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Battery dead or what?


Deek

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I installed a BlueSea fuse panel a few weeks ago. At the same time I got a new XM radio and connected it to the panel. I had to "gut" the cigarette plug on the XM and connect its innards to the panel as it requires 5, not 12 vdc. One thing about this SkiFi3 radio is it ALWAYS draws current until its internal battery is charged if there is current to it. The XM radio circuit has a 5 amp fuse on it. My fuse panel is fused with a 30 amp fuse, but it's directly off the battery - no relay. This was on purpose so the panel always has power for the XM and the air horn I plan to install soon.

 

I installed the fuse panel and XM radio one day then within the next 10 days or so took 2 rides to check it all out. Worked fine.

 

Then yesterday, after about a 10 day period of inactivity, I tried to start the bike. Dead. I mean NOTHING: no sound, no instrument lights. I checked the volts on the battery: 3.3 volts. Odd. I immediately suspected the XM radio. Tried to turn it on - nothing. Dead also. I then checked the fuses on the fuse panel and XM radio circuit - fine.

 

So, trying to figure this out. My first guess was the radio is defective. Nope. Tried it in my car with another power plug. Ok. Left the radio OFF the motorcycle.

 

After checking for tight connections at the battery, I connected a 12 volt, 6 am charger for maybe an hour. That got the volts on the battery to around 12.5, and the bike started. Went for a 2 hour ride without shutting down the engine, all on highways, RPMs over 3k 99% of the time. Refueled after 2 hours within .5 miles of home. Restarted fine. Rode up the driveway and promptly stalled the bike putting it into the garage. Restarted fine. Wife came out and hollered at me; couldn't hear her so shut off the engine. Tried to restart.....nope. Clicked and saw lights, but not enough juice to do a 3rd restart after a 2 hour ride. (Shouldn't a two hour ride fully charge the battery enough for 3 restarts?)

 

Something is not right. Another issue is I do not know for sure if I have a Gel or lead acid or Outer Space battery.

 

I need help. My plan is to:

1. Physically or electrically remove the BlueSea fuse panel from the bike

2. Get the battery back to 12.5 volts or so; top it off.

3. Not ride the bike for 10 days, and during that time check the batteries voltage daily, looking for a drop

 

I THINK the problem is something drawing down the battery, but I have no clue what it would be. But that doesn't seem like the whole answer because of the problems I had with 3 restarts within minutes of a 2 hour ride. The culprit may not even be related to the fuse panel addition or the radio, but they seem the logical suspects, agreed?

 

Ideas or suggestions?

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Sounds like a bad battery to me,,,Shorted cell,,,Charge the batt and take it to any auto store and have them load test it,,, Start with the basics,,

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After confirming the battery is ok start looking at what you just added.

 

Leave the fuse panel in but remove any new connections and then add them one at a time checking their current draw each time.

 

I have a centech panel on my bike but it is activated via relay.

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That 5V circuit you gutted will continue to draw power whether connected to the radio or not. If your battery is original it is a Gel battery for the RT. Over a 10 day period it will draw down the battery. That circuit needs to be on a relay or manual switch to disconnect when not in use.

As stated a load test will determine if you now need a new battery.

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After confirming the battery is ok start looking at what you just added......Leave the fuse panel in but remove any new connections.....centech panel on my bike but it is activated via relay.

 

I only added the BlueSea and the one circuit for the XM radio. So that is where I am now: the XM circuit is open (circuit breaker removed) and the Blue Sea fuse panel is still connected with its 30 amp CB.

 

I may have to go with the replay, but I really want to keep this panel always on. But if that XM draws power all the time that is obviously not gonna work. So I'll need to find a solution to it, either by using a relay on the fuse panel or maybe just for the XM circuit. Part of the reason I have avoided a relay for this panel is the added complexity.......the more connections the more the chance for a bad connection!

 

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"..Charge the batt and take it to any auto store and have them load test it.."

 

A good idea and I suppose I need to do that. I have been told the battery in a 2006 1200RT could be a Gel or lead acid. I suspect it's a Gel mainly because my bike is a late 2006 manufacture according to he dealer.

 

I need to get a dedicated Gel type battery charger and/or Battery Tender. Any suggestions? I've used a BT for my other bikes on an irregular basis, like during the winter when I don't ride as much. But I have never needed to charge a motorcycle's battery until the other day. I don't think a BT will charge a battery really down like one with 3.5 volts, will it?

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Derek, I had a similar problem about 2 months ago. My new AGM(6 months old) was dead 2 days after i rode 600 miles. I replaced it with my spare battery and it became dead in 2 days.

Talked to a BMW techie and they haven't seen this symptom before. He did say that the battery should draw about 2.6 milliamps while static. I put a current meter (in series)on it and it drew 2.4 MA. Recharged my AGM amd it has started perfectly for the last 6 weeks. I ride almost daily. I dunno what I did but juggling the cables around may have helped or it is a phantom amomalie. It will pull current whilst sitting there! I guess the clock.

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. I don't think a BT will charge a battery really down like one with 3.5 volts, will it? ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,If the batt is still good and dose not have a shorted cell ,It should charge,,One way to find out,Pull the batt and put it on a charger for a day,,,

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IF you have a regular charger you can put a bulb (1157) in series whilst charging. This will cause a drop in the charging rate(voltage) for the AGM batteries. You can detect the rate by the glow of the bulb. When it is charged you can see the bulb slowly glow and then slowly go out etc. Worked for me!

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IF you have a regular charger you can put a bulb (1157) in series whilst charging. This will cause a drop in the charging rate(voltage) for the AGM batteries. You can detect the rate by the glow of the bulb. When it is charged you can see the bulb slowly glow and then slowly go out etc. Worked for me!

 

I may have to try that! I was reluctant to use my current Battery Tender as it's not specifically for the BMW Gel batteries. But I figure if it's only connected for a short time, under 2 hrs or so it probably is okay. I've been doing some research even trying to FIND one of the BMW Gel BT Jrs, but even at BatteryTender.Com they say their BT Jr (12 v @ 0 .75 amp) model is fine for AGM and gel cells. I cannot find a BT Jr made just for BMW gel batteries anywhere on the internet right now!

 

I do know the regular battery charger I used when the BMW battery was down to 3.3 volts was probably NOT a good one to use, but I was desperate. It's a 12v, 6 or 2 amp selectable. I used the 6 amp setting and it charged enough to start it after about an hour. However, I do not intend to use it again on this battery because I'm pretty sure that's not a smart thing to do - but I have no experience with gel batteries.

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