Battery Life


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Solina Dave
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Battery Life

Postby Solina Dave » Thu Oct 08, 2015 4:51 pm



I have a question regarding a battery life comparison, assuming that everything is 100% equal in both cases, for test purposes.
You have two, 100% identical AGM batteries. Each battery is installed in one of two 100% identical motorcycles. One motorcycle is started 20 times per day, every day of the week, year round. The other motorcycle is also started, but only 20 times per week.
Which battery will outlive the other, or will their lifespan be the same regardless of amount of use? What do you think, how do you know, and where did you get your information?
The reason I'm wondering is because during arguments regarding battery brands, and off-season charging methods, and battery tenders, etc. etc., it always seems to end with one party saying I use this battery brand, and this battery maintenance system, and my battery lasts for 3 years, and the other party claims to get 5 years out of their battery, with their brand, and their maintenance protocols.
But, I rarely, if ever, see any mention of the mileage on that battery.

Just curious....................................Dave


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harvey01
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Re: Battery Life

Postby harvey01 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:11 pm

Interesting question!! I suspect the starter will be the first thing to go bad!

But I am afraid you left out a key part and that is how much is each bike ridden after startup. A battery does not recharge quickly as it does take several miles to really recharge a battery.

Generally speaking I doubt if 20 starts in a day allows for a lot of riding time whereas the other bike probably goes gas tank to gas tank. Thus I would guess that the bike with the 20 starts a day will go bad first especially if this test is being done in a hot environment or a very cold environment.

The key I think is probably how much the bike is run after starting to recharge the battery or hooked up to a charger/maintainer.

You might pose your question to YUASA BATTERIES and see what they say.
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Re: Battery Life

Postby Aussie81Interstate » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:17 pm

I think there are too many variables in that question to provide a satisfactory answer.

I would think the one used more regularly may be the first to cark it - but I have no other intel on how that would be calculated. I know that some rechargeable batteris have a specified number of times to be recharged before they become ineffective, not sure if that can be equated to this style of battery.

:)

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Re: Battery Life

Postby harvey01 » Thu Oct 08, 2015 8:28 pm

Another thought. Yuasa has a great technical manual about batteries---it is worth the time to download and read and keep for reference.

you might also pose your question directly to Yuasa as they do have a contact technique where you can send them an email and I suspect their response will be closer to the technical truth than our guesses. I wish I had an email addy for Alan Kohler who used to work there and would answer various questions on different motorcycle websites.
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Re: Battery Life

Postby Solina Dave » Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:35 pm

Good thought Harvey, and maybe that could add to the equation, but being somewhat of a skeptic I have trouble getting past the potential bias that probably exists with Yuasa, that might cloud the truth.
I simply get tired of listening to someone boast about how they get 5 years out of their battery, after hearing that someone else is getting only 3 years out of their battery. How do we know if the owner claiming 5 years isn't only riding 800 miles a season, and the owner getting 3 years out of their battery isn't riding 15,000 miles in a season?
It seems like a simple question to me.

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Fatwing Chris
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Re: Battery Life

Postby Fatwing Chris » Fri Oct 09, 2015 7:55 am

5 years out of an AGM is no problem at all.I've got Carquest AGM's(don't know who makes them) in my 1800 and my 2 atv's.Had one in my previous 1500 as well.Bike gets parked from Nov until Apr with the battery in the basement.The one atv gets used for plowing in the winter and both get used for the occasional outing year round.Both atv's do a lot of sitting(sometimes for months at a time)while the Wing gets used a lot when it's out of storage.I don't even own a battery tender so I just throw my Wing battery on the charger before I install in the spring.The battery in my Can-Am was in it when I got it and that was over 5 years ago.All 3 machines have a memory to keep alive so there is a slight parasitic draw that is normal.If you can't get 5 years out of one of these then I would say 1.Too many short trips 2.Charging system isn't up to snuff 3.You have a higher than normal parasitic draw.I think that these 3 things have a lot more to do with your battery not lasting than miles/starts per year.In a properly working system the battery will only take what it needs.
If I'da known it would last this long,I'da taken better care of it.
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Re: Battery Life

Postby harvey01 » Fri Oct 09, 2015 10:54 am

Solina Dave wrote:Good thought Harvey, and maybe that could add to the equation, but being somewhat of a skeptic I have trouble getting past the potential bias that probably exists with Yuasa, that might cloud the truth.
I simply get tired of listening to someone boast about how they get 5 years out of their battery, after hearing that someone else is getting only 3 years out of their battery. How do we know if the owner claiming 5 years isn't only riding 800 miles a season, and the owner getting 3 years out of their battery isn't riding 15,000 miles in a season?
It seems like a simple question to me.


Dave,

I suggest Yuasa because I have found them to be forthright in answering questions in the past about batteries and not just their products. Their tech manual explains things that apply to all manufacturers.

Why not submit the same question to Exide, Interstate, Delco, and other manufacturers but alter the wording to deal with cars instead of motorcycles?

I suspect based on my years of experience dealing with car, truck and motorcycle batteries that actual use, the quality of the vehicle charging system, and miles really driven with the battery after start up, parasitic draw will all factor into any professional answer from any battery manufacturer. My batteries (Yuasa) in the Wing have lasted 7 years for the first one and the second is still in the bike and it is 11 years old. I have averaged a 10,909 miles per year. I replaced the first one with no signs of failure but I was getting ready to leave on a trip and was trying prevent a breakdown. I do use a Battery Tender charger/maintainer when the bike will sit for a long period--more than two weeks. I don't have a lot of electrical farkles. All I have is a XM radio and a GPS that are wired to be off if the ignition is off.
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Re: Battery Life

Postby Dogsled » Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:29 pm

I think the Aussie from Penrith hit the nail on the head. Re-read his post so I don't have to re-write it.

I started my trek with deep cycle batteries..... Say I ride a mile a day one way and then back. Everyday. While driving I use my halogens for extra automobile visibility. play my radio.....make two or three extra stop and starts...One day after three day of doing this with a conventional battery I was shocked at where I had dropped to. So I would charge my battery back up.

I started to read the info on deep cycle marine batteries and I was pretty much in their range and that was pretty sure gonna kill the life span of my conventional.

I think car motor lifespans can be based on this same idea as to how it is run not only in overall mileage but daily use.

So it would be a question no one can answer unless they analyzed maybe 2 weeks of a familiar pattern. But I will say this, an AGM battery is the best battery i've ever owned and will be the only type I will ever buy again.....
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Re: Battery Life

Postby robb » Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:37 pm

My last battery was a $50 Walmart battery. Lasted 5 years without a trickle charger. Very little difference in time to fully recharge; a day, a week or a month of not running it still took 30 minutes of open road time to recharge. That was the determining factor in why my 89 Wing does not leave the garage for ride less than 30 miles.
Start a wing 20 times a day without riding will be draining even with a high quality battery. I did that much or more using my bike to deliver flowers for my wife's flower shop, still 200 mile days. Not wanting bike to set idling for 5-10 minutes it was shut down every time I got off. Already had 2 Harleys stolen and take no chances with Wing. Bike sat for 2 years due to strokes with 15 minutes a week run time and 16 miles for inspection. Never had an issue until one morning it would not start. Tried to charge but 10.5 v was all it had. Replaced with a much higher amp gel and no more problem.
Had a Yamaha Vstar 1100 that had a battery tender from day one since my work could require 3-5 weeks before coming home. Had my wife let it run 15 minutes every Saturday I was away and got 8 years from stock Yuasa battery. Run time was only to circulate oil.
Spent a lot of time inside Johnson Controls Battery plants and got a good understanding of batteries. They are not all the same and a Walmart battery is far from the worst there is to choose from. My new gel battery has more than twice the CCA of stock and half the recovery time. Went to garage yesterday to finish rear tire swap and found I had left the radio on for 5 days but it still cranked first try.

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Re: Battery Life

Postby redial » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:09 am

I can only relate my experience of having driven taxis and "chauffer driven" cars. Sometimes a taxi can sit for periods with the engine turned off, the base station radio on (this is now a few years ago when jobs were given out over the radio), the "For Hire" light on, plus the usual automotive accessories that assist in draining 'the smoke' out of a battery. Some trips were really short, (eg having to move further up on a taxi rank), and some were fairly long. The starts were many during a shift, but the battery seemed to last as long as the engine (around 1 000 000 miles). However, the battery had to be checked every week, and any sign of the 'creeping green' action was treated immediately.

With constant use, the standard wet lead-acid battery would stand up to the demands of the power consuming devices of a taxi. Some of the enemies of the battery 'smoke' are mainly to do with lack of maintenance. Keeping the water levels correct with distilled or rain water, never letting it go completely flat, making sure the connections are clean and tight, and avoiding the extremes of cold and heat. Having also lived in the tropics, heat is a bigger destroyer of batteries than the cold.

With the advent of AGM and similar, the maintenance has been reduced, and there are good arguments why you should consider them as part of your 'smoke' delivery.
Len in Kapunda

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Re: Battery Life

Postby Solina Dave » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:44 am

Just a question about battery capacity. I installed a digital volt meter that, according to it's spec., draws about 5 to 20 milliamperes, a significantly small amount. I've wired it directly to the battery, to monitor the voltage right at the battery. I have a Yuasa YTX24HL-BS High Performance battery that has a 21 Ah rating.
With the meter in operation all of the time, and it being the only load on the battery when the bike sits idle, do you think I should be concerned about finding myself with a flat battery. The bike rarely sits idle for more than a week, and I remove the battery during the winter months.
I don't suspect that there would be any problem, but I'm interested in your opinion. I'd rather not put a switch in the circuit.

Thanks..................................Dave
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Re: Battery Life

Postby WingAdmin » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:26 pm

Solina Dave wrote:Just a question about battery capacity. I installed a digital volt meter that, according to it's spec., draws about 5 to 20 milliamperes, a significantly small amount. I've wired it directly to the battery, to monitor the voltage right at the battery. I have a Yuasa YTX24HL-BS High Performance battery that has a 21 Ah rating.
With the meter in operation all of the time, and it being the only load on the battery when the bike sits idle, do you think I should be concerned about finding myself with a flat battery. The bike rarely sits idle for more than a week, and I remove the battery during the winter months.
I don't suspect that there would be any problem, but I'm interested in your opinion. I'd rather not put a switch in the circuit.


Let's do the math. Let's take the worst-case, with a DVM that draws 20 mA. Your battery has a capacity of 21 Ah, which is 21,000 mAh.

21,000 mAh / 20 mA = 1,050 hours - so your bike's battery should have enough capacity to power that DVM for 1,050 hours, or about 44 days.

Of course, this is in a perfect world, with a perfect battery that does not self-discharge, and assuming that the battery capacity is fairly linear. Neither of these will be true, but I'd still say you have a good month, conservatively, before that meter would discharge your battery.

Throw a Battery Tender on there and the whole issue will be moot - not only will your battery always stay at 100% state of charge, you'll never have to worry about a parasitic draw killing it, and as an added bonus, your battery will last much longer than without one.

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Solina Dave
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Re: Battery Life

Postby Solina Dave » Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:41 pm

Thanks, that's kind of what I thought. I was just looking for some confirmation.
I have to remove my battery in the winter, and bring it inside to be connected to my tender. My storage shed is a couple of hundred feet behind the house where I rent the second floor. I don't have hydro in my shed. Often, you don't realize how much you grow to depend on certain things, until they're gone. Hydro, definitely being one of those things.

Thanks again...........................Dave
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Re: Battery Life

Postby redial » Wed Oct 28, 2015 8:42 pm

I concur with WingAdmin, but there are other draws on the battery, although very minimal, such as the clock, but a month should be well and truly within the capacity of the battery.

I don't have hydro in my shed.


What is a hydro used in the context of having one in the shed? Unless you mean a heated spa or hot tub? We just let the sun warm the water here when it is 35C (about 95F).
Len in Kapunda

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Re: Battery Life

Postby WingAdmin » Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:29 am

redial wrote:I concur with WingAdmin, but there are other draws on the battery, although very minimal, such as the clock, but a month should be well and truly within the capacity of the battery.

I don't have hydro in my shed.


What is a hydro used in the context of having one in the shed? Unless you mean a heated spa or hot tub? We just let the sun warm the water here when it is 35C (about 95F).


In Ontario (Canada), historically a lot of the power came from hydroelectric generators at Niagara Falls, so the electric company there was originally called the Hydro-Electric Power Commission of Ontario, and later shortened to just Ontario Hydro. As a result, people in Ontario call electricity "hydro" - as in "the hydro went out again last night."

It makes no sense, as "hydro" means "water" - but it's part of the vernacular there, and far past being able to be changed at this point.




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