Thursday, November 14, 2019

Let the good times roll

It’s finally spring! The sun is up, it’s a few degrees Celsius above 0 and people are getting their motorcycles on the road. It’s that great feeling that only motorcycle owners get. My Vulcan 900 has been sleeping in my garage all winter for the first time. Last year I had it wait for me in a warm and cozy room at the local mechanic/motorcycle shop where they took care of it and changed the oil and filtre, checked the tire pressure, hosed it down with some soap and water and so forth before I got it back. But not this winter, oh no! I was gonna save some money and do this myself… stupid stupid stupid…

ytx12-bs battery
12V 10Ah YTX12-BS Battery

If you’re gonna be dumb, you better be tough right? Rite! So I should have read up on how to prepare my bike for winter instead of just parking it and leave it for 5 months. It turns out that everyday you leave your bike without riding it your battery lose 1% of its’ charge, so leaving it for 3 months and it’s practically dead. Leaving it for 5 months and the battery is, uh well, dead… even deader than dead, in fact it’s exactly 4,23Volts of wasted-acid-dead. What I should have done is buy a maintenance charger and had it connected to the battery all winter or at least charge the battery for a few hours once every month. Oh well, I learn everyday! And since I don’t have anyone teach me all this stuff (damn it would have been fun to do a Bachelor of Kawasakis at uni!) I’ll have to learn through trial and error and doing a hell of a lot of googling.

The first remedy I tried was using a friends motorcycle (a sweet looking 125cc Honda!) and hook his battery to mine and jump start it that way. It pumped some juice into the beast, but not enough to get the engine running, not even after we tried push-starting the heavy bastard bike.

Honda and Kawasaki2
Stein Arne and his 125cc Honda

Anyways, after calling a mechanic I got around to buying a battery charger, a CTEK XS 800 designed for 12V batteries like mine. The dealer told me that it probably wouldn’t be able to charge my battery but it would be perfect for next winter so that I didn’t have to end up in the same mess again so I got one and brought it back to the garage and tested it anyway. Just as he had told me, 15 hours later the battery still wouldn’t put out the juice to to even light up the small light indicators or anything.

IT apprentice Alexander checking my battery with a multimetre checkingvoltage
IT Apprentice Alexander checking my motorcycle battery with the multimetre at work :)

Now what? I’m not known for giving up easy, so I took the battery to the shop that I bought the battery charger from and he is now charging it over night with his über-super-mega-charger and we’ll see if that helps, if not I simply have to go and buy a new battery. I’ll keep you updated! :)

Important! If you’re going to fiddle around with your battery, read the section on battery removal, charging and reinserting the battery in your motorcycle manual! Also, read the manual of your battery charger and never jump start your tiny little motorcycle battery using some ones oversized car battery! Apparently, if you hook up your battery in the wrong way sparkles will fly and the acid inside your battery might end up in your face… that’s right, it could actually explode, so take care and read up on handling batteries. Check out Dan’s MC for more information on motorcycle batteries.

Dan’s MC’s Battery article

Motorcycle problems , Tools

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