Help Understanding Battery Maint. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Help Understanding Battery Maint.

I got bit by my first died on the freeway cause the battery was dead experience this morning and it opened my eyes that I apparently don't understand motorcycle battery maintenance very well. I'm from the automotive world where you get enough charge in the battery to start the car and the charging system will finish off charging the battery. That doesn't seem to be the case with the VN 750. I have a standard wet cell purchased from the local auto parts, will go gel cell next time. I put the battery on only partially charged thinking it would charge up, next thing I know I'm in stop and go traffic and it dies on me, not enough juice left to roll the starter.

So, until I get the gel cell, how do I maintain and take proper care of the battery to keep this from happening again? Can I use a 2 amp slow charger for automotive? Do I need to charge it up on a regular basis. What is the charging rate for the 750 does it just maintain or will it charge? At what RPM does it start charging?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-10-2009, 11:52 PM
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First, take the battery out and check the fluid in all the cells. Fill it just below the high mark with DISTILLED water. Tap water can ruin a battery. Next, you can use your 2 amp slow charger for now, but a battery tender (1.25 amp) would be better for when you buy your MAINTENANCE FREE GLASS MAT BATTERY. You shouldn't have to charge your current battery frequently, but you must check the fluid levels monthly. This means taking the battery out of the battery box because you can't adequately see the fluid level while the battery is mounted in the box. Better off buying that MF battery now.

Under most circumstances, the 750 will adequately maintain your battery's charge, but won't be able to charge up a significantly depleted battery. My charging system works best at about 3000 RPMs but starts charging even when idling.

Wet cells can be depleted because they run low on distilled water as they get warm and the fluid vents through the vent tube. When you charge a wet cell, they loose some fluid through the vent tube as well. This doesn't happen with a sealed maintenance free glass mat battery.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceMcgyver View Post
I got bit by my first died on the freeway
If your battery died on the highway, then can I assume your bike was running 4000+ RPMs? If so, then your charging system should have kept up with the discharge (unless you have lots of extras running like GPS, grip heaters, etc.). If this is the case, then you might be faced with a battery that won't hold a proper charge (i.e., shorted cell) or a charging system that isn't generating working properly (i.e, shorted stator or bad Regulator Rectifier). If the battery is shorted, then you best replace it (fast) or risk damage to the other more expensive charging system components.

There are tests for all situations described above (all documented on this forum) to determine the exact cause. However, if the battery is a wet cell type, several years old, exposed to long periods of bike idle (i.e., winter storage) or has been complete discharge several times, then it probably needs to be replaced anyway. Note that the best battery replacement option is a AGM type for which there are LOTS of recommendation threads on this forum (search for AGM battery). Testing of the other components is also well documented on this forum.

By the way, the AGM battery solves some warm starting issues that the VN750 is prone to, does not self discharge as fast as wet cells, does not need any special maintenace, etc., etc., etc., so it is money well spent.


Chris Glennon - Portland, OR
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 12:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceMcgyver View Post
I got bit by my first died on the freeway cause the battery was dead experience this morning and it opened my eyes that I apparently don't understand motorcycle battery maintenance very well. I'm from the automotive world where you get enough charge in the battery to start the car and the charging system will finish off charging the battery. That doesn't seem to be the case with the VN 750. I have a standard wet cell purchased from the local auto parts, will go gel cell next time. I put the battery on only partially charged thinking it would charge up, next thing I know I'm in stop and go traffic and it dies on me, not enough juice left to roll the starter.

So, until I get the gel cell, how do I maintain and take proper care of the battery to keep this from happening again? Can I use a 2 amp slow charger for automotive? Do I need to charge it up on a regular basis. What is the charging rate for the 750 does it just maintain or will it charge? At what RPM does it start charging?

I would bite the bullet now and save yourself alot of forecomming problems associated with a flooded wet cell battery and get an MF AGM battery.

Below is a link for a great battery, the ad says 190 cca but the new ones are 210 cca.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Deka-...4506.m20.l1116


http://www.eastpenn-deka.com/assets/base/0278.pdf


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Last edited by lance328; 08-11-2009 at 12:19 AM.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I don't have any extra power drains on the bike, it's all stock. I went problem free on a new wet cell for about 2 months, but then I changed my engine and had some carb problems and ended up fully discharging the battery cranking it to start. I think it messed up a cell because it would never fully charge after that. Not really thinking about it I figured it would be OK as long as it started the bike and charge up over time. Lesson learned, I'll get an AGM battery on order and a proper charger next check.

Any suggestions on an inexpensive but quality battery tender and where to get one?

Last edited by AceMcgyver; 08-11-2009 at 08:47 AM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 09:50 AM
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Most bike shops, some walmarts sell a battery tender usually for around $20. It will come with a set of leads that you can leave screwed to your battery terminals and a quick connect fitting on the other end that you can simply plug in to your tender when you park your bike, so you don't have to take the seat off and such. Plus the connection is standard type so if you needed to, you can pick up a cigar lighter pigtail that will plug straight into the leads and you can power a compressor or cell phone charger etc from it if needed. I picked up the pigtail at walmart in the boating section of sporting goods. Keep it in my saddlebag with the compressor.
Make sure you test your charging voltage so you know your stator and r/r are doing their jobs before you strap on a new battery! don't want to ruin a good AGM!

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceMcgyver View Post
Thanks guys, I don't have any extra power drains on the bike, it's all stock. I went problem free on a new wet cell for about 2 months, but then I changed my engine and had some carb problems and ended up fully discharging the battery cranking it to start. I think it messed up a cell because it would never fully charge after that. Not really thinking about it I figured it would be OK as long as it started the bike and charge up over time. Lesson learned, I'll get an AGM battery on order and a proper charger next check.

Any suggestions on an inexpensive but quality battery tender and where to get one?
If you have a bad or weak cell you run the risk of frying the stator and or R/R.

If you get the Agm battery you won't need a tender.


85 VN700 "Old Yella"

REBUILT ENGINE
CUSTOM PAINT
VANCE & HINES CRUZERS
EAR SHAVED AND RE-JETTED W/K&N'S
DUNLOP ELITE K591 FRONT & REAR
VOLTMETER
SYNTHETIC BRAKE FLUID
SYNTHETIC OIL & GEAR LUBE
PLEXISTAR 2 WINDSHIELD
SPLINES LUBED
ACCT'S GREASED W/TOC SPRINGS
COASTERD
LEATHER SADDLE BAGS
LEATHER TOOL AND ROLL BAG
PICKUP COILS GAPPED AT .018"
NGK CAP, WIRES, IRIDUMS
BARNETT FRICTION PLATES & SPRINGS
CUSTOM GRIPS, MIRRORS, LEVERS
ORIGINAL STATOR & R/R 14.5v
DEKA MF AGM ETX15L

Best Auto/Moto Insurance | Motorcycle Protection Today | FREE Trade-In Quote
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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I think the cost of buying used is catching up with me. I have no charging when the bike is running. I just tested my stator and R/R and both are fried. They don't look burnt but the values between the yellow leads are way to low and all three leads ground to the case. The R/R is the same way values between B, M & G are not to spec. I expect they were bad when I got the bike and running with the low battery made it evident. Does anyone know of a good aftermarket place to get replacements other than Ron Ayers?
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 09:09 PM
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lance will chime in with a place to get your stator rewound though it will take a couple weeks the rr ive seen for as low as 40 on ebay ... again lance should know where to get the best one... the stator is a chore but its not to bad after a couple times, i can drop the motor in a couple hours ... tough luck but i bet we can get u up to par for about 250.00



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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-11-2009, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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I was looking on Electrolex site and it looks like I can get new OEM replacement for about $220 with a little shipping. I don't see anything about amperage though.

$119 for the stator and
$ 99 for the Rectifier

http://www.electrosport.com/street/s...reet_51100.php

Anyone had any experience with these guys?
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