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Thread: Testing Bike Batteries with Automotive Tester

  1. #16
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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.

  2. #17
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTrains View Post
    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
    What brand is it?

    Is there any chance you can return it and upgrade to a 500 A carbon pile load tester which is fully adjustable. They are on sale for $54.99 at Harbor Freight at the moment.

  3. #18
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by milo View Post
    I received a Yuasa BTY01 Powersports Battery Tester for Xmas.
    That appears to be a conductance battery tester. Similar units are sold by Schumacher, Midtronics, Pulse-Tech, etc.

    They do a quick and easy test, but not a thorough test of the battery.

    The only real battery tests are a load and capacity test. A load test takes a matter of a minute; a capacity test can take hours.

    And when it comes down to it, the only test of importance when it comes to starting a vehicle, is a load test. A capacity test will tell me how long I can keep a radio running or how fast my battery will drain while parked, or how long I can run without the alternator (Reserve Capacity test).

  4. #19
    Swamp Fox GeneT's Avatar
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    Just Info

    I have an old Snap On 6 -12 volt load tester, it consists to the normal cables switch and meter. The load is provided by what appears to be a heavy duty copper heating element. Not much here that could go wrong, however it is far form accurate when it comes to newer jell type batteries. It says OK when actually the battery is shot. For what its worth.
    Gene T

  5. #20
    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."

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rinty View Post
    A pleasant holiday activity, but I thought you'd be under that new hoist...
    I promised those cables for delivery by mid January. As for being under the new hoist, that will be next weekend.

  7. #22
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Global Rider,

    Thanks for the feedback. The tester is a SPX OTC 3181. Got it as a gift.

    3181_735.jpg
    http://www.otctools.com/products/130...ry_load_tester

    Just a cheapo tester, but it should work fine for my cars. It is nothing more than a 0.1 Ohm resistor with a voltmeter and a switch. I am just concerned that sucking 130A out of a battery could shorten its life, even thought it rated at 200 CCA. I am an EE, but not real familiar with the internal limits of AGM batteries.

    Thanks
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  8. #23
    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

  9. #24
    rabid reader dbrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTrains View Post
    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.
    I think it depends on the failure mode. With an open circuit between two cells, the bike certainly will not start or run.

    But a battery that's merely flat, or won't take a charge, will not prevent the bike from being jump-started and will allow the motor to continue running provided the rider doesn't turn it off. DAMHIK.
    David Brick
    Santa Cruz CA
    2007 R1200R

  10. #25
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TinyTrains View Post
    I am just concerned that sucking 130A out of a battery could shorten its life, even thought it rated at 200 CCA. I am an EE, but not real familiar with the internal limits of AGM batteries.
    I loaded my FLA airhead GS battery with my 100A load tester and I believe it was a 130A battery. Just give it a top-up charge.

    AGMs are good at sourcing current; one of their advantages.

  11. #26
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    I think it depends on the failure mode. With an open circuit between two cells, the bike certainly will not start or run.

    But a battery that's merely flat, or won't take a charge, will not prevent the bike from being jump-started and will allow the motor to continue running provided the rider doesn't turn it off. DAMHIK.
    You would think, buy I inadvertently ran mine down, and even though it started, it coughed, shook and sputtered and would not run right. I charged it up and all was fine. I am told this is normal on HexHeads. The voltage dip during starting may have corrupted the ECU settings temporarily.
    1988 K75 Low Seat
    2009 R1200R Roadster

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