Battery Tender ? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 10:32 AM Thread Starter
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Battery Tender ?

Last year, I was able to just leave the thing plugged in all winter. This year no.

What I have been doing is every Friday, I connect to the battery tender and the light is red for a few seconds, flashes green for maybe a minute, then solid green. So, the battery is holding its charge. I leave it plugged in for probably 4 hours.

Sound OK?

The other option is to just leave it unplugged and then recharge in the spring.

Any ideas on which is best for the battery's long term health?

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post #2 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 10:34 AM
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You can plug it in once a month or two...
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post #3 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 11:18 AM
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If you are not riding I would just take the battery out of the bike and keep it plugged into the tender somewhere in the house .
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post #4 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 11:29 AM
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I keep mine in the house and top them off once a month or so, biweekly would probably be better. Lead acid batteries discharge over time and do not like being discharged and below the freezing temperature of water. Motorcycle batteries are optimized for light weight not excess cranking capacity like a tractor battery and thus do not put up with abuse well.

For example a friend bought a late 60s Ford 4500 Backhoe a few years ago. He's scared of the thing so it only gets run two or three times a season when me and Dad are over there. So it sits outside for months at a time in the lovely Ohio winter. We put in a new battery when he bought it and ever since then all it needed was to be left on the charger over night. This fall after 6 years of abuse it'd had enough and had to be replaced. I doubt a motorcycle battery in the same situation would last 3 years. Top it off twice a month and keep it warm and it'll last you 10 years.

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post #5 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by turn8a View Post
If you are not riding I would just take the battery out of the bike and keep it plugged into the tender somewhere in the house .
I agree. The cold is the worst thing for a battery. Simply bringing it in to the house will maybe double it's life. Pretty cheap way to save some bucks instead of getting a new one every 2 years or so. Those things cost to much!

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post #6 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:05 PM
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Service manual recommends giving it a refresh charge before you store the motorcycle, and store it with the negative cable removed. Give a refresh charge once a month during storage.
There is a slight difference in density between water and acid, and if the battery is allowed to sit idle for long periods of time, the mixture can separate into distinct layers with the water rising to the top which can freeze more easily, and the acid sinking to the bottom. This results in a difference of acid concentration across the surface of the plates, and can lead to greater corrosion of the bottom half of the plates.
Also, a lead acid battery discharges faster in warm temperatures. From 100% charged to 0% charged in about 100 days at 104F, 200 days at 77F, and 550 days at 32F (freezing point).
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post #7 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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You know, my battery may be pretty old. THe bike is an '04 bought in '05. I got it 1.5 years ago. Battery works perfectly, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is 6 years old. Maybe not - maybe the previous owner replaced it. What do stock Kawasaki batteries (in this case in a Vulcan) have written on them?

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post #8 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:20 PM
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I bought a Battery Tender under the impression it had an automatic shutoff on charging, once the battery was at the proper voltage. I was planning to leave mine on continuous over the next couple of months. Can I damage a battery that way? Doesn't sound right, don't see any warnings about leaving them plugged in?

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post #9 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by miblue View Post
I agree. The cold is the worst thing for a battery. Simply bringing it in to the house will maybe double it's life. Pretty cheap way to save some bucks instead of getting a new one every 2 years or so. Those things cost to much!
What?? Where did you come up with that? Heat is the worst thing for a battery, cold does nothing. In fact, the self discharge rate at 40deg and below is virtually nill, so batteries can winter over without self-discharging. On the otherhand, at 75degrees it will self discharge in about a month. This applies to all lead-acid batteries.

It can also be left in the bike, does not need to be removed, unless there is some parasitic draw if it's left connected. And certainly not be taken into the house where it's warm. Leave it in the garage where it's cool, put a charger on it once a month or test the voltage. Seems to me the 'Tender' product has an auto shut-off, so there's no problem leaving it on. Otherwise, a trickle charger that does not shut off will overcharge and damage a battery.

If you guys need some links to battery technology and care, I can dig up some sources, or just google your questions - the answers are out there.

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post #10 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:33 PM
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A friend of mine told me not to trust the battery tenders 'cause they can't charge the battery sufficiently if the voltage has dropped below a certain threshold. I don't know if I agree with him or not. The Yuasa tender I have seems to do a good job, but I never trust anything electronic, so I check it with a voltmeter, and if left plugged in all the time, it might be using extra electricity needlessly and/or cause a potential fire. Y'know what they say, better be safe than sorry.

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post #11 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:37 PM
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Element View Post
I bought a Battery Tender under the impression it had an automatic shutoff on charging, once the battery was at the proper voltage. I was planning to leave mine on continuous over the next couple of months. Can I damage a battery that way? Doesn't sound right, don't see any warnings about leaving them plugged in?
You are using the Battery Tender the correct way. That is why they call it a "TENDER"! It does the charging when needed, and does nothing when the battery is up to full charge. Reading the instructions is often helpful!
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post #12 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:44 PM
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Yeah I know the tenders have an auto-shut-off, but they are still sucking juice out of the wall socket if left plugged in. Same principal if you turn off a radio; it's still using power if plugged in. Turning of a switch off manually or electronically only stops power to the device, unless the switch is at the power like a light switch. On the topic of cold being bad for batteries, maybe it's the freezing of the water in the battery, I just know cold seems to take the life out of 'em.

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post #13 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 12:53 PM
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Originally Posted by alekkas View Post
Last year, I was able to just leave the thing plugged in all winter. This year no.
What changed from last year to this one where you can't leave it plugged in?

Worked last time.....and the intention of the Battery Tender.

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post #14 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:01 PM
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On the topic of cold being bad for batteries, maybe it's the freezing of the water in the battery, I just know cold seems to take the life out of 'em.
Although it discharges much more slowly in colder temperatures, a discharged lead acid battery freezes at a higher temperature.

% Charge / Specific Gravity/ Freezing point (F)
100 / 1.265 / -75
76 / 1.225 / -35
74 / 1.200 / -17
50 / 1.150 / 5
0 / 1.100 / 18
<0 / 1.050 / 27

The optimum performance temperature range for batteries is 60-80F. At these temperatures, the battery will perform at 100% of its rated capacity. As temperatures drop, battery longevity increases, but performance drops. At freezing (32F) some 65% of battery capacity can be utilized, but at 0F only 40 % is available.

Last edited by invader; 12-21-2010 at 07:45 AM.
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post #15 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:05 PM
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Yeah I know the tenders have an auto-shut-off, but they are still sucking juice out of the wall socket if left plugged in. Same principal if you turn off a radio; it's still using power if plugged in. Turning of a switch off manually or electronically only stops power to the device, unless the switch is at the power like a light switch. On the topic of cold being bad for batteries, maybe it's the freezing of the water in the battery, I just know cold seems to take the life out of 'em.
To begin with, when a battery tender has brought a battery to full charge and the green light comes on, it is only drawing enough current to keep the voltage monitor alive and the green LED on, maybe a few milliamps at most. You'll never notice it on your electric bill. Your TV set and computer draw over 10 times more when shut down. And I'll bet you don't unplug them, either.

Fully charged batteries DON'T freeze. But they put out less power as the temperature drops. That's why people in Alaska use battery warmers in their vehicles.

I have battery tenders on 4 motorcycles and a generator. They are used year-round. When I park a bike, it gets plugged in. This keeps them fully charged at all times and prevents the plates from sulphating. The generator battery is over 10 years old, and still OK. I get a minimum of 5 years service from bike batteries.

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post #16 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:11 PM
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To begin with, when a battery tender has brought a battery to full charge and the green light comes on, it is only drawing enough current to keep the voltage monitor alive and the green LED on, maybe a few milliamps at most. You'll never notice it on your electric bill. Your TV set and computer draw over 10 times more when shut down. And I'll bet you don't unplug them, either.

Fully charged batteries DON'T freeze. But they put out less power as the temperature drops. That's why people in Alaska use battery warmers in their vehicles.

I have battery tenders on 4 motorcycles and a generator. They are used year-round. When I park a bike, it gets plugged in. This keeps them fully charged at all times and prevents the plates from sulphating. The generator battery is over 10 years old, and still OK. I get a minimum of 5 years service from bike batteries.
+1
Couldn't have said it (didn't) better myself.

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post #17 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:38 PM
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80% of all battery failure is related to sulfation build-up. This build up occurs when the sulfur molecules in the electrolyte (battery acid) become so deeply discharged that they begin to coat the battery's lead plates.

Batteries like to be charged in a certain way, especially when they have been deeply discharged. This type of charging is called 3 step regulated charging. Please note that only special SMART CHARGERS using computer technology can perform 3 step charging techniques. The first step is bulk charging where up to 80% of the battery energy capacity is replaced by the charger at the maximum voltage and current amp rating of the charger. When the battery voltage reaches 14.4 volts this begins the absorption charge step. This is where the voltage is held at a constant 14.4 volts and the current (amps) declines until the battery is 98% charged. Next comes the Float Step. This is a regulated voltage of not more than 13.4 volts and usually less than 1 amp of current. This in time will bring the battery to 100% charged or close to it. The float charge will not boil or heat batteries but will maintain the batteries at 100% readiness and prevent cycling during long term inactivity.
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post #18 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 01:40 PM
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You are using the Battery Tender the correct way. That is why they call it a "TENDER"! It does the charging when needed, and does nothing when the battery is up to full charge. Reading the instructions is often helpful!
Thanks! I am getting eyestrain trying to see your avatar!

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post #19 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 03:02 PM
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To begin with, when a battery tender has brought a battery to full charge and the green light comes on, it is only drawing enough current to keep the voltage monitor alive and the green LED on, maybe a few milliamps at most. You'll never notice it on your electric bill. Your TV set and computer draw over 10 times more when shut down. And I'll bet you don't unplug them, either.

Fully charged batteries DON'T freeze. But they put out less power as the temperature drops. That's why people in Alaska use battery warmers in their vehicles.

I have battery tenders on 4 motorcycles and a generator. They are used year-round. When I park a bike, it gets plugged in. This keeps them fully charged at all times and prevents the plates from sulphating. The generator battery is over 10 years old, and still OK. I get a minimum of 5 years service from bike batteries.
Actually I do unplug the TV and computer. I hooked up one of those meter things that records power usage over a period of time and I was amazed to see how much juice was being consumed when the said device was "off". I've got 'em on a switched power bar now. If I can only get the kids to remember... Seriously, I've dropped my electric bill a noticeable amount - just in time for the jerks to raise the rates!

On another note, you guys have taken all the wind out of my sail. I was going to bring my V into the livingroom for the winter, so how am I gunna convince my wife now?

Good info being discussed

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Last edited by miblue; 12-10-2010 at 03:07 PM.
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post #20 of 45 (permalink) Old 12-10-2010, 03:20 PM
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On another note, you guys have taken all the wind out of my sail. I was going to bring my V into the livingroom for the winter, so how am I gunna convince my wife now?
Easy. Don't show her this..............

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