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Offline enGage

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Another Dead Battery
« on: April 22, 2014, 08:31:46 pm »
It seems like a number of folks here have had an issue with their battery draining overnight.  I'v put 2,000 miles on my bike and have not had any battery issues, but now today I went to start the bike and nothing.

Over the weekend I did remove the battery in order to make the GPS audio connect that my dealer forgot to connect, but it started fine the next day.

For those that have had this issue, what was the underlying issue?

I apologize in advance for not doing a search, it seems this topic has come up in a number of threads.

Offline KenSmith

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Re: Another Dead Battery
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 01:26:52 am »
Triumph told me the bike is not designed for short daily trips (like riding to work). They said the 8.5 miles to work and the 8.5 miles back home each day will not keep the battery charged. They told me to keep the bike on a Battery Tender every night.

I don't believe a word of it. I think the ECU goes wonky and drains the battery.

This is the only vehicle I ever owned that required nightly charging. I think the underlying issue is that Triumph has produced a great bike with a crappy electrical system.
Ken Smith
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Offline enGage

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Re: Another Dead Battery
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2014, 01:36:49 am »
Yeah, I wouldn't buy that either, but I'm also not willing to believe the electrical system is systemically flawed.  Most owners don't have this problem and I didn't until today!  If the bike can't keep a charge, then I would have seen the issue last fall.

Offline Briang1234

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Re: Another Dead Battery
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2014, 02:04:50 am »
Ya, theres more to this then short rides. Like Ken I ride daily, short commutes etc. If that was the issue I'd certainly have seen it long ago. Rode in all weather, all temps, all winter, no battery tender. I ride the bike as primary transportation. No problems whatsoever....YET. This bike needing to be plugged in is a load of crap. No vehicle needs, or should need plugged in.
Brian
I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.
Riding the Northwet

Offline DonTom

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Re: Another Dead Battery
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2014, 03:49:56 am »
*Originally Posted by enGage [+]
For those that have had this issue, what was the underlying issue?
I have NOT had such a problem. But from reading other messages here, it could either be a bad battery or it's drawing a few amps, discharging even good batteries. While it has not yet been proven, my guess is if it's drawing several amps, a diode shorted out in the alternator. And perhaps the most likely time for that to happen is when the battery is reconnected, but it shouldn't be expected. Perhaps there are some cheap diodes used in the alternator that sometimes like to short out with a surge current when the battery is reconnected. And it's a direct connect to these alternator diodes, even when the key is out, so not much can be done about it. I am sure it only rarely happens. I have had my battery out a couple of times and had no issues when I put it back in. But you might not have been so lucky.

But hopefully, you just have a dead battery. To be sure, you need to measure your current draw on the negative ground battery lead, with a well charged battery. You should only expect about 14ma draw, somewhat unsteady as that light flashes with the key out. Best to use an analog meter with a ten amp current scale to start and hope you see no meter movement. You can also use a 12 volt lamp in series with the negative lead. You do NOT want to see it light when the key is out. Not at all. If it lights, you're drawing way too much current, and as I mentioned, I would expect a shorted diode in the alternator as that's the only thing that makes sense to me when I look at the schematic, when I hear about some bikes drawing over four amps with the key out.

-Don-  Reno, NV
1971 Black BMW R75/5/* 1984 Red Yamaha Venture* 2002 Yellow Suzuki DR200SE* 2013 Blue Triumph Trophy SE*2016 Orange/Black Kaw Versy 650 LT*2016 Orange Moto Guzzi Stelvio* 2017 Gold/Black Harley FLTRU RoadGlide Ultra*2017 Zero 6.5DS* 2017 Zero SR13 w/Pwr Tank*2020 Energica SS9

Offline DonTom

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Re: Another Dead Battery
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2014, 04:17:15 am »
*Originally Posted by Briang1234 [+]
Ya, theres more to this then short rides. Like Ken I ride daily, short commutes etc. If that was the issue I'd certainly have seen it long ago. Rode in all weather, all temps, all winter, no battery tender. I ride the bike as primary transportation. No problems whatsoever....YET. This bike needing to be plugged in is a load of crap. No vehicle needs, or should need plugged in.
With the TTSE 14 MA key-out current draw, the battery should last more than 10 days  on a charge, not being used at all.

BTW, do NOT use Amp Hour ratings to figure this out. With such batteries, an amp hour is not always an amp hour. It varies with current draw and the battery manufacturers like to give the best numbers they can, regardless of how the battery is going to be used. But engine starting batteries are normally designed for very high current draws for just a few seconds and the AH rate changes to MUCH less at very low current draws such as 14 MA for a long period of time.

It's still best for the battery to keep it on a battery maintainer that will not charge to more than to 13.5 volts and cycle off and on as required, to keep the battery voltage just below 13.5 volts. Maintaining a battery full charge requires slightly less voltage than charging. 13.35 volts would be ideal to keep a battery maintained at full charge, which will help it last.

With a well discharged but good  battery, it will normally will take around  four hours of driving or riding to fully charge in any vehicle. But it's rare that the battery will be that discharged, but is possible to have battery problems if not ridden for a couple of weeks and then only short rides that take just a few minutes. A battery maintainer will prevent the battery from ever being discharged that much.

IOW, a battery maintainer is no more required on a TTSE than any other touring bike, but it still helps on any make bike.

-Don-  Reno, NV
1971 Black BMW R75/5/* 1984 Red Yamaha Venture* 2002 Yellow Suzuki DR200SE* 2013 Blue Triumph Trophy SE*2016 Orange/Black Kaw Versy 650 LT*2016 Orange Moto Guzzi Stelvio* 2017 Gold/Black Harley FLTRU RoadGlide Ultra*2017 Zero 6.5DS* 2017 Zero SR13 w/Pwr Tank*2020 Energica SS9

Offline Briang1234

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Re: Another Dead Battery
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2014, 04:46:54 am »
Hey engage
After doing an admittedly quick search, I dont really think that many members have reported battery discharge issues. I know I had one early on that was in fact a bad battery, and Ken Smith has fought a long battle, then a couple others. But I cant find anything other then advice and suggestions that has actually explained or resolved the overnight discharge issue. No one knows. So if your mechanic figures it out, let us know.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 04:48:53 am by Briang1234 »
Brian
I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.
Riding the Northwet

Offline enGage

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Re: Another Dead Battery
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2014, 01:14:19 pm »
*Originally Posted by Briang1234 [+]
Hey engage
After doing an admittedly quick search, I dont really think that many members have reported battery discharge issues. I know I had one early on that was in fact a bad battery, and Ken Smith has fought a long battle, then a couple others. But I cant find anything other then advice and suggestions that has actually explained or resolved the overnight discharge issue. No one knows. So if your mechanic figures it out, let us know.

That's why I posted a new thread.  I remember reading about battery issues, and I know some have had bad batteries, but it seems that others have replaced the batteries only to have the problem come back and I don't remember any resolution.

A couple of things are bothering me.  First, the battery has been fine and I've never in my 55 years had a battery go bad over night.  Most often, they start to loose charge over time.  Second, the clock didn't need to be reset, which tells me the battery didn't go completely dead, but when I turned on the key there was absolutely nothing.  Third, to drain a battery in a short period of time, I would think something would have to warm up significantly.  Conservation of energy and the such.

Don, How do I measure the current draw on the battery when the bike is off?  Do I discount the negative terminal and bridge the connection with a multimeter?

 



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