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Old 25th November 2012, 19:36   #16
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Default Re: Battery voltage

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Originally Posted by adnaps View Post
Any suggestions on a good make or model for a battery charger. Any pointers to where it can be sourced from in Bangalore/Online
I use a Deltran Battery Tender 1.25A for maintenance and a Black & Decker 20A charger to charge any flat or near flat battery. Both these chargers are microprocessor controlled and were purchased abroad. Another very good charger is CTEK which is Swedish. Some models can be pretty expensive.

If you need to buy local brands try getting one with a microprocessor controller. Else you will need to ensure that you keep a close eye on battery voltages and Sp. Gr. Not sure which are the best local brands, so it may be worthwhile to check with battery dealers as they are familiar with charger brands available locally and used in their workshops.

Be sure to buy a reputed brand. It may cost more initially but it is more or less a long term investment.
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Old 26th November 2012, 14:42   #17
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Default Re: Battery voltage

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Answer to your questions:
Thanks for all the information R2D2.
Taking my t'bird to the battery fellow today to change the battery.

Please help me with another question, when the battery in my t'bird died last time while I was riding all electricals including my bike engine died. I thought that the engine and electricals can stay alive on the alternator output. So in this case I guess its routed through the battery so the whole thing stopped. Am I right here? Please advise.

Thanks!
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Old 26th November 2012, 19:03   #18
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Default Re: Battery voltage

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Originally Posted by Siddy View Post
Thanks for all the information R2D2.
Taking my t'bird to the battery fellow today to change the battery.

Please help me with another question, when the battery in my t'bird died last time while I was riding all electricals including my bike engine died. I thought that the engine and electricals can stay alive on the alternator output. So in this case I guess its routed through the battery so the whole thing stopped. Am I right here? Please advise.

Thanks!
The job of the battery is to:

a) Store electricity and provide it when the output of the alternator falls BELOW demand. So if your alt is generating 10A but demand rises to 15A because of additional or transient electrical loads for e.g. pressing the horn button or switching on the lights.

b) Act as a buffer between the pulsing output of an alternator and the electrical and electronic systems/accessories including the ECU, ABS, car stereo etc. In a bike, especially high end ones, you have ECUs and ABS but not necessarily stereos though there are some premium bikes like the BMWs and Honda Goldwing which do. NEVER disconnect the battery terminal when the engine is running or you can fry electronic systems in your car or bike.

Therefore here's what I think happened in your case, there was a shortfall at the alt output and when the battery died it quite naturally wasn't able to provide sufficient electricity to bridge the shortfall and keep the bike's ignition system running. It's a reasonable load ~2-10A depending on the vehicle. Did your engine conk off at low speed? Most bikes can keep running without a battery IF the alternator output suffices & the voltage regulator is fine.

Like I mentioned below, get the electrical system checked especially check the alt regulator/rectifier for damaged diodes or low output <13V, check wiring for leaks and shorts. check the battery terminals and cables for corrosion. Do this BEFORE you install a new battery or it may meet the same fate.

Most importantly run the bike regularly or connect the battery to a charger to preserve it when the bike won't be used for more than 10 days. Alternatively, disconnect the -ve terminal from the battery and connect it back before you use the bike again. Preferably do not run the bike with the battery disconnected.

Let me know how it goes. Good luck!
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Old 26th November 2012, 22:15   #19
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Default Re: Battery voltage

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Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Did your engine conk off at low speed? Most bikes can keep running without a battery IF the alternator output suffices & the voltage regulator is fine.

Like I mentioned below, get the electrical system checked especially check the alt regulator/rectifier for damaged diodes or low output <13V, check wiring for leaks and shorts. check the battery terminals and cables for corrosion. Do this BEFORE you install a new battery or it may meet the same fate.!
Thanks for the info R2D2.

Yes, the engine died when I was going down a slope at a very low(almost idling) rpm.As you suggested got the alternator and related wiring checked, luckily everything looks fine . The charging current at the battery terminals when revved the engine to 2.5k rpm is 13.97 Volts which looks just fine, I guess the voltmeter of the other battery fellow was faulty which showed around 15 volts at the same rpm.Spend 2300 rs for a new Exide bikerz battery & exchanged the old one.
Again thanks for all the tips and info will take good care of my battery this time for sure!

Cheers!

Last edited by Siddy : 26th November 2012 at 22:18.
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Old 27th November 2012, 10:13   #20
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

My friend has to replace his 2012 TBTS battery after just 5 months but that was due to lack of proper water level. It was replaced with a Amaron maintenance free battery. The price paid was 1500. The bike has been used sparingly and for short journeys only, no complaints since last 1 month.
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Old 1st July 2015, 10:27   #21
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

Bumping up the old Thread.

My Thunderbird 500 which is 2+ years old could not be started after not using for couple of weeks. As expected the battery was down, but when showed it to the mechanic, he suggested to change the battery. As per the specification its 12v 14AH and the mechanic suggested to get some "Poweron" brand (internet search revealed this www.poweron.co.in/) which I'm not aware of. He said that this is specifically made for Thunderbird and its SMF (no acid per se). Its pricey compared to Exide (around Rs.500 more).
Any suggestions.
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Old 1st July 2015, 12:41   #22
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

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Originally Posted by kozhissery View Post
My Thunderbird 500 which is 2+ years old could not be started after not using for couple of weeks. As expected the battery was down, but when showed it to the mechanic, he suggested to change the battery. As per the specification its 12v 14AH and the mechanic suggested to get some "Poweron" brand (internet search revealed this www.poweron.co.in/) which I'm not aware of. He said that this is specifically made for Thunderbird and its SMF (no acid per se). Its pricey compared to Exide (around Rs.500 more).
Any suggestions.
kozhissery mate I would suggest stick to the OEM specifications, as far as I know the OEM battery for Thunderbird 500 is Exide 12V 14Amp lead acid battery. Offlate RE has started using Amaron 12V 8Amp MF VRLA batteries on Thunderbird 350 variants. Whereas for the Thunderbird 500 it is still Exide 12V 14Amp. I am not aware of poweron brand and it looks like some of those several unknown local battery brands. Meanwhile there is also Amaron 12V 9Amp VRLA battery(I use it on my Standard CI 350) that is available, but I am not sure if we can use it on Thunderbird500.
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Old 1st July 2015, 14:01   #23
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

Thanks Navin.
Even I was skeptical about it. Opted for Exide BIKERZ-12BI14L-A2. Bought the battery at the store and gave for charging.
I did not know that you had to get it charged before use. My car battery was purchased and fixed immediately. In this case, the battery was taken out of the cover then removed the red strip from the top, filled some liquid and left to charge (needs about 3 hours). Mechanic says its diluted sulfuric acid and showed me some kind of bulb wherein you can see a float floating to some level.
When asked whether its water, he filled the water in the bulb but the float did not rise.
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Old 1st July 2015, 14:38   #24
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

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Originally Posted by kozhissery View Post
Thanks Navin.
You're most welcome mate.

Quote:
Bought the battery at the store and gave for charging. I did not know that you had to get it charged before use. My car battery was purchased and fixed immediately. In this case, the battery was taken out of the cover then removed the red strip from the top, filled some liquid and left to charge (needs about 3 hours). Mechanic says its diluted sulfuric acid and showed me some kind of bulb wherein you can see a float floating to some level.
When asked whether its water, he filled the water in the bulb but the float did not rise.
I am not really sure why the battery shop is charging a brand new battery, they come charged from the factory. I am not sure if he has sold you any old stock battery that was sitting in the shop for a long time and hence needs charging. What makes me say this is, I have bought and changed several batteries in my multiple RE motorcycles since the last many years. As far as I know the battery dealer never charged the new battery before fitting it on my motorcycle, and I always buy brand new batteries. I have used different battery brands like Exide and Amaron but the battery dealer never charged them as they were brand new. Check the manufacturing date of the battery you are sold.
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Old 1st July 2015, 16:45   #25
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

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Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
You're most welcome mate.



I am not really sure why the battery shop is charging a brand new battery, they come charged from the factory. I am not sure if he has sold you any old stock battery that was sitting in the shop for a long time and hence needs charging. What makes me say this is, I have bought and changed several batteries in my multiple RE motorcycles since the last many years. As far as I know the battery dealer never charged the new battery before fitting it on my motorcycle, and I always buy brand new batteries. I have used different battery brands like Exide and Amaron but the battery dealer never charged them as they were brand new. Check the manufacturing date of the battery you are sold.
Too late. I've already bought the battery and gave it for charging too. Will be getting the battery by 5pm or so. Have not checked the manufacturing date, will check it later (but no use other than getting sad). By the way how long can a battery be placed before actual use (I mean shelf life).
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Old 1st July 2015, 17:14   #26
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

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Originally Posted by kozhissery View Post
Too late. I've already bought the battery and gave it for charging too. Will be getting the battery by 5pm or so. Have not checked the manufacturing date, will check it later (but no use other than getting sad). By the way how long can a battery be placed before actual use (I mean shelf life).
Quote:
Originally Posted by kozhissery View Post
Too late. I've already bought the battery and gave it for charging too. Will be getting the battery by 5pm or so. Have not checked the manufacturing date, will check it later (but no use other than getting sad). By the way how long can a battery be placed before actual use (I mean shelf life).
Mate I did some googling and found out that batteries especially brand new motorcycle batteries need to be charged before installation. From what I have read so far they come with 80% charge from the factory and the dealer is supposed to charge it to 100% by adding sulphuric acid ,some distilled water and charging it for about 3-5 hours depending on the amperage. Some of the sites I referred to: http://www.whitedogbikes.com/shop/co...tery-charging/
http://www.dansmc.com/batteries.htm
http://www.atbatt.com/motorcycle-bat...charge-battery

It beats me if this is required then why don't the battery manufacturers mention this on the battery cover or their manual if this is so important.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 1st July 2015 at 17:15.
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Old 2nd July 2015, 01:00   #27
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

A few thoughts on batteries:

Fresh, new batteries come from the factory fully charged. All lead/acid batteries will slowly discharge over a period of time just sitting on the shelf. Although the rate of discharge is very small, over a period of several months or more, it is not unusual for the voltage to drop as much as 1 or 1 1/2 volts. A 20 percent drop would be very unusual.

Most new batteries will last 2-3 years if they are cared for. Caring for a battery means the fluid level should be checked at least twice a year. If it is low, ONLY distilled water should be added. Using common water from a tap will put minerals into the cells which is a sure way to ruin a otherwise good battery.

Motorcycle batteries are easily damaged by charging them with a battery charger that delivers over a 2 amp charge. If a mechanic recharges a battery to provide a "quick charge", he often will boost the charging power well over this 2 amp limit to get you back on the road quickly. Doing this, his quick fix could easily shorten your batteries life from years to months or less.

The 14 in the battery number represents the amount of amps the battery can safely deliver in 1 hour without overloading it.
Motorcycles with electric starters require values like 12 or 14 amp/hr ratings because of the high amount of power they need to start the engine.
If the electric starter is not going to be used and the bike is always kick started, a smaller amp/hr rating will work fine.

It is very unwise to add anything to a lead/acid battery other than pure distilled water.
Adding acid or other chemicals will quickly ruin the battery.

The 12-13 volt power supplied by a battery is not enough to break down the resistance in your skin. Because of this, it is totally safe to touch the terminals or the wires connecting to the terminals without getting shocked.
That said, there is a caution that needs to be mentioned.

When removing a battery from a motorcycle or automobile it is VERY important to remove the negative (-) (usually black) wire first.
When installing a battery, connect the positive (+) wire first.

This is done to prevent accidental grounding while disconnecting the positive (+) wire.

(A side story if I may:
A good friend found the battery in his car needed replacing although it still had some power in it.
Grabbing a wrench, he started to disconnect the positive (red) wire from the battery terminal.
He had forgotten that most motorcycles and automobiles connect the negative battery terminal directly to the frame of the vehicle.
Everything was going fine until his hand contacted the frame.

The wrench in his hand was making contact with a ring on his finger. The opposite side of the ring contacted the frame of the car.
This made a direct short circuit which almost instantly heated the ring to over 500C while it was still on his finger.

If you can find one, buying a totally sealed battery has definite advantages, especially for a motorcycle.
It does not require inspection to check the water level.
It seldom "out-gasses" acid bearing fumes that can damage paint and metal.
In the event of the motorcycle falling down, no fluids will escape to damage you or your motorcycle.
Often, these sealed batteries use the latest AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) technology which extends their projected life.

I hope some of this information will be useful to you.
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Old 2nd July 2015, 14:29   #28
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

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Originally Posted by navin_v8 View Post
I am not really sure why the battery shop is charging a brand new battery, they come charged from the factory.
That's fine. Certain batteries that are not very fast moving would be charged by the shops and not by the factory. If they come charged from the factory and then sit idle on the shop's shelf for a few months they would lose charge and start malfunctioning when put to use by the customer. There would be problem settling warranty claims on such batteries.

So, being charged by the shop is fine as long as the shopkeeper removes the seal in front of you. Just ensure that it is properly and adequately charged.

If in doubt take it to the Exide workshop in your city and get the charge checked.

PS: Three hours' charging by the shop is more than adequate. Please don't worry.

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 2nd July 2015 at 14:35.
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Old 6th July 2015, 19:03   #29
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

Thanks Navin.

Just an update on my battery purchase. The first battery showed some issues on charging (he said some bubbling while charging - Manufactured in March/2015) and he changed to another one. The new battery did not show any issues. The battery is of make Exide manufactured on April/2015 and factory charged (still he insisted on topping up the charge). I think that decision of his was good as he pointed out some bubbling issue (which i did not understand).
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Old 7th July 2015, 00:21   #30
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Default Re: RE Thunderbird Battery Issues

kozhissery

I suspect both of the batteries were good.

The first battery that had a lot of bubbling was more fully charged when the dealer tried to charge it. The second battery was somewhat discharged so it bubbled less.

A battery can only be charged up to a certain point. When the lead plates that produce the electricity have been fully charged, any additional electrical power that is put into the battery will start to break down the water in the cells into its two elements, namely, hydrogen and oxygen.
These gasses form the bubbles he was seeing.

The process of breaking water down into hydrogen and oxygen is known as electrolysis.

All that is needed to do this is some water, a little salt (or in the case of your battery, some existing acid), to make it easier for the electricity to pass thru the water, and a supply of Direct Current (DC) electrical power (such as a 9 volt or 12 volt battery).
With the positive and negative wires placed into the water bubbles will begin forming on each wire.
The bubbles on the positive (+) wire are oxygen. The bubbles on the negative (-) wire are hydrogen.

Getting back to your battery, because the first one was fully charged, the electrical power the battery charger put into the battery had nothing to do, so it started the process of electrolysis, forming lots of bubbles. This is typical of overcharging a lead/acid battery.

With the second battery the added electrical power from the battery charger converted the lead in the plates into the type that stores the power.

When a battery is installed in a vehicle, normally, overcharging is not a problem.
The voltage regulator senses the charge of the battery and if the battery is fully charged, the regulator will decrease the output of the alternator to be equal to the output of the battery thus, no power will actually be put into the battery.

If the battery charge is low, the voltage regulator will increase the output of the alternator and the excess electricity will recharge the cells.

If something goes wrong with the voltage regulator and the alternator continues to try to charge the battery, the excess power will start the electrolysis process which will "boil" off the water in the cells. This water loss will destroy the battery if it is not corrected.

As everyone knows, nothing is perfect and the same applies to alternators and voltage regulators.
This often results in some electrolysis within the battery taking place which is a normal way of life.

That is the reason it is important to check the fluid level in each battery cell and replace any lost water with distilled water. This should be done at least twice a year and more often if you live in a hot region.

Good luck with your new battery and happy riding.

Last edited by ArizonaJim : 7th July 2015 at 00:24.
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