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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have a chinook out here in Calgary so the snow is gone and the sun is warm so last week I thought I'd take my Phantom out to test all the mods I've done so far this winter. I pulled the battery off my trickle charger and plugged it in, went to hit the starter and she wouldn't start - gave all the symptoms of a low battery. Lights all came on and the engine turned over a few times but then it died. SO I jump started it. It fired up just fine and I went out for a little rip to a pub about 20 minutes away. Had a beer and some food, came out and she fired up like nothing was wrong.

YESTERDAY, I go fire up the bike and SAME thing. So this time I took my other bike's spare battery and jump started the bike with it. (My girlfriend took the jumper cables with her to work). So I hopped on the bike and went for about an hours ride around town then eventually stopped at my buddies house. Hung out there for about a half hour, went outside and jumped on the bike...... WOULD NOT START. Again, Lights all came on, she turned over a few times slowly but it just wasn't enough. I ended up having to boost it two more times that day. When I got home, I pulled the battery off and plugged it into my charger and the charger turned on for about 30 seconds then switched to Fully Charged/Maintenance mode.

Every time we boosted the bike, the lights did come on brighter than before cables were attached, and the fact that the bike is running with all systems working indicates to me that the alternator is working but the battery simply has a limited capacity some how and just wont fully charge anymore (Weird considering its a 2012 Phantom) I'm just wondering if any of you have had a similar experience and may have some different ideas before I go buy another battery. As for my other bike's batt, I've already tried to plug it in but the leads are slightly different and wont fit without some modification.

Mods:
Cobra PowrFlo intake
Cobra Fi2000 PowrFlo Fuel Controller
V&H Short Shots

Thanks Guys

PS I loving these mods :lol:
 

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You can have a bad battery and still show full voltage on the charger. If it's got a weak cell, it will draw down quick. Chances are the battery had a manufacture date of 2011 or early 2012 and is a wet cell to boot. Are your cable ends clean and shiney? If you don't have a meter to test it, take it to the parts store and have it load tested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can have a bad battery and still show full voltage on the charger. If it's got a weak cell, it will draw down quick. Chances are the battery had a manufacture date of 2011 or early 2012 and is a wet cell to boot. Are your cable ends clean and shiney? If you don't have a meter to test it, take it to the parts store and have it load tested.

Thanks Smilie.

The cable ends look like they're in great shape. It is a YTZ14S (If that means anything). If I need to replace the batt, what kind of battery would you recommend?
 

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Thanks Smilie.

The cable ends look like they're in great shape. It is a YTZ14S (If that means anything). If I need to replace the batt, what kind of battery would you recommend?
I'm not an expert, but these days there's no reason to go with a wet cell. Go AGM or a gel cell. The only thing with a gel cell is you'd have to have a charger designed to charge gel batteries.
 

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If you have a multimeter handy, take a voltage reading at the very moment you press in the start button. Voltage shouldn't drop below 9.5v. That's enough of a load test. That is, the starter motor is the largest electrical *load* the battery has to deal with. Below 9.5v the battery is toast and you're reading or registering surface charge instead.


I'm not an expert, but these days there's no reason to go with a wet cell. Go AGM or a gel cell. The only thing with a gel cell is you'd have to have a charger designed to charge gel batteries.
My understanding is that a gel battery (gel cell) is not meant for motorbikes. It's for golf carts and motorized wheel chairs, etc. While, AGM = absorbent-glass-mat. I forget if it becuz of the vibrations or something.
 

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If you could put a meter on the battery while it is cranking and watch to see if the voltage doesn't go below 9.5 -10 volts.
Then watch it as it starts up and see if the voltage goes up to 13.5-14.5 volts to get a look at the whole system process.
Also did you check to see if the cells are low on water?
But it sounds like a weak cell issue. I found out the 14 stands for 14 Amp Hour rating, maybe 150 to 200 cold crank amps.
Try to find a higher cold crank amp rating battery, it would be stronger overall.
 

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It is possible that you have a damaged cell in the battery but as it is a wet cell type you could remove the filler caps and shine a light into each cell to check for electrolyte levels, if you see the top of the plates sticking above the level then that is a bad sign..also you can put one meter lead on one of the battery terminals and the other lead on to the first plate and measure the voltage, then compare this with the first plate to the second plate and so on to the other terminal, they should all read the same voltage, about 2.1v dc.. these tests should be carried out using a digital multimeter..

Another check .. measure from the positive battery terminal to the negative terminal, then move from the negative terminal to the metal of the engine and then to the metal of the frame and then to the metal of the starter motor.. They should all measure exactly the same.

My guess from thousands of miles away and without seeing the bike, is a loose connection.

John.
 

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It appears, our Gurus have this "under control" :D

I got a load of firewood what needs bustin` = I`m going outside...

I`ll check back in to see what develops ;)

My $.02 = Always start diagnosing with a < KNOWN GOOD FULLY CHARGED BATTERY >
 

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If you have a multimeter handy, take a voltage reading at the very moment you press in the start button. Voltage shouldn't drop below 9.5v. That's enough of a load test. That is, the starter motor is the largest electrical *load* the battery has to deal with. Below 9.5v the battery is toast and you're reading or registering surface charge instead.
Let me add: Check the voltage BEFORE doing the above. If it comes in less than 10 volts then the battery is toast and there's no reason to bother with the any kind of load test.

A fully-charged 12-volt battery should test at 13.2 volts. As the battery ages, ability to hold that charge diminishes. Connecting a battery to a trickle charger for long-term storage can seriously diminish the battery's ability to hold a charge. (i.e. It could "fry" the battery by boiling off fluid.) The charger we're discussing seems to be a "smart" charger but we don;t have enough info to be sure.

My understanding is that a gel battery (gel cell) is not meant for motorbikes. It's for golf carts and motorized wheel chairs, etc. While, AGM = absorbent-glass-mat. I forget if it becuz of the vibrations or something.
Some bikes come equipped with gel cells. Biggest reason more don't was due to cost -- which has gone up enough on other varieties of batteries to not make much of a difference anymore. The only real advantage gel cell batteries offer is that they can be mounted in unusual positions, including upside down. Many people mistakenly say "gel" when they're talking about AGMs.

Lithium-ion (aka LiFePO, for one) batteries are another viable alternative. They offer all the advantages of gel cells plus a few others -- including (1) putting out consistent power levels until exhausted and (2) releasing energy easier when hot. Biggest drawback is that "smart" chargers with anti-sulfation modes will drain, rather than charge, lithium-ion batteries.
 

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You said "trickle charger", how much power does it put out?
 

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If you replace the battery, i HIGHLY recommend the Bike Master brand, its a true AGM and the Yuasa contrary to what i was told is not. Its cheaper and better, ill never use another battery.
 

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I got my firewood busted, too wore out to stack it though :D

I see we`re still on it;)

You say the cable ends look good, how `bout the connections???
Is this examination a "hands on" or merely a looky see???
 

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If you replace the battery, i HIGHLY recommend the Bike Master brand, its a true AGM and the Yuasa contrary to what i was told is not. Its cheaper and better, ill never use another battery.
A doubt seriously that they could call it an AGM if it actually wasn't. Other battery manufactures would be all over that. Yuasa's seem to last longer then most brands so it must be a good battery.
 

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We have a chinook out here in Calgary so the snow is gone and the sun is warm
Yes it is, just got back from Edmonton, two days down, four days shopping and two days back. Imagine my surprise leaving -35C and arriving to +5C and higher temps-it was like being in the tropics, had to ditch the parka.

Dingo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the replies everyone.

The charger is supposed to be a smart charger that can be set to a few different power settings 2A being the lowest UNTIL it determines the battery is full, then switches to a maintenance mode which maintains the charge with a tiny current. At least that's what the manual says.

The connections are good on all ends. I am on the road right now and was planning on testing everything tomorrow BUT it just so happens my plane has broken down too.. (that's for another thread jk ;))

What boggles my mind more than anything is how the first time I jump started my bike last week then rode off to the pub, the bike turned over just find after sitting for an hour and showed no indication of what I experienced this weekend. I didn't touch a single thing between then and now. Even at the end of the ride this weekend when I pulled into my garage, I shut it down then went to fire up immediately, but she wouldn't do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes it is, just got back from Edmonton, two days down, four days shopping and two days back. Imagine my surprise leaving -35C and arriving to +5C and higher temps-it was like being in the tropics, had to ditch the parka.

Dingo.
Geeze I love Yellowknife don't get me wrong but I don't know if I could handle -35 everyday. I love that one restaurant in old town though, the one with all the business cards and stuff on the wall. SO good!! I left one or two there :)
 

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A doubt seriously that they could call it an AGM if it actually wasn't. Other battery manufactures would be all over that. Yuasa's seem to last longer then most brands so it must be a good battery.
I never said they called it an AGM, i was told it was and believed it till i looked it up. I recommend the BM brand because they have lasted a lot longer than the two Yuasa i put in my Spirit and had to pay $140+ for.

My last BM in the Spirit lasted through the almost month long negative outside temps last Jan and only needed a tender charge to last all season till i got the Fury. I never hooked it up to the tender after that charge either. That speaks volumes to me.
 

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I never said they called it an AGM, i was told it was and believed it till i looked it up. I recommend the BM brand because they have lasted a lot longer than the two Yuasa i put in my Spirit and had to pay $140+ for.

My last BM in the Spirit lasted through the almost month long negative outside temps last Jan and only needed a tender charge to last all season till i got the Fury. I never hooked it up to the tender after that charge either. That speaks volumes to me.
You said it wasn't a true AGM. what does that mean?
 

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What boggles my mind more than anything is how the first time I jump started my bike last week then rode off to the pub, the bike turned over just find after sitting for an hour and showed no indication of what I experienced this weekend. I didn't touch a single thing between then and now. Even at the end of the ride this weekend when I pulled into my garage, I shut it down then went to fire up immediately, but she wouldn't do it. UNQuote

This sure has symptoms of a loose connection, as well as a faulty battery too...
 

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You said it wasn't a true AGM. what does that mean?
Ok, muddled my words, the Yuasa is NOT an AGM. But if you search for one, they seem to come up in the results, so maybe someone is spamming the search engines.
 
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