Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Battery Life test

  1. #1
    KEVIN P
    Guest

    Battery Life test

    I can't rember the test (with a digital volt meter) to check the life of batteries. I say it in the MOA ON a couple of years ago but can't locate it. I'm sure someone out there knows of the way to check it. Mine it three years old now (on BMW charger all winter) still starts just fine but I like to check it from time to time. Better to replace it than be stuck in the middle of an adventure somewhere.

  2. #2
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mansfield,MA
    Posts
    6,235
    Lots of opinions on this. Mine is it's a guess. So you can get a few more I'll move this to Gear. There are quite a few members with good battery info. Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    16

    Sshumacher BT-100

    I just bought one of these to test my batteries.

    http://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-BT-...0907451&sr=8-6

    IMHO you can test with a OHM Meter and it will tell you the charge state.
    But I believe to actually test the battery properly it needs to be tested under load condition.

    Hope this helps....

  4. #4
    BMW MOV Club Director ENFOMAN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Albany NY area
    Posts
    317
    Here is what I use and it is found on line @@ amazon and Ebay, ect.............

    http://www.argusanalyzers.com/battery-monitors.html

    I am on my second one after water entered it after a storm but they replaced it free of charge way after warranty. Does a good job of telling the state of battery. The one thing it did not do was alert me to a cracked cell inside a battery when it happened outside of all places Whitehorse gear in NH. To thier defense, I do not think there is any warning for that.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area
    Posts
    3,394
    Quote Originally Posted by kevin p View Post
    I can't rember the test (with a digital volt meter) to check the life of batteries.
    http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/artic...-basics.html#6

    The whole article is good. The linked section addresses your specific question.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    319
    +1 on the Battery Bug. They offer one with a longer straight wire which allows attachment at locations remote from the battery. That is a better choice unless your battery is not concealed.

  7. #7
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Posts
    2,069
    IT is impossible to tell the life of a battery unless you have a reliable crystal ball.

    To tell current state, a fully charged battery should not dip below about 9.6 Volts with a draw of 3 times its rated capacity for 20 seconds (45 amp draw for a 15 ah battery), but you really need a proper carbon pile tester to do that. A rough equivalent would be cranking the bike for 10-15 sec while checking voltage at the battery terminals.

    About 50% of battery failures are catastrophic, meaning it worked great, until you stopped for gas/meal/water/picture shot, then when you try to start it you find it is flatter than pee on a platter. This is caused by a failed internal connection (usually the buss that connects the cells), and there is NO way to predict that.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Posts
    2,115
    +1
    I use a Battery Bug and back it up with a load tester if I need/want to test one not connected to a bike. BUT nothing can warn you of one of those catastrophic, immediate failures that have become so common on modern Asian made batteries. I think its the crappy quality of the lead they're using but have no proof- its not easy to break purer lead because its pretty ductile- recycled stuff that accumulates too much of other metals can be very brittle as anyone who has ever cast their own bullets, fishing jigs, etc knows.
    The best way to minimize catastrophic failures IMO is use an Odyssey which are very well made but then you must also have a compatible charger or you can kill it early anyway.

  9. #9
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Posts
    2,069
    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    +1......... BUT nothing can warn you of one of those catastrophic, immediate failures that have become so common on modern Asian made batteries. I think its the crappy quality of the lead they're using but have no proof- ................y.

    The catastrophic failures are NOT a new occurrence, I was in the Auto repair field in the 70's and it was common then too, our nickname for Die Hard batteries, was Die "fast" batteries. But we saw it with Deka, and other domestic and the European batteries (Tudor??)

  10. #10
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    "Big Bend" TX
    Posts
    8,614
    To answer the original question, it ought to read at least 12.3 standing at least an hour after riding or taking it off a charger. 12.7 would be about the most I would expect to see. While cranking, if it drops below 10 consider it on the last legs. Something closer to 11v would be a healthy battery. These are approximate, but good indicators.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  11. #11
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,596
    Quote Originally Posted by kevin p View Post
    I can't remember the test (with a digital volt meter) to check the life of batteries.

    Although looking at a trend line would help, those things are just another gimmick.

    If you want long battery life, buy a quality battery, keep the battery charged and make sure your vehicle's charging system or more correctly, the voltage regulator functions properly for the type of battery being used. Install a voltmeter that shows actual battery voltage. You should also use a battery charger that meets the battery's needs; unfortunately, most battery charger/maintainers are more hype than anything.

    An annual load test can easily be performed with a tester available from Harbor Freight.

    A capacity test is time consuming and rarely done.

    A battery test comprises of charge acceptance, OCV, self discharge rate, load test and capacity test...very few if any would do that unless you are a battery nut...as I am.

  12. #12
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,596
    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    To answer the original question, it ought to read at least 12.3 standing at least an hour after riding or taking it off a charger.
    Paul, that is far too low.

    An hour after riding...actually a day or even a week after riding, my oil-head battery will read 12.9V.

  13. #13
    Registered User Doubleplay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    84
    How long a standart motorcyle battery should last in normal riding conditions?at what point you should think about replacement?

  14. #14
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Canada and the Alps
    Posts
    3,596
    Quote Originally Posted by Doubleplay View Post
    How long a standard motorcycle battery should last in normal riding conditions?
    Depends on many factors: ambient temperature the battery lives in most of the year, state of charge, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doubleplay View Post
    At what point you should think about replacement?
    A battery test will tell you that. So will cranking....I can always tell when the battery is near its end of life.

  15. #15
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    WNY, Further fron NYC, than 6 entire states!
    Posts
    2,069
    Quote Originally Posted by Doubleplay View Post
    How long a standart motorcyle battery should last in normal riding conditions?at what point you should think about replacement?
    My oem went 7 years and was still serviceable, but as Alex said, knew it was getting to be time. It cranked strong normally, but I have a bad habit of hitting the kill switch when I stop for fuel, or make a phone call, consult a map or the GPS, and ran it low, after 5 or so minutes running the headlights, after having to bump start after one such episode, I decided to replace it. It did service all last year in my grand-kids, battery powered "4 wheeler".

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •