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Vapor Locked
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Discussion Starter #1
Bike is a 2011 XL1200 Custom Sportster

I used a FLUKE meter for all my testing.
Open Circuit Voltage is 13.0 volts
Key on ready to start is 12.5 volts
Idle speed charging system is 14.0 volts
Ohm value form negative battery post to primary cover case bolt is 1.1 Ohms

Not real scientific, but I can’t find anywhere on “How to determine If the battery is junk” so I came up with this. The Ohms from the negative battery post to the primary case bolt looks good to me (maybe I’m wrong). The drop in voltage while cranking is the problem I’m having as a (hold my breath) “slow crank at first then starts” (exhale and thank god I’m not stuck somewhere moment). It still has the original factory battery and it’s on a battery tender.

I started the bike eight times and the voltage range was 5.5 volts while cranking to 10 volts. Two times the voltage was 10 and it cranked well with no hesitation. The rest of the time the voltage was 6.5 to 5.5 volts and it cranked slow (hesitated) and started as always but recovered to 12.25 volts after the buttons was released.

“The Test”
I would turn on the key and let all lights go off, then start the engine for five seconds and record the lowest value as the engine was cranking on the FLUKE meter and turned the engine off for one minute and repeated eight times total (why eight times, I don’t know it’s a number I picked).

Question, Time for a new battery?

Thanks,
Grampa Kracker
 

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It does sound like a weak battery with the 5.5v cranking voltage.

Can have it load tested to confirm.
 

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Yep.
 

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Glad to be anywhere
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Mine was acting just like that until it got weaker and weaker with longer hesitations until it just went click and eventually wouldn't hold a charge or turn over at all.

The new batt works fine and cranks with authority. The hesitation at first crank is either completely gone or just a hint which I believe is normal.
 

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Keep on Ridin’
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Can the goofballs at Advance Auto test it?

Grampa Kracker
They can. But they are not techs, they are clerks who have been shown how to hook up the tester and run it. I could not put much faith in their interpretive capabilities. I would value your findings more than those.

The voltage drop to under 6 volts while cranking would convince me to replace the battery. My battery, an Interstate Cycletron, began to show signs of weakness after less than 3 years. Dropped to a little over 8 volts during cranking even after being fully charged to 12.9 volts. Did the same hold your breath drill. I ran through the charging system test and verified good output from the stator and v.reg. I replaced the battery with the premium battery from BatteriesPlus. 400 CCA, made by EastPenn (Deka). Hit the button and it cranks strong and starts instantly. Much better looking unit with good strong post mounts for the the cable terminals to mount to. They look more like golf cart battery terminals than the aggravating weak-ass, lawn tractor looking crap on the Interstate unit. It was more expensive, but absolutely worth the extra cost for the peace of mind.

Oh, yeah--it has a 24 month non-prorata nationwide warranty. Interstate's warranty was 6 months--I guess they know their product. Not really trying to bash. I use Interstate in my cages with great success and recommend them. But I will never use one in my bike again.

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Keep on Ridin’
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Yuasa seems to have a good reputation. I would just try to verify that the unit is an AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) type battery.

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I use a Yuasa battery and have had good luck with it.
Mine is a YTX battery, the GYZ is supposed to be better yet.

Forum Sponsor Rider's Discount has some great prices on batteries, may want to check with them

This link states that it is an AGM battery, and has flush terminals, so you should be good to go.


Page 5

www.yuasabatteries.com/pdfs/Yuasa_Specs_Apps_2014.pdf


Just make sure you buy from a vendor that has a fresh supply.

These come factory filled with acid, and if they sit on the shelf without being periodically charged, they can go bad.
 

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Retired citizen
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280 - 300 CCA. 240 is lower than the OEM battery.
 

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I'd fix the 1.1 ohm reading across the battery lead, first.

It should be just about zero. Likely why you get readings of 5.5 or 10 at different times. Either a bad connection or loose dirty stud/nut.
 

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Vapor Locked
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Discussion Starter #14
I'd fix the 1.1 ohm reading across the battery lead, first.

It should be just about zero. Likely why you get readings of 5.5 or 10 at different times. Either a bad connection or loose dirty stud/nut.
What is "About zero?" I tested from the post to the primary case bolt. How much lower should it be?

I'm going to clean the connection from the cable to the engine case and I'll report back with my findings. :)
Give me about a half hour.
 

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280 - 300 CCA. 240 is lower than the OEM battery.
The rubber mount Sportsters went to a smaller battery, which is a 200 CCA battery.

Previous to the rubber mount Sportsters, they used the same battery as the Softail, which was a 280 CCA battery.
 

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Vapor Locked
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Discussion Starter #16
Retest

I rechecked the Ohms and found my Fluke's leads would only go down to .3 Ohms. I always checked the leads before I use them to make sure they will zero out. I changed out the leads for new ones and retested. All values were good but the Ohms.
The connection from the battery to the primary case bolt is .1 to .2 Ohm. The negative cable tested at .1 to .2 Ohm. I quess it can get better.

Bike was on a battery tender.
OCV 13.16v
Key on ready to run 12.35v

I ordered a battery today. Time to replace. Battery was getting old and there is no need in trying to baby it for another year and get stuck somewhere.

Grampa Kracker
 

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What is "About zero?" I tested from the post to the primary case bolt. How much lower should it be?

I'm going to clean the connection from the cable to the engine case and I'll report back with my findings. :)
Give me about a half hour.
Assuming you touch the meter leads together, and the meter reads zero, then the battery lead to case should read about zero. In other words basically no resistance. If the meter reads a few thousands of an ohm, then the lead should read about the same. Only a few thousands difference. Maybe a hundredth or two no more. At 200 amps 1 ohm would theoretically drop 200 volts!!
Ohm's law: E=R x I So at the possible 200 amp draw the voltage would drop to about zero, then as the engine starts to turn over the voltage would climb, as the current draw is reduced.
That's why battery leads are large gauge wire. To minimize the voltage drop. The #6 or #4 wire used by H-D should measure about zero.
 

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Assuming you touch the meter leads together, and the meter reads zero, then the battery lead to case should read about zero. In other words basically no resistance. If the meter reads a few thousands of an ohm, then the lead should read about the same. Only a few thousands difference. Maybe a hundredth or two no more. At 200 amps 1 ohm would theoretically drop 200 volts!!
Ohm's law: E=R x I So at the possible 200 amp draw the voltage would drop to about zero, then as the engine starts to turn over the voltage would climb, as the current draw is reduced.
That's why battery leads are large gauge wire. To minimize the voltage drop. The #6 or #4 wire used by H-D should measure about zero.
It takes one volt to push one amp through one ohm .
 

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Harley Rider
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Sounds like the battery. You can always take it out and take to Auto Zone and have it load tested but it really shouldn't drop that low on cranking.
 
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