Battery drain

Information and questions on GL1500 Goldwings (1988-2000)
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Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE

Battery drain

Post by costaclassics »

Hi I have a 1996 GL1500SE.
I recently had a battery go flat when the bike was standing for 3 months, put it down to a faulty battery as I could not charge it past 10.5V. Bought a new battery and when fitting it with no ignition or lights on there was a healthy spark from the positive terminal. put my voltmeter between the battery positive and the positive lead and reads 13V so there is a circuit going on somewhere.

Anyone hve an idea what the problem could be or is this normal.

FIA Frank

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Re: Battery drain

Post by Rambozo »

There is some parasitic drain from the radio memory which is normal. Look for any extra items that might not be wired to the accessory terminals for key switched power. Things like phone chargers and volt meters are common. When you first hook up the battery there will be an inrush of current to charge any filter capacitors. Bikes with CBs have a few extra of those along with some in most electronic items like control units, radio, etc. Best way to check is with an ammeter. Be sure to bridge it when first hooking up so as not to blow the internal fuse from the inrush. I know I measured it at one time but getting old and can't remember what it was. 15 mA sounds familiar. I bet a forum search could find it. Anything more than say 50-75 mA and it's time to start looking for what it is. Most folks that let their bikes sit use a battery tender. One time I let my bike sit two months and I was somewhat surprised that it started right up, no problem. Many new cars can't even sit a few weeks without draining the battery.
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Re: Battery drain

Post by Swagonmaster »

Your battery was certainly bad, three months of sitting will discharge your battery to some degree but not to the point that it can't be charged up enough that it will appear to be fully charged. A voltmeter is misleading because as Rambozo said there are legitimate drains on the battery with the key off and a meter won't make a difference between the very small "keep alive" draw of the clock and a large draw of say a relay that is stuck on. An ammeter is definitely the way to go.
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Re: Battery drain

Post by Happytrails »

Have had my battery losing charge if not on a charger and sitting over winter. Think this is normal for this bike. The clock draws a little, not sure if anything else does but it does keep memory settings so must have a little juice for that. Both my bikes have this happen. I'm lucky to have garage so stuff always on chargers. Wouldn't say goldwing is fussy in this respect my Ural does it also for same reasons. :)
1991 GL1500 SE Anniversary Edition
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Re: Battery drain

Post by MaineStreet »

Make sure your key is in the off position (you can pull the key out) and not in the ACC position. I leave my key in while at home, and I've drawn down the battery by inadvertently leaving the key in the ACC position. Now I pull the key out part way so I know it's in the off position.

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