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Discussion Starter #1
Re: Dead Battery

In one of my "senior moments", last fall as I was putting my bike away for the winter, I somehow forgot to turn the key off, and completely drained the battery. Then I discovered that if a battery is drained right down to zero, it cannot be re-charged using my Battery Tender Junior. So my question is... is this battery now toast? (it is just 2 years old) Or will the neighborhood garage be able to charge it back up? Or is it impossible to save it after it has gone completely flat and stayed that way for several months?

Thanks,
Glen
Focus On Newfoundland
 

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With the right charger you may be able to bring it back to life to some degree and it'll probably work well enough to get your bike started throughout this season but it just may put an unnecessary strain on your charging system so IMO you may as well just get a new one.

The way I see it, once it's dead there's no resurrecting it fully and who wants a zombie battery?
 

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lead acid batteries need to be recharged immediately after they are discharged.

That is why they work so well in cars, they can sit for weeks or a few months and hold their energy, then you whack them down with 500A for several seconds to start the engine, and the alternator recharges them immediately.

Car and motorcycle batteries are designed with their chemistry optimized for that type of usage. Unfortunately one of the tradeoffs is if the battery is discharged and left for days or weeks without being recharged, there is a layer that forms on the lead plates, and its not reversible.

Dio is correct, you might be able to get some life back out of it, if its put on a bigger charger - like 10A maybe, for a couple hours, but it will not be rigth, In fact I would be surprised if it was able to spin the starter. You might be able to charge it up and push start the bike till you get a new one.

I got my last 650 battery online for about $25, with free shipping. That was 3 years ago now and the bike still starts on the first revolution of the crankshaft. That's less than it costs to fill the gas tank on your car - just get a new one, the first time you are not left stranded somewhere it will be worth it.

BTW, if you ever need a battery that you will keep charged and use for emergency lighting, or if you have a solar panel on your roof that runs a light in the house, don't get a car battery or a motorcycle battery, get a deep cycle battery like they use on boats for lighting overnight, or a UPS battery like they use to backup computer systems. Instead of being designed to surge out 500A for a few minutes, they are designed to supply a steady 10 or 20A for a few hours. But then you still have to recharge those within a day or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks guys, just ordered a new battery from FortNine.ca. Should have it here by next week. Not cheap, but it has good reviews, and has free shipping to our remote island in the North Atlantic. It says that I am "responsible for activating and charging the battery". Does this mean it doesn't come already charged?

https://fortnine.ca/en/parts-unlimited-agm-battery

Glen
Focus On Newfoundland
 

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sometimes they are shipped with the acid in a plastic bottle, that you pour into the 6 cells through the caps

that's only possible if its not a sealed battery - it might just be standard wording, like everything you buy at harbor freight says "always wear safety glasses when using this product" - even volt meters and calipers and pliers...

If you picked a battery from a 'what bike do you have' selection I think Vstars all use sealed batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
sometimes they are shipped with the acid in a plastic bottle, that you pour into the 6 cells through the caps
that's only possible if its not a sealed battery - it might just be standard wording, like everything you buy at harbor freight says "always wear safety glasses when using this product" - even volt meters and calipers and pliers... If you picked a battery from a 'what bike do you have' selection I think Vstars all use sealed batteries.
The listing says: "Special absorbed-glass mat battery eliminates water loss, permitting the battery to be permanently sealed once it is filled with acid", whatever that means. Anyway, it is for this particular model of bike, so hoping all goes well! Sorry for not being very mechanically inclined, but as I must add the acid myself, doesn't this mean that it has zero charge when it arrives? If this is so, can I assume that my Battery Tender Junior still won't be able to charge it?

Glen
Focus On Newfoundland
 

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the battery I got is a matt glass sealed battery, and they come fully charged.

The batteries that you buy with the acid in a separate bottle, when you pour it in that is the fully charged state: pure acid and pure lead plates.

I really don't know what they mean by activating the battery if its sealed - it will be fully charged when you get it, just like buying a car battery off the rack at Walmart (they fill the car batteries for you so you don't have to handle a bottle of sulfuric acid).

To quote Sir Paul McCartney, "it will be fine.. nothing to worry about.. its fine".

found this online:

Activating a Battery
Yuasa batteries come from the factory in one of two ways: Factory Activated (FA) where the battery is filled with electrolyte, sealed and charged at the factory. These batteries must be used within a period of time and cannot be stored indefinitely. The other type of battery is shipped dry and can be either a Conventional or AGM type of battery. These batteries are sometimes referred to as Bottle Supplied (BS) because they are shipped with the electrolyte stored in a plastic container. The battery is filled with electrolyte from the container when it’s ready to be activated. Once it’s unsealed, a battery should be activated, charged and installed. The plates of an unsealed battery will begin to oxidize making it more difficult to charge later.


If it is a sealed battery and it comes with a bottle of acid, maybe there is one port you open to fill with acid, and then it is glued shut again? I'm pretty sure you do not need to charge it after you put the acid in.
 

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The acid and the lead is what makes the charge.
When you discharge it, you removed the acid and turned it more into water.

It won't be fully charged, but it should have 8-10v and will be fine, you normally leave it on the tender for a few hours or a day, they differ sometimes.

I believe with AGM you put the acid in it, wait a few hours for the acid to absorb (or you will kill the battery), then charge it for 12-24hours.

It is sealed, once you put the plastic cover on it, it seals the holes you put the acid in, as apposed to one that have vents and you maintain the level by refilling it every so often.
 

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i won't buy a battery if i can't find the the cca numbers for it. i have seen batteries for the 650 that have 130 cca that cost close to a yusa that has 210 cca. the more cca's the battery can deliver the quicker the engine will start with a lot less work for the alternator to bring it back up. i can,t find the cca requirement for a 650 but i would never put a 130 cca battery in mine, right now the yusa is on it's 4th year a tests just slightly less than when new, i might get a lithium 270 cca for the next one, if i have the money. i would rather spend on a good battery now than have to replace a stator&regulator later because they got over worked from using a cheap low capacity battery, if your old battery didn't freeze and the plates aren't sulfated it will come back and be usable but for how long is anybodys guess
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Thank-you kindly, KCW, and also to the others who chimed in while I was still writing this. I will let you all know how I make out once it arrives. Gotta say, I'm getting pretty excited to soon be back out on two wheels for the first time since last October! Two pretty-new bikes just sitting here in my porch begging to be ridden! We still have some patchy snow here and there, but it's bare for the most part... just waiting for the temps to climb a little, then off I go!

I have to get the need-for-speed out of my system before July though, as our daughter is coming back home to visit for a few weeks... and... well, with her being a cop and all... it might be a bit embarrassing to get charged with speeding by my own flesh and blood! But hey, last time she was here I took her out for some fun in the convertible at 175+ km/h and she was all smiles, so I probably have nothing to fear!

Glen
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Discussion Starter #11
i won't buy a battery if i can't find the the cca numbers for it. i have seen batteries for the 650 that have 130 cca that cost close to a yusa that has 210 cca. the more cca's the battery can deliver the quicker the engine will start with a lot less work for the alternator to bring it back up. i can,t find the cca requirement for a 650 but i would never put a 130 cca battery in mine, right now the yusa is on it's 4th year a tests just slightly less than when new, i might get a lithium 270 cca for the next one, if i have the money. i would rather spend on a good battery now than have to replace a stator&regulator later because they got over worked from using a cheap low capacity battery, if your old battery didn't freeze and the plates aren't sulfated it will come back and be usable but for how long is anybodys guess
Pauli466, the battery I just ordered has 215 cca... Likely why the price was higher than I had expected. (paid $89CAD)

Glen
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the weather has been a beast so far this year.

Ive only been able to ride to work 4 days this year, with my over 40F self imposed minimum in the morning. Got in a few hours on weekends.

The weather in upstate NY is looking good for this weekend, and maybe all of next week will be MC commuting weather. When I first got my Vstar I considered riding to work for 5 days in a week to be an accomplishment. Ive gotten better at reading the weather and radar in the morning, and last year I was over 50% commuting days on my bike for the year (110 days).

The best sign of spring here is when the willow trees and locust trees turn from yellow to green. Then about a week later the flowering trees start to bloom and all the other trees turn pastel green.

My favorite time of year, a whole 6 months of riding ahead.
 

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Glen, with my limited experience with batteries I think you did the right thing in getting a new one since the old one discharged over the winter. I’ve seen a few resurrected, but they generally didn’t last long. Keep us updated.


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My son rides my old SR185 back and forth to school (less than a mile each way). We discovered yesterday that his battery was dead, apparently because it took more energy to start the bike than he was putting back into it during his minute or so rides. I told him the fix was to just make sure he rides more! Also, we'll be putting the bike on a tender over the weekends from now on until he has more miles to go every day.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks to everyone who kindly chipped in on this thread, as I knew basically nothing about batteries; much appreciated! The new battery has finally arrived in the mail, and I'll be installing it tomorrow. The weather has been nice up until today, with plenty of sunshine and temps around 20C...not too shabby for late April in the North Atlantic... but now that my battery is here, as would be my bad luck, they're calling for cold, wet weather, with even some snow in the forecast for Wed. and Thurs. Sheesh! As you can well imagine, I'm itching to get back out on the bikes!

I added another ride to the stable recently; but this time it has four wheels! You see, we could no longer squeeze our fast-growing German Shepherd (I think everyone on here knows Sheba by now!) into the tiny rear seat of the convertible, so we had to get something roomier. (yes, we still have the convertible!) I started out with the idea of looking for something secondhand, but ended up buying a brand-spanking-new top-of-the-line 2018 Nissan Rogue SL Platinum. (AWD SUV) Wow, this vehicle is such a pleasure to drive, and Sheba actually enjoys her road trips again... plus the AWD will be a bonus for dealing with our severe NL winters.

I don't yet have any new pics of the bikes, seeing that they are still in storage in our back porch, but here's one from last summer, taken at our shore in front of the house. Also a couple pics of the new Rogue.

Glen
Focus On Newfoundland







 
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