Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Post by Maddogg » Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:58 pm

Ok, here is what happened. I haven't started my Wing in about a week and 1/2. It has been hooked up to a trickle charger, ( Battery tender jr), the whole time, and when I went to start it it seemed like the battery was dead. I tried to turn over and then nothing. By nothing, I mean I still had power just not enough to start the bike. I plugged it back into the trickle charger for about 1/2 hour and it fired right up. I am getting 13 volts from the alternator at idle, but slowely going down, and a constant 14 volts at 1,000 RPM. Loose connection or bad battery? Don't know when the battery was last changed. Just shut it off and tried to start it again. Just a clicking noise from the battery area. Is there a relay in that area for the starter? Thanks for any help.


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Re: Battery

Post by tfdeputydawg » Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:16 pm

Just so you know, a Battery Tender Jr. is not a trickle charger!
I would check it w/a meter to make sure it is working correctly
I would also load test the battery
Hope this helps.

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Re: Battery

Post by ct1500 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 8:55 pm

13 volt is unacceptable idle voltage, verify RPM's are at least 800 and then increase slightly to 850, I like to see a minimum 13.6V with OEM electrical load with no fans or brake lights on.

Verify integrity of battery terminal condition to posts (clean). First test you can do right away with everything the way it is, is a draw test. With key off you are checking for excessive current draw by way of a DMM connected in series between battery and electrical system (use negative cable). You are looking for an acceptable mA number.

Then charge battery and bring to store for a load test.

If it passes load test another area of concern is loss of charge which many borderline batteries will exhibit and takes a little more time to observe. A lead acid (wet cell) battery full charge is 12.6V whereas an AGM will be in the 13V (+/-) range. All batteries after charging will have a surface or static charge (higher voltage reading) which must be removed for accurate numbers, this can be accomplished by loading battery slightly such as by turning key on and burning headlight for 10 seconds or so. Manufactures tell you to wait 24 hrs., this just speeds things up a bit. If after a few days your hooked up battery is showing loss of volts (with an acceptable mA draw) it is junk and needs replacing. A drop to 12.2-.4V or more is a clear problem sign for lead acid type. A battery left on a tender will mask this symptom and type of failure.

As an example: I checked my new this year AGM installed (in bike) and untendered battery a couple days ago, sitting idle for one week, voltage was 12.77 at 20 degrees F. Snow is coming today so I think it is finally time to hang up my riding gloves, remove battery, charge and store indoors for the rest of the winter.
Last edited by ct1500 on Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Battery

Post by WingAdmin » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:00 pm

tfdeputydawg wrote:Just so you know, a Battery Tender Jr. is not a trickle charger!
I would check it w/a meter to make sure it is working correctly
I would also load test the battery
Hope this helps.
Well Deltran (manufacturer of Battery Tender) calls it a trickle charger. :) It does charge, at a very small current (0.75 amps), when it deems necessary, so technically it will function as a trickle charger when necessary. It's more accurate to call it a float charger however - the difference being, a trickle charger provides constant current and needs to be disconnected to avoid overcharging the battery, and a float charger automatically turns itself on and off to keep the battery at a constant state of charge.

Now as for the original poster's problem, ct1500's advice is spot on. My gut instinct is going to say you have a bad battery, but I would go through the diagnostics he describes to avoid replacing a potentially good battery because of a related problem (i.e. bad terminal connection, bad charging, etc).

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