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Discussion Starter #1
Ive got a 2012 Vstar 950. The battery is fairly new. I ride my bike everyday to work and plan on doing so through the winter season. However, the battery seems to be drained in the morning. Sometimes I have to push start her. No problems in the afternoon when the temp comes up to the 40s.. It recently just starting getting cold here (20-30s) at night. I should also mention my drive to work is only 2 miles.

Should I plug up my battery tender Jr. every night? Maybe the two mile trips to and from work arn’t sufficient to keep the battery fully charged?

Any sugesstions would be great!
 

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The battery on my wife's 650 custom eventually died even though it tested good every time I took it to the auto parts stores. I even started troubleshooting relays/starter and other components, but then decided to just put a new battery in and viola it fixed all the starting issues. Bike was sitting in the cold weather for a couple of weeks and no problem with starting it up after that long time with a new battery. So I suggest to try another battery and also check the charging voltage (should be around 14 V) to make sure battery gets charged.

I keep batteries on tender for maintenance and battery life reason when bikes garaged for a winter.
 

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IF you are in NC I will bet you have 20W40 or 20W 50 oil in you bike. 20Wxx is only good down to 40F. Colder than that and it gets thick and the bike will be hard to start, and the oil may not flow all the way to the cams on top of the heads.

A lead acid battery should last four years. I dont know if that fits your definition of 'fairly new'. The exception is: if the battery went dead at any time, and was not recharged again within a day or so, it will be compromised.

So thats two things to consider: if you want to ride in the 20's or 30's F you need a 10W... or even a 5W... oil. If you have that and it still wont crank your battery has given up on you.
 

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...Should I plug up my battery tender Jr. every night? Maybe the two mile trips to and from work arn’t sufficient to keep the battery fully charged? ...!
I would have to agree with this.


... A lead acid battery should last four years. I dont know if that fits your definition of 'fairly new'. The exception is: if the battery went dead at any time, and was not recharged again within a day or so, it will be compromised...
Last Feb I failed to run my DRZ or hook up a battery tender for the whole month. Seeing as how there's a constant draw on the battery because the DRZ has a digital speedo and the stock battery is pathetically small the 7 month old battery was basically trashed because I allowed it to go dead. It was a mild winter and night temps only got down into the 20s.
 

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IF you are in NC I will bet you have 20W40 or 20W 50 oil in you bike. 20Wxx is only good down to 40F. Colder than that and it gets thick and the bike will be hard to start, and the oil may not flow all the way to the cams on top of the heads.
Good point, KCW. BUT )) Last year I rode my old Stryker thru December when temperature was dropping below 35 on some days and oil was 20w50 and I never had any starting issues. It didn't have any problems turning the crankshaft because of the oil viscosity always starting after "half-turn".
 

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its all a question of how long it cold soaks overnight. If its 35F outside and the bike is in your garage, it might not even get below 40F.

If your bike is outside and it drops to the low 20s overnight, then you are well below the rated 40F for 20Wxx oil.
 

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its all a question of how long it cold soaks overnight. If its 35F outside and the bike is in your garage, it might not even get below 40F.

If your bike is outside and it drops to the low 20s overnight, then you are well below the rated 40F for 20Wxx oil.
Bike was outside and some nights it was freezing... Not that I'm arguing or something just saying that I never had starting issues with mine after it sitting outside over a freezing night. I agree that oil viscosity must be chosen based on temperature range. :smile:

IMHO he has a bad battery/faulty charging system.
 

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my 3 yr old yusa still starts the bike in 20 degree temps with 20/40 amsoil, i would get battery with more cold cranking amps if that one isn't working for you, sometimes my starter clutch will slip in real cold temps so ill put a heat gun to it for a minute or so
 

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Need to be clear that having too thick of an oil is not just a starting issue in cold temperatures. If the oil is too viscous it will not flow properly to all the bearings in your engine and transmission

and the oil flow is.... well... necessary.

I have to plea back to the sacred text written by the creators: your owners manual. The engineers put those temperature vs oil weight graphs in there for a good reason - trust me on this, engineers have better things to do than to waste their time on things that dont matter.

I normally run 20W40 in my 650. Its rated to be good down to 40F. That is a good cutoff temperature for me, because where I live if its down to 35F or less there can be black ice on the roads, so its a good ride/dont ride temperature. I could put 10W40 in the bike and ride down to 10F. Not going to.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow. Thanks for all the replies everyone.

I bought the bike about three months ago and the previous owner told me he changed the battery last summer (so a little over a year old). However, he did not inform me when the oil was last changed. He just told me all maintenance was up to date following the manufacturer's suggestions. I know, I know. I should've asked for specifics. The bike was garage kept with low mile so I trusted him. The 12K mile oil change is due, so I will make sure to change it to 10W-40 and see if that helps. I hate to purchase a new battery if one isn't needed. I checked it and I am getting 13.8V on the voltmeter.

It only seems to be a little sluggish in the morning, when the temps are cold. By the afternoon, it starts up with no problem. And with my short drives, I figured I wasn't keeping the battery charged enough for those cold mornings. That's why I was wondering if a battery tender overnight would be ok.

Ill keep y'all posted. Again, thanks for the help.
 

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Unless you live above the arctic circle in super-sub-freezing conditions, a good battery should still start your bike reliably and strongly the next morning or you need a new battery. I just went out to my 17 degrees fahrenheit garage and started up both my bikes no problem, as I do every week or so when they're "put away" for the winter. That's how it should be.

Let a battery sit for a month or two in sub-freezing conditions and it's not 'robust' yeah okay. But overnight? No. That's a bad battery.

Plugging it into the 'tender' each night may help keep an ailing battery alive/going during cold weather. Nothing wrong with that as an interim solution. But that's addressing the symptom, not the problem.
 

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The "good" battery on my wife's 650 was giving me 13.9-14V all day long, BUT it dropped to 1V on cranking. Dead (short circuited) cell that's what I think it was. Just FYI...
 

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I have a 2013 Vstar 950 and had to replace the original battery last year. Was a little miffed as they are the most expensive battery I have ever had to buy and I thought it should have lasted a little longer than 3 years. I have no extra goodies on my bike other than an electrical outlet for the GPS but that has a manual shut off and is always off unless I use the GPS. And I have the FI2000 fuel processor connected directly to the battery. I always plug it in to the battery tender when not in use, summer and winter.

Being in Canada I also am running the 10w40 oil. Never experience any sluggish cold starts and I ride into December unless they start putting salt on the roads then I pack it in for the season.
 

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It depends on the oil your using too, synthetic oils have a more stable viscosity, so even outside the rated range, they don't drop off so suddenly as normal oil.

You really need to run the bike at like 3k for 30min to charge the battery, it might be enough for 10-15min, but the general rule of thumb is 30min to get the battery topped off. Though this will take longer the more stuff your running, heated grips, heated gear, ....
If your running too much stuff, it will never recharge.

Ya, doing 2mile trips, I would battery tender it.
 

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I live in central CT and ride in the winter. I keep the battery on a tender in my unheated shed so it is ready to go whenever the road and weather is acceptable. I have also had the cold start issues, but the tender has eliminated that issue when the battery is reasonably new.
 

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I have a 2013 Vstar 950 and had to replace the original battery last year. Was a little miffed as they are the most expensive battery I have ever had to buy ...
Dont know what battery you ended up buying, but when the battery on my 650 failed I checked the local yamaha dealer. All they had was a $220 'performance battery".

I got a lead acid battery on line, made in Vietnam, for $28 with free shipping. Three years in my bike and running great.

Lead acid battery technology is highly mature and stable - lead acid batteries should be dirt cheap.
 

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Typical stealership pricing.
that was my take at first
but whenever I need something for my bike, I see what it costs online and I check with the dealer.

Surprisingly the dealer is not that expensive on some things: tune up parts, tires can be reasonable if they have them instock, and when I got my memphis shades fat boy windshield they were pretty close to the prices online. I was having trouble understanding which mounting bracket went with which windshield and bike, so I got it through the dealer.

If the local dealer or shop is within 10 or 20% I get it from them, usually its in stock, and its convenient.

I dont know what the deal was with the $220 battery. Maybe they dont bother to carry standard lead acid batteries because they are so in-expensive, or maybe they were out of stock. I didnt ask.
 

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Need to be clear that having too thick of an oil is not just a starting issue in cold temperatures. If the oil is too viscous it will not flow properly to all the bearings in your engine and transmission

and the oil flow is.... well... necessary.

I have to plea back to the sacred text written by the creators: your owners manual. The engineers put those temperature vs oil weight graphs in there for a good reason - trust me on this, engineers have better things to do than to waste their time on things that dont matter.

I normally run 20W40 in my 650. Its rated to be good down to 40F. That is a good cutoff temperature for me, because where I live if its down to 35F or less there can be black ice on the roads, so its a good ride/dont ride temperature. I could put 10W40 in the bike and ride down to 10F. Not going to.
yeah but the creators are talking standard oil not synthetic oil which has much better flow properties in cold temps, check out some youtube videos on cold pour rates of oil you won't believe the difference if everyone stuck with the manual there wouldn't be any motorcycles with synthetic oil in them, i never like the 650 clutch with standard oil, too much chatter, it's the only reason i went with synthetic. it's way easier to maneuver at slow speed after the change
 
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