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Battery Problem

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by prue1, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. prue1

    prue1 XS650 Enthusiast

    Hi, looking for some guidance. I have a 72 with a Pamco Hall effect ignition and stator assembly. My problem is that I keep going through batteries. I estimate that I can get between 2000 miles/12 months out of a battery. I am using a AGM/160cca battery. This is my third battery in about 8000 miles. Is this normal? Thanks for any feedback.

  2. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Buckhorns on XV1000SE Top Contributor

    Normal depends on how you treat the battery. Some would use 1 battery every 2 years. Mine is currently at 2.5 years but then I recharge it after riding and over Winter I trickle charge for 2 hours each day. Is trickle charging the secret, who knows but one bad thing for a battery is to leave it partially charged for long periods. I also check the acid level regularly and top up with distilled water.
  3. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    Mount a voltmeter on your bike. Watch for consistency in charging. Something's wrong.

    I get about four years from a $40 lead acid battery, with no fussing, just checking and adding distilled water.

    gggGary and Paul Sutton like this.
  4. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, I would test your charging output. You may be getting some, just not enough to fully replenish the battery after electric starts draw it down.
    gggGary and Paul Sutton like this.
  5. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Or too much!
  6. delagem

    delagem XS650 Addict

    What brand and size of battery?

    I used to have terrible luck with batteries. I was buying Walmart or Kmart brand. Usually would finish out a season, sometimes not even then. By next season they wouldn't hold a charge.

    Started doing things differently. Bought high-quality, name brand batteries. Deka. Yuasa. Disconnect from the bike during the off-season. Trickle charge with a smart charger a couple times during the off-season as well. I typically get 5-8 years out of a battery now.

    You don't need to buy an expensive battery tender, either. These little wall packs work great, can often be found for $10-15.

    UPG 12V 1A Dual Stage Charger w/o Clips 12BC1000D-1
    gggGary likes this.
  7. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Batteries don't like:
    - Overcharging
    - Undercharging
    - Excessive heat, boilovers
    - Excessive cold
    - Vibration

    Do a forum search on "Sponge lead"...
    gggGary likes this.
  8. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Prairie winters force us old guys to park the bike for 5 or 6 months a year.
    I used to take all manner of steps to get my solo bike's battery through the winter layoff but the battery seldom cooperated.
    These days when winterizing the solo I remove the battery, dispose of it and buy another el-cheapo battery next spring.
    OTOH my sidecar bike uses a full size car battery mounted on the sidecar frame.
    My winterizing technique for the sidecar battery is to charge it in the Fall and charge it again next Spring.
    Dunno if it's the battery's size, it's comparatively vibration free location or a combination of both
    but that battery is 8 years old and still going strong.
    Paul Sutton likes this.
  9. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    My vote's on vibration.
    Mine is padded in foam, over 7 years old.
  10. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi 2many,
    yeah, vibration gotta be a major player in shortening a battery's life.
    Mind you, the stock battery carrier is mounted on rubber sleeves and the stock
    battery sits in a rubber bucket so Yamaha did the best they could, eh?
    Your photo shows what looks like two small batteries tucked into that foam nest.
    What type/size are they and could that change also be a factor in their longevity?
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  11. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Hey, Fred!
    Justa pair of $6 SLA AGM 6v deer-feeder batteries, glued together, wired in series.

    That pic shows a 2nd set I made up about 5 years ago, in preparation for failure of the 1st set.

    Overall smaller than the original 12N5.5, plenty of room for padding.
    The 12N5.5's never lasted more than 2-3 years, sulphating and cracked plates, even WITH the factory rubber bumpers.

    I really wasn't expecting a longer life from them, but they're still in there after all these years, happily volting away. SLA, AGM, padded, cheap, Chinese, no electric starter demands ('71 XS1B). Go figure...
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
    gggGary and robinc like this.
  12. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    I would expect those connectors to break off the batteries, like they do on the powerwheel batteries.

  13. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    2M, wired in series, what would the amp rating be? I'm comparing those two batteries to one 12 volt battery for about $9.

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2018
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  14. pamcopete

    pamcopete Ride.Enjoy.Life is Simple

    If you wire the batteries in series, you will get 24 Volts. I think you meant wire in parallel for 12 Volts with double the amp output.
  15. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    No, 2M is using two 6 volt batteries wired in series. I asked what the amps would be, using those two batteries.

    TwoManyXS1Bs and gggGary like this.
  16. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Sorry guys I use stock (later model XS) 14LA2 el cheapo farm n fleet batteries, todays price $37.00, average about 4 yours out of them. I check the electrolyte level every year or two.
    mrtwowheel and Jim like this.
  17. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge, is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    From what I can make out on 2M's pic, I think it's a 4.5 ah battery. In series the voltage is the total of all batt's and amps stay the same. In parallel the amperage is added and volts stay the same.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, mrtwowheel and gggGary like this.
  18. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Correct, Scott. (2) 6v batteries in series = 12v, 4.5ah.
    There's no electric starter on this bike, and uses only one fuse, 15amp.
    Engine not running, absolutely everything turned on and pulling current, maxes about 13 amps. Not a problem for those batteries and the 16ga bridge wire. Of course, I don't do that. Switch "on" for starting, current delivered to coils, reg & rotor, neutral light, volt/temp gauge, draws about 6.5 amps.

    I had the same concerns about the spade lug connectors, but they're just fine, no problems...
    mrtwowheel and Jim like this.

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