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Battery Tender not an accurate measurement of battery health

934 Views 33 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  fasteddiecopeman
Friday just after lunch I loaded up for an overnight trip to my daughter's ranch for my granddaughter's 7th birthday. Battery Tender Jr was lit solid green. About six miles south of town, it started to rain. I stopped to gear up for the rain. Turned the ignition back on and nothing. Couldn't hear the fuel pump run. Tach needle immediately jumped to 12k and fluttered. Nothing in the LCD display. I bought the 2019 650LT new and it still has the stock battery which is virtually always on a battery tender when parked in the garage. After walking four miles to obtain a cell signal, I was finally able to organize a rescue.

I suspected the battery was defective. Got the bike back home and a volt meter told me 12.7vdc. Plugged it into the Battery Tender and waited about two hours before the light lit solid green. Unplugged the harness and read the battery at 13.7vdc. Turned on the key and nothing. Just like before. Turned it off, reconnected the battery tender and waited for solid green again. Checked again and got 13.7vdc. Turned the key on, but this time I monitored the voltage. The moment I turned on the ignition, the voltage dropped and oscillated between 8vdc and 6vdc. The battery has no capacity to carry even the smallest load.

I am not interested in a lithium battery. I am considering a Duracell AGM battery rather than a Yuasa. Any thoughts?
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Friday just after lunch I loaded up for an overnight trip to my daughter's ranch for my granddaughter's 7th birthday. Battery Tender Jr was lit solid green. About six miles south of town, it started to rain. I stopped to gear up for the rain. Turned the ignition back on and nothing. Couldn't hear the fuel pump run. Tach needle immediately jumped to 12k and fluttered. Nothing in the LCD display. I bought the 2019 650LT new and it still has the stock battery which is virtually always on a battery tender when parked in the garage. After walking four miles to obtain a cell signal, I was finally able to organize a rescue.

I suspected the battery was defective. Got the bike back home and a volt meter told me 12.7vdc. Plugged it into the Battery Tender and waited about two hours before the light lit solid green. Unplugged the harness and read the battery at 13.7vdc. Turned on the key and nothing. Just like before. Turned it off, reconnected the battery tender and waited for solid green again. Checked again and got 13.7vdc. Turned the key on, but this time I monitored the voltage. The moment I turned on the ignition, the voltage dropped and oscillated between 8vdc and 6vdc. The battery has no capacity to carry even the smallest load.

I am not interested in a lithium battery. I am considering a Duracell AGM battery rather than a Yuasa. Any thoughts?
Dang, that stinks. Dumb question, did you check the battery cable connections at the battery terminal? Nice and tight? Sounds like high impedance somewhere. The Yuasa batteries I use have typically been very reliable and lasted many years but that does not mean batteries don't fail. Good luck.
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The Yuasa AGM in my Honda Shadow has 9 riding seasons under its belt.
The battery has seen a couple of regulator/rectifiers in its life though.
It is ridden 8 months of the year a couple of times a week and is kept on a CTEK maintainer/charger in the 4 month off season.
My Versys battery whatever brand it is, is too young to worry about except in the off-season and then it's on a Tecmate maintainer/charger.
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I've had the same branded "battery tender" for 14 years on 5 different bikes with no failure. If I don't ride at least one day a week I plug it in
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The battery has been pushed beyond it service life. if its stock battery 2019 and its 2023 now, that's 3 years plus which is about the service life of a battery weather its on tender or not.
To avoid any breakdown along my ride , I change the battery every 2 years taking into consideration the quality of the batteries nowadays, whatever the brand or make . A weak battery can cause other electrical problem in the smooth operation of the bike. IMHO
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Dang, that stinks. Dumb question, did you check the battery cable connections at the battery terminal? Nice and tight? Sounds like high impedance somewhere. The Yuasa batteries I use have typically been very reliable and lasted many years but that does not mean batteries don't fail. Good luck.
I will check the cable connections before I buy a new battery.
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Friday just after lunch I loaded up for an overnight trip to my daughter's ranch for my granddaughter's 7th birthday. Battery Tender Jr was lit solid green. About six miles south of town, it started to rain. I stopped to gear up for the rain. Turned the ignition back on and nothing. Couldn't hear the fuel pump run. Tach needle immediately jumped to 12k and fluttered. Nothing in the LCD display. I bought the 2019 650LT new and it still has the stock battery which is virtually always on a battery tender when parked in the garage. After walking four miles to obtain a cell signal, I was finally able to organize a rescue.

I suspected the battery was defective. Got the bike back home and a volt meter told me 12.7vdc. Plugged it into the Battery Tender and waited about two hours before the light lit solid green. Unplugged the harness and read the battery at 13.7vdc. Turned on the key and nothing. Just like before. Turned it off, reconnected the battery tender and waited for solid green again. Checked again and got 13.7vdc. Turned the key on, but this time I monitored the voltage. The moment I turned on the ignition, the voltage dropped and oscillated between 8vdc and 6vdc. The battery has no capacity to carry even the smallest load.

I am not interested in a lithium battery. I am considering a Duracell AGM battery rather than a Yuasa. Any thoughts?
The thing about your average battery tender is they allow the battery to discharge far to much before charging. After 2 batteries, I learned that the best way to keep it topped up is unplug once a week and plug back in. If you plug in and forget it all winter, how many times has that tender allowed the battery to discharge and sulphate over 6 months?? AGM is all I run anymore and as I said, I unplug for 30 seconds once every week or so. You should also disconnect the neg terminal during storage. There is a constant drain on any modern vehicle with a computer. I have got over 5 yrs of service out of an agm battery using this method.
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My factory battery died suddenly like that, as did the replacement identical Yuasa. I replaced it with an AGM which has been good now for 3 years.

I believe the Yuasa has very little ability to survive a deep discharge. I discovered an electrical accessory had faulted and was drawing a small but constant current. The batteries never recovered from just one draining.

I can't say the AGM will do better if flattened, but so far it has been good.

I charge mine several times during winter. I don't leave it on the tender all the time. Idk if all tenders discharge the battery. I do worry about fire so I don't leave anything on charge unattended.
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You can stack four watch batteries and get 12v, but they wouldn't start your bike. Point is, voltage 鈮 amperage or capacity. If the internal plates are crystallized, you may have only 10% exposure one to another, rendering a 230cca battery essentially a 23cca battery. Your battery tender will light green if your "23cca" battery is fully charged to capacity, and your volt meter will agree that it's producing >12v. What you need is a load tester.

For a battery recommendation, I'd suggest a Mighty Maxx Gel from Amazon. Even a rather large 12v20ah for my Dad's Can-Am Maverick was only $59, and the most common bike sizes cost between $25-40. I got >5yrs from the one in my Nomad.
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Friday just after lunch I loaded up for an overnight trip to my daughter's ranch for my granddaughter's 7th birthday. Battery Tender Jr was lit solid green. About six miles south of town, it started to rain. I stopped to gear up for the rain. Turned the ignition back on and nothing. Couldn't hear the fuel pump run. Tach needle immediately jumped to 12k and fluttered. Nothing in the LCD display. I bought the 2019 650LT new and it still has the stock battery which is virtually always on a battery tender when parked in the garage. After walking four miles to obtain a cell signal, I was finally able to organize a rescue.

I suspected the battery was defective. Got the bike back home and a volt meter told me 12.7vdc. Plugged it into the Battery Tender and waited about two hours before the light lit solid green. Unplugged the harness and read the battery at 13.7vdc. Turned on the key and nothing. Just like before. Turned it off, reconnected the battery tender and waited for solid green again. Checked again and got 13.7vdc. Turned the key on, but this time I monitored the voltage. The moment I turned on the ignition, the voltage dropped and oscillated between 8vdc and 6vdc. The battery has no capacity to carry even the smallest load.

I am not interested in a lithium battery. I am considering a Duracell AGM battery rather than a Yuasa. Any thoughts?
Lots of feedback. Here is my feedback. I ran 6 years on a Yuasa OEM battery. First thing, I store my bike in the garage during the winter months, some years it is 5 months. During that time, I connect the tender once every 2 to 3 months for 6 hours- THAT is it! Leaving a tender connected for extended periods causes it to gas off and vaporize the mixture. Pull the seal off and add distilled water to the level just reaching the top of the plates.
Consider the fact that the acid supplied is high specific gravity, specific for this battery. The battery is shipped dry. Take some time and view the cells while on a battery tender, the FIRST time after adding the acid, around the 4 to 6 hour time frame. Notice the bubbling, trust me, adding that sealing strip, does not prevent evaporation.
Consider the fact that most battery tenders, both charge AND discharge the battery, 24/7 . There is a fine line with leaving the battery off of a tender for months like I do and hooking a tender up every day. Sulfation is a real thing. I have yet to find a tender, capable of equaling what my Canadian Tire cheap 1 amp charger can do ( summer months I will throw it on if the bike sits for more than 4 weeks - for about 4 hours, and just before a ride )
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One other thing, my 6 year old Yuasa battery will still start my 2015 Versys 650 ABS, just not more than 6 times in a row ( 5 seconds X 6 times). I strongly suspect broken plates, bouncing around inside. However, I have added distilled water the last 4 years at season end, using a eye dropper, just to the top edge of the plates-other words, just that you can see the water. And it never sees a charger more often than what I said above.
You can stack four watch batteries and get 12v, but they wouldn't start your bike. Point is, voltage 鈮 amperage or capacity. If the internal plates are crystallized, you may have only 10% exposure one to another, rendering a 230cca battery essentially a 23cca battery. Your battery tender will light green if your "23cca" battery is fully charged to capacity, and your volt meter will agree that it's producing >12v. What you need is a load tester.

For a battery recommendation, I'd suggest a Mighty Maxx Gel from Amazon. Even a rather large 12v20ah for my Dad's Can-Am Maverick was only $59, and the most common bike sizes cost between $25-40. I got >5yrs from the one in my Nomad.
FYI, every Versys Owner owns a load tester;

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Friday just after lunch I loaded up for an overnight trip to my daughter's ranch for my granddaughter's 7th birthday. Battery Tender Jr was lit solid green. About six miles south of town, it started to rain. I stopped to gear up for the rain. Turned the ignition back on and nothing. Couldn't hear the fuel pump run. Tach needle immediately jumped to 12k and fluttered. Nothing in the LCD display. I bought the 2019 650LT new and it still has the stock battery which is virtually always on a battery tender when parked in the garage. After walking four miles to obtain a cell signal, I was finally able to organize a rescue.

I suspected the battery was defective. Got the bike back home and a volt meter told me 12.7vdc. Plugged it into the Battery Tender and waited about two hours before the light lit solid green. Unplugged the harness and read the battery at 13.7vdc. Turned on the key and nothing. Just like before. Turned it off, reconnected the battery tender and waited for solid green again. Checked again and got 13.7vdc. Turned the key on, but this time I monitored the voltage. The moment I turned on the ignition, the voltage dropped and oscillated between 8vdc and 6vdc. The battery has no capacity to carry even the smallest load.

I am not interested in a lithium battery. I am considering a Duracell AGM battery rather than a Yuasa. Any thoughts?
My money says your battery is completely DRY-just for fun, using a eye dropper, add distilled water, so it just reaches the top of the plates-DO NOT exceed this, hence the eye dropper. Charge for 6 hours, my money says it will start the bike at least 6 times. And yes, every Yuasa battery says DO NOT REMOVE THIS COVER, it is doable, start at one end with a jewelers screw driver, then needle nose pliers, work your way to the far end.
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Don't confuse a simple voltmeter function with an actual battery [load] tester. The BatteryTender is only a micro-processor controlled step-down trickle charger that monitors the battery's voltage at some level. Delran doesn't say exactly what it's doing, but basically it starts out at the highest amp level for whatever BatteryTender model you have, then steps down to a very low-amp maintenance charge so it can be left connected to the battery near indefinitely and won't over-charge / "cook" the battery. It doesn't tell you the battery health, only that it's near full charge for whatever health it's at. The easiest way to check the battery health is with a battery load tester. I bought this inexpensive Ancel BA101 one on Amazon (also sold in some auto parts chains) several years ago for our cars. It also works on both of my motorcycles too and is a useful tool to have in the box. You'll need to know the cold cranking amp of your battery. It should be printed on it. The OEM battery for my 2019 Versys 650 (gen 3) is a Furukawa, Type: FTX12-BS, 12V 10Ah (10HR), 180CCA. Furukawas are kind of hard to find in the US. If you need to replace yours, the Yuasa YTX12-BS AGM Battery should be the equivalent. Good luck.

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The long lived, much abused one in my Shadow is a YTX 14-BS, so I think it's a good choice, although at a premium price these days it seems.
Don't confuse a simple voltmeter function with an actual battery [load] tester. The BatteryTender is only a micro-processor controlled step-down trickle charger that monitors the battery's voltage at some level. Delran doesn't say exactly what it's doing, but basically it starts out at the highest amp level for whatever BatteryTender model you have, then steps down to a very low-amp maintenance charge so it can be left connected to the battery near indefinitely and won't over-charge / "cook" the battery. It doesn't tell you the battery health, only that it's near full charge for whatever health it's at. The easiest way to check the battery health is with a battery load tester. I bought this inexpensive Ancel BA101 one on Amazon (also sold in some auto parts chains) several years ago for our cars. It also works on both of my motorcycles too and is a useful tool to have in the box. You'll need to know the cold cranking amp of your battery. It should be printed on it. The OEM battery for my 2019 Versys 650 (gen 3) is a Furukawa, Type: FTX12-BS, 12V 10Ah (10HR), 180CCA. Furukawas are kind of hard to find in the US. If you need to replace yours, the Yuasa YTX12-BS AGM Battery should be the equivalent. Good luck.

The link I provided,was the wrong one.Measuring a base line using the starter is a accurate and easily done test, done on a new battery. It can be done on any motorcycle, and all you need is a meter.
Here is the thread;

And the post

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What a excellent video, mirrors my test, and I will modify my post later. Please note -No battery tester used, just a meter and your bike- Also note, that was a Kawasaki motorcycle and he pulled the fuse for the fuel pump, as the kill switch disables the starter
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