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Thread: new battery initial charging question

  1. #1
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    new battery initial charging question

    the battery says, "1.5 amps @ 5-10 hrs or 6.0 amps @ 1.0 hour"

    the charger I have says, "750 milamps @ 12vdc"

    so the charger only squirts 1/2 the amps the battery says it wants.

    can't I just leave it connected longer to do the initial charge or is less than 1.5 amps a bad thing?
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

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    It has been a long time since I took that class

    But, if I remember iff 1.5 amps = 5-10 hours then .75 amps =10 to 20. But heck things could have changed in 40 years ;-))

  3. #3
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    It depends on the battery - and its chemistry. Some batteries - Odyssey comes to mind - require a higher amperage initial charge than some other batteries. The rule of thumb generally is amps at 10% of the amp hour rating of the battery. So a 20 amp hour battery wants 2 amps and they warn about over heating the battery.

    But, (Odyssey for example) wants an initial charge rate of 6 amps which is about 25% of the amp hour rating.

    But for most VRLA (AGM or Gel) batteries that initial high amperage charge is not needed so your math is correct. I would use an automatic charger that goes into float mode when the battery is fully charged and just plug it in for a day - say 24 hours. I have a few different models (BT Junior, BMW, and Schumacher) and they all show a red light when charging and a green light when fully charged.

    Just plug it in till the light goes to green (or whatever) and consider it good.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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  4. #4
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    so connecting a 750 mill amp charger may be a bad thing?

    zat right?

    note: its a wet cell. I had to add the electrolyte after fed ex delivered it.

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8542/8...f6a7927b_c.jpg

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8266/8...bd79cf84_c.jpg
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  5. #5
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Technically its an AGM battery which is a type of VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) battery. You add acid to an AGM battery ONCE then seal it. If it were a "wet" battery it would not be sealed and you'd need to top it off with water once in a while.

    Your charger will NOT harm the battery. The instructions are for those who need to use the battery NOW (and for those with stupid chargers that need to know when to turn the charger off). I assume you are at home and have time. Put in on your smart charger and keep it there until the charger says all is fully charged. Then mount the battery in the bike.

    I've been with riders who in order to get back on the road in a reasonable amount of time didn't bother putting the battery on an external charger. Wasn't one available at the side of the road. We bought the battery, added the electrolyte, waited an hour over lunch, then started the bike and finished our trip. Yeah, we knew that this was not the best thing for future battery life but the goal was to get home, not to have a 5 year replacement battery for the bike. (We put the battery you pictured in a bike that called for something a bit bigger).

  6. #6
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    thx, marchyman

    ntxt
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  7. #7
    BMW Rider
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    There is another procedure with these batteries that you didn't mention so I'll bring it up here. Once the acid pack is empty you leave it sit prior to charging the battery. As per Yuasa you would do the following:

    1) For batteries 3 - 12 amp hour you let the battery sit for at least 30 minutes once the acid pack is empty.
    2) For batteries greater than 12 amp hour allow the battery to stand at a minimum of 1 hour.

    The act of letting it sit allows the electrolyte to permeate into the plate for optimum performance.

    Newly activated sealed batteries require an initial charge. After filling the battery place the cap strip loosely over the filling holes. Charge the battery at the recommended rate and then fully seat the cap strip. It is at this point you can install the battery.

    You will find almost no one performs the above steps because no one reads the directions and this includes dealers, independents and customers.

    As for the term "optimum performance" I assume it means battery life span. I just offer the customer to do the above free of charge. Most don't want to return to the store just to pick up the battery so I'm not sure how many actually follow through on the procedure. If you have the time to follow the instructions I would do so.

  8. #8
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    checked instructions

    did not say that in the instructions I have but it does sound like a good idea...

    http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8122/8...b4398679_b.jpg


    also, the green light came on in about 5 hours with the 750 mil amp charger. I hope that doesn't mean a bad thing...we'll see.

    i'm coming up with 3.75 amp hours at that rate .... its a 12.6 6amp hour battery.
    Last edited by f14rio; 05-04-2013 at 08:23 PM.
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  9. #9
    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Putting the electrolyte into the battery started you off with some amount of a charge (assuming you waited the apropriate amount of time).

    How much of a charge? Enough charge to start a bike! Just don't expect to get maximum life or power out of a battery abused that way. On the other hand it will get you home if that is your need. For that kind of battery abuse I recommend cheap wal-mart batteries

  10. #10
    BMW Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    Putting the electrolyte into the battery started you off with some amount of a charge (assuming you waited the apropriate amount of time).

    How much of a charge? Enough charge to start a bike! Just don't expect to get maximum life or power out of a battery abused that way. On the other hand it will get you home if that is your need. For that kind of battery abuse I recommend cheap wal-mart batteries
    Actually, filling up the battery and immediately putting it in the bike will start the bike almost 100% of the time. I've seen this repeatedly. I do think you'll end up with maximum available power once the bike has charged the battery but I've never tested that theory. I assume the real issue here is the battery life span which presumably is shortened. It's so difficult to tell because there is no consistent usage of the motorcycle. If you use your bike like most people use a car I do think an approximate 5-year life span will apply although I have had some people tell me their battery lasted 6 years. But you never know if the battery truly lasted 6 years or that's what the owner thinks it lasted.

    At the end of the day once you hit the 4 or 5 year mark your battery is on borrowed time for most people.

  11. #11
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    thanks for the good inputs, gents

    still concerned about short battery life. (this is the third on my 2010 r12r). checked dc resistance from the disconnected 12vdc battery lead to ground. (about 100k ohms, fluctuating).

    I usually leave it installed in the bike in the unheated garage with a smart charger over the winter (new york). this year i'll put it in the basement on the charger.
    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  12. #12
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    You add acid to an AGM battery ONCE then seal it.
    I'm curious as to which brand of AGM battery that you have to add acid to.

    All the ones I've come across are filled and sealed by the manufacturer.

  13. #13
    Registered User f14rio's Avatar
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    "Enemy fighters at 2 o'clock!...Roger, What should i do until then?"

    2010 r1200r, 2009 harley crossbones, 2008 triumph/sidecar, 1970 norton commando 750

  14. #14
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by f14rio View Post
    still concerned about short battery life. (this is the third on my 2010 r12r).
    Three batteries in three years? Either the batteries are of extremely low quality, your charging system is not up to spec, or you are not maintaining them.

    The most valuable item on a motorcycle instead of the usual bling installed, is a voltmeter that indicates voltage using digits, not some meaningless LEDs. There is a thread on this forum on the latter....what a piece of garbage. I can only hope it isn't advertised in the ON.

    In battery maintainer float mode...


    When I am riding, it indicates actual battery voltage...14.2V.


    Quote Originally Posted by f14rio View Post
    checked dc resistance from the disconnected 12vdc battery lead to ground. (about 100k ohms, fluctuating).
    That is of little use.

    You want to measure the negative battery lead (disconnect it). It should be less than 1 milliohm (0.001 ohm) which you can only measure with an upper end 4-wire meter.

  15. #15
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    I wonder if that is actually an AGM battery.

    Where are the individual valves located. I remember filling one just like it. There are no valves in the strip that is pressed into the top of the battery.

    Edited to add: the YUASA chart indicates that it is a VRLA battery.

    A note on these types of batteries. They do not take overcharging and ripple during charging very well. Personally, I stay clear of them when given the choice.

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