Sick Battery and bike performance.

Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:19 pm
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
Motorcycle: 1984 GL1200 Interstate

Sick Battery and bike performance.

Post by harkgold » Tue Apr 24, 2012 4:56 pm

Can a sick battery actually affect the function and overall performance of the motorcycle.

A friend had a 1978 GS750 Suzuki in-line four motorcycle that had low miles on it and ran very well and was overall a well maintained machine.
One winter, he failed to maintain and put the battery on the battery tender and when he went to start up in the spring he installed the battery and the bike fired up immediately, but ran like it was running on three cylinders during the warm up period. He then got on the bike and went for a short ride and found that it ran real ratty, still like it was running on three cylinders, the turn signals would come on but not flash and if he turned on the headlight it ran even worse. He discovered that the bike actually was running on just three cylinders because he could place his hand on one of the header pipes and it was cold.

An older wiser motorcyclist learned of this and instructed him to take his battery to a local auto parts shop and have the battery checked out. Sure enough...the battery had one or two dead cells in it and was declared a junk battery by the parts store.

My friend then claimed he bought a new battery (and a Battery Tender to go along with it)....after properly charging it he slapped the new healthy battery in place and presto...the bike and all its electrical components worked beautifully! And all four header pipes were hot.

I had a hard time believing this story because I was under the impression that all the battery did was start the bike and then the bikes charging system would take over after that to run all the components of the bike.
Am I correct in this or am I all wet. Is a healthy battery all that important, and can a bad one have these kinds of affects on a bike? :?:


User avatar
Posts: 494
Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 8:17 pm
Location: sterling heights, mi
Motorcycle: 1985 Honda Goldwing GL1200
117k miles
1977 Kawasaki kz400
1978 Suzuki GSXr750
1980 Kawasaki GPZ400
1975 Honda CB360T

Re: Sick Battery and bike performance.

Post by seabee_ » Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:11 pm

Yes. The low voltage and battery capacity will affect the ignition system. The fact that the signals came on but didn't flash is an indication of a possibly low or bad battery.
CE1 Navy Seabees/RET
1981 to 2002
ASE Mechanic

Posts: 1052
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:17 pm
Location: Hermansville, Mich
Motorcycle: 1990 Gold wing Trike

Re: Sick Battery and bike performance.

Post by bustedwing » Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:17 pm

Very true, if the battery is low and causing a draw on the alternator the ignition system will not work as good . And as you add more load, (lights, turn signals, etc)the performance depreceates.
Proud member Patriot Guard

User avatar
Posts: 2117
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:21 am
Location: Plano, TX
Motorcycle: 2017 Yamaha FZ07, 2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 2005 Honda Shadow 750, CRF450X, CRF230, CRF250X, XR200, CR500, Gas Gas TXT200

Re: Sick Battery and bike performance.

Post by thrasherg » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:57 pm

This is definitely the case, my RG500 has a very weak electrical system, and the minute the battery starts to get weak, all sort of electrical gremlins appear!! Also if you have a bad battery, it will usually take lots of current from the alternator, which ruins fuel economy, creates a lot of heat and makes the other electrical circuits on the bike perform badly.. Bad news all round..


User avatar
Posts: 272
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Carrollton, Ga.
Motorcycle: 1998 Goldwing SE

Re: Sick Battery and bike performance.

Post by ka4yqi » Wed May 02, 2012 7:05 pm

I can believe it on a GS serios model. The charging system on them is just not the best in the world. I have had several of the gs models and tried to make a tourer out of them with the vetter fairing, bags and trunk. Stock charging system just didnt have it without a few mods. The is a great site for them.

Post Reply