motorcycle battery drains while riding

It is recommended that you return to your garage after your ride in case the bike refuses to start up again after being shut off. The primary function of a rectifier is to convert alternating current (AC) to direct current (DC). The regulator/rectifier is one unit newer motorcycles but may be two separate items in an older bike. Remember the more stuff you add, the more potential for a system failure that can drain your battery. Remove the battery – If you don’t plan on riding your motorcycle for a long period of time, consider removing the battery from the bike. The source of the damage can be heat and vibration or the battery draining out on one occasion or more. Regardless of how well you take care of your battery, if it cannot tolerate heat and vibration, it will fail prematurely when subjected to those conditions. A battery drain or draw is caused by excessive current draw in the electrical system. Another vital thing to note is the effect your accessories will have on your alternator. Watch for fumes. Only ever riding short distances (this does not allow the bike’s charging system to fully recharge the battery) Running excessive electrical accessories on a bike (these drain the battery much quicker than a stock bike would) Faulty or incorrectly installed accessories or wiring; Using the wrong type of charger and over/undercharging https://motorcyclehabit.com/7-reasons-a-motorcycle-battery-drains-while-riding In fact, if you live in an area where there is considerable heat all the time (like the desert southwest for example) you might want to shield your battery. While the starter is spinning, observe the voltage. When the battery on your bike has completely discharged you should be able to jump start the bike and ride it long enough that the alternator on the engine will recharge the battery. Although, there a few things you can do for yourself before rushing to the mechanic’s place. In newer bikes, both the regulator and the rectifier come as one unit while in older bikes, they come as separate units. This can give riders the wrong impression as they may feel they have switched off the ignition all to wake up and find a different story. When the lights are on the battery seems to lose charge even when the engine is running. Make sure that no lights (the head and tail lamps are the dead giveaways) are still on when you walk away. If your having trouble keeping your battery charged after a ride, either the Stator or alternator might be the next culprit to investigate. Step 5. As an Amazon associate we earn from qualifying purchases. They have longer lifespans than lead-acid batteries. The flywheel on the alternator rotates around the Stator to generate AC power for the motorcycle. We woke up to a chilly morning and I went out to start my motorcycle. With a little TLC, you can extend the life of your motorcycle battery. If you have a motorcycle with multiple instruments or a dashboard, take a quick look to ensure that everything is powered down. Term of Service | Privacy Policy | About Us | Contact Us, Causes of Motorcycle Battery Draining Overnight, 4) You Forgot To Turn the Key Off Last Night. I get the kickstand down and the bike settled and give the key a quick flip and a yank and off I go. Check for loose connections, and ff they test out OK check for a power drain. It is part of the electrical system of a motorcycle. Ensure that you have switched it off properly before leaving. If there is a fault, the accessories have to be removed to solve the problem leading to more cost. That is why you have to inspect them regularly and repair or replace them and one you find faulty. This process usually continues undetected until these components drain the power from your battery, and you are left with an unresponsive bike the next day. It is important to double-check after this and inspect other parts of the connection while ensuring everything is connected correctly. The starter should be running at normal speed. Check your headlight for a bad connector. If something is draining the juice, I'd start looking at the starter and relay, in case you shorted or fused something. Check Electrolyte levels – Make sure the liquid level in your battery is at the proper level and hasn’t dried out. Thank you for your support! That is why it is important to carry out regular checks on your bike, especially this area. If you plan on doing any cleaning whether with a product or a do it yourself remedy, make sure that you disconnect your battery from the system so you don’t get yourself zapped. Your battery is refusing to start maybe as a result of it being in a weak state as a result of previous damage done to it. There are many motorcycles where it’s possible to pull the key out of the ignition before it reaches the full ‘off’ position. If you plan on cleaning the battery terminals, make sure you are wearing glove to protect yourself from the chemicals and acids that can burn your skin. Look for bad or broken wiring – Any wiring that doesn’t look protected, has bad connectors or the wiring’s exposed could be causing you a short in the electrical system. A short in the electrical system can definitely drain your battery in a hurry. Even when you take good care of the motorcycle battery, heat or vibrations can still reduce the lifespan. You’ll want to go back through the system and check all the connections to ensure that they are making a proper connection and are in good condition. Check your battery terminals and clean them if needed. Whenever I thought of adding something to my bike that wasn’t functional, my mechanic friend put it to me like this: The more accessories you add, the more that has to be removed when there is a problem. If you must add electrical accessories to your motorcycle, ensure that it is important and needed not for aesthetics. A short in the electrical system can drain your battery in a hurry. Be on the lookout for unprotected wires, bad connections, or exposed cables as they may be responsible for the short in your bike’s electrical system. The damage with heat and vibration occurs to the internal components of the battery. Riding with your brights on shouldn't make a difference unless you only ride at low engine rpms (4k and below). All the other answers are good, but I’ll add a little. That is huge for an electric motorcycle! In some cases, you might need to upgrade it to put up with the new load. I was hoping to find a loose or bare wire somewhere under the engine. You walk away and go do your thing until the next day. 6 years ago. We like adding some stuff to our bikes, some are necessary, but most are not needed. Anon A. If the motorcycle will start, probably not the battery as a bad battery would not hold a charge to start the bike again. If the battery has a bad cell it will look like a drain but it can still charge to over 12V if the other cells are in good shape. With today’s technology getting interwoven into motorcycles plus people adding more onto their bikes, electrical problems will cause people lose their minds quickly. Hey everyone. Sometimes your battery is old and tired. It won’t be easy for a mechanic, but it doesn’t mean it is not traceable and fixable. In some cases, it overloads the system and drains the battery very fast. The best way to inspect for leaky circuits is to install a multimeter between your battery’s negative cable and the negative terminal of the battery. The Stator is connected to the alternator and is the stationary part of it. Except in this case, the parasite might be any of your accessories that drawing low levels of current from your battery until its dead. For example, It’s possible for the stator to be fine and the alternator to be bad. Natural wear and tear on a battery from normal use cannot be avoided. With the key off, place the multimeter in the amps mode and place a lead between the terminal and the cable. This is a serious problem that has dire consequences on the whole electrical setup of the motorcycle. Riding range is dependent on speed – that is, higher speeds drain the battery faster. I have a voltmeter under my seat and I can slowly watch it go down while idling. This motorcycle USB charger has a power of 2.1A and features a manual switch that prevents the bike's battery from draining when it's not in use. I notice that anytime I use my battery till it got drained totally. Any excess power output is converted into heat and dissipated. It could be more. Nowadays, motorcycles have more wirings compared to older ones. Circuits that are considered leaky drain your battery until it is dead. This is because of the design of most motorcycles being manufactured nowadays, as well as the tweaks individuals add to their bikes. This is why you must use a battery tender on the bike. If the battery terminal themselves are corroded, it could b symptomatic of a bigger problem with your battery. Ensure you are carrying out safety procedures while cleaning battery terminals such as wearing gloves and preventing contact with the chemicals in your battery. If it never goes above the 13 its in the charging system, if it goes to the 14+ side its the battery or some other load issue. The source of such a drain could be an electrical part, such as an amplifier, light in the glovebox. Those functions revolve around safety and comfort not aesthetics. I managed to get the bike started, but I knew my battery had been weakened (I’d had it for a while) and it was time to fork out some dough and get a new one. Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of starting your bike, and it refuses to come on? Before tearing into your alternator, you going to want to take some time and give the rectifier a test with a multimeter. You’ll want to test each of these items separately if you can to try an isolate which one is the culprit. A Short in the electrical system. If it is a bad regulator, or in the case of a Harley-Davidson, regulator-rectifier, the alternator output would not keep the battery charged, to again restart the next time. Battery – Your battery is likely not the one at fault if you detect that you have a short in your electrical system. A bunch of small trips, like 15 minutes and less is not enough to really charge the battery from the initial start. It should read no lower than 13.5 volts and no higher than 14.5 volts. You can still remove the key from the ignition in some motorcycles before turning them off or on. The result will be to immediately to jump on the phone to make an appointment with your local mechanic. And of course if it doesn’t your battery is going to get drained overtime. 4917, Made to go the distance, these tires are designed to last, provide grip and keep you touring for miles to come. Make sure that when you store the battery that it’s in a place warmer than 32 degrees and not sitting directly on a concrete floor. Motorcycle Touring Tips is reader supported and is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. When you get your friends meter be sure to check the charging system. 0 0. yulia. It cranked over twice, then I heard the dreaded clicks! Leaks can come from accessories, alarms, GPS power supplies, or other sources. 4865, I'm Earl and I enjoy riding and traveling on my Honda Gl1800 as much as I can get away with. It’s just plain done, and no amount of hooking it up to any machine will bring it back to life. Consult your mechanic, but you may want to consider connecting all of your extras into a distribution box and using the voltmeter monitor them. The type of drain that occurs when the motorcycle is meant to be off is regarded as a Parasitic power loss. For my motorcycle, I tend to be a minimalist. If your battery is of the lead-acid type (not gel batteries) you want to … A low or failing battery can cause crazy readings during your testing. It’s either been damaged by heat and vibration, or it’s been drained (at least once). A way to perform a quick check is to get a multimeter and remove the negative cable to the battery terminal. Circuits that are considered leaky drain your battery until it is dead. This observation is based on experience. The next day I tried starting it for another ride, but found the battery was drained again. A common overlooked culprit for dead motorcycle batteries is poor ground connection between either the frame and battery. Riding around town at 20 mph in Eco mode will give you an approximate 62-mile range. If you add too much, your motorcycle alternator may not be able to keep up and you may need to upgrade that as well. Some motorcycle batteries cannot take on heat and vibrations. I have no idea what could be causing the problem. This will make it seem as if you have problems with your electrical system when all you really have is a bad fuse. When you detect a short in the electrical system of your bike, the first thing is to visit an experienced mechanic to get it sorted out. This problem will give you a dead battery faster than you can imagine. Make sure that you leave the quick connect ‘pigtail’ exposed so you can get it whenever you want. Therefore, it is essential not to be in a hurry to switch off your bike. Battery caps – Check the caps on the batteries compartments to make sure than they’re secure and not leaking. Use distilled water, wear gloves and eye protection. If your battery is located in an area on the motorcycle where is can be subject more heat than usual, you may want to consider wrapping it in thermo heat shield to keep it protected. After recharge, it never performs like before again and usually spells the beginning of the end for the battery. The bike off voltage should be between 12 and 13 volts, while the running voltage should be between 14 and 15 volts. However, it might not be the best place to visit as a result of the wiring, and other components find there, but it is important to find out if the issue is coming from there. The best way to do that is keep your battery hooked up to a battery maintainer or tender when you’re not using it. Check your main fuse – A main fuse that’s blown or faulty will cause all of the electrical components on your motorcycle to die. Corroded electrical connections can cause a heap of problems to the electrical system of motorcycles. You really should test for battery drain with the ignition off. Generally, the reading should be zero, but if the draw is over an amp your going to need to take a closer look at what’s going on in the system. Voltmeter when running will normally read 13–15 VDC. Sometimes your battery is just in a weak condition. To make matters worse, it is not easy to fix even for the most experienced mechanic. The last and final thing I’ve tried to make a habit of is doing quick walk around as I get off of my bike. This issue usually occurs in bikes that have relatively high mileage. This motorcycle toolkit is the one I carry on my motorcycle. This should help increase the lifespan of your battery. Hitting a deer on a motorcycle is one of the worst crashes a rider can get into. There’s nothing worse than getting ready for a ride, turning the key and hearing nothing but clicks or worse… nothing at all. This problem is usually common in bikes with high mileage. You should note there are different ways of cleaning corroded battery terminals. However, it is fixable. We've have lots more on the site to show you. Re-install the battery in your motorcycle (if you had to remove it). The corrosion can stem from anything from overcharging the battery to the battery itself leaking hydrogen gas. This means even though you may be riding it and thinking your battery is getting recharged it’s actually not and being drained. It was a bad habit that I had to change due to too many close calls! Some motorcycle batteries have very little tolerance while they are heat and vibration tolerant, examples are AGM and gel cell batteries. There are two drive modes – Sport and Eco. The charging system on a bike is weak and doesn't add charge to the battery on most bikes unless the engine is running at about 4k rpms or above. Possible causes of issues that arise in relation to grounding are rusting and corrosion and when the ground straps are loose or not properly connected. Pro tip: Keep a few extra’s of these on hand when you ride. In this post we’ll take a look at some reasons your motorcycle battery died overnight. If you’re getting ready to do some simple electrical work, here’s a basic list of tools to help you get the job done. You can isolate a limited number of circuits by pulling the fuses out until the drain stops. Perform a current draw test Adding a few electrical accessories to your motorcycle is simple, it seems everyone likes to add a ton of crap that’s unnecessary. It can lead to confusion about where the source of the problem is. There are different reasons for such a problem and BPZ would look to highlight some of these. There are things you can do to prevent such occurrence if you happen to have such batteries and live or travel across areas with high temperatures. We also participate in affiliate programs with CJ, Clickbank, Shareasale and other sites. Q. I have all sorts of electrical problems with my bike. Disconnect light and do test! link to Dunlop Elite 4 Motorcycle Tires Review, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prkA1fYvhWo, How to test ALL the motorcycle charging system components also found on ATV UTV (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prkA1fYvhWo), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MWU2TbEePsY, Stators & Regulators/Rectifiers – What you need to know? Don’t worry about over charging your battery… A good tender will keep your battery full without damaging it through overcharging. It is essential to note that your bike regulator and the alternator will not last forever. Once the internal components of the battery have suffered damage, the life span of the battery is reduced. 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