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Battery problems

4496 Views 42 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  ducatiman
Getting pretty tired of getting batteries that only last a year or so.

Was wondering if anyone knows the difference between a 14Ah battery, and a 14AHL battery.
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That's the most common answer I'm seeing on the net. The battery "expert" at Advanced Auto said the L meant long lasting. I dismissed his answer, just thought it would be cute to mention it.

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What's bothering me is this is the battery I picked up yesterday (20 miles from home). Part # would indicate 14Ah with reverse polarity. I would need the reverse polarity as regular is with positive on the left. But it clearly goes on to state that it is a 12Ah battery. I didn't notice this until I got home. Got this at Batteries Plus. Their computer says it is what is called for in the EX.

Went ahead and checked out Advanced Auto this morning and got one (a Die Hard) with a part number TX14AHL. Other than the part number, no where else on the battery does it state the amp hours. But it does come with a 3 month warranty, so I'm impressed with that. :rolleyes: The specs on this battery is secret, nowhere on the Die Hard website. What I did find on the website was a lot of bad reviews, usually going bad at around 3 months and a few days.

I would say my biggest issue is I should have an immediate replacement plan in place before the battery goes out.

Don't know if I should take back the Battery Plus battery, or just hang on to it for the impending failure of the Die Hard.

The BS in the part number, that's exactly what it is.
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I concur.
2014 got the bike for a project. bought cheap Tandy one to help sort the wiring. died before bike was on the road.
2016 bought a OEM Yuasa for newly commissioned bike. survived the summer died during first winter.
2017 bought Lucas HD sealed for life. survived two riding seasons died second winter. (think faulty RR) fitted Mosfet.
2019 bought a Powerline lead acid sealed for life. died after 6 months.
2020 took the plunge and bought Motobat AGM gel battery. fingers crossed autumn 2021 still good for now.
it does seem bike batteries are fickle. and give up the ghost quickly. when the car (2015 model) still has the original one fitted at the factory.
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both my Ducati's have Shorai batteries in them. They seem to last quite long. The 900 previously had a Ballistic (lithium) , must have lasted 7-8 years? Replaced when it no longer cranked (even after charging with special Ballistic charger). I chose to put the new Shorai in the 800, and used the existing one from the 800 into the 900. Both continue to easily start each. Both 800 and 900, thankfully, use the exact same spec battery.

My '19 650 Honda has its original Yuasa...still going strong after 2nd year now.

Even my 50cc Honda Spree was going for 3-4? years...I was recently forced to replace after leaving the key in on position overnight, was unable to accept a charge.

Note all mine are taken indoors approx Dec 1, get charged over the winter....put back in normal service mid March.
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My original lasted over 5 years. Towards the end I had to top it off with water on a weekly basis.

If this new Die Hard can make it until Winter shut down, I may have to just bite the bullet and spend $200 for a real battery from the MC dealer.

I have never heard of Shorai, I will look into that.
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Yuasa AGM. Made in Reading, Pennsylvania. $88 and worth every penny. Last one lasted me 9 years. A buck a month is pretty good for on-demand engine starting service.

An alternaitve is the DEKA ETX-15L, also made in Reading Pennsylvania. I decided to try one after the last Yuasa AGM finally died. So far, so good. Oh, and it's about $12 cheaper.
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it does seem bike batteries are fickle. and give up the ghost quickly.
Yup, and regardless of brand, my experience is that its a crap shoot as to whether it will last 6 months or 6 years. Aside from quality variations, I think the main problem is that moto batteries are so minimally sized that there is no reserve to compensate if anything in the battery or the system is less than optimal. Over/under charging, extreme heat, continuous vibration, and intermittent vs. daily use all take their toll.

I bought a Yuasa a few years ago (daily use) for my Sherpa and it lasted less than 3 months; it would no longer accept a charge. The local shop where I bought it replaced it on warranty and that identical Yuasa has been in the bike working fine for about 5 years. I put a (very expensive) special BMW sized Yuasa in my K75 and it was pretty much done after 2 years in spite taking extra care to maintain it at full charge and disconnect it when I wasn't riding the bike every day. BMWs have a nasty habit of welding the starter relay contacts and trying to melt down the entire system if you try to start it with battery with low voltage. So you get to replace the relay and melted wiring along with a new battery.

A couple of starter relays later I got tired of the smell of burning insulation so I spent big bucks for a Shorai LiFePo4 to replace it this spring. So far, so good, but it will be another 5 years before I can tell you whether it was really worth the money. I am glad to hear from Ducatiman that he's been having good luck with the Shorai batteries.
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Had an Odyssey PC545 in my Guzzi. 'Spose ta be tha shiznitz. But - they need conditioning and must be charged at a certain amperage and to no more than 15.0V. Then, conditioning worked no more. Out it came and I have no need for a high-maintenance battery. The USA made AGM Yuasa is doing just fine with only a Tender on it.
I currently have a mix in my daily riders. My 996 came with a Shorai. I’ve been so impressed with it that I bought one for my 900SS project bike.

I originally intended to do the same for my Aprilia but the AGM in it died on me in Monterey a few years ago. Thus, it has another AGM installed as I had little choice in the matter.

The thing is, buying a battery that has been filled from anywhere; you don’t know how long the thing has been sitting around filled with electrolyte.

99.9% of the time, the battery was filled, then shelved. That’s a recipe for an early failure. Every battery I get, aside from my Shorai goes on a trickle charge for a minimum of 24 hours. Longer if the charger doesn’t “level off” after that amount of time.

I normally let the battery settle for an hour or two before I put it in a vehicle and attempt a start. That goes for all my vehicles 2 or 4 wheel.

99% of people today do not follow that procedure. Buy battery from store, install and start vehicle. Or, fill, install and start vehicle.

An alternator is not made to charge your battery from the get go. A deep cycle charge is necessary for a long battery life. A vehicle not regularly driven will go through batteries more rapidly than one that is. That’s because the alternator will maintain the charge initially put on a battery.

Anecdotal evidence to be sure, but my 1995 Nissan pick-up has only had 3 batteries over the course of its service to my family. That’s it. One of those was only because the alternator took a crap and took the battery along with it. 26 years and only 3 batteries.

My little GSXR is a 2004. It is only on its 2nd battery and it barely gets ridden. The reason in my mind is, Suzuki equipped it with a Mosfet RR from the beginning. It has an AGM just like OEM.

My Aprilia on the other hand goes through batteries on a regular. I’m averaging about 3-4 years per battery but that’s been impacted by the install of a Mosfet RR back in 2013. It was almost yearly before that and only on its 2nd since. Also, I quit leaving it on a tender.

An AGM is designed to go flat and still come back with a proper charge. Not that it gets to go flat. It rarely drops below 12V over winter so gets a maintenance charge when I ride in late winter.

The Shorai is another matter all together. It is a LiFe construction so very, very light. 2 lbs versus 11 lbs for the OEM battery. It requires a special charger.

It also should be hooked up occasionally to condition the cells. I permanently installed a pigtail on my 996 so all I have to do is plug it in. No fuss, just a quick plug in every 5 or 6 months.

I’ve had the 996 since 2017. I’ve no idea how long the Shorai was in before I got it. It has been going strong since I did though and looks like it will last a long while yet.

Since I brought up chargers, I have a few. Aside from the Shorai charger, I have a simple battery tender as well as a Tec-Mate that charges 2 batteries at once.

I probably use the Tex-Mate more than any other charger I own. It has a de-sulphation function as well as “rescue” function for extremely dead batteries. So far, it saved 2 batteries that registered 0.12V and brought them back. I’m still using one, my kid is using the other.

Glean what you will from that. Shorai is the way to go IMHO, but if gotta have old school lead acid or AGM batteries, get yourself a Tec-Mate. Any money above a normal charger you spend will be regained in the batteries you don’t have to replace later….sean
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I too got tired of constantly having to screw around with wet batteries. One or two seasons was the best I could get out of them, and it was not unusual to have to give them a trickle charge if the bike sat a couple weeks.

The last battery I bought for my 2000 EX was a Big Crank from Battery Mart. US made, about 80 bucks. I sold the bike this spring with the battery on its 5th season, and it started and ran the bike like it did when it was new.

I would pull the battery at the end of October and put it on a shelf in the basement. A short trickle charge maybe twice during the winter, then back in the bike in April.

I have the same battery in my ER6n; so far equally drama-free.
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This new Die Hard battery that is going to be out of warranty in about 2 weeks, almost couldn't crank up the EX just because the temps dropped below freezing.
I finally installed a Shorai in the little GSXR. I have commuted on it all year.

Just a little while ago, maybe 6 weeks or so, I noted that the battery would not start the bike after sitting over the weekend.

I assumed it was the change in weather as it would start just fine in the afternoon.

I decided after a couple of weekends of this, I pulled the trigger and ordered a new Shorai from Amazon.

I have not given it a second thought since. Battery #3 after 17 years.

That works out to 8.5 years average per battery. I’d say that’s better than the average motorcycle battery by a bit and then some.
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I believe this would be the Shorai replacement for stock EX battery. Worth every cent. I'd also strongly suggest purchasing the Shorai charger as well.

Additionally, a genuine Shindengen Mosfet RR paired to this battery would deliver a very long service life to both. Hit me if interested. Racecrafters on ebay currently has immediate (discounted) availability @ $138 shipped on the battery itself.

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this thread has been very informative as to why i've only been able to get 1 year or less out of my batteries. i've been in the market for a new one and as tempting as a shorai is i think i'm going to save it for my next purchase. it's been getting cold in the bay ("cold") plus i'd need a new charger/tender, and seeing ducati shelve his batteries and bikes all winter is making me second guess a shorai at the moment. and budget is holiday tight right now. but next time, for sure, lithium ion here i come.

anywho new battery has been filled with acid, let sit overnight yesterday, going to let it charge overnight again tonight, then sit for a couple hours tomorrow before throwing on the 500. thanks again for everyone who shared info in this thread!! happy holidays everybody
Whatever battery you choose, clean all connections - battery to solenoid, battery to ground. Solenoid to stater, the multi-connector at the rectifier, etc. There is a liquid called Caig DeoxIt which dissolves the corrosion on terminals and connectors and helps keep them good to go. What helped my last Yuasa AGM last 9 years of seasonal riding was a good charger/maintainer. I bought some 'X-Citer' units on clearance from O'Reilly's - except for the label identical to Yuasa's HotShot charger.

Wire a fused QD/SAE plug directly to your battery and have the connector in a spot which is accessible without removing the seat or any other monkey motion. That way, you are much more likely to connect it after a ride. A mosfet regulator will also help and you can get the whole kit here, or just the harness and source your own ZX11 or other mosfet regulator. Personally, I favor the AGM batteries, as you cannot forget to add distilled water to them - they are sealed.
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it's been getting cold in the bay ("cold")
Cold? It ain’t cold yet. Chilly, yes. I don’t ride once it gets cold.

I “think” we got another 30-45 days to ride yet. Then the rains come. Could be as early as the 1st week in January.

Could also be as late as the end of January. Once it starts though….it could be 30 days or more before we see a dry day again.

Those 2-3 days of rain we had in October where it didn’t let up for 48 straight hours? It’ll be like that but for weeks on end.

It’s miserable to ride in that stuff. Even in full rain gear. Ask me how I know. Anyway, it’s a good time to put batteries on chargers and fuel treatment in tanks.

@po18guy makes a good point about anti corrosion compounds. Personally I use this:

This stuff is amazing. A few drops on tarnished copper wire and a few minutes later it looks brand new again. It will remain that way too.

Aviation grade stuff used to prevent corrosion on critical parts. I use it on all electrical connections, regardless of whether it’s a connector or a crimped on fitting.
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The Guzzi guys live by Caig DeoxIt. Tiny little brush bottle is $15. But. Goes a long ways and the V11s have a series of 5 trouble-prone relays under the seat, as well as F.I. and ECU connectors. Some say Italian electricity responds better to it. It is primarily a contact cleaner/de-oxidizer.
Went ahead and checked out Advanced Auto this morning and got one (a Die Hard) with a part number TX14AHL. Other than the part number, no where else on the battery does it state the amp hours. But it does come with a 3 month warranty, so I'm impressed with that. :rolleyes: The specs on this battery is secret, nowhere on the Die Hard website. What I did find on the website was a lot of bad reviews, usually going bad at around 3 months and a few days.
This battery is nothing short of an outright joke. Even under the best of conditions the engine cranks over considerably slower than it should. When temps are in the low 30's, it barely cranks at all. Contrary to what the part number may indicate, this has got to be a 12AH battery.

Before I roll out after winter maintenance, I think I will be going back to the Duracell 15AH battery.
I stumbled across this thread- 20 years 3 different motorcycles and the last 15 years, on average between 5 and 6 years per battery. Yuasa AGM More to come in this post. I have a 2015 Versys 650, members with identical bikes get on average 2 years out of the 10 amp hour Yuasa battery, I get 5 to 6 years from the same battery, stored inside and in the winter it never goes below 40"F , longer than 30 minutes. I am running full synthetic mobil 1 15/50 but will be switching to Motul 7100 15/50 this spring. That is a wet clutch and numerous members have been running this Mobil 1 15/50 for over 8 years. My secret is a series regulator that outputs 14.2 VDC and never higher. Kawasaki shunt regulator puts out up to 15 VDC , I have measured it at 14.9 VDC for over 5 minutes, needing to hit 15 VDC before the shunt kicked in.

If you are doing short runs with multiple starts then a higher amp hour battery may be the way to go. In my case Yuasa made two 10AHR batteries, both physically identical in size,the one had a 30% higher cranking amps for about almost double $$. Think about it, more plates in the same case, on a motorcycle that is subject to heat and vibration. The cheaper lower plate count is the way to go, physically there is no room for a larger battery in my bike.

A AGM battery can withstand a high charge rate, however some guys think leaving a tender on 24/7 while you aren't riding is a good idea. Have you ever looked at a old car battery where you used a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity? Near the full charge rate did you notice the battery gassing off. That happens even in the supposedly sealed Yuasa. The best thing you could ever do is have a timer on your tender--6 hours maximum, be aware, some have a discharge cycle, removing the AC power may cause your battery to discharge through the tender.

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