Battery charging... I'm a big idiot help me please. - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
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Battery charging... I'm a big idiot help me please.

I have a few questions but let me give you some background first. I am new to motorcycles in general. I have an '89. The guy who sold it to me put in a standard (not maintenance free) battery 500 miles before I bought the bike from him. It fired right up when I test rode it and 5-6 times after that. From the time I rode it home the bike has not left my garage (IE no highway speed charging). The reasons I started it up without riding were I played with some carb settings and gave the tank a health dose of seafoam I wanted to get working. The last few times I let it idle for 15-20 min thinking that this would charge up the battery to make up for the starts. Today I went to start it again and I could tell the battery was weak. I of course decided I would let it idle to charge. While it was idling I go on the forums and started reading. I came to the understanding that I was not doing the battery any favors by starting the bike and just letting it idle. As I was reading I heard the bike die. I ran to the garage. About 10 seconds had passed since the bike died before I got there. When I did I noticed the headlight was very weak. I quickly turned off the key and ran out to buy a battery charger. I got a 6-4-2amp automatic. Presently I have the battery charging at the 2 amps.
Questions:
1. Am I correct in saying that even if the bike is in good operating condition idling for 15-20 min will not charge the battery?
2. Can a weak and dying battery cause the bike to stop running at an idle? (For some reason I thought once running it would continue to run until shut off. I am hoping I am just an idiot and this is not another problem for me to look into.)
3. Is the 2 amp trickle charge the best way to charge it.
4. It sounds like if I don't ride I should try and give her a maintenance charge about every week or so. Is that correct?
5. Other than charging it what other maintenance is there to do on a non-maintenance free battery? (When i search this I only find people saying to get a new maintenance free one, but I am honest to god broke right now and I would like for this 2 month old battery to at least get me though the season)

I know this is lengthy so thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-17-2010, 11:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingbassplayer View Post
I have a few questions but let me give you some background first. I am new to motorcycles in general. I have an '89. The guy who sold it to me put in a standard (not maintenance free) battery 500 miles before I bought the bike from him. It fired right up when I test rode it and 5-6 times after that. From the time I rode it home the bike has not left my garage (IE no highway speed charging). The reasons I started it up without riding were I played with some carb settings and gave the tank a health dose of seafoam I wanted to get working. The last few times I let it idle for 15-20 min thinking that this would charge up the battery to make up for the starts. Today I went to start it again and I could tell the battery was weak. I of course decided I would let it idle to charge. While it was idling I go on the forums and started reading. I came to the understanding that I was not doing the battery any favors by starting the bike and just letting it idle. As I was reading I heard the bike die. I ran to the garage. About 10 seconds had passed since the bike died before I got there. When I did I noticed the headlight was very weak. I quickly turned off the key and ran out to buy a battery charger. I got a 6-4-2amp automatic. Presently I have the battery charging at the 2 amps.
Questions:
1. Am I correct in saying that even if the bike is in good operating condition idling for 15-20 min will not charge the battery?
2. Can a weak and dying battery cause the bike to stop running at an idle? (For some reason I thought once running it would continue to run until shut off. I am hoping I am just an idiot and this is not another problem for me to look into.)
3. Is the 2 amp trickle charge the best way to charge it.
4. It sounds like if I don't ride I should try and give her a maintenance charge about every week or so. Is that correct?
5. Other than charging it what other maintenance is there to do on a non-maintenance free battery? (When i search this I only find people saying to get a new maintenance free one, but I am honest to god broke right now and I would like for this 2 month old battery to at least get me though the season)

I know this is lengthy so thank you in advance for any advice you can give me.
1. yes
2.possibly
3.slow charging is good charging
4 yes
5.make sure the water levels are where they should be with the battery fully charged,and check the clear breather tube and make sure it stays on the battery and use only distilled water to refill the cells,if low when fully charged and keep terminals clean.




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Current ride 05 1500 Classic FI
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vikingbassplayer View Post
1. Am I correct in saying that even if the bike is in good operating condition idling for 15-20 min will not charge the battery?
2. Can a weak and dying battery cause the bike to stop running at an idle? (For some reason I thought once running it would continue to run until shut off. I am hoping I am just an idiot and this is not another problem for me to look into.)
3. Is the 2 amp trickle charge the best way to charge it.
4. It sounds like if I don't ride I should try and give her a maintenance charge about every week or so. Is that correct?
5. Other than charging it what other maintenance is there to do on a non-maintenance free battery? (When i search this I only find people saying to get a new maintenance free one, but I am honest to god broke right now and I would like for this 2 month old battery to at least get me though the season)
1. The charging system on our bikes, as you will discover, suck..... Unless you modify the stock system IT WILL RUN OFF THE BATTERY AT IDLE

2. I don't think so. BUT....something 'turning on' like brake light or maybe the fan (I believe fans need to inrush about 3 times their FLA to start ?) could be enough to drop the current available to the ignition system.......causing the bike to die.

3. I believe so....

4. Wouldn't hurt to see if there is any current loss with the bike off, a 'leak' someplace. (If you have a meter to measure DC amps, you can take the wire off the positive battery terminal and measure between the positive battery terminal and that wire....the more current leaking from the battery, the faster it will drain just sitting there.)

5. ^^^ what he said.....
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 02:25 PM
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Q#3. 2 amps is pretty close to ideal for the vn750 battery which is a 14 amp hour capacity.
Batteries should be charged at a rate equal to 10% of their capacity, or 1.4 amps for the Vulcan`s.
With a non MF battery take it out of the bike to charge, as it creates an acid gas that vents and can damage electrics and the frame.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/11-vn750-general-discussion/9127-top-ten-items-you-would-suggest-new-owner-do-his-new-ride.html
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 02:26 PM
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You need to check the charging of the bike as you test run it. Take reading at the battery with a volt meter to see how it does at different RPM's. If you check the threads on the sight about charging you can find several ways to check the whole system. Lots of luck, but a AGM battery is the best way to go, lead acid bat's just do not have the staying power. I have had my maintenance free battery for three years and still going strong, but I do keep it on a trickel charger.

2004 25,500 miles
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-18-2010, 02:31 PM
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Check information on battery tenders and the anti-sulfate "pulse" chargers available too.

Gordon

1991 VN 750 -"Cosmic Lady" or "Bad Girl"?
Purchased May 16, 2008
Approx.19,300km (12,000 miles)

H-D windshield
Relocated R/R
MF-AGM battery
Fiamm Freeway Blaster horns
F&S luggage rack and engine guard
Kury Offset Hiway pegs
July 13, 2016, Riding on the DARKSIDE now, Classic Radial 165/80-15


TOP TEN THINGS A NEW RIDER/OWNER SHOULD DO. Click on link.
https://www.vn750.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9127
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