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Hotrod

Slow starting 9T

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Hotrod

I've searched but can't find an answer....

My 2015 NineT engine is slow to turn over, it has never failed to fire and when it does the red battery symbol on the dash stays on for a good 5-6 seconds. It a replacement stock battery that is less than two years old. It holds 12.55-volts after sitting for a couple days and when I crank it, the voltage drops to about 9.5volts. I removed and had the battery tested by my dealer and it passed, at least by enough to deny a warranty replacement. I cleaned up all the contacts when I had the battery out so it shouldn't be a physical contact issue, at least not in that area. The motor spins much faster after an hour ride, ie: battery changed and engine warm.

I also have a 2011 R12RT with a 4-year old Odyssey. I holds 12.85-volts and drops to 9.9-volts when cranking but turns much faster.

While I've not totally ruled out the battery being weak. I've read about wiring harness issues, is this a symptom of that and if so, where should I look for an issue or how do I test?

Thoughts??

Thanks!

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wbw6cos

Did you also check the other cable connections?  Starter?  Frame ground?

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Hotrod

@wbw6cos  Yes, everything is good and tight. 

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Skywagon

I suspect DR, Andy, and some others with more knowledge will weigh in, but from what I remember battery cranking below 10V is considered not good.  I suspect your RT battery won't fit, but could you swap them and see if it changes.  You don't have to mount it all just connect the wires.  Try to start both bikes with the swap.

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Hotrod

Thought about that too, the 9T battery is under the tank and a major PITA to get to. Tomorrow I'll try jumping the 9T with the RT with the RT NOT running. 

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Hosstage

You could also jump it with your car battery, car not running. If it fires/spins much better, the battery is suspect.

Do you use a battery tender? I find that mine starts much better when I've had the tender on it.

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szurszewski

I had a friend’s bike in the garage last winter getting it ready to ship to Hawaii. I believe it was a 2014 (with only 1200 miles on it!) but I think essentially identical to yours. Had the same issue, and would also drain the battery down if left parked for more than a few days. A new battery made it better, as did jumping it from a pack or car battery - but it was still not turning over like you’d expect. The internet lead me to believe it was a fairly common R9T issue, but the dealer of course has never heard of such a thing. 
 

Eventually the drain over time was traced to his aftermarket LED combo brake/turn signal setup, and in the course of figuring that out lots of other connections and the main ground(s?) were checked and tightened. This also seemed to clear the slow cranking problem. So, while I don’t think the LED lights were related to that, I do suggest a check of the main wiring harness connections and particularly the grounds.

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szurszewski
5 hours ago, Hotrod said:

Thought about that too, the 9T battery is under the tank and a major PITA to get to. Tomorrow I'll try jumping the 9T with the RT with the RT NOT running. 


 

You don’t have to take the tank quite off, but it is a bit of hassle. My friend’s has the + lug on the starter and a - post on the cylinder on the same side. Hopefully you have the same setup for easy jumping. 

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dirtrider
10 hours ago, Hotrod said:

I've searched but can't find an answer....

My 2015 NineT engine is slow to turn over, it has never failed to fire and when it does the red battery symbol on the dash stays on for a good 5-6 seconds. It a replacement stock battery that is less than two years old. It holds 12.55-volts after sitting for a couple days and when I crank it, the voltage drops to about 9.5volts. I removed and had the battery tested by my dealer and it passed, at least by enough to deny a warranty replacement. I cleaned up all the contacts when I had the battery out so it shouldn't be a physical contact issue, at least not in that area. The motor spins much faster after an hour ride, ie: battery changed and engine warm.

I also have a 2011 R12RT with a 4-year old Odyssey. I holds 12.85-volts and drops to 9.9-volts when cranking but turns much faster.

While I've not totally ruled out the battery being weak. I've read about wiring harness issues, is this a symptom of that and if so, where should I look for an issue or how do I test?

Thoughts??

Thanks!

Morning Hotrod

 

You have a difficult diagnostic over the internet as there are a number of possibilities as well as possible problem combinations that could be causing your starting problem. 

 

The first, & probably the most important, is to eliminate a basic low output battery problem.  That 12.55v is on the low side for a fully charged full capacity AGM battery.  But might not be quite low enough to say that the battery is the smoking gun.

 

That 9.5v cranking voltage is telling you that something is wrong though.  That might mean a low output battery, or some resistance in the starting circuit wiring, or very thick cold engine oil, or a combination of things. 

 

So lets start by verifying the engine oil that you are using what is it's viscosity/type? 

 

How cold was the engine at starting attempt  when you measured the 9.5v?

 

A good starting point is to jump the starting battery with another fully charged battery (you will have battery post access problems on the  NineT so you might be able to add the second battery (+) connection at the starter BIG cable post on the starter &  the (-) connection at a clean chassis or engine connection. --- If this helps the cold  starting then you probably need a new battery. (or at least  put a new battery in that motorcycle to do the other tests).

 

If the 2nd  (jumper) battery added in doesn't get it cranking correctly cold  then (Personally) I would do a cold cranking voltage drop test on the  (+) battery cable (between the battery (+ post)  & starter big (+ stud)-- see how much voltage drop you measure on that cable & connections during cold cranking.

 

Next, I would do a cold cranking voltage drop test on the  (-) battery cable (between the battery (- post) & the starter metal housing -- see how much voltage drop you measure on the (-)  cable & connections during cold cranking. 

 

The voltage drop test will yea or nay the bike's cables & connections-- If both (+) & (-) cable voltage drop tests test good then you don't need to chase anything more in that area.

 

When did your slow cranking first appear????????-- That might tell us something about what brought the slow cranking on. Did it appear in cooler weather?, or after the motorcycle was stored, or after an oil change???? Or when??????

 

Bottom line-- You want to get your cold engine cranking voltage above 10v, then if still slow cold cranking address the root cause of that.  

 

Even with the lower cranking voltage & slower engine cranking you might get it to fire off quicker if you try holding the throttle at about 1/8 open during cold starting.  

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Hotrod
6 hours ago, Hosstage said:

You could also jump it with your car battery, car not running. If it fires/spins much better, the battery is suspect.

Do you use a battery tender? I find that mine starts much better when I've had the tender on it.

 

I have used both a Battery Tender Jr. as well as the BMW CanBus specific charger on it. It does turn slightly faster after having been on either but still not right.

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Hotrod

@dirtrider 

So lets start by verifying the engine oil that you are using what is it's viscosity?

The motor oil was changed by dealer prior to me purchasing it, the receipt says BMW Advantec 15/40, less than 2000 miles on the oil, about 8,500 miles on the bike. 

 

CLUE: In reviewing the service records it appears this is the 4th battery in this bike including the one from Berlin so it appears the bike has an issue or BMW batteries are total crap... 

 

When did your slow cranking first appear????????-- That might tell us something about what brought the slow cranking on.

It has been going on for a couple months, I think it is getting progressively worse which led me to taking the battery out and to the dealer for a warranty replacement. They ran it on the BMW tester and said PASSED. 

 

Did it appear in cooler weather? 

I am in SW FLA so cold temps are in the high 80's at best.

 

Or after the motorcycle was stored

No, bike ridden once or twice a week. 

 

I will report back later with results of the tests you outlined, I do have a GS911 if that has any ability to help. 

 

Thanks! 

 

Rod

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dirtrider
14 minutes ago, Hotrod said:

@dirtrider 

So lets start by verifying the engine oil that you are using what is it's viscosity?

The motor oil was changed by dealer prior to me purchasing it, the receipt says BMW Advantec 15/40, less than 2000 miles on the oil, about 8,500 miles on the bike. 

 

CLUE: In reviewing the service records it appears this is the 4th battery in this bike including the one from Berlin so it appears. 

 

When did your slow cranking first appear????????-- That might tell us something about what brought the slow cranking on.

It has been going on for a couple months, I think it is getting progressively worse which led me to taking the battery out and to the dealer for a warranty replacement. They ran it on the BMW tester and said PASSED. 

 

Did it appear in cooler weather? 

I am in SW FLA so cold temps are in the high 80's at best.

 

Or after the motorcycle was stored

No, bike ridden once or twice a week. 

 

I will report back later with results of the tests you outlined, I do have a GS911 if that has any ability to help. 

 

Thanks! 

 

Rod

Morning  Hotrod

 

If you are riding it once a week then you might try with no battery charger/tender on the battery. If your BMW CanBus era battery charger is from the old GEL battery era BMW then it might not have a high enough output to FULLY charge your NineT AGM battery. Same with your Battery Tender, if it isn't AGM rated.  (at least verify that either or both chargers are AGM rated)

 

The wrong charger can actually sulfate the battery lowering it's max cranking output (probably would still pass a dealer hand held batter test though as those things are not that accurate on a mildly sulfated battery)

 

 

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Hotrod

As a rule I never use a tender as a tender, just when a battery is low. I will check the part number on the BMW, I bought it back in 2006 for a HexHead GS. 

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TEWKS

I think the Tender will only tend to the battery if it’s hooked up when the bike isn’t in use (obviously :grin:) for more than a day or so. I was told they wouldn’t charge a low battery.

 

Gonna jinx myself here but, mine are plugged in every time the bikes are in the garage and I’ve had very good battery luck/life. :thumbsup:

 

 

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Hotrod
7 minutes ago, TEWKS said:

I think the Tender will only tend to the battery if it’s hooked up when the bike isn’t in use (obviously :grin:) for more than a day or so. I was told they wouldn’t charge a low battery.

 

Gonna jinx myself here but, mine are plugged in every time the bikes are in the garage and I’ve had very good battery luck/life. :thumbsup:

 

 

 

I try to ride my bikes enough to keep the batteries healthy, perhaps not at 100% though...  

 

The BMW charger is 71 60 7 688 865, it doesn't say so but a quick google search it appears that it is an AGM charger. 

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dirtrider
15 minutes ago, Hotrod said:

 

I try to ride my bikes enough to keep the batteries healthy, perhaps not at 100% though...  

 

The BMW charger is 71 60 7 688 865, it doesn't say so but a quick google search it appears that it is an AGM charger. 

Morning Hotrod

 

I just looked up your BMW  71 60 7 688 865 in my charger usage bulletin & it does show OK to use on (installed AGM through the onboard power socket),  or on uninstalled AGM batteries. So you should be good to go on that charger. 

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Hotrod

@dirtrider

 

I have a few more answers, I consolidated everything into your first post to make it easier for you to review and others who may stumble on this in the future to help diagnose their own issues... 

 

------- 

You have a difficult diagnostic over the internet as there are a number of possibilities as well as possible problem combinations that could be causing you starting problem. 

 

The first & probably the most important is to eliminate a basic low output battery problem.  That 12.55v is on the low side for a fully charged full capacity battery.  But might not be quite low enough to say that the battery is the smoking gun.

 

I charged the battery today using the BMW charger until it completed the cycle and lights were green. 

The fully changed voltage was 12.72-volts with the switch in off position

The fully charged voltage was 12.43-volts with the switch in on position

The voltage with the bike idling was 14.5-volts

 

That 9.5v cranking voltage is telling you that something is wrong though.  That might mean a low output battery, or some resistance in the starting circuit wiring, or very thick cold engine oil, or a combination of things. 

When I attempted to start after charging, the starter engaged but didn’t turn the motor, the battery voltage dropped to 7.3-volts. I continued to hold the start button and once the motor started to turn the voltage increased to 9.5-volts.

 

So lets start by verifying the engine oil that you are using what is it's viscosity?

The motor oil was changed by dealer prior to me purchasing it, the receipt says BMW Advantec 15/40, less than 2000 miles on the oil, about 8,500 miles on the bike. 

 

How cold was the engine at starting attempt when you measure the 9.5v?

I am in SW FLA so cold temps are in the high 80's at best.

 

A goo starting point is to jump the starting with another fully charged battery (you will have battery post access problems on the  NineT so you might be able to add the second battery (+) connection at the starter BIG cable post on the starter &  the (-) connection at a clean chassis or engine connection. --- If this helps the cold  starting then you probably need a new battery. (or at least  new battery in that motorcycle to do the other tests).

 

If the 2nd  (jumper) battery added in doesn't get it cranking correctly cold  then (Personally) I would do a cold cranking voltage drop test on the  (+) battery cable (between the battery (+ post)  & starter big (+ stud)-- see how much voltage drop you measure on that cable & connections.

I connected my ’11 RT with an Odyssey PC680 (I think) using motorcycle jumper cables, they are 8  10 gauge wire and like new condition. The voltage with the switch off was 12.71-volts. The voltage dropped to 10.13 while cranking, the motor spun but not as freely as my RT does normally.

 

Next, I would do a cold cranking voltage drop test on the  (-) battery cable (between the battery (- post) & the starter metal housing -- see how much voltage drop you measure on the (-)  cable & connections. 

Fortunately there is a + lug to the rear of the seat but unfortunately I am unable to access the battery negative without removing or at least lifting the tank and that beotch is almost full…. 

 

The voltage at the starter is 12.73-volts going between the + and – on the starter as well as from the starter + to the motor and starter – and the battery +.

 

The voltage drop test will yea or nay the bike's cables & connections-- If both (+) & (-) cable voltage drop tests test good then you don't need to chase anything in that area.

 

When did your slow cranking first appear????????-- That might tell us something about what brought the slow cranking on. It has been going on for a couple months, I think it is getting progressively worse which led me to taking the battery out and to the dealer for a warranty replacement. They ran it on the BMW tester and said PASSED.

 

Did it appear in cooler weather?

I am in SW FLA so cold temps are in the high 80's at best.

 

Or after the motorcycle was stored

No, bike ridden once or twice a week.

 

Bottom line-- You want to get your cold cranking above 10v, then if still slow cold cranking address the root cause of that.  

 

Even with the lower cranking voltage & slower engine cranking you might get to fire off quicker if you try holding the throttle at about 1/8 open during cold starting.  

 

Thank you again for your time. 

 

 

Edited by Hotrod
Correct jumper wire size

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dirtrider

 

Quote

 

Next, I would do a cold cranking voltage drop test on the  (-) battery cable (between the battery (- post) & the starter metal housing -- see how much voltage drop you measure on the (-)  cable & connections. 

Fortunately there is a + lug to the rear of the seat but unfortunately I am unable to access the battery negative without removing or at least lifting the tank and that beotch is almost full…. 

 

The voltage at the starter is 12.73-volts going between the + and – on the starter as well as from the starter + to the motor and starter – and the battery +.

 

Evening Hotrod

 

You need to measure the voltage drop with the starter cranking, it needs to be well under .5 Volts cranking.

 

Your "after charge cranking" of 7.3-volts  shows that your battery isn't preforming under starter load OR, that your starter is drawing way too much current.

 

I connected my ’11 RT with an Odyssey PC680 (I think) using motorcycle jumper cables, they are 8 gauge wire and like new condition. The voltage with the switch off was 12.71-volts. The voltage dropped to 10.13 while cranking, the motor spun but not as freely as my RT does normally.-- This MIGHT be telling you something. It tells you that during THIS starting test the added battery gave it enough cranking current at enough voltage. If it repeats this on a cold engine after the motorcycle has sat overnight then that pretty well points to your (now-in-motorcycle) battery is not up to the starting task. If it again cranks slow even with the 2nd battery connected then  I would look into a failing starter or resistance in the battery cables/connections.

 

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Hotrod

@dirtrider   Thanks for the input, I had thought about swapping the starter off my RT to the 9T but my wife and I are taking the RT to the Carolinas at the end of next week so I'm not gonna mess with it until I get back home....

 

Can you elaborate on the process I should use to do this?  You need to measure the voltage drop with the starter cranking, it needs to be well under .5 Volts cranking.

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dirtrider
11 hours ago, Hotrod said:

@dirtrider   Thanks for the input, I had thought about swapping the starter off my RT to the 9T but my wife and I are taking the RT to the Carolinas at the end of next week so I'm not gonna mess with it until I get back home....

 

Can you elaborate on the process I should use to do this?  You need to measure the voltage drop with the starter cranking, it needs to be well under .5 Volts cranking.

Morning Hotrod

 

Basically you need to parallel the battery cables from the battery posts to the starter. Then push the starter button to load the circuit. 

 

Test (1)-- put voltmeter (+) lead on battery (+) post & put voltmeter (-)  lead on starter's big cable stud-- then read meter while cranking.  

 

Test (2)-- put voltmeter (-) lead on battery (-) post & put voltmeter (+)  lead on starter housing (or on starter retaining bolt head)-- then read meter while cranking.  

 

With absolutely prefect cables with 0 resistance, & perfect 0 resistance connections,  then the  cables & connections would carry ALL the current so the meter would show 0 voltage drop. But this never happens in the real world so you will show some voltage drop from battery to starter.  The lower the voltage drop then the lower the cable & connection resistance).  

 

If both Positive & Negative voltage drop reads <.3 Volts then all is good, if one reads .3 volts & the other reads .6 volts then you have an issue in the .6 volt circuit.

 

GG6kWHU.jpg

 

 

 

 

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Hotrod

Okay, got the tank off and to the battery, what a PITA....   Starting voltage at battery with switch off was 12.68-volts

 

Basically you need to parallel the battery cables from the battery posts to the starter. Then push the starter button to load the circuit. 

 

Test (1)-- put voltmeter (+) lead on battery (+) post & put voltmeter (-)  lead on starter's big cable stud-- then read meter while cranking.  6.3-volts

 

Test (2)-- put voltmeter (-) lead on battery (-) post & put voltmeter (+)  lead on starter housing (or on starter retaining bolt head)-- then read meter while cranking.   9.8-volts

 

With absolutely prefect cables with 0 resistance, & perfect 0 resistance connections,  then the  cables & connections would carry ALL the current so the meter would show 0 voltage drop. But this never happens in the real world so you will show some voltage drop from battery to starter.  The lower the voltage drop then the lower the cable & connection resistance).  

 

If both Positive & Negative voltage drop reads <.3 Volts then all is good, if one reads .3 volts & the other reads .6 volts then you have an issue in the .6 volt circuit.

 

After about 20 seconds of cranking the battery will not turn the motor over. The voltage at the battery was then 12.2-volts with switch off and 5.5-volts cranking 

 

I removed and sprayed the ground on the motor with Corrosion X but it looked clean anyhow. I have ordered a new Yuasa battery. https://www.yuasabatteries.com/battery/gyz16h/?vehicle_type=motorcycle&vehicle_make=bmw&vehicle_year= and will re-test with a hot battery and report back. 

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dirtrider

Afternoon Hotrod

 

Are you sure that your voltmeter is working correctly. 

 

 9.8 volts + 6.3 volts = 16.1 volts voltage drop total in the starting circuit, that is WAY over the available battery voltage?

 

Is it possible that 9.8v is really .98 volts & the that 6.3 volts is really .63 volts? OR, possible that your meter was in the auto-mode & automatically switched to the Mv scale?  (makes way more sense)


I any case--  After about 20 seconds of cranking the battery will not turn the motor over. The voltage at the battery was then 12.2-volts with switch off and 5.5-volts cranking --   pretty well points to a bad battery. So you need to get a good battery in that motorcycle to do much more testing. Most likely a new battery will cure it's cold cranking woes. 

 

 

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Hotrod

@dirtrider  I am sure the meter is right however I have much less confidence in the operator of said meter....   :facepalm:

 

So what I did was:

+ voltmeter to + on battery and - on voltmeter to - starter lug and read voltage while pushing starter button. = 6.3v

- voltmeter to - on battery and + on voltmeter to + starter lug and read voltage while pushing starter button.  = 9.8v

 

Where did I go wrong?

 

Oh, after a couple hours to recover the battery was back at 12.4 v but will not turn the motor at all. New one is on its way from Amazon and should be here mid week at the latest. 

 

I want to thank you again for your time and help, you are a true asset to this board!! 

 

 

 

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dirtrider
15 hours ago, Hotrod said:

@dirtrider  I am sure the meter is right however I have much less confidence in the operator of said meter....   :facepalm:

 

So what I did was:

+ voltmeter to + on battery and - on voltmeter to - starter lug and read voltage while pushing starter button. = 6.3v

- voltmeter to - on battery and + on voltmeter to + starter lug and read voltage while pushing starter button.  = 9.8v

 

Where did I go wrong?

 

Morning Bob 

 

(+) on voltmeter to (+) on battery and (-) on voltmeter to (-) starter lug and read voltage while pushing starter button. = 6.3v

(-) voltmeter to (-) on battery and (+) on voltmeter to (+) starter lug and read voltage while pushing starter button.  = 9.8v

 

Needs to be___

 

(+) on voltmeter to (+) on battery and (-) on voltmeter to (+) starter CABLE lug on starter and read voltage while pushing starter button. = ???____

(-) voltmeter to (-) on battery and (+) on voltmeter to (-) starter CASE ground lug at starter and read voltage while pushing starter button.  = ???____

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9Mary7

I plug in my bikes to Tenders after every ride...... (except on the road of course) and have had very long life from them by doing that.

Also do it the cars left home when we go on vacation.... same good result.

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Skywagon

I’m always plugged in too. I change batteries every 4 years just as a precaution on bike cars boat airplane. Don’t like being stranded when ready to go

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Hotrod

Ahhh, got it now....   The battery didn't recover whatsoever overnight and will not turn the motor at all.  I'll report back with these numbers once I get the new battery installed. 

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Hotrod

@Skywagon   Same here for the most part. The reason I was doubting that it was a bad battery is that this will be the fifth new battery in a new to me 2015 bike and I had the battery tested by my dealer recently; it passed. I want to be sure there is not something causing premature death of the battery besides just crap BMW battery. This battery is still under warranty but I'm going to put a high capacity Yuasa in it.  Fingers crossed that it will take care of it for the duration. 

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Skywagon

Hotrod..  yes I’ve been following your post. Something is obviously wrong as no way should you should have that many batteries. On my prior 1150 I got mixed up on my records and ran a battery got 8 years. Keep after it. You’ll find the issue

 

PS. I only use AGM batteries

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dirtrider
3 hours ago, Hotrod said:

@Skywagon   Same here for the most part. The reason I was doubting that it was a bad battery is that this will be the fifth new battery in a new to me 2015 bike and I had the battery tested by my dealer recently; it passed. I want to be sure there is not something causing premature death of the battery besides just crap BMW battery. This battery is still under warranty but I'm going to put a high capacity Yuasa in it.  Fingers crossed that it will take care of it for the duration. 

Afternoon Hotrod

 

What battery charger were you using?  Your BMW charger seems to be correct but how about the battery tender? Continually using the wrong (low/wrong output) charger on an AGM battery can kill them in short time, especially if left connected for long periods.   

 

You don't need a nightly battery charge if the motorcycle is parked for a couple of weeks or less, especially if using a charger that isn't exactly correct for your battery. 

 

With your last battery passing the dealer load test but failing in the motorcycle that more points to a sulfation issue (that is EASILY caused by an incorrect battery charger). 

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Hotrod

DR, I have a Battery Tender Jr. too but have only used it a couple times on this bike, mostly just the atv's or gen; I primarily use the the BMW Charger. I'd put it on normally the day before I planned on riding because the slow turn condition and it would normally be green within an hour. I rarely ever use the charger on bikes previously, I think I've only charged my RT one time since putting the Odyssey in it in early 2016. What I don't know is how often the previous owner used a Tender or what type he had but he did mention that he had one and the bike came with the pigtail. 

 

I only have two bikes and try to ride them both enough to keep the batteries charged

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Hotrod

@dirtrider

I got a new battery and installed it this morning. Based on posted numbers below, it looks like everything is good with regards to the electrical and it is spinning like it should. 

 

Thanks again for your help!!

 

Quote

 

(+) on voltmeter to (+) on battery and (-) on voltmeter to (+) starter CABLE lug on starter and read voltage while pushing starter button. = .32

(-) voltmeter to (-) on battery and (+) on voltmeter to (-) starter CASE ground lug at starter and read voltage while pushing starter button.  = .31

 

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dirtrider
9 minutes ago, Hotrod said:

@dirtrider

I got a new battery and installed it this morning. Based on posted numbers below, it looks like everything is good with regards to the electrical and it is spinning like it should. 

 

Thanks again for your help!!

 

 

Evening Hotrod

 

Yes, those numbers look good. 

 

You might occasionally check your alternator output before, during, & after your next few rides just to verify proper alternator output (probably OK but knowing for sure will put your mind at ease) 

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Hotrod

I had 14.5v at idle with the old battery, what output range is acceptable?

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dirtrider
16 minutes ago, Hotrod said:

I had 14.5v at idle with the old battery, what output range is acceptable?

Evening Hotrod

 

That 14.5v looks pretty decent, as long as you see something close to that when you measure it a few times  then you should be good-to-go. (might be a little lower on a real hot engine but not much) 

 

You just need to eliminate any possibility that a fluctuating charging system output  is what killed your old batteries. 

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