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Discussion Starter #1
Why did one capacitor ask the other to marry him the first time they met? Because he couldn't resistor.

Sorry. I know that was awful. I don't even understand electricity and I'm making terrible jokes like that... Best move on, eh? :)

So my rough idle problem returned this morning. Tonight I took out the NGK plugs that were in the bike (I've owned it 3 weeks) and they were black. I replaced them with the NGK Iridium ones, but then I had the hot starting problem with backfiring, which--as I researched before posting--either means replace the battery or do the coil mod trick.

I'm not sure how old the battery is or how strong it's charged. I don't have a tender/trickle charger either. I DO know it is an ETX15L though, which I've read ya'll recommend.

I've read a lot of posts and am confused. Do I need to connect my battery to some kind of charger every now and then? I read somewhere there's a difference between trickle and a tender (maybe)?

Before I go out and buy a new battery, should I just try to charge up this one?

Once again...THANK YOU!
-Anth
 

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Here's what I would do. Buy a charger designed for use with a motorcycle battery, preferably a "smart" charger that can detect the appropriate charge rate for the state the battery is in. When the battery is fully charged start the bike and let it idle for a while. Measure the battery voltage at the battery terminals with the engine ticking over and lights on. Should be more than 11 and less than 13 this is not the important reading. Increase the revs to about 3-4K and repeat measurement, should be more than 13.4 and less than 15. If these readings are OK then your charging system is OK, but you still may need a new battery. The AGM batteries (no vent tube, no topping up with distilled) have a lower self discharge, the old "wet" batteries need a refreshing charge if not used every 4 to 6 weeks. All batteries do slowly go flat if not charged. Unless you ride all year round fairly regularly you will need a charger. I would recommend the relay mod to minimise the voltage drop to the ignition coils and also the mod to increase the pickup signal from the ignition coil pickups. Batteries need capacity (the ability to keep cranking at a decent rate for a decent time) They need to be able to supply sufficient current without the voltage dropping too far. As they fail they loose these factors. If in doubt get it load tested.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Gibbo. I'm going to reread your post a few times to digest it.

After I posted I went to my local AutoZone and had them test the battery. It's from 2010 but tested at like 12.2 or something, so it was in decent shape for its age. The clerk suggested saving my money and not getting a new battery just yet. I spent $30 on a slow charger designed for motorcycles to top it off. I'll look into doing the mods as well.

Thanks again.
-Anth
 

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Ok, sounds like a plan. Just keep in mind that these bikes need a battery in tip top condition, otherwise you run into starting problems with backfires etc. There is a "sticky" about the right sort of battery, and loads of info about all the other things you should/could do.
 

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Just a FYI....a good AGM type battery should be able to go at least 4 weeks without needing a charge. If you have to charge your battery every night to get it to start the next day, you have a problem.

12.2 volts sounds a bit low to me. Should be 12.5-12.7 at rest.
 

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Quite right, off load should be 12.7. I assumed 12.2 was the voltage under a load test, however, not knowing what the load was......... ? A nice new AGM battery certainly does the business though.
 
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