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Discussion Starter #1
I'm have been through 3 batteries on my DL in 4 years. They seem to last 15-18months. I have used Yuasa, bikemaster, and Tusk - each having a 12 mo warranty so they die slightly after the warranty period. Is this normal for everyone? I've seen batteries last 2-5 years on other bikes so not sure why I get just over the warranty period on these...

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Discussion Starter #3
I have but it's always been acceptable. I've put 40k miles on it in that 4 years so its is definitely charging

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When my Wee is home it is on the batt tender. People who know more than me about battery chemistry have convinced me to do this.

It works for me, I get a lot more life out of my batteries since I started doing this.

Cheers

RLBranson
 

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I have but it's always been acceptable. I've put 40k miles on it in that 4 years so its is definitely charging

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What voltage do you measure? It's possible the voltage is too high and damages the battery.

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My bikes are always on a tender when not on the road. I have been stranded too often by bad batteries so I routinely replace them every 3-4 years (earlier if I get an inkling). Doesn't matter what brand. It may be just my bad luck but they tend to work one minute and leave you dead the next. Not much warning.

So my solution is to treat batteries as routine change out items like oil. Just a longer interval.
 

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I simply plug in a smart charger (tender) once a week if not using it. Most of my batteries have lasted over 5yrs with this method.
 

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I expect at least 7 years from original equipment but only up to 3 from aftermarket equipment.

Now you are not getting close to those numbers so you should test for AC voltage at the battery.

If your R/R is faulty it can allow AC voltage to reach your battery, that can shorten the batteries life.
 

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There's a trend in the replies. A trickle charger with a float mode is what you're after. A Battery Tender Junior runs about $25. If you store the bike colder than 50 deg F or hotter than 85 deg F, you can spring for the more expensive Battery Tender or a BatteryMINDer brand charger with temperature compensation, this will get you even more longevity out of the battery.

It can take more than 12 hours on a charger to get to full saturation on a lead-acid battery. A draw on the battery from starting the bike, followed by a normal ride is likely not getting to a full saturation charge on the battery. Letting a lead-acid battery sit at less than a full charge leads to sulfation and shortens its life over time. I put all of my vehicles on the charger overnight at least once a month because of this. The bike, I generally plug in weekly.

I got eight years out of my last car battery this way. My previous bike's battery was four years old when I sold it and it was still fine. I've only had my Glee for two and half years, and it's still on the original battery.
 

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Heat kills a battery more than anything else, but in my experiences nothing has lasted longer than YUASA batteries. Agree that if the system charging system isn't healthy, that will also prematurely kill a battery.
 

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Absolutely test for AC voltage at the battery as @Rolex mentioned.

Then pull the left case and check your rotor magnets; if they've moved, you're not charging properly. If they haven't, I'd be shocked...and you should jbweld them in place to prevent it from happening.

Also, pull the stator and inspect it; that may be burnt out too.
 

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I'm have been through 3 batteries on my DL in 4 years. They seem to last 15-18months. I have used Yuasa, bikemaster, and Tusk - each having a 12 mo warranty so they die slightly after the warranty period. Is this normal for everyone? I've seen batteries last 2-5 years on other bikes so not sure why I get just over the warranty period on these...

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Lead acid batteries should last around 6-8 years in automotive applications including motorcycles. What kills them is overcharging or draining the battery, especially if left in a partially discharged state for any length of time. Make sure there is no constant drain on the battery. Many people hook up USB chargers directly to the battery thinking that if they don’t plug anything into it it will not consume any power, which is not true (some have a very low, insignificant standby current but not all). Relay harnesses are another potential snafu when people don’t know what to do with the extra wire (often white) and also hook it to the battery. This will be very damaging to the battery in short order, much more so than the USB charger. Float chargers should not be needed over the winter at all if the above precautions are taken. Self discharge rates are low enough to store batteries for up to six months without any damage and longer at lower temperatures. I would only consider a high quality temperature compensated unit for hookup over any length of time (due to the risk of overcharging), or else limit low current charging to 12-24h time periods.
Just measure the voltage when the motorcycle is not running. If it is 12.75V or better the battery is healthy, fully charged and needs nothing until you hit the start button again.
 

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Having it on tender is the key, my last battery was swapped out after 9 years, and is still good. I only swapped it out because I was going on a long trip and didn't want to take the chance. Also attach a permanent charging lead to the battery so your not jostling it around pulling it out of bike and putting it back. Batteries and hard knocks are not good for each other.
 

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Yep, something definitely wrong there, batteries should last longer than that.

Having said that, in the high temps of Florida, self discharging will be a lot faster than it is in my garage at -5 C over the winter.

In 20+ years of continuous motorcycling, I've only had to replace one battery that I can recall, which was in my '02 Vee, when it was about 10-11 years old. And I drained that one did with unswitched heated grips one time.
 

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Heat is a killer ...I used to replace a battery every year in Cairns ( tropical Australia ).
With a lithium it can ( and does ) sit for months and fires up better than any non-lithium ever turned it over.
5 years and counting now.
 

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My 09 Wee is still on the original battery and has never been on a tender.

That bike grew up in Sydney Australia until about 2016 when it moved to Coffs Harbour to live with my brother, here down under we don't have ridding seasons we just ride.

The battery in my 2014 V2 is still looking good too, I keep a close eye on my voltages before and while starting the bike looking for any changes in performance.

All my farm hacks have 1.5a solar panels fitted to maintain a charge when not in use, the batteries absolutely love that tiny charge, the batteries I'm using were all thrown away as junk, given up as being stuffed but the solar panels have softened up the plates enough to extend their life.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you for your replies! I have an update...

I have a battery tender jr (2 of them) I just dont keep my bike on it everytime I park it. Perhaps I should though, after reading everyone's success stories on here.

I plugged it in yesterday and checked it this morning and the tender showed fully charged. So I unplugged the tender before work and checked it about 10 hrs later: 11.78v. So clearly the battery isnt holding a charge anymore and needs replacing. Not concerned about that, I figured that would be the case

What is concerning, I checked the volts at the battery. At idle it was getting 12.3v and dropping the longer it sat there. At 2k rpm 13.5v and at 2.5k rpm 14.5v respectively. So clearly its charging while moving, but idle is pretty bad.

I do have a 12v socket hooked up to it (nothing plugged into it) as well a heated grips (not on).

I have not checked stator magnets yet as suggested above

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