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Battery charging issue

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by Iceman_F14, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Hello to everyone,

    I have had a Battery Maintainer on my 2009 CBR1000RR while I have been in Hospital and unable to ride it.

    I went to start the bike the other day and the battery was flat. The maintainer was connected with alligator clips to the terminals and the seat stayed off. Before anyone asks, YES they were on the correct terminals!
    I'm pretty sure that the battery maintainer is dead.

    I have a CTEK Charger and Maintainer ready to put on her but I just wanted to check if anyone knows if the '09 Fireblades have a Positive Earth or whether I can connect it up as normal to the battery terminals?

    Does anyone know how I can test if the battery will hold charge or whether the battery has died?

    I hope someone can help me out with this as unfortunately I don't know enough about this to know if it's all coincidence that both the battery and the maintainer have died at the same time or whether there is more to it.
  2. How old is the battery?

    Do you have a multimeter? If so what does it read between the negative terminal and the positive?
  3. ^ what he said.

    Attach and turn on the battery maintainer you have. Check voltage across the battery terminals. The result of that will determine your next steps.
  4. No vehicle that I know of since the 60's has been positive earth, but a multimeter should be able to confirm it in a few seconds :)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Lots of battery stores will have testers that can test the battery. Batteryworld is one option.

    Battery maintainers if the battery is very flat will probably not lift them to the charged state. Often they will give you an error light if the battery voltage is too low to charge. Automotive batteries don't like going very flat and may never be able to hold a full charge after being fully flattened. You may need a standard battery charger to try and lift the battery back to charge again.

    Measure DC voltage across the battery, if it is lower that 10 volts it may be stuffed. Not a foolproof test but its an indication.

    Welcome to the site by the way, as this is your first post. Hope you stay around and contribute. Its general site netiquette that you go to the Welcome forum and start a new thread to introduce yourself.
  6. If the battery is very flat the CTEK will not recognize it and will do nothing. A battery has to have about 7 volts (I think about that much) in it before the CTEK will consider a battery is connected. Just connect it direct to the battery terminals. The only reliable way to test it is to take it to a battery shop but again to be tested properly it needs to be charged first. Terminal voltage tells very little about the state of the battery and how it can hold a charge. Battery shops have testers that can give you a good picture of it's condition and tell you what the CCA is etc.
  7. You can take it to anywhere like battery world and they can test the battery for you.

    Alternatively, try a mates charger.
  8. It really depends on how long it's been flat. If it's only been flat overnight, a few days, maybe a few weeks, definitely salvagable. Longer than that, you are likely in need of a new battery.

    Typically I have been able to resurrect 'dead' batteries, as long as they haven't gone too far or haven't been abused. As the other posters have mentioned, first port of call is a multimeter (essential kit and they are cheap, or get a decent one with a rubber case and never look back), check the unconnected terminal voltage. Less than 11V, you may have a solvable problem. Less than 10V, almost certainly fatal.

    If salvagable, try charging it.

    Most chargers look for a certain minimum voltage to allow charging (the idea is to prevent the charger being used as a power supply), and the battery may not deliver that minimum (there are *ahem* clever ways to get past this if you're a little more experienced but I don't recommend this to inexperienced people on a safety basis). If you have some charger with different rate/current settings don't be all gung-ho and crank it up to the highest setting. Lead Acid batteries are usually charged at no greater than 0.1xCapacity in AH. I.e 20AH Battery x 0.1 = 2A charge current. Too high a rate and you'll boil the electrolyte, and in a sealed motorbike battery, this will mean it's proper gone.

    If you can get it charging, let it be. Let it charge. When it's done, take it off charge, let it sit for maybe half an hour and measure the unconnected battery voltage (this is to let the cell voltages settle after charging, as if you measure immediately after a charge it'll be misleadingly higher). It should be around 12.6/12.8V, something very close to that. If not, its probably a goner for most people. If that's worked, try it in the bike, if you can get it to start the bike reliably, it will likely be fine.

    To prevent this stuff happening, I don't trust battery maintainers. I've never had much luck with them except on 4WDs. If you're lucky, its not hard to disconnect and remove the battery if the bike is going into hibernation. Every few weeks, chuck your charger on it to keep it topped up. I appreciate the difficulty in your case. Other people just remove a lead.

    Hope that sets you in the right direction. Hopefully its salvageable.

  9. Iceman. PM sent