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Maintenance / Flat Battery on the Bird

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Servicing' started by Blackbird2k6, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. I've recently taken ownership of a 2006 Silver Bird.
    She is in very good condition and is very neat, but hasn't been ridden / maintained over the last 3 years.
    As a gauge, its 12K service (odo=11,202) was 3 years ago. Its odometer was sitting on 12,404 when I bought it 3 weeks ago. The last owner had done 1200kms in 3 years !.

    So as per usual with a new bike, I have researched its service history and gone about giving it some TLC.
    Oil / Oil Filter - Done the day after I bought it (oil was so so).
    Air Filter - done last week (it was filthy)
    Coolant (flushed 4 times and replaced) - done on the weekend - found a lot of small particles in the fluid so continued until they were no more.

    I have much more to do (Spark Plugs, Chain and Sprockets etc) but made it a priority to order a battery as the current one is over 2.5 years old (as far as I can tell).
    As it turns out the bike wouldn't start on Saturday after riding 10km to the shops.
    It won't turn the motor and just clicks (starter relay). Classic flat battery symptoms.

    I'd been starting her several times as part of flushing the coolant out so wasn't THAT surprised. Anyway I pushed started her and got home the exact same way without incident. I could then start her no problems ?. So the "WTF logic" kicks in "if the ride wasn't enough to charge the battery then why did it charge this time ?.
    I have gone through all the diagnotics and they check out 12.9V when off (drops down to 12.6 when continually starting for maintenance tasks. the stator is charging (13.5 @ 1.1K, 14.4 at 3K and 5K), Reg / Rec passes okay.

    I started the bike 7 more times over the next several hours. Then tried again and got the same symptoms. I then push started her again and took her for a 50km highwway ride @ 100kmh and back home to charge it up.
    It started okay this morning and it seemed okay until I went to restart her after dropping the wife off into the City (25 mins of city traffic). Suffice is to say it was a bit embarrasing push starting the Bird down Adelaide st at 7am in the morning.

    So I get to work and the ordered battery arrives !. Talk about good timing.
    I'm hoping its just the old battery thats kaputsky but will update either way.
    Also I can't believe how light the new battery is. I decided to get one of those SSB Powersport Lithium Ultralite variants (LITX14-BS) from 4WD Extreme for only $178.
    Yes quite a bit more than the normal AGM type but time will tell how well it performs.
  2. it may have just needed some water, if yours is a water addable type.

    a good way of testing to see if a battery is fooked, check the 'crank voltage'

    the crank voltage is the voltage that the battery gives out while the starter is cranking the engine. in a car, if the voltage drops below 9 under load, its generally fooked.
  3. Batteries can crack inside, connections between plates, etc. So all good, ride and go over bumps, crack opens and high resistance occurs, not enough to start motor. Then get it going again and go over more bumps and crack closes and all good for a while. I had it happen to a car battery and it was baffling.
  4. I rode with a bloke on a bird and he had spent thousands chasing a flat battery issue.
    We were out in the hills and some backyard mechanic (The bike whisperer) came along and basically said that it was a shagged solinoid. Could be worth looking at. Cheaper than a rewire.

    His problem was that the bike was taking drive charge straight from the battery and not from the engine, which is slightly different to yours.
  5. Cheers, I couldnt get the cranking amps to read out (when flat and charged) but was aware of it versus how many volts are showing on the voltage meter etc.
    It was a sealed type too BTW.
    Fitted new battery and of course it started fine. The true test will be how it recharges over the next few days or so.
  6. the Battery was the issue. The bike hasn't skipped a beat since putting in the new Lithium Ion replacement. It has extra CCA's so it kicks over reall prrrretty.
  7. How's that
    SSB PowerSport Lithium battery performing? I am about to say yes to one as a replacement for my OEM Yuasa.