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  #1  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:27 PM
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Default Starting Problem - Battery?

I have a classic Suzuki GS series I haven't started for a few months, but had it on a Battery Tender. The battery is about 3-4 years old I think. When I went to start it, the lights came on brightly, but when I thumbed the started button, it just chugged and stopped every time I pressed it.

I pulled out the battery, and noticed that it was pretty dry, so I added water and charged it to full. I reinstalled it, but the bike did the same thing when I tried to start it, however I was able to push/run start it. I then went out for a good long ride with no issues, parked it for a while, came back, and it was the same thing, so I had to push start it again.

I don't know much about batteries, but I suspect that the battery is essentially toast, and although it has enough charge to light the lights, it does not have the cranking power to turn over the engine anymore, is this possible?

Is there some way to test and verify that this is indeed the case before spending the money on a new battery?
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  #2  
Old 11-06-2012, 12:56 PM
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I would suspect the battery. If it is that old and run dry, in all likelihood, that is your issue.
It has enough juice to light things up but not enough to crank.
Check all the connections first though and you can get the battery load tested. May be something else but odds are against it.
Rod
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  #3  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:50 PM
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Some auto parts stores will load test batteries. You may want to check around.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:01 PM
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OK, thanks for the input guys.

I'll check around here and see if I can get it tested.
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  #5  
Old 11-07-2012, 02:22 PM
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Yes, your battery is toast. Running them dry is deadly.

To test, all you need is a $3 volt meter. This ain't rocket surgery. Hell, Harbor Freight will give you a meter for free -- just grab a coupon from one of their ads.

At rest, the battery should read at least 12.6 volts DC, preferably around 12.8.

With the key on, you should see about 12.4 to 12.6, and it will slowly drop. Anything below 12VDC is ungood.

Next, crank the starter. The voltage shouldn't dip below the mid-11 volt range. You can pronounce the battery officially dead if it dips into or below the 10V range during cranking. (The coils generally won't fire below 10.3 to 10.0V).

Get a sealed AGM or gel battery, and get a small (1 to 1.5 amp) automatic battery maintainer. Don't use a trickle charger or a larger automotive charger on a motorcycle battery.

When the bike is running with a good battery, test the charging voltage at the battery at 5,000 rpm -- you should see something between 13.5 to 14.7 volts.


Also, git yerself over to http://thegsresources.com/_forum/index.php pronto.


The stator papers may prove beneficial:
The GSResources - Stator Papers I - A primer on GS charging systems
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwringer View Post
Yes, your battery is toast. Running them dry is deadly.

To test, all you need is a $3 volt meter. This ain't rocket surgery. Hell, Harbor Freight will give you a meter for free -- just grab a coupon from one of their ads.

At rest, the battery should read at least 12.6 volts DC, preferably around 12.8.

With the key on, you should see about 12.4 to 12.6, and it will slowly drop. Anything below 12VDC is ungood.

Next, crank the starter. The voltage shouldn't dip below the mid-11 volt range. You can pronounce the battery officially dead if it dips into or below the 10V range during cranking. (The coils generally won't fire below 10.3 to 10.0V).

Get a sealed AGM or gel battery, and get a small (1 to 1.5 amp) automatic battery maintainer. Don't use a trickle charger or a larger automotive charger on a motorcycle battery.

When the bike is running with a good battery, test the charging voltage at the battery at 5,000 rpm -- you should see something between 13.5 to 14.7 volts.


Also, git yerself over to The GSResource Forums - Powered by vBulletin pronto.


The stator papers may prove beneficial:
The GSResources - Stator Papers I - A primer on GS charging systems
Wow! You are the man!

I've been really sick and staying in, so I haven't had a chance to get the battery out of the bike and to a shop to be tested. I do have a voltmeter here, I'll test it the way you said and report back, but I'm pretty sure that while it has enough juice to light the lights, it just doesn't have the cranking amps to turn the motor over.

And also thank you for the GS forum link, I didn't even know such a thing existed!
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  #7  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwringer View Post
Yes, your battery is toast. Running them dry is deadly.

To test, all you need is a $3 volt meter. This ain't rocket surgery. Hell, Harbor Freight will give you a meter for free -- just grab a coupon from one of their ads.

At rest, the battery should read at least 12.6 volts DC, preferably around 12.8.

With the key on, you should see about 12.4 to 12.6, and it will slowly drop. Anything below 12VDC is ungood.

Next, crank the starter. The voltage shouldn't dip below the mid-11 volt range. You can pronounce the battery officially dead if it dips into or below the 10V range during cranking. (The coils generally won't fire below 10.3 to 10.0V).

Get a sealed AGM or gel battery, and get a small (1 to 1.5 amp) automatic battery maintainer. Don't use a trickle charger or a larger automotive charger on a motorcycle battery.

When the bike is running with a good battery, test the charging voltage at the battery at 5,000 rpm -- you should see something between 13.5 to 14.7 volts.


Also, git yerself over to The GSResource Forums - Powered by vBulletin pronto.


The stator papers may prove beneficial:
The GSResources - Stator Papers I - A primer on GS charging systems
Turns out the batteries had leaked out and corroded my old multimeter, so I found one on sale for $5 and bought it; worked like a charm!

When I tested the battery at rest it read 12.43.

When I tested it with the key on I got 10.64!

So bad battery there, I didn't bother testing it any further.

I already have a Battery Tender.

I've got an AGM battery on order.

Thanks again for your help!
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2013, 03:26 AM
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I had similar issues starting my Wee. If I did get it started, oftentimes my headlights wouldn't come on. My understanding is they are connected to the starter switch relay. I finally bit the bullet and installed a new sealed Yuasa a few days ago. Now it starts like new and I'm not having the headlight problems.

If you get the sealed battery where you have to install the electrolyte, be absolutely certain you charge it to spec / test with a voltmeter and make sure everything is dandy. The first charge is by far the most important charge of a battery's life. I'm learning a lot about battery maintenance thanks to forums like this and YouTube.
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  #9  
Old 02-20-2013, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I have a classic Suzuki GS series I haven't started for a few months, but had it on a Battery Tender. The battery is about 3-4 years old I think. When I went to start it, the lights came on brightly, but when I thumbed the started button, it just chugged and stopped every time I pressed it.

I pulled out the battery, and noticed that it was pretty dry,
Is there some way to test and verify that this is indeed the case before spending the money on a new battery?
I have had a battery tender boil off a couple of those type of batteries... That's why I never use a battery tender anymore... Through the winter months I just peak charge (maybe for 30 mins) my bike batteries once ever 2 weeks or so...
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