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Battery Charger Question??

Discussion in 'Bling and Appearance' started by jen954, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. Was just wondering if anyone has any experience with the battery chargers you hook up to your bike and conect to every time you come back home?

    it says its an automatic charger, and stops charging when the battery is full, then maintains it at full.

    you connect a harness to you battery which has a little conection (which stays connected to your bike) then you just plug it in when you get home.

    I thought it would be a good idea for this colder, wetter weather when the bike can sometimes sit for a couple of days/weeks. It seems good but just wanted to see if anyone has had any bad negative results, before i get one.


  2. I've found one of these to be a lot more useful:

    The cheap, low-capacity Chinese ones are more than enough to get the bike going if the battery is flat - can come in useful as a worklight/power supply as well. Plus it's a lot easier to leave something like that plugged into the mains than remember to hook the bike up every night just in case.
  3. Jenni, I got a similar one of those (battery fighter junior) from Supercheap. Batteries die if let go flat and left flat for long periods. They are not designed to be a deep cycle battery. They just have to supply enough current to start the bike and get topped back up when riding. I think having a trickle charger like that is better than letting it go flat, have to take off the seat, cover or whatever to get at the battery, and then hook up a charger/jump starter. In my mind JD, flicking a switch as part of your routine saves a lot of annoyance. I know the battery in my bike is not very good, has been since I got it. If I don't ride for more than 2 weeks it goes flat.

    Note: Check the electrolyte level in your battery, and top it up with distilled water. A trickle charger shouldn't cook off as much electrolyte as quickly as a heavier charger, but keep an eye on the level.
  4. Had a mechanic specifically recommend keeping the battery on a charger if it was going to be left unused for long periods - provided it's the right kind of charger! (ie. designed for that purpose).
    What he didn't tell me was whether it could be left on the bike. I would think not (but I wouldn't know). If you do take it out, don't leave it on a concrete floor.
  5. Fair point. Probably depends a lot on whether you're using a sealed battery or not.
    This is the reason I never feel comfortable leaving a battery connected to a charger unattended, however good the charger may be (especially if it's still in the bike)
  6. Jen, I think you're talking about a trickle charger.

    I use one. They're great for looking after the battery between long squirts. Mine came with a "harness" that you directly wire to battery, with the other end having a connector that you zip tie to an accessible location on the frame. Then all you do is plug the charger lead to the connector and your bike is on charge.

    The charger literally looks like a typical AC to DV power pack.

    It's a good idea over winter.
  7. Someone forgot to loosen the vent caps.....
  8. I have the very same one, it works a treat at keeping the battery toped up and fresh, how ever, if the battery is completely discharged and with little or no voltage left, it will not charge, I have checked it with a multimeter, and it sends a pulse of voltage, about 13.5 every 3 seconds.
  9. Yeah Trickle charger, designed for motor bikes and jet skis,

    says 'stops charging when the battery is full, you can leave the charger connected to the battery without risk of overcharging.'

    A mate of mine has one, he showed me the connection that stays on the bike, sounds like the same thing you have rob, and yeah the charger looks like typical power pack.

    so they're ok?
  10. Yep! You can even get a solar powered one these days... I wasn't able to see the picture from work - what you see in the pic is exactly what I was talking about. I have an ebay cheapy.

    The Projecta version are a reasonable brand so shouldn't go wrong. MCAS have them for about $50 plus delivery I think. :)
  11. Only trouble I've had with the trickle charger in the first post is that the dust cover will eventually break off. Simple fix though. Just use a plastic tie wire to hold the harness in place when riding. I've charged mine weeks on end with no issues.
  12. There's no need to do this. The battery won't go flat overnight, unless it's at the end of it's life, in which case you'll soon know it.

    If you're gonna leave it parked for months at a time, then yeah, a trickle charger is the way to go. I have an accessory socket (cigarette lighter socket) on the dash of my bike. I made up a lead with the male end that connects to a charger. So I merely plug it in if the bike's battery is down.

    Thing is, batteries can last a while before going flat. I hadn't ridden my bike for over a month (yeah, I know, a crime worthy of capital punishment) and when I went for a short Netride recently it was the first time that I started it. It cranked over easy and started no problems.
  13. Thanks all

    my main reason for wanting one is for the times the bike sits for a couple of weeks, had it go flat a few weeks ago after not riding for a while. (I know, but it was rainy and I had a cold)

    not for charging the battery from flat and not really when I know I'll be riding regularly.
  14. I don't even use the starter button because most of the time the battery is too low. Push starting a i4 is the way to go.
  15. A healthy battery should lose 1% of it's charge a day.
    If your bike is running flat after a week or two, you have other issues to tend to.

    Regards, Andrew.
  16. My bike sits for upto a month at times these days so I have a CTEC XS800 that was about $56 from REPCO. My brother has a simular unit pluged into his CBR 900. He started the bike after 8 months the other day with no problems. This bike has the original battery in it after 9 years. These things are a great idea if you are letting things sit for a while between starts.
  17. A healthy batter shouldn't go flat in two weeks. However if the battery is starting to age a little, letting it go flat before you recharge is a good way to kill it quicker. Conversely keeping it charged with a trickle charger should help squeeze the most life out of it.

    The proviso to the above is that it is an intelligent trickle charger that cuts out when the battery is full (like the type you are talking about Jenni) otherwise it keeps on charging and is more likely to boil off the electrolyte.

    titus said:

    I have heard the "Don't leave batteries on concrete" story before, but can't see how it can affect the battery. Can someone give me a scientific explanation cos otherwise I am inclined to think it is just another myth in need of busting.
  18. Haven't heard that concrete thing before. Cold batteries are less "energetic" than warm ones... I'd guess a battery on a concrete floor would get quite cold and an non scientific person would interpret that as a battery being run down???
  19. Everything you ever wanted to know about car batteries: http://www.batteryfaq.org/carfaq.htm

    Here's the blurb about the concrete thing:

    14.1. MYTH: Storing batteries on a concrete floor will discharge them.

    False! All lead-acid batteries will naturally self-discharge which can result in loss of capacity from sulfation. The rate of self-discharge is most influenced by the temperature of the battery's electrolyte and the chemistry of the plates. This self-discharge is often mistaken for concrete floor causing the battery to drain. Some experts believe that storing car or deep cycle batteries on a colder concrete floor might actually slow down the self-discharge (leakage) rate because the floor acts as a heat sink and cools the battery. (Please see Section 13 for more information on storing batteries and Section 1 for more information on sulfation.

    In the early 1900s, when battery cases were made of porous materials such as tar-lined wood boxes, storing batteries on concrete floor would accelerate their natural self-discharge due to external leakage. Modern battery cases are made of polypropylene or hard rubber. These cases are sealed better, so external leakage-causing discharge is no longer a problem, provided the top of the battery is clean and free from wet or dried electrolyte and the same temperature as the floor.

    Large differences in temperature could cause electrolyte stratification within very large batteries (>250 AH) which could accelerate it's internal "leakage" or self-discharge if the battery is sitting on an extremely cold concrete, stone or steel floor in a warm room, boat or submarine. Stirrers or bubblers are often used on these types of large batteries to keep the electrolyte from stratifying. Undercharging will also cause electrolyte stratification, which can also result in loss of capacity from sulfation.
  20. And another myth busted!

    While on the subject of myths, is it true if I strap buttered toast to the sides of my bikes I will never drop it?