Indian Motorcycle Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There are a ton of threads on the battery drain issues, keeping the bike on a tender, having the recall done, etc, etc, etc...but how do you tell when your battery is actually in need of replacement, BEFORE it gets to the point of a no-start condition?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,005 Posts
There are a ton of threads on the battery drain issues, keeping the bike on a tender, having the recall done, etc, etc, etc...but how do you tell when your battery is actually in need of replacement, BEFORE it gets to the point of a no-start condition?
You don't. Many die off rapidly. Keep in mind the recharging on a motorcycle isn't the same as a car or truck.

These steps can be helpful

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
I don't agree with everything he said on that video. A properly charging system with good battery will not need to be "revved up" to get to 14.2-14.4. It should be there even at idle. He sounds old school, like the bike is running a generator system, not an alternator system.
My battery which I know is good goes up almost immediately to 14.2-14.4 upon startup, and stays there in all conditions no matter the revolutions. It does not jump above 14.4 if I am at highway speeds with the revs up somewhat.

I have found that batteries that are about to die will charge too fast, making the tender show charged in minutes or even seconds, since the battery is sulfating and is not able to take a full charge. But a properly operating charging system on the bike will keep it there most of the time, so this is not a fully dependable check.

If the battery shows some signs of not turning the starter at the normal speed, especially after a ride/stop/ride/stop day, your battery may be dying. Loose cables will probably show up as a slow start right away. Also, loose connectors can show that the battery might be bad, but is not.
The biggest thing I have seen as a detector is to let accessories run for a while, like ignition on but not the motor, and if the battery is going, it will start to lose charge quickly and not turn the starter properly when you finally restart the bike. Lastly, a standing voltage check, like he showed with the motor off, should be at least 12.5. His showed 12.6, which is good. You can do it on the tender cable, and don't have to remove the seat as he had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I don't agree with everything he said on that video. A properly charging system with good battery will not need to be "revved up" to get to 14.2-14.4. It should be there even at idle. He sounds old school, like the bike is running a generator system, not an alternator system.
My battery which I know is good goes up almost immediately to 14.2-14.4 upon startup, and stays there in all conditions no matter the revolutions. It does not jump above 14.4 if I am at highway speeds with the revs up somewhat.

I have found that batteries that are about to die will charge too fast, making the tender show charged in minutes or even seconds, since the battery is sulfating and is not able to take a full charge. But a properly operating charging system on the bike will keep it there most of the time, so this is not a fully dependable check.

If the battery shows some signs of not turning the starter at the normal speed, especially after a ride/stop/ride/stop day, your battery may be dying. Loose cables will probably show up as a slow start right away. Also, loose connectors can show that the battery might be bad, but is not.
The biggest thing I have seen as a detector is to let accessories run for a while, like ignition on but not the motor, and if the battery is going, it will start to lose charge quickly and not turn the starter properly when you finally restart the bike. Lastly, a standing voltage check, like he showed with the motor off, should be at least 12.5. His showed 12.6, which is good. You can do it on the tender cable, and don't have to remove the seat as he had.
Mine shows between 12.4 and 12.6, and drops to 9.7 when starting.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,147 Posts
You can check a batteries capacity, as a battery gets older it has less capacity. Our batteries are 20 amp hours, think of it as 20 gallons. A perfect new battery will produce 20 amps for an hour before it is dead. As a battery gets older the capacity drops so it charges faster. You need a shop with a good tester to check capacity. I have one for checking deep cycle wheel chair batteries, to expensive for a average person to buy at home. Cheaper to just go buy a new battery.

I don't agree with everything he said on that video. A properly charging system with good battery will not need to be "revved up" to get to 14.2-14.4. It should be there even at idle. He sounds old school, like the bike is running a generator system, not an alternator system.
My battery which I know is good goes up almost immediately to 14.2-14.4 upon startup, and stays there in all conditions no matter the revolutions. It does not jump above 14.4 if I am at highway speeds with the revs up somewhat.

I have found that batteries that are about to die will charge too fast, making the tender show charged in minutes or even seconds, since the battery is sulfating and is not able to take a full charge. But a properly operating charging system on the bike will keep it there most of the time, so this is not a fully dependable check.

If the battery shows some signs of not turning the starter at the normal speed, especially after a ride/stop/ride/stop day, your battery may be dying. Loose cables will probably show up as a slow start right away. Also, loose connectors can show that the battery might be bad, but is not.
The biggest thing I have seen as a detector is to let accessories run for a while, like ignition on but not the motor, and if the battery is going, it will start to lose charge quickly and not turn the starter properly when you finally restart the bike. Lastly, a standing voltage check, like he showed with the motor off, should be at least 12.5. His showed 12.6, which is good. You can do it on the tender cable, and don't have to remove the seat as he had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
You can check a batteries capacity, as a battery gets older it has less capacity. Our batteries are 20 amp hours, think of it as 20 gallons. A perfect new battery will produce 20 amps for an hour before it is dead. As a battery gets older the capacity drops so it charges faster. You need a shop with a good tester to check capacity. I have one for checking deep cycle wheel chair batteries, to expensive for a average person to buy at home. Cheaper to just go buy a new battery.
That's what I just did...the new battery thing, not the deep cycle tester thing. I figured that since the battery had been in the bike since new (2017), and has suffered through the "loose battery terminal" issue and the "excessive battery drain" issue, it was worth it for peace of mind. What is really fun is ordering the battery off of Amazon.de, shipped to my German address, since most US-based online stores will not ship batteries overseas, even to an APO-AE address.
 

·
Founding member / Distinguished
Joined
·
3,957 Posts
I just changed my battery because when I started the bike amperage would drop and clock would go back to 12:00 I have a 2015 RM.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,094 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I just changed my battery because when I started the bike amperage would drop and clock would go back to 12:00 I have a 2015 RM.
Mine (2017) would do that before the battery drain recall was done. After the recall, it was fine, even with not having it on a tender in temps below freezing and riding every couple of days or so. Recently, I have noticed that, in temps below 50, it hesitates to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,096 Posts
Although it is not typical for these batteries to die in only 20-24 months, I can see where it could with the problems you have had. Rough treatment, (loose terminals, battery drain), could accelerate the aging of the battery. I think you did the exact correct thing, ordering a new battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Without the proper battery tester that only mechanics have such as Professional Car Battery Tester | Midtronics PBT Series Testers the only way to test a battery at home is by load testing, not as accurate but still helpful. You can use the voltage display the RM has but I would prefer an external digital voltmeter be connected to the battery. A fully charged battery has 12.6V. remove the fuse for the ignition or the fuel pump to prevent the bike from starting, then crank the engine for 30 seconds watching the voltmeter. If voltage drops below 10V replace the battery. Then replace fuse, start engine, charging voltage should be minimum 13.5 volts, but for drained battery 14.0 to 14.5 Volts is what you should get. If voltage readings are correct the battery and charging system are in good order. *** Hi current draw from the starting system could also force the brand new battery voltage to drop below 10V which is a completely different set of tests.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top