Indian Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Founding member / Distinguished
Joined
·
2,005 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Howdy Folks,
Well, finally, after 72,000 miles and over 5 years of service the OEM battery on Chieftain #873 gave up the ghost. I cranked the bike up (started fine) Friday afternoon and rode over to Marfa to hang out for a few hours at Planet Marfa Beer Garden as is my custom during the warmer months. When I got ready to leave I went out and hit the starter button --- nothing. I checked the dash and the indicator lamps were all flashing intermittently. I pulled out my 15 lb. tool roll and removed the seat to access the battery. Made sure the terminals were tight --- still flashing of dash lights and no cranking. A buddy had a voltmeter with him so I checked the battery voltage, which showed 12.3 V until I hit the starter button and it went to 7 V. Picked up a new gel-cell battery from Auto Zone for $125, swapped it in and the bike cranked right up and showed the charging system putting out 14.3 V. All is well once again. I feel like I got outstanding service from the original battery. Started every time until it didn't.
--- Randall
 

·
Founding member
Joined
·
718 Posts
I changed mine out last year after 4 yrs 4 months. I've been stuck over the years before, didn't want a repeat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
You certainly beat the odds. That style of battery normally lasts 2 to 3 yrs!
Question... how did you maintain it?
For example, I leave mine on an Accu-Mate
24/7. That said, I don’t ride that often.

So either you happened to get a really fresh battery, or you maintained super good, or (a reason yet to be determined)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
461 Posts
Also, I would strongly suggest the chances of getting that kind of service from auto zone, are not that good. If I had to do it, I would get an oddesey or even a shorei (sp?)
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,709 Posts
Howdy Folks,
Well, finally, after 72,000 miles and over 5 years of service the OEM battery on Chieftain #873 gave up the ghost. I cranked the bike up (started fine) Friday afternoon and rode over to Marfa to hang out for a few hours at Planet Marfa Beer Garden as is my custom during the warmer months. When I got ready to leave I went out and hit the starter button --- nothing. I checked the dash and the indicator lamps were all flashing intermittently. I pulled out my 15 lb. tool roll and removed the seat to access the battery. Made sure the terminals were tight --- still flashing of dash lights and no cranking. A buddy had a voltmeter with him so I checked the battery voltage, which showed 12.3 V until I hit the starter button and it went to 7 V. Picked up a new gel-cell battery from Auto Zone for $125, swapped it in and the bike cranked right up and showed the charging system putting out 14.3 V. All is well once again. I feel like I got outstanding service from the original battery. Started every time until it didn't.
--- Randall
I still have the OE battery in #37, just under 16k miles. The battery seemed to struggle a couple times when I started up at 40 degrees this winter, so I bought a battery tender and put on in between rides. Never been one for pushing my luck, crosses fingers. I think if this battery makes it through the summer I'll invest in a new battery before winter.

.
 

·
Bronze Member
Joined
·
1,365 Posts
Mine made it a few months short of five years. It was still starting, but it was struggling to turn over this Spring. I didn't want to be in the same situation as @Randall, so I was a little proactive.
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
417 Posts
Also, I would strongly suggest the chances of getting that kind of service from auto zone, are not that good. If I had to do it, I would get an oddesey or even a shorei (sp?)
When your bike is stuck somewhere that's not home, you get what's available.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,103 Posts
I just bought a new battery, it is still on the tender until this weekend for the initial charge. (Battery Tender website recommends 24 hours if using a battery tender for the initial charge). I have had mine in the bike since new (2017), but it was the showroom demo bike for Ride Command (on a tender), has been ridden with loose cables, disconnected for over a month for shipment to Germany, and intermittently tendered in the winter until it was removed from the bike last November and put on a tender until this past March. I noticed that, when the temp got below 50 degrees, it was struggling to start the bike, and when I put a multimeter on it the voltage dropped to 9.6V when cranking, so I figured it was getting close.
 

·
Rider
Joined
·
816 Posts
My OEM crapped out in my 16 after only 2 1/2 years. Replaced it with a NAPA. I would love to get at least five years out of this one.
 

·
Founding member / Distinguished
Joined
·
2,005 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
You certainly beat the odds. That style of battery normally lasts 2 to 3 yrs!
Question... how did you maintain it?
For example, I leave mine on an Accu-Mate
24/7. That said, I don’t ride that often.

So either you happened to get a really fresh battery, or you maintained super good, or (a reason yet to be determined)
Also, I would strongly suggest the chances of getting that kind of service from auto zone, are not that good. If I had to do it, I would get an oddesey or even a shorei (sp?)
The bike is my main means of transport unless I have something that requires a truck to haul. For the first 4 years I owned it I put 40 miles a day on it commuting to work Monday - Friday and usually rode it at least one day on weekends. Since I've been retired I try to make at least one long ride a week (it's 80 miles to Marfa and back) and a couple of cross-country trips in the summer. The OEM battery was a sealed maintenance-free Yuasa. The Auto Zone battery is a Duralast Gold AGM manufactured in February of 2019. AGM gel-mat type batteries are about as good as lead-acid batteries get and is what the Yuasa was. There are a limited number of manufacturers making these batteries world-wide so it is not like they're being turned out in a back alley shop in Taiwan somewhere. I invested in a pricey $300 Anti-Gravity Li-Ion battery for my Knucklehead when I converted it to electric-start awhile back because they are small and don't lose their charge if stored for a month or two (the rigid-frame Knuckle doesn't get ridden as much as the Chieftain). The fact that the Duralast was readily available was a big plus in its favor.
--- Randall
 

·
Bronze member
Joined
·
1,317 Posts
I've had the original Yuasa battery last as long as 8 years and as short as 3. Bottom line, I always tender my batteries when I know I won't be riding a particular bike at least 3 weeks. For me, the stock batteries tend to last longer than the replacement, regardless of what brand I replace them with. And FWIW, I have had better luck replacing with the Yuasa batteries than any aftermarket brand. Interstate has been pretty good, but that's about it. All the rest of the aftermarket crowd generally have lasted about 3 years. And that's with the same treatment on the tender.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top