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Battery question

  1. #1
    Just Registered FireFly's Avatar
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    Battery question

    I think this has been mentioned before , I just don't remember when/where.
    Here it is: Does the cold weather kill batteries or preserve them?? In other words, does the battery discharge faster just sitting in a bike during the colder weather. Someone told me awhile ago that cold weather was a battery killer but I questioned that concidering that people sometimes people throw used batteries in the freezer to squeeze that last bit of life out of em.. Thoughts opinions/ facts ??Thanks

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  2. #2
    Lifer richw's Avatar
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    Battery question

    Lead acid batteries lose about 1% of their charge per day.

    So after about 3 months of disuse it is dead dead. Completely discharged batteries get a sulfate coating that when used shakes down and shorts out the plates so it is scrap.

    Cold does not "kill" batteries but reduces their efficiency a great deal. I think I remember that at zero F there is only about 40 percent of the warm cranking amps. This is further complicated by slugish oil that requires more starting power. Additionally most electronics go to sleep at about 9 volts so it would never start.


    An other fun fact
    Also I am told that a new battery will have a longer life if it is given an initial low amperage 1 or 2 volts before ever being put in service.

    I have gotten reasonable service from Walmart bike batteries and they are usually in stock you add the acid so they are "fresh"

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  3. #3
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Battery question

    Originally posted by richw

    An other fun fact
    Also I am told that a new battery will have a longer life if it is given an initial low amperage 1 or 2 volts before ever being put in service.
    If you connect a 1 or 2 volt source to a 12V battery, it will begin to discharge. You need to apply a voltage higher than that of the battery to charge it.

    Maybe they meant putting it on a slow charger for an hour or 2 before first use?

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  4. #4
    Lifer bbhzx10's Avatar
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    Battery question

    1 or 2 amps would be better.

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  5. #5
    Just Registered FireFly's Avatar
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    .....

    Thanks for the info.
    Disreguard my comment about putting batteries in the freezer...I forgot that the batteries people throw in the fridge are dry cell. I had to leave my bike with the battery in it last week when I came back to beantown... I just put my bike back on the road and the battery was charged in my basement once a month during the winter. I'm hoping the weather is gonna get warm soon so I can drive it back up here. I had to leave the battery in it cause I didn;t have time to take it back out. I started it and let it run on sunday night before I left. I took the keys with me like a jack ass so I can;t ask my dad to go out and start it once a week. I'm hoping it will be no more than a few weeks before I get back to my parents house in Ny to start her up and bring her back here.

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  6. #6
    Lifer ZX-12R's Avatar
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    Battery question

    If your battery is relatively new, don't worry about leaving it in your bike. I leave my battery in over the winter with no tender and it fires right up without issue.

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  7. #7
    guy on the vintage Yamaha Rice-rocket1's Avatar
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    Battery question

    When the temps drop the battery will loose charge faster and when it looses it's charge you take a chance of sulphating (builds up a layer on the plates and will never hold a full charge agian) or freezing it. Best thing to do is use a battery tender jr. just hook it up and check the cell levels every so often. If more fluid is needed use distilled water, no contaminates to short out the plates in the cells.

    Also if you are setting up a new battery put the electrolites in let it sit for at least an hr then tap it a bit to release and gases and top it off with electrolite. Then put it on a charge at no more than 1 amp charge. If its a 14ah battery then you have to charge it for 14 hrs. Doing this is called forming the plates. A new "un-formed" battery only an 80% charge. If you put it in the bike and take it for a "ride" to finish charging the battery you WILL lock the battery into the 80% charge capacity. Fully charging it before installing and using it, gets 100% charge capacity out of the battery....

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  8. #8
    Lifer
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    Battery question

    You should be fine leaving the battery in for a week or two - especially with the weather getting warmer. I leave the bike on a tender in an unheated garage for the winter, and pull the battery out of the tractor and put it in the garage for the winter. But - It also hits below zero here a lot and I don't want them to freeze or go flat.

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  9. #9
    Lifer Currently's Avatar
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    Battery question

    I got a tender jr. and my bike is stored in a heated garage.
    I am at the point now where I just put the tender on overnight
    just because it is convenient.

    I don't know it for a fact but it makes sense to me that if I keep
    a battery topped off, it will last longer and give me less problems
    such as sulfating the plates.

    Most dealers will "stress test" a battery for free where they put a load on it and watch the reaction of the battery to it.

    I bailed out a Honda Shadow tonight on exit 5 that had a bad battery. Had to get my truck and ramps and give him a ride home.
    New bikes today won't run without a battery.

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  10. #10
    Just Registered FireFly's Avatar
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    ....

    My battery is sealed. There are no cells you can poor distilled water into.
    QUEStion?? what exactly is sulfating the battery?? ( what happens within the battery? I charged it once a month over the winter and the lowest it got was about 80% charge before I would put it on the tender. Another question, Modern sportbikes can't run with a dead battery?? How much power is actually being drawn from the battery when your riding?

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  11. #11
    guy on the vintage Yamaha Rice-rocket1's Avatar
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    Re: ....

    Originally posted by FireFly
    QUEStion?? what exactly is sulfating the battery?? ( what happens within the battery?
    Sulphating is chemical reaction that happens in a weak battery. It's when the battery builds up a layer on the plates that insulates them.

    Originally posted by FireFly
    Another question, Modern sportbikes can't run with a dead battery??
    Most sportbikes run on the battery under say 3,000 RPM and then charge/run on the charging system above that. When the Battery isn't holding a charge properly it will run rough or not at all below 3K but fine any where above.

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    95 FZR 1000
    19xx DOUBLE "D"
    (sold) 02 CBR600 F4i (track bike)
    06 Chevy Supercharged Cobalt SS

  12. #12
    Lifer Currently's Avatar
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    Battery question

    A cell inside the battery consists of lead plates and sulphuric acid.
    When the electrical charge is full, the acid is strong.
    When the charge goes down, hydrogen gas which is a component of the acid is emitted making the acid more diluted.
    The sulfur now has an affinity for the lead plates and will coat over the lead. The coating interferes with the electrochemical reaction.

    Some batteries are designed for this type of operations.
    I think they call them deep cycle, marine batteries are like that.

    Either way, the time to replace a battery is immediately after you notice that it won't do what it used to do. Longer and slower cranking times, won't hold a charge.

    They are under a hundred bucks and a tow call is usually over a hundred ...

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