Draining Battery

Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:09 am
Location: central square, ny
Motorcycle: "1984 goldwing interstate"

Draining Battery

Post by brokhoff66 » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:16 am

I have a 1984 Goldwing Interstate. The battery will get drained from sitting. Any ideas?

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Motorcycle: Me on my 1981 GL1100 at Jones Beach in 1984

Re: Draining Battery

Post by N2PPN » Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:01 am

I guess first question (although you may think me silly) is are you talking about the battery fluid or the charge of the battery?

If fluid, case is cracked and battery acid is leaking out all over your frame and exhaust.... not good....

If battery is going "dead" from losing it's charge, this is usually caused by parasitic drain from a few common items... radio clocks, accessories not correctly wired to the electrical system and being left on, or possible alternator/stator/regulator issues (since some of these components have direct connections to the battery without passing through the ignition switch)

How old is the battery?
How long does it take to go dead?
When was it last charged by a battery charger other than the bike's alternator system?
(this is asked because if the bike's charging system is failing, the battery will be weakened and would not survive a normal parasitic drain from say, your radio's clock)
Have you checked the bike's charging system with a known to be good voltmeter?

A quick test to see if the parasitic drain is excessive from the bike's electrical system is to check fluid level, and top off (if needed) with distilled water only, then fully charge the battery off the bike, then re-install it and only hook up the ground or negative terminal... then take a digital multi meter with it set to show amperage (start on a scale that has the high side at about 1 Amp or so.... put the digital multi meter in series with the positive terminal with the negative probe on the battery and the positive probe on the cable from the bike that gets connected to the battery...

The amount of current displayed on the digital multimeter will be your parasitic drain... if it's anything over maybe a hundred milliamps or so (0.100 Amps) you will need to start to identify what is using the "juice". Even normal fully charged battery will go dead after a while from even the smallest parasitic drain (0.005 Amps) which is why a Battery Tender Jr. is your best friend ever!

At this point I would report back here, and I am sure that with the info you have recorded, lots of folks can get you started in your search for the "offender"...

Good luck,

Don't Worry,
Ride Happy!

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Re: Draining Battery

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:14 am

The bikes do have a bit of parasite drain from the radio, and batteries left to sit will over time lose their charge.

Without a doubt, the best solution I have found to this, and the solution I have been using on my bike for the past few years, is a Battery Tender Jr. - you can find them for around $25, and it will keep your battery fully charged and in top condition. It's also safe to leave connected 24/7/365, unlike some other battery chargers.

Or...you could wait until next month and win one in the monthly contest. :)

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