Sudden Battery Failure??? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 13 Old 03-13-2015, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Sudden Battery Failure???

Finally able to ride my bike here today and thought I would go for an afternoon ride. Turned out to be more of an adventure than I wanted though.

I got about 55 km from home (30 miles), stopped the bike and shut it off. Tried to restart a couple minutes later and had absolutely nothing. Hardly could see the neutral light. Tried to push the thing on a flat rode to bump start it. When I regained consciousness .........
I called Mrs. klr4evr and she came out with some tools and booster cables. Bike started instantly and I rode it home. Crap this is getting too familiar. Had this happen on my Goldwing last fall.

Got home, shut off bike and again it would't start. Got out my meter. I will now admit that me and a meter aren't exactly pals. Electrical is my least favourite thing to troubleshoot. I know enough to be dangerous. Battery showed about 12.5 volts with ignition off. Turned on ignition and the voltage dropped to 8.5V, without cranking the engine. I know it's not going to start with that. Brought out a booster battery and restarted the bike. Battery didn't seem to be taking a charge. Voltage steady at 12.5 and every once in awhile it would drop to 8.5 with motor running. Weird.

Removed battery and hooked up my old Goldwing battery with booster cables. On a side note I bought a new battery for the Wing but probably didn't need it. I removed my alternator to check the condition of the brushes only to find that one brush was sticking in it's holder. Voltage of battery was near 13V. Turned on ignition with no significant change. Hit starter and it dropped to about 11.5V. Running at 2000RPM and it's reading 14V so I think my charging system is fine.

I'm about to order a replacement battery based on my findings unless someone with more electrical expertise sees something I am missing.

don't know what to buy. The failed battery is an AGM and is about 4 years old. My OEM Yuasa wet cell lasted me 7 years so I'm not impressed with the/ this AGM. There is this Made in China written on it that has me thinking I should spend more of my wife's money.

If you read this far good on you. Advice appreciated.

.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #2 of 13 Old 03-13-2015, 08:41 PM
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Sounds like the battery is kaput to me as well... I've had good luck with the AGM's, but I've only been using them for a couple of years, I have Deka's in both my KLR and Wing.

I can't see any problem with using a wet cell battery if you've had good luck with them in the past. I went AGM because I kind of forget to check the electrolyte level until I have problems with them... Lol.

On a side note, not sure how your 1500 is set up, but on my old 1200 Aspy the battery is super easy to get to and runs sideways with both terminals facing out. Easy to get to for service and checking fluid (or boosting). Why can't the KLR be like that?

Edit: Forgot to mention, I have had a car battery that was relatively new suddenly crap out. I suspected an internal short, but I don't know if that's what it really was.


Last edited by 650Stew; 03-13-2015 at 08:53 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 03-13-2015, 09:04 PM
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Why not . . . go for one of the new-technology, LITHIUM batteries!

Shorai has 'em (available in US Cycle Gear stores; don't know about Canadian availability).

75% lighter than lead-acid batteries; no sulfating; holds voltage tenaciously while on-the-shelf, or when the bike sits unused for long periods of time.

Try one out, and report to us how compatible it is with the KLR charging system, etc. Be our guinea-pig!
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-14-2015, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damocles View Post
Why not . . . go for one of the new-technology, LITHIUM batteries!

Shorai has 'em (available in US Cycle Gear stores; don't know about Canadian availability).

75% lighter than lead-acid batteries; no sulfating; holds voltage tenaciously while on-the-shelf, or when the bike sits unused for long periods of time.

Try one out, and report to us how compatible it is with the KLR charging system, etc. Be our guinea-pig!
These would be seriously tempting, but aren't they crazy expensive? Lol, could probably buy about 6 wet cell batteries for the price of one Lithium

Edit: Just had a peek, I guess not 6 wet cells for the price of one Lithium... I thought they were around $400
http://aviciouscycle.ca/MainPages/pr...productid=5051


Last edited by 650Stew; 03-14-2015 at 12:28 AM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-14-2015, 05:20 AM
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To me, the fact that your original wet battery lasted 7 years and your AGM lasted 3 years says it all. It's been my experience that, buy what you will, you never know how long any battery is going to last: they just have a mind of their own.

I suppose the EVO highlighted by Stew isn't the only one out there, but I wonder how important the $100 "Balance Charger" that "greatly extends the life of the battery" is? Would buying one be a necessity to extend the life of the battery to where the original purchase price of both items is worth it?

I don't think I'd mess with the lithium battery for that reason and because since it's not of the same dimensions as the stock battery size, you'd have to craft up some kind of holding/tiedown arrangement.

When my current Deka craps out (only 1 year in use so far) I'll most likely replace it with another mat battery and if it lasts 4 years I'd be happy with that considering the price and convenience of never having to mess with it. Like Stew, I always forget to check the water in a wet battery.



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post #6 of 13 Old 03-14-2015, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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I definitely don't want to go back to a wet cell. The reason my OEM battery probably lasted as long as it did was that I was reasonably diligent about it's maintenance but I hated it. As Stew mentioned my Goldwing battery is much easier to get at and remove. However the air filter is a much different story.

Love to try the Lithium battery but I'd have to set up a Crowd Funding event to pay for it. The battery that died was a Made in China AGM. Think I'll go back to Yuasa.

My Kaw Barn - 2004 KLR, 2006 Concours (sold), 1997 Bayou 400.

"It's a friggen motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The wind noise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you shit your pants every now and then. "

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post #7 of 13 Old 03-14-2015, 10:27 AM
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I've had two PC Odyssey batteries, one in an R1100S BMW and one in my KLR and both have been nothing but heavy and reliable.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-14-2015, 05:52 PM
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I don't think you can go wrong with a Yuasa. The wife's Honda 4-wheeler has a Yuasa battery in it. It had sat out in the cold in the shed all Winter because I was too lazy to remove it. After 4 months out there, I hooked the Battery Tender up to it and within 20 minutes it was indicating a full charge.



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post #9 of 13 Old 03-14-2015, 09:55 PM
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planalp,
Is that an original "Battery Tender Plus!" 1.25 amp or a Battery Tender Jr., 750mA?
Are you saying a "steady Green Light" in 30 minutes or less?

The reason I ask, is because it takes my "Battery Tender Plus!" for GEL/AGM batteries, a full 8 hours to make up its mind on a FULL Charge on every battery, in every bike, on my show-room floor, every month!
I try to remember to rotate to the next bike Morning and Night.
A little of my time is cheaper than New Batteries.

pdwestman
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Still riding my 1987 KL650-A1. 85,000+ miles & counting
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-15-2015, 07:51 AM
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It's the Battery Tender Plus! The Honda battery is the only battery I have where I get a steady green light in that short a time. The Deka AGM in the KLR, about a year old, takes on average about an hour to get a steady green. I usually hook it up once a month when the KLR is sitting. My lawnmower batteries, which are older, take several hours if they sit unused for a couple of months.

The larger, older lawnmower batteries will stay on Steady Red for a long time, but with the newer Honda and KLR batteries, it goes straight to Blinking Green.



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