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Battery cant hold a charge. I think

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' started by chokpa, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Hi Fellas

    So i'll give the timeline of whats been happening

    1. Got the bike from a guy who'd upgraded it and hadnt ridden it for a couple of weeks. Started it cold when I went to see it and it was fine. Due for its 36K Km service. He mentiond the carbs are due for cleaning if that makes a difference

    2. Don't rego the bike for 2 weeks due to other commitments. Battery just sitting there. Tried to start it once but being a newbie I kept trying after it had run out of juice, then tried to push start it a few times. Battery was completely flat - didn't even turn. Faint clicking sound when you pressed the ignition

    3. Get a trickle and charge it - starts up fine. Ride it a few times

    4. Notice more and more it needs some throttle to start it

    5. Battery gives about one go at starting and then goes flat. It does this if yo leave it for 2 or 3 days in the garage.

    6. Trickle charger only charges it for an hour max before saying its full - even if its up to the stage where its even able to turn.

    Have I broken the battery or might there be something else wrong with the bike? Spark plugs? I fill up with normal unleaded.


    edit: Sorry, VTR250
  2. I sounds like battery has died, although a true trickle charger will not lift a battery to full charge if it is flat they are really intended to maintain a battery charge rather that re-charge. Riding should have charged it, although short commutes will not generally have enough time to charge the battery.

    Trickle charging that says it is full charge after an hour is a bad sign it generally means there are shorted cells or so called "Grid Growth" which is oxidation of the positive plates.

    The throttle and starting is more than likely a separate issue related to carbies but not having a healthy battery means it won't be cranking over at full speed.

    As it is a new bike to you you may not know but How old is the battery?
    If you have access to a standard charger you can try a charge with it but the general rule is to not charge at high currents so make it a smaller unit, i.e. couple of amps and don't charge any longer than an hour or two.

    I think you are probably up for a new battery?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. you don't say what sort of bike it is, but I'd be prepared to bet it's a Honda of some sort, and that you are going to need a new battery AND a new voltage regulator.....
  4. Please when troubleshooting a bile tell us make and model as hornet says certain models exhibit certain behaviours. Flat batteries sometimes don't hold charge.
  5. thanks cj - i'll try to get a proper charge to have a go at it. A friend had less severe symptoms and he got a charge and thats fixed his issue i think.

    sorry guys its a VTR250
  6. "I rest my case, M'Lud" :LOL:
  7. Hornet does have a point, Honda's are notorious for Regulator failures. Once you have fully charged if you can borrow a multimeter measure the DC voltage across the battery when revving the engine. You should get between 14 - 15V. Outside those limits is probably a sign of regulator failure as well.

    Good Luck. :)
  8. Take the battery fully charged to an auto eletrican and get it load tested,after you check the bike with a multi.
  9. does it have water / acid in it?

    Exactly the same symptoms as mine... which I found was bone dry.
    Splash of water in it, and its working a charm.
  10. dont think i can add water to it. theres a flap but it says DO NOT OPEN...

    Was yours the same?

    cj: Thanks, ill try to grab a multi and give it a try

    zim: I'll try to take it to a mech. Should I expect to pay for something like this
  11. No,it takes 30 seconds.If your near Brookvale go to Battery World,good blokes.They will do the multi work as well for free and if its toast do a good deal on a replacement battery.There the Arguss blokes from 60 years trading at Crows Nest now relocated
  12. Double post
  13. cheers ill see if my local car mech can do anything about it
  14. Okay - update.

    Charged with with an actual charger. Charged it, tried and failed. It was completely flat now and then charged it again. Seems to be much better - lets me crank a lot more times.

    However, the bike doesnt start! It doesn't even register when I try to give it gas. I've tried the choke in different settings, switches are all right and there is fuel in the tank.

    I can hear it turning but nothing past that.

    I'm thinking maybe trying all those times in the past which the poorly charged battery might've flooded the engine or stuffed the spark plugs?

    The carbs are due for a clean but surely it cant be so bad that it doesnt even start the bike.

  15. choke on and resist turning the throttle AT ALL

    if it's going to start (assuming you've only flooded it) it should clear its head and start on the choke alone

    alternatively, click it into 2nd gear and try and bump start it
  16. Tried with choke on and no throttle but it probably got 50% and then just turned but didnt start. I'll try again, give the bike some time to settle

    I've bump started it a lot of time now, ive heard it can damage the bike so i'm trying to not bump start it. Is it anything more than a short term solution though? Or will it clear the necessary parts of the bike?
  17. omg mate i have the same problem with my vtr250. if i leave if for a week without riding (and with this weather i have) my battery dies. infact i am waiting to charge it right now since its the first time taking the bike out for two weeks.

    Need to take it to the mechanic again (pretty disappointed cause i just had it serviced and the mechanic didnt say anything even though i told him about the problem). bah..oh well good luck with yours, i'll let you know once i put a new battery...
  18. SUCCESS!

    Okay so I charged it with a proper charge and bunged it straight into the bike. One of the contacts was a bit loose (needs some glue) so it didnt even light the headlight at first. I was thinking, Oh Sh!#.

    Alas, I screwed it in properly and resisted the urge to give it gas. It started after 3 or so nervous seconds, but sounded like it was ready to give up.

    Rode it for a bit, maybe 30-40 minutes or so before coming back home. This was on Satuday night and it started to rain as soon as I stepped out the door. Having barely 2 months riding experience I found it a bit hairy, but made it. Caught a wicked cold though.

    Tried to start it again the next morning and it started again! Only rode it around for 15 minutes or so before stopped to pick something up.

    Tried starting again and it didnt sound too good so i gave it a crank and it started again. I'm guessing that there is something with the battery - i'll ask the previous rider how long the battery has been in there for
  19. Good to hear you are starting now. I still think your battery may be showing its age if you only get a couple of cranks out of it. Though 15 min riding is probably too short a time to get it fully back up to charge after a long crank time though. Give it an hour or so and see what it sounds like.

    If you can get access to a multimeter measure the voltage across the battery with the engine revving. Should be 14 - 15 volts
  20. cheers. I'm gonna order one off dealextreme or something and see. It'll take a week or two to get here though

    Heard from the ex owner that he replaced the battery, and regulator around 2.5-3 years ago. It was an aftermarket one though, the $60 types ive seen on ebay im guessing.

    He's a good guy so I trust that. 3 years seems okay for a battery - guess i cant expect too much from a cheapish battery