Question Bike won't start in cold weather?

Archetype

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Here's the deal, I keep my bike stored outside with a cover. I've noticed whenever the temperature is below 40 fahrenheit in the morning the bike won't start. I'm 100 percent sure it's the battery even though all other signs are normal, (lights, and display turn on.) When I hit the ignition it just sort of clicks, and the display flashes. The strange thing is that whenever I try again during the day when it's around 70 degrees it starts fine. I'm guilty of not riding everyday, but I made sure to start the bike up for 10 minutes the night before and it was totally fine.

Has anyone else had issues in cold weather, Is there a trick to get the bike started on cold mornings? Will changing the battery solve this?

I have a trickle charger fully charged the battery a few weeks ago.
 

Penguinsfan82

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Here's the deal, I keep my bike stored outside with a cover. I've noticed whenever the temperature is below 40 fahrenheit in the morning the bike won't start. I'm 100 percent sure it's the battery even though all other signs are normal, (lights, and display turn on.) When I hit the ignition it just sort of clicks, and the display flashes. The strange thing is that whenever I try again during the day when it's around 70 degrees it starts fine. I'm guilty of not riding everyday, but I made sure to start the bike up for 10 minutes the night before and it was totally fine.

Has anyone else had issues in cold weather, Is there a trick to get the bike started on cold mornings? Will changing the battery solve this?

I have a trickle charger fully charged the battery a few weeks ago.
Why not just leave the battery tender plugged in when its parked? My VTX will do the same thing if not plugged in to the charger. Sure, a new battery would resolve the issue, but so does leaving it plugged in when parked.
 

Archetype

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Why not just leave the battery tender plugged in when its parked? My VTX will do the same thing if not plugged in to the charger. Sure, a new battery would resolve the issue, but so does leaving it plugged in when parked.
I hadn't thought about that. Before I took the battery out to use the trickle charger. Is it recommended to have the bikes connectors attached while charging? My only concern would be that the batter is not exactly accessible from inside the bikes frunk, and if I'm in a hurry this would be a bit of a process.
 

Penguinsfan82

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I hadn't thought about that. Before I took the battery out to use the trickle charger. Is it recommended to have the bikes connectors attached while charging? My only concern would be that the batter is not exactly accessible from inside the bikes frunk, and if I'm in a hurry this would be a bit of a process.
I ran an SAE connector from the battery into the frunk by cutting a small hole in the battery panel. Now to charge, I just plug the battery tender in by opening the frunk, running the cord under the lid and gently closing it. And you are right, getting to the battery could have been made a bit easier...
 

arkyleo

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dduelin

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In a nutshell, a battery is just a box containing stuff than makes electricity. The chemical reaction that does this magic is greatly affected by temperature. Cold temps slow the reaction and the battery cannot make enough electricity fast enough to start the bike. Warm the battery up some and the chemical reaction happens fast enough to just barely complete the task of starting the bike. On a slow day google Puekert's Law but make sure you have nothing better to do.

That said, as a battery ages or from damage due to being left at high rates of discharge it becomes less effective at making electricity then temperature makes an even bigger difference in how much electricity can be made in a hurry. It's a vicious cycle and even at warm temperatures eventually the battery cannot support the chemical reaction.

So, as Penguinsfan stated, keep the battery on a smart charger so as to maintain it's health in cool weather or hot weather and when it's time - buy a new battery. With access to the battery with a SAE or other (I used a cigarette lighter-type power point wired to the battery) connector it's not necessary to disconnect or remove the battery for charging purposes.
 
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670cc

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The NC series motorcycle should easily start at 40* F and below with a good, charged battery. It should start at any temperature where you are likely to want to ride.

I can’t think of any reason to remove the battery from the bike unless you are replacing it with a new one. The battery can easily be charged at a low current (<2 amps) safely while the battery is installed. What I have done on all my bikes, mowers, tractors, even cars/trucks, is install a fused SAE two pin connector from the battery to some easily accessible place on the vehicle. Hooking the battery charger up then only takes 5-10 seconds.

With your battery behaving this way, it either is in a state of low charge, the terminal connections are poor (resistive), or the battery capacity is reduced due to age or sulfation or damage. I don’t think you mentioned the age of the battery or the average climate that you ride and store the bike in. Higher temperatures equal shorter battery life.

Going forward I would give the battery a full charge, and if it still behaves as you have described, replace the battery with a new one.
 

halfSpinDoctor

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+1 for leaving a fused cable with an SAE connector permanently installed. I just leave it tucked behind the battery cover, and unscrew the cover when I want to charge it (I don't always leave it on the charger because of where it is parked). I leave my charger inside my house, and just run a DC extension cable out the window. For the low currents used in trickle charging, the long cord is fine. Just don't try to jump start it with an extension like this.

 

potter0o

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I got a slime pump which which came with an sae cable to attach to the battery. I fed this cable out of the battery compartment, around the plastics and it now lives connected to the engine guards.
 

Janus

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I've started my bike up in the low 30s and high 20s °F. The only time it hesitated to start was after I parked it for months and stupidly didn't put the battery on a tender. Even though I have one :rolleyes:
 

fleetingyouth

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I've been having this issue lately too. I ride all winter and have never had an issue starting the bike on cold mornings. Brand new battery and the voltage is fine. The last time it happened I was able to get it to start after trying for 10 mins over and over.
Maybe the battery performs poorly at low temps? But it's not consistent sometimes it starts fine.
 

Archetype

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I went a head and bought a new battery. The trickler charger I own has a Tender Ring Terminal Accessory Cable so I’ll do a permanent install and charge often. That should prevent this from happening. Will update if I run into issues. Thanks for all the tips and advice!
 
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