Battery Life

Red Rider

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My bike/battery is consistently on a Battery Tender in my garage. Rode yesterday, planned to ride today so left it off the charger overnight. Turned the key on this morning, got lights, fuel pump primed right up, hit the button and got a nice single CLICK. DCT in Neutral, rechecked the lot, flipped switches, jiggled the ignition, started all over, got the same result. Checked the battery. Terminals pristine and tight. Checked it with one of those cheap idiot-light testers and she says recharge/dead.

Four years old. By far the shortest life I’ve ever had from a YUASA battery. Don’t figure it’s worth screwing around with it. Plan on picking up a new one over the weekend.

Anyone else have a similar experience? I’m just a little puzzled. I know from career experience that there are a lot of variables that can determine battery life - but my battery maintenance, environment, and riding habits never vary. After 8 years life from a gold wing battery, and everything in between, I suppose it all averages out. Knowing how sensitive the DCT is to battery power and the demands it places on start-up, I just wonder if that might be a factor.

Thoughts?
 

670cc

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In depth analysis would require accurate voltage measurements. What was the battery voltage at full charge, what was the resting voltage a few hours after charge, and how much voltage drop was there when starting was attempted?

I don't know what charger you use, but I gave up on the Battery Tender Jr as it seemed inconsistent and inaccurate, and they eventually all failed on me. I have been using Optimate chargers now for a few years. Maybe your charger didn't actually charge the battery.
 

Red Rider

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In depth analysis would require accurate voltage measurements. What was the battery voltage at full charge, what was the resting voltage a few hours after charge, and how much voltage drop was there when starting was attempted?

I don't know what charger you use, but I gave upon the Battery Tender Jr as it seemed inconsistent and inaccurate, and they eventually all failed on me. I have been using Optimate chargers now for a few years. Maybe your charger didn't actually charge the battery.
That’s a very good point. While I’ve never used anything but Battery Tender Jr’s, as many as three at a time, and have never had a problem, (I give the lights a look every time I pass by in the garage) I may have become complacent as mine are now getting up there in years. Might be time to make a switch and upgrade to a new unit of one brand or another just as a matter of course. I’ll take a look at the Optimate.
 

greenboy

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Battery Tender Power Plus model here for my lead batteries. I wouldn't bother with the Junior. 8 years on original battery. Bike gets ridden lots of days when seasons allow, and usually gets plugged into it even in summer (50/50, shared with riding lawn mower). Perhaps some of this is just luck of the draw.
 

Klap

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I gave up on Battery Tender products years ago- had one go bad under warranty, and they wanted 37.50$ “handling” to ship me a new one. I only paid 42.50 for the original one.
I did my homework , and bought a Battery Minder, which not only trickle charges the battery, but adds a de-sulphating feature after charge is complete . I figured the de-sulphating was a scam, but it does seem to do SOMETHING. My last ST1300 battery ( Scorpion, $67) lasted for over 7 years, and would still crank it well, but I replaced it due to an upcoming long ride.
Worth a look!
 

showkey

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Four years on modern battery in warm or hot climate is about average . So half will get more that 4 years sand half will get less a variability of 18 months either way.

We have discussed “sudden death” of batteries as also the new norm ( failure mode).........literally good one minute and click no crank after a gas stop. My ABS light was slow to go off with key on ( with key ON the ABS pump runs to build pressure) Its a high amp draw. Notice the delay for 7 -10 days that battery failed with one slow crank and dead on the next start.

I am also not a battery tender fan.........Optimate or Accumate or CTEK are more expensive but are better product.
 
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TacomaJD

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I have never used a battery tender, ever, and never lost a battery in a time frame that seemed premature. Granted, I ride year round, but if a bike happens to sit for several months, I usually just go out and crank it and let it run for 10-15 minutes once every month or so. Gonna have to start doing that with my cruiser, as it has an exhaust leak and needs a new clutch pack.
 

itsmenc700

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IF you can get 4 years from a bike battery, I'd say you did good.
Here we get -20°F winters, if my car battery is 7 years old going into the winter I'll replace so I don't have a no-start condition.
And I have had sudden battery death on bikes and cars.
Current bike battery at 3.5 years, prior battery 3 years and died a sudden death.
 

greenboy

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I have never used a battery tender, ever, and never lost a battery in a time frame that seemed premature. Granted, I ride year round, but if a bike happens to sit for several months, I usually just go out and crank it and let it run for 10-15 minutes once every month or so. Gonna have to start doing that with my cruiser, as it has an exhaust leak and needs a new clutch pack.
In uninsulated space with long stretches below 20F and periods between 0 and -30, if you went out and started your bikes every month or so, well – they'd likely go click at the most ; }
 

EastTenn

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My previous battery went to sudden death after a 25 mile ride. No indication of any problem prior. I am now a year in on a lithium battery. No idea how long it will last. I do not have it on a charger. I was told these batteries basically go to sleep if they sit. I have no idea if this is true, but so far, so good.
 

TigerDude

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My previous battery went to sudden death after a 25 mile ride. No indication of any problem prior. I am now a year in on a lithium battery. No idea how long it will last. I do not have it on a charger. I was told these batteries basically go to sleep if they sit. I have no idea if this is true, but so far, so good.
They do discharge but very slowly. The Shorai brand charger looks for 75% charge & charges up to 95% them turns off when it's in "storage mode." (numbers may not be exact but they're close) It also balances the cells automatically. I bought the entire package after a cheapo Revzilla battery lasted weeks. Price isn't very different from a Shorai lead-acid.
 

Red Rider

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Battery after a long charge only held 9 plus volts when tested. Replaced it with another Yuasa. Just about all I’ve ever had - many bikes, many years. The Lithium batteries intrigued me but I was worried about reports of how they might behave in response to heat and enclosed spaces. Frunk area right over the motor seemed like an unfriendly place for them. So figured I’d stick with what I know..

Sure beats my early biker days when my scoot sat outside under a tarp all winter. Snow and ice - freeze and thaw.
Bought a new battery every spring. ;-)
young and dumb
 

greenboy

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Even the best lithium types don't make much sense to me in a heavier bike. Saving a couple pounds on a bike that's really not suited for lots of off-road miles just isn't going to change things much. On a sub-300-pound dualsport or dirt bike, sure.
 

Wedders

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Bought my bike about 3 months ago. It’s a 2016 recently connected it to my Ctek charger that told me it wasn’t holding the charge properly. I tested the battery and found I couldn’t get more than 12.3 volts into it. A good battery should hold 12.7 volts. So not wishing to have it let me down I fitted a new battery for £35 and piece of mind.
I’m posting this really to say mine was 4 years old when it was ready for changing.
 

Bcsmith

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Battery Tender Power Plus model here for my lead batteries. I wouldn't bother with the Junior. 8 years on original battery. Bike gets ridden lots of days when seasons allow, and usually gets plugged into it even in summer (50/50, shared with riding lawn mower). Perhaps some of this is just luck of the draw.
Hmmmm I’m just getting back into riding this year and I have not been using anything. I just get on and start the bike up. I usually drive 2 or three hours without a stop and battery is fine. Should I be looking at some kind of charging system for the winter months? I’m going to be storing in an unheated garage.
 

Wedders

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I would use a tender. There’s nothing worse than a flat battery just when you’re looking forward to a ride out. Also if the battery becomes discharged for a long period it may not be recoverable.
 

itsmenc700

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Yes, you need a battery maintainer over the winter.

AND do not go out and start the bike in the winter without riding it.
Even if you let if run many minutes, its not the same as riding it.
What needs to happen is the entire engine needs to get hot enough to boil off any moisture that is inside the engine and exhaust.
Just starting and idling will not do and you are only hurting your engine.
Just let it sit. You'll survive!

I pull my battery and have it inside on a tender all winter.
Same will say in the cold is better for them.
OK, but I want my battery to not be in the negative temps just waiting for spring.
 
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