the wiring harness and hook it up, so I could turn off the headlight while riding on slow dirt-road stretches to optimize charging. Nice to know it's a five-minute job.


ScooterBob

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2010, 01:42:34 AM »
Does that jumper exist on the UCE bikes?

It's there and intact on the G5 - The C5, however, has a little "trickey" to it - you must restore the starter energise circuit to remove the jumper - this was done to presumably make it a bit harder to have manual headlight control ......  
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

heindlengineering

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2010, 07:38:39 PM »
We have noticed that the Batteries in the UCE bikes will discharge much quicker than those in the AVL.  The easiest solution is to put it on a battery tender if it is going to sit for very long.

birdmove

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2010, 08:53:33 PM »
  That's one of the things I like about my 2007 Classic. It will always kick start, no matter what condition the battery is in.

   jon
Jon in Keaau, Hawaii

bigedf150

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2010, 04:03:18 AM »
if it aint got a kick starter i dont want it  :)

chinoy

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2010, 01:57:37 PM »
Singh Ji
This is a new bike and a new Bat. yeah ?

Ok Something similar happened to me the other day.
Hit the starter and it makes a small sound but wont crank over.

I noticed the starter seemed to be getting weaker and weaker from day 1.
Till finally it stooped cranking over.

Ive used Excide for Years in all my cars and Bikes and I know they make good battery's.

So I dug out the old Multi meter.
The bat was showing 11 Volts. When I turned the key on the voltage was droping to 9.
If it falls below 9 the fuell pump is not able to build enoughf pressure on the rail. And it wont start.
But lucky for me with the choke on I was able to kick start it.
Then I checked the voltage again. And this time it showed me 20 Volts.
I blip-ed the throttle and it shot past 20 Volts.

Obviously the Regulator isnt working. And this has taken out the bat.

I spoke to the dealer and after he Oked it limped the bike over to him.

Ive tried to explain to them that the bat. will need to be replaced because with that kind of over voltage hitting its never going to run right.

My point seemed lost on him though.
Lets just say Im not going to be happy camper till they change the bat.

This is dangeorus. Because if the Regulator stops regulating. Its not like the old days.
Now you stand to loose the following items. At any voltage over 16
a. The ECU
b. The Injector
c. The Fuel Pump.

The long and short of it.
Before you do anything check your charging voltage.
Or it will take out your next bat. And some other stuff with it on your next ride.

If you do have the same problem. And need to ride the bike to the dealer.
Turn on your headlight once you start moving. The extra load will drop the d/c voltage.

The problem started after a long ride I did in the night.
(Do your run in with the coldest weather you can ride). The engine will thank you.

Exide Battery's are used by the army in Leh / Ladhak and they work fine.
The Bat. On the C5 is a good bat.
I would advise all C5 owners to have their bat and charging circuit checked from time to time.

If your in India. Any Exide Shop will check and service your bat free of cost.

In case your wondering the 5volt and 12 volt regulators used on most ECUs
Can handle short bursts of up to 30 Volts.
With your headlight always on. Its unlikely that you will see those kind of voltages.

Also check your fuse box. One of my fuses was loose.
The shorting of a loose fuse can take out stuff.

I have to go pick up the bike tomorrow.
Lets hope Im able to  get the bat. Changed.









« Last Edit: January 04, 2010, 02:27:44 PM by chinoy »

motocamp

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2010, 03:21:57 AM »
Chinoy another problem in India is when you buy the bike form the dealer it is there responsibility to charge and fit the battery.

From our experience they never charge the battery at the correct infant charging rate which would be 1.4amps/hr for 8 to 10 hours for a 14 amp battery, they just fill it with acid charge it for a few hours at whatever charging rate  is set to on the charger and slap the battery on the bike! after that the batteries never perform to full potential.

I have used the exide batteries in very cold conditions without problem, but then none of my bikes have a E starter  ;D.






chinoy

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2010, 05:14:23 AM »
You may be right.
But I did a through study off all the guys in Bangalore.
And picked the guy who had the best reputation in Technical Knowledge and customer satisfaction.

How it works in Bangalore is its the Exide show rooms responsibility to charge and hand over fresh batteries. The RE dealer doesn't even have a bat. Charger in his shop. The Excide show room is a stone throw from his shop. And they have the right chargers and procedures to follow from Exide.

So this didn't happen in my case. Im pretty sure.
What people dont realize is over charging a bat. is a slow killer.

What your talking about could happen in remote locations or small cities but I doubt it.
The Bat. comes from the Bat dealer. And it is only handed over after it is setup right.

Update:
Im a happy camper.
They changed my Bat. as of 1800 hours today its regulating my D/C to a steady 14 volts. As soon as I heard that I didn't bother pushing the issue or asking any questions. I assume the regulator was also changed.

A+ for service with a smile for the Dealer Boys.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2010, 01:21:16 PM by chinoy »

singhg5

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 03:35:05 AM »
Winter Battery Blues - Spark Plug Blacks

You all are familiar with Murphy's laws -  There are many and you can make your own too....   So I have added "Spark Plug Blacks" to the title.  Here it goes. 

I ordered and got a spanking black super-sealed Yuasa YTX14 AHL-BS 12 volts battery.  It read 12.9 volts and beautifully fits in my black G5 as if they are made for each other.

The day temperature had reached its max to 38F.  I turned the key and did all the routine, gently kicked the kick start a couple of times to move the oil and then pressed the e-start while holding down the bi-starter (choke)..  It cranked but did not start.  Waited and repeated a few times but no luck.  Lots of thoughts came to mind about what may be wrong. 

Finally I did the simplest thing.  I took out the spark plug.  It was printed with letters NGK B8ES Japan. The spark plug was black. I could smell gas on it.  I called motorcycle dealer and asked if he has that spark plug in stock.  He did.  Drove there picked up 2 plugs and put new one in. 

Pressed the e-start and right away the motorcycle comes alive - dug dug dug dug dug dug dug ........    ;D  It has been a month since I rode it due to bad and cold weather.  Out I go and had a great time.  Lots of heads peeking out of the windows of cars - seeing a lone black stallion on the road.  My hands were starting to freeze.  I got back, parked in storage room, took out the battery and at home checked its voltage - it read 12.88 volts. 

As Murphy says - Not one but two things may go wrong at the same time - Winter Battery Blues & Spark Plug Blacks.

   
1970's Jawa /  Yezdi
2006 Honda Nighthawk
2009 Royal Enfield Black G5

clubman

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Re: Winter Battery Blues
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 09:06:55 PM »
Glad you got it sorted! But how did that plug get so black - does anyone have any ideas? Time honoured laws of carburation mean the mixture was rich but this is not possible in EFI theory. Surely repeated failed attempts at starting while using choke would at worst oil the plug? And it's not a two stroke either. Am I missing something really obvious here? ???