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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
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battery cutoff switch

anyone have one of these on their bike? since i'm on my third battery (same brand) since 2012, and now this one is dead after 3 years, i'm wondering if i should invest in a battery cutoff switch. i have a lithium ferrous battery which claims to last 8-10 years, have 4 times the energy density of a lead acid cell with more cold cranks, is much smaller and lighter than lead acid, and claims to have a very low self discharge rate: "This makes long term storage of your vehicle a simple proposition as long as there is no connected draw on the battery (such as alarm, anti-theft, or ECU draw)." i rarely go a few days without riding, even in the coldest months. i stopped riding at the end of June and attempted to charge the battery this past weekend but it will not charge and currently shows just 3 volts on the multimeter. that's just 2 months of sitting in a warm garage.

some particulars: some of you may already know the manufacturer i use as i have not kept it secret on here in the past, but until i get a current resolution, i will refrain from naming them for now as i still have faith in their product. in contrast to the OEM or off-the-shelf battery, this one appears to be very delicate and temperamental. you must use their proprietary charger to balance the cells a couple times a year. and NEVER jump start it from another battery (neither car nor bike is specified) if it does go dead, such as the result from leaving your lights on for an extended period of time. admittedly, this was a problem i had with my LED accent lighting on the previous battery. and when you've got a dead bike, sometimes your only option is to connect it to a car battery to get home. but i rectified that and have never left my lights on with this battery or needed to jump start it. and i did balance the cells twice a year. but i did not think to disconnect and remove the battery when i got injured because i was not planning on the bike being sedentary for this long. and the company does advise on storage: "Many vehicle ECUís will draw a tiny amount of current from the battery, so to be safe, you should disconnect the ground lead to ensure the battery is not being discharged. We have test units that show practically no self discharge after almost 3 years of storage. Not only is trickle charging not suggested, it can in some cases damage your battery AND SHOULD NOT BE USED."

so i messed up. i know a lot of you are wondering why someone would keep using their product at this point. it does start up every time without hesitation (even on 25 degree mornings) as long as you take proper care and it hasn't been significantly drained. this is the catch. i have drained their batteries, jump started them, and did not use proper storage procedure. i'm not a bad person, though, i swear. is it completely my fault? would i have had the same problems with an OEM battery? these are the aftermarket items i have on my bike that could be drawing excess charge on the battery: LED accent lighting, HID headlight system, and LED passing lights/spotlights. my accent lighting claims to draw 0.2 amps while in use, but i don't know what the other lights do. and regardless if the battery is still within its 2-year warranty or if passed, the company advises a customer to contact them if their battery ever drops below 8 volts and is unable to be charged and they will fix it free of charge. so i am currently waiting to hear back from them about this. should i stick with them or move on if i have to buy another battery?



sorry for the long back story. back to my original question. should i invest in a battery cutoff switch? i'd rather have one with a remote so i don't have to take off my seat to manually switch it on every time i get off my bike, or have to install a switch in some unsightly place near on the side of the bike. i read that one remote controlled switch actually draws some charge itself while it's working which actually defeats the purpose. so far, i've only found one other option - it claims to either be used with the remote, or automatically shut off the battery if it ever reads the voltage drop to 12 volts. does this look like a good product? will it also draw from the battery or have some negative impact that i'm not realizing?

https://www.wirthco.com/battery-doct...nnect-switches

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 01:27 PM
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Im not familiar with lithium ferrous batteries.

I know that lithium ion batteries are so temperamental they must put a control circuit on each cell in the battery, to keep it from being overcharged, completely discharged, and to keep you from looking at it crosseyed, or it will explode.

It sounds like the ferrous batteries have similar issues, but there are no cell management circuits in the battery, and they expect you to keep anything bad from happening to the cells.

In your case, you struck out three times. It does not sound like a lead acid replacement that is very user friendly.

Maybe the core battery cell technology is excellent, but you need to find a supplier that has the cell protection circuits built in.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 02:20 PM
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My past few motorcycle batteries have been AGM. Vibration is the number 1 enemy of batteries and discharge/overcharging number 2. The AGM take care of vibration on only leaves the charging issues, and there are no true 100% fix to this. A trickle charger is probably the best. But Bevo you are like me, ride often and it's not an issue. You also stated that you're a bad person, well the jury might still be deliberating on that. I'll tell you I am. I've found that regular batteries have about a useful life of two years. Most batteries come with a two year warranty (from automotive part houses / Walmart). About 1 month from warranty expiration I will remove battery, hook up a 12 volt drop light overnight. This will take the battery to zero volts. You take it in and they load test it. It will test too low for reading. They tell you they have to charge and retest. You say OK, and ask how long. They will normally say a few hours. You say OK, be back in two. You return and they retest battery. It will still be an incomplete test. 99% of the time they will give you a new battery. I'm in the business so I know how the system. I'm a baaaad boy.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 02:36 PM
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Bevo, forgot to actually answer your question on cut off switch. They do work well if used properly, but it's another place for corrosion and possibly loose connection. I would not use one on my motorcycle, but do have one on race car.

Here's some interesting info:

Common Causes of Car Battery Failure
High temperatures
Heat is the No. 1 cause of battery failure. Heat accelerates grid corrosion and grid growth in the positive plate. As heat corrodes the positive grid, the battery loses capacity and starting power, which weakens its ability to start an engine Ė particularly in colder weather.

High vibration
Vibration can damage and separate internal components, which ultimately leads to reduced starting performance or even battery failure.

Deep drains/failure to recharge after drops in voltage
When a battery is discharged, the active materials produce lead sulfate crystals inside the plate that are called discharged material. If these crystals are not recharged, they eventually combine to form larger crystals. These bigger crystals are harder to dissolve and recharge, and eventually they lead to battery failure by disrupting the plate structure.
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Les B.
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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i said i'm NOT a bad person!
do you think my extra lights would cause any other battery to drain that quickly? should any battery that is not being used for an extended period of time be completely disconnected if you can't or don't put on a trickle charger?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 04:06 PM
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I meant to say "NOT a bad person " , sorry, I'm bad at proof reading, but the jury might still be deliberating 😁. But back to the battery draw over time. Your bike has an ECM and is constantly drawing voltage. The daily ECM draw is about .01 volts. A fully charged battery is 12.6 volts (2.1 volts times 6 cells). A battery at 12.45 is at 75% and can cause starting issues at that time. Doing the math, that is only .15 volts. The ECM alone would take about 150 days to bring a battery to a no start situation. Now that's assuming you had a fully charged battery at the start. So let's say you started you bike and only ran for 5 minutes, the charging system has not had time to recharge battery from voltage lost from starter draw. Now add any extra draw from system the time shortens either from sitting or a quick start and turn off. Yes, a battery will lose voltage slower being completely unhooked, but it will still lose some charge. Here's a quote from a battery supplier: "Four weeks is the max for storage without removing the battery or putting it on some form of life support or a battery tender. The battery, if removed is good for about six weeks to 6 months." All this info is on a lead acid / AMG battery. On lithium batteries I'm not educated on. My suggestion, unhook if over 14 days of not riding or on trickle charger, that way it's always charged enough to go for a ride without any issues. There are too many circumstances to take into account to narrow down how long a battery will stay charged without a charge.

Les B.
2001 Vstar 1100 Classic (sold), Cobra Slash Cut full exhaust, Dropped 1 inch with lowering links, ORK, 4.5 inch handlebar risers, Ultimate passenger seat, Passenger pegs moved forward 4 inches, Handlebar clock, KN air filter, Viking saddlebags, Additional rear lighting
Loose nut "me" behind the bars
2006 Harley Electra Glide Ultra Classic

https://sites.google.com/site/vstar1100kb/home
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevo1981 View Post
anyone have one of these on their bike? since i'm on my third battery (same brand) since 2012, and now this one is dead after 3 years, i'm wondering if i should invest in a battery cutoff switch. i have a lithium ferrous battery which claims to last 8-10 years, have 4 times the energy density of a lead acid cell with more cold cranks, is much smaller and lighter than lead acid, and claims to have a very low self discharge rate: "This makes long term storage of your vehicle a simple proposition as long as there is no connected draw on the battery (such as alarm, anti-theft, or ECU draw)." i rarely go a few days without riding, even in the coldest months. i stopped riding at the end of June and attempted to charge the battery this past weekend but it will not charge and currently shows just 3 volts on the multimeter. that's just 2 months of sitting in a warm garage.

some particulars: some of you may already know the manufacturer i use as i have not kept it secret on here in the past, but until i get a current resolution, i will refrain from naming them for now as i still have faith in their product. in contrast to the OEM or off-the-shelf battery, this one appears to be very delicate and temperamental. you must use their proprietary charger to balance the cells a couple times a year. and NEVER jump start it from another battery (neither car nor bike is specified) if it does go dead, such as the result from leaving your lights on for an extended period of time. admittedly, this was a problem i had with my LED accent lighting on the previous battery. and when you've got a dead bike, sometimes your only option is to connect it to a car battery to get home. but i rectified that and have never left my lights on with this battery or needed to jump start it. and i did balance the cells twice a year. but i did not think to disconnect and remove the battery when i got injured because i was not planning on the bike being sedentary for this long. and the company does advise on storage: "Many vehicle ECU’s will draw a tiny amount of current from the battery, so to be safe, you should disconnect the ground lead to ensure the battery is not being discharged. We have test units that show practically no self discharge after almost 3 years of storage. Not only is trickle charging not suggested, it can in some cases damage your battery AND SHOULD NOT BE USED."

so i messed up. i know a lot of you are wondering why someone would keep using their product at this point. it does start up every time without hesitation (even on 25 degree mornings) as long as you take proper care and it hasn't been significantly drained. this is the catch. i have drained their batteries, jump started them, and did not use proper storage procedure. i'm not a bad person, though, i swear. is it completely my fault? would i have had the same problems with an OEM battery? these are the aftermarket items i have on my bike that could be drawing excess charge on the battery: LED accent lighting, HID headlight system, and LED passing lights/spotlights. my accent lighting claims to draw 0.2 amps while in use, but i don't know what the other lights do. and regardless if the battery is still within its 2-year warranty or if passed, the company advises a customer to contact them if their battery ever drops below 8 volts and is unable to be charged and they will fix it free of charge. so i am currently waiting to hear back from them about this. should i stick with them or move on if i have to buy another battery?



sorry for the long back story. back to my original question. should i invest in a battery cutoff switch? i'd rather have one with a remote so i don't have to take off my seat to manually switch it on every time i get off my bike, or have to install a switch in some unsightly place near on the side of the bike. i read that one remote controlled switch actually draws some charge itself while it's working which actually defeats the purpose. so far, i've only found one other option - it claims to either be used with the remote, or automatically shut off the battery if it ever reads the voltage drop to 12 volts. does this look like a good product? will it also draw from the battery or have some negative impact that i'm not realizing?

https://www.wirthco.com/battery-doct...nnect-switches
Wow, quite the conundrum Bevo.
Let’s start with a dumb question.
Have you verified your battery charge voltage when the bike is running?
Is the charge kicking in when you get to the minimum rpms required? Do you do a lot of low speed riding with all your lights on?
Could it be there is too much draw on your battery that low rpm is not enough to charge so that the battery doesn’t get to a full charge?
Normally I would say to install a battery tender, but your situation makes that a NO NO.

Being ignorant is ok. Staying that way is stupid!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by lesblank View Post
I meant to say "NOT a bad person " , sorry, I'm bad at proof reading, but the jury might still be deliberating 😁. But back to the battery draw over time. Your bike has an ECM and is constantly drawing voltage. The daily ECM draw is about .01 volts. A fully charged battery is 12.6 volts (2.1 volts times 6 cells). A battery at 12.45 is at 75% and can cause starting issues at that time. Doing the math, that is only .15 volts. The ECM alone would take about 150 days to bring a battery to a no start situation. Now that's assuming you had a fully charged battery at the start. So let's say you started you bike and only ran for 5 minutes, the charging system has not had time to recharge battery from voltage lost from starter draw. Now add any extra draw from system the time shortens either from sitting or a quick start and turn off. Yes, a battery will lose voltage slower being completely unhooked, but it will still lose some charge. Here's a quote from a battery supplier: "Four weeks is the max for storage without removing the battery or putting it on some form of life support or a battery tender. The battery, if removed is good for about six weeks to 6 months." All this info is on a lead acid / AMG battery. On lithium batteries I'm not educated on. My suggestion, unhook if over 14 days of not riding or on trickle charger, that way it's always charged enough to go for a ride without any issues. There are too many circumstances to take into account to narrow down how long a battery will stay charged without a charge.
I think we’re looking down the same road here Les. 👍
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 05:37 PM
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If i was inclined to put a battery shut off switch on my bike, I think I would put it on the wire that goes to the electronics, but not on the wire to the starter. The starter would require a switch that can handle a hundred amps. The rest of everything is maybe only 20 amps.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-29-2018, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, quite the conundrum Bevo.
Letís start with a dumb question.
Have you verified your battery charge voltage when the bike is running?
Is the charge kicking in when you get to the minimum rpms required? Do you do a lot of low speed riding with all your lights on?
Could it be there is too much draw on your battery that low rpm is not enough to charge so that the battery doesnít get to a full charge?
Normally I would say to install a battery tender, but your situation makes that a NO NO.
i can't start the bike to check the voltage while it runs.
most of my riding is during the daytime, probably 2/3 in the city with 1/3 highway travel, but my HID headlight and LED spotlights are always on while the bike is running. i only turn on my accent lights at night.
i can't check any of that other stuff with a dead battery. but i do fully charge the battery twice a year with the proprietary charger. it was last done this past winter.




Quote:
Originally Posted by KCW View Post
If i was inclined to put a battery shut off switch on my bike, I think I would put it on the wire that goes to the electronics, but not on the wire to the starter. The starter would require a switch that can handle a hundred amps. The rest of everything is maybe only 20 amps.
this one claims "Rated 200A continuous/1,000A peak." and a diagram shows the device being installed on the positive terminal between the main positive battery cable.

https://tweetys.com/wirthco-20395-ba...ct-switch.aspx

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