Out of hibernation... - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Fogo Island, Newfoundland (Canada)
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Out of hibernation...

Spring is definitely taking it's own sweet time arriving this year, at least for us poor souls living way up here in Northern Newfoundland. We still have snow drifts here and there, and the daytime temperatures are hovering only around 1 or 2 degrees.(C) But we have been anxious to get the bikes out of storage. We never did get around to building a new shed to house them last summer, so we ended up storing both bikes in a neighbour's shed a few doors down. The day we parked them it was well below freezing and the wind was howling, so I (unwisely) opted to not take time to remove the batteries, as the plan was that I would periodically pop in to start the bikes and let the run for awhile, with the hope that this would keep the batteries up. So, we ended up spending much of the winter in Africa, (traveled throughout Uganda doing charity work, safari, boat cruise up the River Nile, relaxing!) and we never got around to checking in on the bikes... until today.

Well, believe it or not, after half a year in an unheated shed, throughout a brutally cold northern Newfoundland winter with temperatures often dipping into the minus mid-20's,(C) my 2014 Honda CB500FA fired right up instantly! Wow! The 2014 V-Star Custom's battery, however, was almost dead; only enough juice to turn it over for about two seconds and that was it. So I currently have the V-Star's battery in the house on the charger; will install it again tomorrow and hope for the best. At around the freezing mark it's still going to be difficult to fire up, I think, but our neighbour is wanting to get her storage space back, so it either fires up tomorrow, or we will be pushing it (uphill!) back to our own driveway. Still not sure how the Honda lit up instantly, just as if it had been shut off only moments earlier, let alone after six months of brutally cold weather!

One small thing that I'm a bit concerned about... while disconnecting the battery the tool inadvertently touched the frame, creating a small spark when it shorted. As the battery was likely only about a 10% charge at the time, the spark was very brief/minor, but now I am wondering if it may have blown a fuse, or possibly some other type of damage? Am I worrying needlessly? Your thoughts?

I'll report back tomorrow to let you know how we make out getting the V-Star running. (fingers crossed!) It's still awfully brrrrrrr out, but both the Missus and I sure have the itch to get back to riding along the scenic coastal roads around our home on Fogo Island.

Glen
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2014 YAMAHA V-STAR CUSTOM
MC Enterprises engine guard
Big Bike Parts chrome solo rack
"Clevver" clutch lever
clutch adjustment kit
SupaBrake III brake light modulator
Cortech Super 2.0 (24 litre) tail bag
clock/thermometer set
QDC harness/USB phone charger
Furygan leather gloves
Xelement leather jacket
NexGen riding boots
HJC CL-17 Redline helmet/Pinlock insert
Oxford paddock stands
Nelson-Rigg deluxe cover
Battery Tender Junior
cable lock
Helmet Hooker

2014 HONDA CB500FA

Last edited by camperbc; 05-09-2017 at 06:53 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 07:10 PM
KCW
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I assume the tool was touching the positive terminal of the battery when it sparked the frame. There is nothing to worry about, there is no fuse right on the battery itself or on the terminal.

As long as the battery does not freeze and it is not discharged the cold is actually better than storing it warm (or hot) for several months. But Im afraid the one that went dead is probably shot.

I read somewhere that lead acid batteries need to be recharged immediately when they have been drained, something oxidizes or changes into a different form of lead.... Since the battery was slowly going dead over the winter its probably in that state now.

Any chance you can put the other battery in the VS custom to get it started and ride it up that hill? Another (Plan B) is to charge the dead battery knowing it wont be able to start the bike, but if it will hold any charge at all you should be able to push (roll) start the bike down the hill instead of using the starter, to get it back home.

Put the bike in neutral with the key and kill switch set to run, gas on, choked... get it up to about 15 to 20 mph, clutch in, shift up into 2nd (or better yet 3rd) let the clutch out and it will nearly always start. Remember to push the choke in a bit when it starts.

Always keep that in mind, the beauty of any vehicle with a manual transmission is you can push start the engine as long as the battery has enough voltage to power the spark plugs. In fact a lot of racing bikes dont even have a starter.

Last edited by KCW; 05-09-2017 at 07:12 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
I assume the tool was touching the positive terminal of the battery when it sparked the frame. There is nothing to worry about, there is no fuse right on the battery itself or on the terminal.

As long as the battery does not freeze and it is not discharged the cold is actually better than storing it warm (or hot) for several months. But Im afraid the one that went dead is probably shot.

I read somewhere that lead acid batteries need to be recharged immediately when they have been drained, something oxidizes or changes into a different form of lead.... Since the battery was slowly going dead over the winter its probably in that state now.

Any chance you can put the other battery in the VS custom to get it started and ride it up that hill? Another (Plan B) is to charge the dead battery knowing it wont be able to start the bike, but if it will hold any charge at all you should be able to push (roll) start the bike down the hill instead of using the starter, to get it back home.

Put the bike in neutral with the key and kill switch set to run, gas on, choked... get it up to about 15 to 20 mph, clutch in, shift up into 2nd (or better yet 3rd) let the clutch out and it will nearly always start. Remember to push the choke in a bit when it starts.

Always keep that in mind, the beauty of any vehicle with a manual transmission is you can push start the engine as long as the battery has enough voltage to power the spark plugs. In fact a lot of racing bikes dont even have a starter.
Thanks for the informative post, KCW, much appreciated. I am not ready to give up on the V-Star's battery just yet, as it was not dead, but rather was just too weak to turn it over for more than just a few seconds in the cold (just above freezing) temperatures. I charged it back up, then placed it on the tender, and it is currently reading a healthy state, for whatever that may be worth. This battery/bike has only 600 miles on it and is only 12 months old. I will let you know how we make out tomorrow.

Thanks again,
Glen

2014 YAMAHA V-STAR CUSTOM
MC Enterprises engine guard
Big Bike Parts chrome solo rack
"Clevver" clutch lever
clutch adjustment kit
SupaBrake III brake light modulator
Cortech Super 2.0 (24 litre) tail bag
clock/thermometer set
QDC harness/USB phone charger
Furygan leather gloves
Xelement leather jacket
NexGen riding boots
HJC CL-17 Redline helmet/Pinlock insert
Oxford paddock stands
Nelson-Rigg deluxe cover
Battery Tender Junior
cable lock
Helmet Hooker

2014 HONDA CB500FA
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 07:38 PM
KCW
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being only 12 months old, its odd that it went soft like that.

Is there anything on the bike that draws power when the bike is off? A clock, USB charger plug, something with an LCD display that does not really turn off when the bike is not running? It doesnt take much of a load to drain a MC battery over a couple months.

I had a VW rabbit years ago, battery went dead when I left it at the airport for a week. Figured out the light in the glove compartment was staying on when it was closed. No problem when the car was driven every day, but too much load for a week.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
being only 12 months old, its odd that it went soft like that.

Is there anything on the bike that draws power when the bike is off? A clock, USB charger plug, something with an LCD display that does not really turn off when the bike is not running? It doesnt take much of a load to drain a MC battery over a couple months.

I had a VW rabbit years ago, battery went dead when I left it at the airport for a week. Figured out the light in the glove compartment was staying on when it was closed. No problem when the car was driven every day, but too much load for a week.
Nope, nothing on the bike to drain it. I am intrigued that almost everyone that I have spoken with (you being the sole exception) believed it would indeed be dead, or very close to it, after six months of non-use in these frigid temperatures. I don't know much about these things, but my (new) garden tractor battery was dead last spring after sitting out in the cold for six months, so I was kinda expecting this. Funny thing is that the Honda has a usb phone charger hooked up to it, and most people say that these do have a small and steady draw, yet there was enough juice for the bike to fire up right away. I guess we can chalk it up to the fuel injection. If the 500F, like the V-Star, had to be cranked for several seconds to get it going, it's battery likely also would have been too far gone... but with FI it was an instant start. (I will be placing the 500F's battery on the tender tomorrow, as it too is likely nowhere near fully charged)

Glen

2014 YAMAHA V-STAR CUSTOM
MC Enterprises engine guard
Big Bike Parts chrome solo rack
"Clevver" clutch lever
clutch adjustment kit
SupaBrake III brake light modulator
Cortech Super 2.0 (24 litre) tail bag
clock/thermometer set
QDC harness/USB phone charger
Furygan leather gloves
Xelement leather jacket
NexGen riding boots
HJC CL-17 Redline helmet/Pinlock insert
Oxford paddock stands
Nelson-Rigg deluxe cover
Battery Tender Junior
cable lock
Helmet Hooker

2014 HONDA CB500FA

Last edited by camperbc; 05-09-2017 at 08:07 PM.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 07:27 AM
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From what I have always heard, if the battery went dead and it was cold enough to freeze the battery that it is toast. (that's why one should keep a battery charged that is sitting in freezing temp. A charged battery will not freeze) You may get enough juice to start the bike and if you ride everyday it may do fine but the battery most likely will not hold a charge very long. Worst case, buy a new battery and ride on!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 12:51 PM Thread Starter
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As a follow-up to yesterday's post, after an overnight charge, the 650 fired up instantly. (at minus 2C!) All is good now, with both bikes ready to roll! Thank-you to those who replied; very much appreciated!

Glen

2014 YAMAHA V-STAR CUSTOM
MC Enterprises engine guard
Big Bike Parts chrome solo rack
"Clevver" clutch lever
clutch adjustment kit
SupaBrake III brake light modulator
Cortech Super 2.0 (24 litre) tail bag
clock/thermometer set
QDC harness/USB phone charger
Furygan leather gloves
Xelement leather jacket
NexGen riding boots
HJC CL-17 Redline helmet/Pinlock insert
Oxford paddock stands
Nelson-Rigg deluxe cover
Battery Tender Junior
cable lock
Helmet Hooker

2014 HONDA CB500FA
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