Thursday, February 28, 2019

In the last few days....

Over the last few days, I've been puttering in the garage as the weather is quite cold.

Rides have been short but did manage to get a ride in for each motorcycle in the garage:

 Fiona and Mount Evans

Brigitta at the Westlands Park entrance

 Yagi at Sunset

Speaking of Yagi, I'd noticed the battery she came with didn't seem to hold a charge for long.  The records I got from the previous owner showed it was less than 3 years old too.  Some reading online at the TW200 forum showed that the stock flooded batteries don't tend to last very long.

Disregard battery replacement, ended up returning it.  

So I ordered a LIFePO4 Lithium Ion battery.  No maintenance and when I drop the motorcycle, no worries re spilling acid.

The battery got here today and at first I was suspicious.  Not only was it so light that it felt like an empty plastic case in my hands; it was much smaller than the stock battery!

1.1 lbs vs 6.2 lbs
Link to the battery on Amazon

Still with doubts, I went ahead and prepared Yagi for the replacing of the battery.

Stock Battery

The new battery being smaller, I had to cut to fit some padding using an old Army Sleeping Pad.  The new battery is cushioned from below, and all sides and the top to create tension on the rubber hold down strap.

New battery in place, snugged up.

Yagi is now sitting on the battery charger for today and will take her for a ride once the battery reaches float mode.

The new battery and the removal of the passenger pegs have decreased Yagi's overall weight by 7.7 lbs.  Hopefully it'll make a difference when I am picking her up on the trails after a fall.

To go with the new battery, also bought a three phase battery charger/tender:

click on the image to buy it from amazon
  • Complete 4-step charging program (Initialization, Bulk Charge, Float Mode) allows for optimization of battery power, without overcharging

Mar 2, 2019 Update:  I didn't know at the time, but have it confirmed through RichardM:  The LIFePO4 batteries need to have a "load" placed on them before they "warm up" enough to provide full power or amps. 

The first engine start of the day, the starter sounded like was not getting much would take 3-4 attempts of 2-3 second presses of the start button to get it to catch.

Will try turning on the ignition and let the headlight place a load on the battery for at least 30 seconds and report back.

Update: gave up on this battery, not enough cranking power even after waiting a minute of "load".  Returned it.  Different one inbound.

Update: this is the battery I got.  The image and link is to the one on Amazon but you can find it cheaper on ebay if you're willing to wait a couple of extra days above what Amazon promises.

Same size I believe as the previous battery, but more CCA I believe.  Worked like a charm after I charged it up before installing it.


RichardM said...

Not AGM but “AGM replacement”. Have you checked the alternator output of the TW to make sure that it doesn’t go above 14.8V? If it does, that may kill the battery. I’ll be interested to see how this works .

redlegsrides said...

At 60mph, my voltmeter reads at best 14.2 on the Tdub....should be OK

RichardM said...

Can it be turned up?

redlegsrides said...

No idea, will research

SonjaM said...

The little one is looking good in the sun. Lovely shot, Dom.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM

Canajun said...

Dom, love the sunset pics with Yagi.

CCjon said...

As Richard said, let the lithium "warm up" a little by turning on the key before hitting the starter button. My KLR rig has a lithium battery, bought a larger one with more CCA. Turned on its side, it fits with little padding plus the positive terminal is exposed for tightening or disconnection without removing any body panels.

Am interested in hearing if the lithium gives you any problem with the cold. We have heard they are not the best in freezing temps, but that's just South Texas people talking. People who don't know what cold is like you and Richard.

redlegsrides said...

Yep, Jan, definitely a bit different starting technique when the engine is cold, first thing in the morning. It was perhaps 40°F (4.4°C) in my barely heated garage this morning.

I just went out to the garage, turned on the ignition so the lights started putting a load on the battery.

watched the voltmeter plummet to 10.3V from 13.3V before I started.

I counted the seconds towards 1 minute then I hit the starter....struggled but no start. Noticed then that the voltmeter started climbing back up....slowly back to 11.3 and she cranked the engine at that point successfully.

interesting. next time will try waiting to see if it starts rising on its own once it plummets to 10.3 on ignition turn on. I suspect I actually have to hit the starter button once to put a strong enough load to get things going perhaps.