Roadliner/Stratoliner battery replacement
I've been aware of the fact that my battery might be dying for several months. If I didn't start my bike for a while, it would turn over, but there would be a distinct hesitation before it finally decided to work for me.
Well, last week it hesitated, but then decided it was on strike.
On my last bike, I would take off the seat and there was my battery, looking oh-so-easy to get to. On this one, what do you see? A scary-looking ECU unit. And then a bag full of couplers that looks nearly as scary as the ECU.
And both of them sitting on a tray.
I frankly didn't know how far down the battery was. Or if I'd have to disconnect any wiring to actually get to the battery.
Anyway, I tried to do a search to see if anybody had ever written about changing the battery and couldn't find anything. And I was just about to ask a question when it occurred to me that if it was really easy to do - which of course it SHOULD be - I'd come across as an even bigger idiot than I think I actually am.
So I figured I'd just start moving stuff around and ask my stupid question if I actually got stuck.
Once I started, it really wasn't that hard. Which was the first thing I wanted to say to anybody who ever searches this forum for tips on replacing or accessing the Roadliner or Stratoliner battery. It's not nearly as bad as it looks.
I have learned to take pictures as I go along. In the days of digital, it's easy and it sure is good insurance for people who try to remember, how the hell did that thing go in there again???
If you have ever found yourself asking yourself that question, take pictures as you go along. Then all you've got to do is look at the pictures in reverse order to put it back together the way it was before you started screwing around with it.
After you disconnect the rubber band over the ECU, simply place the ECU lay the ECU aside so the opposite side is now facing up. Then take the couplers out of the bag/pouch and push them over to the tank side. And then the only thing between you and the battery is the plastic tray. To make it even easier, there is a black strap around the batter so you can easily lift it out.
[If I hadn't taken a picture of that stupid tray I'm sure I would have put it back in backwards somehow].
Two other things:
1) I bought a BikeMaster gel battery rather than the stock Yamaha battery. I bought it at the stealership. Frankly, I hadn't thought about which particular brand of battery to buy and did NOT want a cheap piece of crap battery. So I figured I'd get my first replacement battery at the dealer and then hopefully have a better plan next time.
The BikeMaster "TruGel" battery recommended by the parts guy was not only $25 cheaper than the factory/stock battery, but comes with a 2-year warranty vs. the 1-year warranty of the stock Yamaha battery.
And the $110 I paid at the dealer was pretty much the same price I would have paid online. That was pretty amazing.
But I didn't stop there. I also bought a battery tender even though I live in California where the motorcycle riding season begins the day you buy your bike and then just never ends. I ride my bike about once a week on average. But some days I'll ride three or four days in a row and then not ride for two plus weeks.
I got a chance to talk to one of the mechanics, and based on my riding he told me it would definitely be a good idea and would extend the life of the battery.
I got an "Optimate 3+" at the recommend of the parts guy. The shop also sold another unit, but I don't recall the brand/name. The Optimate unit has the ability to desulfate a battery and claims that it can "save neglected batteries that other chargers can't."
The stealer sold it for $59.99. I haven't checked it online.
To finish this exciting tale, I actually worried greatly over how to install the wiring for the Optimate. The Optimate has a 14 amp fuse in a little plastic box that is like 3/8" thick. I worried that there wasn't a lot of room and that I didn't want my wiring getting pinched by the weight of my big ass on the seat.
Anyway, to make a long story short, it turns out that there isn't a problem. Just wire it to the battery with your pos/neg common sense and let the fuse sit directly on the battery. The tray sits on top no problem.
I'm sure several of you will think this was too easy to need to write about. But as I said, when I took the seat off and looked over the situation, it didn't appear very easy at all. Some of us are just frightened by electricky-looking thingies, you know.