Sat for a few months, now runs like crap. - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 01-09-2011, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Rupert, Idaho
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Sat for a few months, now runs like crap.

Hi, My '08 KLR was parked inside around the middle of Novemeber. I've been starting it now then just to keep the gas in the bowl fresh. I let it go a few weeks it got really cold, and the place I keep it wintered has no insulation, and the battery went dead. I removed the seat and jumped it with the battery from my pickup, and I started it. But the tach won't work and once I let it run for a while and turned it off, the battery was totally dead still. The head light won't even turn on.

It never gave me any problems. The headlights and all, except the tach. work when it runs, and it idles really rough, backfiring a bit as I give it gas.

What do you all think? Will a totally shot battery cause that?

-Mike

Mike "Maddog" Mecredy
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-09-2011, 07:07 PM
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Check your battery acid level, if low fill with distilled water and charge. If the battery is still weak after a charge, get a new battery.

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post #3 of 10 Old 01-09-2011, 07:43 PM
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Check your battery terminals. You cannot visually determine a good connection, and "tight" connectors are only that: Tight. It is not an indicator that good connection is made. Pull 'em off, clean 'em up, pull the battery, thaw it out, check the fluid and charge it up slow if you can. It may be worth picking up an inexpensive trickle charger. It will extend the life of your batteries. What you describe sounds like a bad connection. Your battery may be fine.

******
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
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post #4 of 10 Old 01-09-2011, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Would the battery loosing a charge make the tach not register?

Mike "Maddog" Mecredy
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-10-2011, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Mecredy View Post
Would the battery loosing a charge make the tach not register?
No, not necessarily. But a bad battery terminal connection can and will.

Your car / truck battery is pretty much maintenance free these days. We don't hear much about automotive battery maintenance anymore. Used to be when you did a "service job" on your car, you changed the oil, topped off fluids, including the battery, cleaned the terminal ends, and hit the 14 grease zerks on the chassis. Motorcycle batteries fall victim to neglect mostly because they are so well hidden....out of sight, out of mind.

Today, Harry Car Owner has a maintenance free battery, and an out of work accountant changes his oil at the Lucky Lube. Most motorcycle batteries have not followed the automotive industry into the current century. Unless Joe Motorcycle Owner is satisfied with getting one riding season out of his bike battery, it may require a little maintenance effort on his part. Or the rider can trust the assessments of the commission motivated staff person at the shop they use for everything more technical than adding gasoline. These staff people will send you Christmas cards from the Caribbean out of gratitude. The more "professional" staff people do not include lines in their greeting that mention that their trip was made possible by your ignorance.

Another thing about motorcycle batteries.....

An effective battery maintenance schedule begins before that day you hear that ride spoiling "click" when you hit the starter button, or more disturbing, nothing at all. To maintain a conventional motorcycle battery properly, check the levels of water and battery acid and top them off. Always use distilled to de-ionized water to avoid contamination. Periodic cleaning of terminals not only insures that power can flow to the starter, it will allow power to flow back in to the battery from the alternator. Even a maintenance free battery will have it's life span extended by periodic charging. Battery tender type battery maintainers are not frivolous investments.

In this case, this battery in Mike's KLR needs to be checked for charge or bad connection if he wants to salvage his battery. A battery which is fully discharged and left uncharged will sulphate and will not be able to retain or sustain a full charge for any length of time, even if you have been able to fully charge it. Allowing it to set uncharged is just signing it's death certificate.

Though rare, batteries can freeze and crack their cases. Little is sadder and more traumatic than watching a KLR rider reach into their pocket to pay for a new drive chain and swing arm because their's was eaten by battery acid from an unmaintained battery. The acid that drips from the swing arm and chain onto the concrete floor makes for an interesting non-skid surface, if there is a positive note to be found in this.

One other suggestion regarding winter storage I would offer would be to add some fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL, then fill the bike's fuel tank. Turn off the petcock and run your bike until it quits. In most of North America, the gasolines available to us are a minimum E10 ethanol blend, which can go sour in as little as 10 days and gum up your carburetor. Otherwise, there will be threads available and very active come spring regarding carburetor disassembly and removal of carburetor jets and the various cleaning methods of orifices and passageways.

******
“many a trip continues long after movement in time and space have ceased”- Steinbeck, [I]"Travels with Charlie"
[/I]
[IMG]http://i718.photobucket.com/albums/ww187/vatrader01/KLR%20mechanical/04e28c5e.jpg[/IMG]

[FONT="Century Gothic"][I]Sometimes your only available transportation is a leap of faith[/I] [/FONT]
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-11-2011, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the advice. Today I got a charger and fill each cell with distilled water. Each one only had a bout 1" in the bottom. I charged it up and installed it, it fired right up and ran like a top. I added a little fuel stabil to the tank , shut off the gas and ran it out. So in a few months when it warms up it'll be ready to go.

-Mike

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post #7 of 10 Old 01-15-2011, 04:29 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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dead tach

I left my heated gloves on and drained my battery totally and I got a jump at first my tach did not work I was scared I thoght I fried my tacch getting a jump from a hot box how ever on my way home after about 15 min it started to work agin
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-16-2011, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah it's wierd how just the battery connections effect to tach. I only had abut 1/2" of water in each cell. It's all good now. I though motor cycle batteries may have cuaght up with the maintenance free band wagon.

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post #9 of 10 Old 01-17-2011, 06:08 AM
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Running in a hot environment will dry a motorcyle battery out quicker than most realize. It has a smaller capacity for fluid and general is located behind the motor where it gets more heat. I use to check mine every 2 weeks when riding allot. I now have a gel battery. It is worth the extra dollars.
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post #10 of 10 Old 01-22-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Rupert, Idaho
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You'all are a wealth of info. I put some stabil in my gas and once i ran the old stuff out of the float bowl it just started running great. Thanks everyone. I always thought being a pretty good mechanic on Airplanes and cars, I knew everything. Bikes are a little different.

Mike "Maddog" Mecredy
Retired U.S. Air Force
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