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Discussion Starter #1
So in response to a recent thread concerning battery life I thought i'd start this one for a short battery discussion...

Personally I'm just starting to have battery issues... or what i BELIEVE to be battery issues (man i HOPE it's not the starter). Over the past year or so, my bike (XL2009L) has been hesitating upon depressing the START button after switchin her on and injecting the fuel. I would hit the switch and sometimes it would turn over once, think about it for a second, then turn over a few more times and start up. Other times it would fire right up. but LATELY, I've been occasionally getting a couple clicking sounds (reminiscent of a car trying to start whose battery is killed) and then it would fire.

A few days back I got the clicking sound.... and then nothing. tried again, a few more HORRIFIC clicking sounds, and then nothing. My buddy at the time suggested I left the key switched on but i swear on my mom's life I didn't. We then proceeded to push it down a hill (YES i was on it) in 3rd gear and pop the clutch, after a few tries it worked and she fired. Then again yesterday, click click click click...... then one turnover, and it fired. Getting a lil' unnerving to say the least.

My girlfriend told me to stop leaving it switched on, but then I smacked her up and told her to go finish the dishes (that was a joke, she'd probably beat the $h1t outta me if i did that... :spar) but seriously, i definitely didn't leave it on. I'm thinking it's a battery issue, bike has almost 10k on it, and is exactly 5 years old. I'm told that the battery life expectancy is about 5 years.

Any comments on battery life, starter problems, tips, tricks and suggestions as far as replacement and brands are concerned, WELCOME and SUPER helpful to all us n00bs!!
 

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So in response to a recent thread concerning battery life I thought i'd start this one for a short battery discussion...

Personally I'm just starting to have battery issues... or what i BELIEVE to be battery issues (man i HOPE it's not the starter). Over the past year or so, my bike (XL2009L) has been hesitating upon depressing the START button after switchin her on and injecting the fuel. I would hit the switch and sometimes it would turn over once, think about it for a second, then turn over a few more times and start up. Other times it would fire right up. but LATELY, I've been occasionally getting a couple clicking sounds (reminiscent of a car trying to start whose battery is killed) and then it would fire.

A few days back I got the clicking sound.... and then nothing. tried again, a few more HORRIFIC clicking sounds, and then nothing. My buddy at the time suggested I left the key switched on but i swear on my mom's life I didn't. We then proceeded to push it down a hill (YES i was on it) in 3rd gear and pop the clutch, after a few tries it worked and she fired. Then again yesterday, click click click click...... then one turnover, and it fired. Getting a lil' unnerving to say the least.

My girlfriend told me to stop leaving it switched on, but then I smacked her up and told her to go finish the dishes (that was a joke, she'd probably beat the $h1t outta me if i did that... :spar) but seriously, i definitely didn't leave it on. I'm thinking it's a battery issue, bike has almost 10k on it, and is exactly 5 years old. I'm told that the battery life expectancy is about 5 years.

Any comments on battery life, starter problems, tips, tricks and suggestions as far as replacement and brands are concerned, WELCOME and SUPER helpful to all us n00bs!!
Have your battery load tested, then you will know whats going on with it .


:coffee:
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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My Sporty wasn't an EFI, it developed this problem where it would fire right up I'd let her warm up, and go for a ride. Stop at the gas station, fuel it up, starter would spin fine, but no fire. Let it sit for a bit, then she'd fire right up. One day, I just about had enough of the "let him start his bike first then we can go" jokes.. Rode it home, pulled in the garage and began to duplicate the problem, sure enough, it was my battery. I had lots of battery issues with the bike, some my fault, some just a [email protected] battery. Here's some tell tale signs. Spins slower then it use to cold. When you fire it up, look at the headlight, is it a bit dimmer than usual. Does it get bright when you give it throttle? Don'ts---- do not buy a Sears Die Hard, they die easy. Follow installation instructions to the letter even for the battery, don't cut corners. Battery tenders do go bad, before blaming the battery, check your tender.
Also, when walking your bike, because the damn thing won't start again, just tell folks walking by, your conserving fuel. F.Y.I. When battling this issue... Do Not shut your bike off at a rail road crossing, waiting for the train to pass. Ride safe.
 

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Wayward Son
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Since this is dedicated to batteries.
A couple things I have read and been told time and time again by people of knowledge.

Any charging system, car or motorcycle is not meant to charge a dead\dieing battery.
Time and time again I hear of people doing this. Sure, if you drive\let the vehicle run long enough it may. But very likely at the cost of the life expectancy of the of the charging system.

If most of your rides are short, have the headlight on, stereo, any other lighting\ accessories plus the parasitic draw of an alarm, clock and preset radio stations, if bike is so equipped, the battery never has a chance to fully recharge from the big drain it takes to start the bike.
 

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Somebody needs to come out with a headlight / delay system that shuts off the headlight when starting the bike . Many cars have this feature all ready . Having the headlight on while trying to crank the bike puts a hell of a load on the battery unnecessarily !
 

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VA Fender Bender
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Somebody needs to come out with a headlight / delay system that shuts off the headlight when starting the bike . Many cars have this feature all ready . Having the headlight on while trying to crank the bike puts a hell of a load on the battery unnecessarily !
amen. starter running should = headlight off
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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Somebody needs to come out with a headlight / delay system that shuts off the headlight when starting the bike . Many cars have this feature all ready . Having the headlight on while trying to crank the bike puts a hell of a load on the battery unnecessarily !

Great idea, if you run your headlight circuit, through the starter switch so when its depressed it breaks the headlight circuit (would require a double contractor).... hmmm.:think
 

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Wayward Son
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Or go back to the way they used to build Harley's . With an on off switch for the headlight !
Do`t know how much or if the dash switches have changed.
There is a jumper that can be moved....................
 

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Hit it she goes boom
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Or go back to the way they used to build Harley's . With an on off switch for the headlight !
I'd forget to turn the thing on.
 

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Mine was doing the same thing and I just lived with it for a couple months. Then one day I went out and it did not start at all. Jumped it at work and the next day took the battery to the dealer and they load tested it and it was bad. Put new battery in and now the starter spins the motor like nothing before. Or I was use to the old battery going bad. Anyway it is the battery I'm sure. Remember this. Heat kills a battery pretty quick. In winter we think the battery is bad but it really just releases energy much more slowly.
 

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Somebody needs to come out with a headlight / delay system that shuts off the headlight when starting the bike . Many cars have this feature all ready . Having the headlight on while trying to crank the bike puts a hell of a load on the battery unnecessarily !
Now I don't know how the newer ones are wired, but on mine the ignition switch has 3 positions, off (yeah, no kidding!), on, and lights. It originally had a jumper wire across two terminals that caused the lights to be on in either the on or lights position. One of the first modifications I made was to cut the jumper so I can start it in the on position with no lights, then simply turn it to lights. That even came in real handy a couple years back when I was out on a trip and my regulator quit. Got the guy at a gas station near my motel to slow charge the battery overnight, then made it all the way home before the battery died by just riding with the lights off. No way I could have even got close if the headlight had been sucking power from the battery.

Maybe there's some way to do this on the newer ones too?
 

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Poser Member # 99
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Okay here's my 2 cents I believe you could be having a problem with your Starter relay . last year went thru the same thing checked to battery was marginal installed Agm maintenance free battery at 100.00 . I cleaned all connections a couple days later click click was a bad starter relay . For 10 bucks go to a auto parts after you find your relay and take it with you and ask for a GM H-d flasher relay it's the same pin configuration and same amp rating and will plug right in . It should solve your problem
this relays are hang in the carded replace hooks on one of the floor displays at Advanced auto part or a Oreillys . If you ask the counter person they probally wont have a clue what your asking For

GOOD LUCK
 

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Señor Member
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So in response to a recent thread concerning battery life I thought i'd start this one for a short battery discussion...



Personally I'm just starting to have battery issues... or what i BELIEVE to be battery issues (man i HOPE it's not the starter). Over the past year or so, my bike (XL2009L) has been hesitating upon depressing the START button after switchin her on and injecting the fuel. I would hit the switch and sometimes it would turn over once, think about it for a second, then turn over a few more times and start up. Other times it would fire right up. but LATELY, I've been occasionally getting a couple clicking sounds (reminiscent of a car trying to start whose battery is killed) and then it would fire.



A few days back I got the clicking sound.... and then nothing. tried again, a few more HORRIFIC clicking sounds, and then nothing. My buddy at the time suggested I left the key switched on but i swear on my mom's life I didn't. We then proceeded to push it down a hill (YES i was on it) in 3rd gear and pop the clutch, after a few tries it worked and she fired. Then again yesterday, click click click click...... then one turnover, and it fired. Getting a lil' unnerving to say the least.



My girlfriend told me to stop leaving it switched on, but then I smacked her up and told her to go finish the dishes (that was a joke, she'd probably beat the $h1t outta me if i did that... :spar) but seriously, i definitely didn't leave it on. I'm thinking it's a battery issue, bike has almost 10k on it, and is exactly 5 years old. I'm told that the battery life expectancy is about 5 years.



Any comments on battery life, starter problems, tips, tricks and suggestions as far as replacement and brands are concerned, WELCOME and SUPER helpful to all us n00bs!!

Are we talking about your 2009 with factory battery? My money is you just need a battery. As said before, get the old one load tested. If bad, replace.
 

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On the loose
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Advanced auto among others will load test it for free , you got nothing to loose having it checked out other than the time it takes , my bet is your battery is over with.
 

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Keep on Ridin’
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So in response to a recent thread concerning battery life I thought i'd start this one for a short battery discussion...

Personally I'm just starting to have battery issues... or what i BELIEVE to be battery issues (man i HOPE it's not the starter). Over the past year or so, my bike (XL2009L) has been hesitating upon depressing the START button after switchin her on and injecting the fuel. I would hit the switch and sometimes it would turn over once, think about it for a second, then turn over a few more times and start up. Other times it would fire right up. but LATELY, I've been occasionally getting a couple clicking sounds (reminiscent of a car trying to start whose battery is killed) and then it would fire.

A few days back I got the clicking sound.... and then nothing. tried again, a few more HORRIFIC clicking sounds, and then nothing. My buddy at the time suggested I left the key switched on but i swear on my mom's life I didn't. We then proceeded to push it down a hill (YES i was on it) in 3rd gear and pop the clutch, after a few tries it worked and she fired. Then again yesterday, click click click click...... then one turnover, and it fired. Getting a lil' unnerving to say the least.

My girlfriend told me to stop leaving it switched on, but then I smacked her up and told her to go finish the dishes (that was a joke, she'd probably beat the $h1t outta me if i did that... :spar) but seriously, i definitely didn't leave it on. I'm thinking it's a battery issue, bike has almost 10k on it, and is exactly 5 years old. I'm told that the battery life expectancy is about 5 years.

Any comments on battery life, starter problems, tips, tricks and suggestions as far as replacement and brands are concerned, WELCOME and SUPER helpful to all us n00bs!!
My bike is older than yours, but I've had a similar problem a couple of times and every time, it turned out to be loose cable connections. Once where the negative cable connected to the frame, and a couple of times the battery terminals themselves, positive and negative, had vibrated loose. Be sure to clean and tighten ALL connections regularly. I recently replaced both cables with new factory ones just for peace of mind.

The battery must be slow-charged with a battery charger to bring it up to full charge (12.7-12.8 volts) before you can accurately load test it. Riding it usually won't bring a very weak battery up to full charge unless it's a long trip. A battery tender has to sense at least 3 volts before it will even attempt to go into its charging mode.

You may indeed have a bad battery, but even if you replace it with a good quality unit, you should check the system for problems.

--
 

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Are there any new bikes that have the lights off option any more? I thought that was a safety requirement for all bikes now. Personally I have found for both cars and my bikes that a good battery tender will extend thebattery life, my klr's battery has lasted about 8 years and still going. Also has functions as a load tester on the battery. Found it to be a really good investment.


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hello again all,

I just took my battery off my bike, and ran it down to the nearest Advance Auto Parts to have it load tested. The guy behind the desk did his thing and reported that the battery was not only good, it was VERY good. So apparently the battery wasn't the problem. I wasn't satisfied, so i took it a few blocks down to the nearest NAPA Auto Parts... and they told me the same thing, battery is in tip top shape.

Well, i figured there was no need for a new battery based on this news, so here I am with the same conundrum. I ran it home, reinstalled, and she fired right up!

EXCEPT NOW... I have a check engine light that comes on after the bike is started. Stays on for about 5-6 seconds and goes off. This is not to be confused with the check engine light that comes on when you switch her on and inject the fuel, this occurs after the engine is running.

Am I choice-less but to bring it in to Harley at this point? Ugh....
 

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Señor Member
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No, don't give up yet. You changed (likely improved) connections and got results. A new CE light may be accompanied by a code this time. I'd check for codes first before bothering with anything else.
 

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On the loose
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Chiefs right , it may be a coincidental code from having the battery out like power failure , also you most likely had loose connections allowing enough current to flow for lights but not enough to turn a starter motor.
 
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