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Thread: Testing Bike Batteries with Automotive Tester

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  1. #1
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Testing Bike Batteries (R1200R) with Automotive Tester

    I received a 130A automotive battery tester for X-mas. It works fine on my car batteries, but can it be used on BMW bike batteries? 130A for 10 seconds seems like a lot for a small battery.

    Thanks,
    Scott
    Last edited by TinyTrains; 12-29-2012 at 12:34 AM.
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

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    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    What do the specifications or instructions say?
    David Brick
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    2007 R1200R

  3. #3
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    What do the specifications or instructions say?
    It says nothing about battery size.

    Instructions:
    Connect to battery.
    Push button 10 seconds (130 Amps).
    If needle is in the green (11volts), the battery is good.
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

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    ABC,AMA(LIFE),MOA,RA,IBMW MANICMECHANIC's Avatar
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    The purpose of the load tester (which it sounds like you have) is to simulate a large load, such as a starter motor. You can then determine if the battery can recover sufficiently or not.
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    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Let me rephrase the question:

    What is the normal load-test current for 12 AH motorcycle batteries?

    The battery is rated at 200 Cold Cranking Amps.

    Thanks,
    Scott
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  6. #6
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    So, the battery can put out 200 amps max, and the tester will draw 130 amps for a load test. It appears to me it is suitable but maybe one of our automotive or electrical engineers can pipe in here.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  7. #7
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTrains View Post
    Let me rephrase the question:

    What is the normal load-test current for 12 AH motorcycle batteries?

    The battery is rated at 200 Cold Cranking Amps.

    A load test is normally performed at 1/2 the CCA with the voltage not dropping below a certain level during the 15 second test.

    I have seen various minimum voltage levels used for the test. Of course, the higher the voltage maintained, the tougher the test.

    The test should be performed on a fully charged battery.

    Here is a handy Battery Testing Chart. Note the CCA test on page 2.

    When a battery's internal resistance increases (a bad thing), they fail a load test sooner or later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTrains View Post
    ..... 130A for 10 seconds seems like a lot for a small battery.

    It does to me also. I received a Yuasa BTY01 Powersports Battery Tester for Xmas. You must input the battery AH to the tester before beginning the test. So it must be important for the tester to "know" the size of the battery it's testing.
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  9. #9
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    After answering the original question, I had to sit back and ask why bother. Load testing just confirms what you should already know, the battery is getting weak, the bike cranks slow, of barely cranks after sitting for a few days.

    It will not ferret out a sudden catastrophic failure that frequently occurs, it will not tell you there is only a month or two left. Every battery failures are different, I have had "weak" batteries stay that way for a year, I have had new batteries suddenly fail, I have had strong batteries instantly turn weak, etc. If all failures were linear than yes it would be a guide, but lead acid batteries for the most part have no rhyme or reason to failing.
    2010 F800GS Full Ohlins package, '04 R1100S Replika
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    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Calling Global Rider....
    Rinty

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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Easier test:

    1. Wait five years.
    2. Replace battery.
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  12. #12
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    I have used load testers with 50-200A loads on bike batteries for years with no problems at all. My chargers include modern pulse (desulfation) types for appropriate batteries. My preference is to charge, test (at least 15-29 seconds of load), then recharge whenever time permits.

  13. #13
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Easier test:

    1. Wait five years.
    2. Replace battery.
    With my K75, yes.
    With my R1200R, no. Three years if you are lucky, and they tend to quit on short notice. Oh, and when it goes, the bike will not run, even if you jump it.
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

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    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rinty View Post
    Calling Global Rider....
    Sorry, was busy making Beru ignition cables for 993s.

    Damn cold here and that 14 year old battery of mine turned my car's motor over like a new battery.

  15. #15
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    ...was busy making Beru ignition cables for 993s.

    A pleasant holiday activity, but I thought you'd be under that new hoist...
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

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