Yamaha Thundercats
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battery flat

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Post  mdrb1979 Wed Dec 05 2012, 20:29

hi all

Fair weather biker here. I went to start the cat (p-reg) the other day, flat battery. I charged the battery overnight, she started fine next day took her out for a run. Due to weather and work i havent been able to get out for 2 weeks. Go to turn her over, flat battery. She had no alarm etc. Is it usual in cold weather for batteries not too hold charge when not used or is the battery on way out?

Also what d other fair weather bikers do with batteries over winter.

Ta
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Post  bobh Wed Dec 05 2012, 21:27

Batteries certainly lose some power when it's cold. A mate once had a Lada (remember them?) and the owner's handbook recommended turning the headlights on for 10 minutes in very cold weather to warm up the battery before trying to start the car. But I guess they were talking about a Russian winter, with serious cold.

Unfortunately, lead-acid batteries like to be kept topped-up, so once it's been flattened it's possible that it will never recover to full health. A spell on an Optimate or similar may recover it so it's usable again, but no guarantee.

I think most bike manuals recommend taking the battery out and gving it a boost charge from time to time, if the bike's not going to be used for more than a month. Alternatively, if the bike's somewhere in reach of a cable, fit a charging point and hook it up to an Optimate permanently, or at least on a regular basis. This is what I do with my 'Cat, though that does have an alarm so it needs to be kept topped up.

By the way, did you use a bike-specific charger? Car chargers have too high an output to use on a bike battery for any length of time, and can over-charge and damage it.
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Post  weasley Wed Dec 05 2012, 21:36

I have an Optimate charger; the bike stays plugged into it over long lay-up periods. Always starts on the button and, as far as I know it's the original battery (also a 97/P bike).
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Post  Wooster Thu Dec 06 2012, 00:38

I'd go with buying a new one, it's going to be as reliable as rubbing the AA's from your TV remote in your hand from here on out.

Same goes for car batteries, if it's getting sluggish in cold weather it's a certainty it's going to let you down when you're freezing your balls off and late for work as it is. Neutral
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Post  Snowcat Thu Dec 06 2012, 08:00

Agreed, new battery and the buy an optimate/oximiser, there's some pretty good deals on at the moment, they keep your battery conditioned tip top plus are an early warning system to potential problems.
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Post  SteveCat Thu Dec 06 2012, 09:07

Two things happen to a battery in the cold, the capacity to hold a charge is reduced the colder it gets which is worsened with battery age. The other is the engine is harder to turn so requires more starting current.

It is normal for any battery to slowly 'go flat' when not used even without alarms and other items drawing off it. As has been said, bike batteries in particular do not take kindly to going totally flat and can refuse to accept a charge.

Some bike specific battery chargers will show the condition of the battery, if you have one of these types I'd trust what it said - if it comes up weak then time to get a new battery, otherwise keep the charger hooked up and it could be good for a few more years.
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Post  stevemcc Thu Dec 06 2012, 19:16

I have 2 Oxford Optimisers, one for each bike. you can pick up a oximiser 600 or 601 for around £20, the 900s are slightly more if you want a numerical display instead of lights.
Our bikes stay plugged in whenever they are not being used and start on the button every time, even when the Mrs bike hasn't been used for months.
The initial fitting takes about 10 minutes, seat up, battery terminals unscew, fit supplied lead, terminals back on, find somewhere to tiewrap the socket(mine is on the pillion footpeg bracket), seat refit, job done.
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Post  weasley Thu Dec 06 2012, 20:00

As above, I have the fly-lead from the Optimate permanently installed and hidden behind the fairing panel beneath the seat on the right hand side (brake lever side). I can reach it through the little hole in the fairing there and then tuck it back in there when not in use. I also use the same fly-lead to attach an accessory adaptor so I can plug in a phone charger or sat nav charger.
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Post  Radar Thu Dec 06 2012, 20:34

My 98 cat is on its' oringinal battery and has never been charged in my ownership, still starts first time generally. Amazing really.

Optimate is a good idea though especially if you have an alarm fitted
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Post  phildigger Fri Dec 07 2012, 02:28

Planning on keeping mine in house - just gotta figure out if can get bike through front door Very Happy
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Post  weasley Fri Dec 07 2012, 07:35

Your house insurers will not like that at all. Of course they're unlikely to find out, but if ever you have to claim.......
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Post  stretchie_ Fri Dec 07 2012, 14:27

If you're not going to be using the bike I would deffo take the battery out, charge it fully and just check it every other week, in your case it might be best to buy a new battery first though

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:Planning on keeping mine in house - just gotta figure out if can get bike through front door Very Happy

I can help you with this one, the Thundercat does fit through a standard sized door

Very Happy


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Post  0ldcat Fri Dec 07 2012, 14:48

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:I can help you with this one, the Thundercat does fit through a standard sized door
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That's taking the Wii console MotoGP game just a bit to far stretchmeister affraid
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Post  Radar Fri Dec 07 2012, 16:13

My brother in law used to keep his Thunderace in the lounge

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