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Discussion Starter #1
Maybe I am too new to motorcycles, but I ahd my motorcycle for a few days where it sat (for a 5 days or so) and the battery was dead. Luckily I saw this comign down the road and got a battery charger. Is this common for a battery to have low life so soon? How soon should a battery sit before going dead?
 

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Union Strong
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1,142 Posts
How old is the battery, what year is the bike?

Typically in the winter one would put it on a trickle charger...
 

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ULTIMATE Forum Supporter
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7,748 Posts
Really depends on the battery (quality) and more importantly how the battery was charged initially. If you buy a new battery, install it in the bike and go ride, then that battery will never last. A battery needs a proper, FULL charge the first time it's put in service, otherwise it will never perform up to spec.

Typically a battery will last 3-5 years with proper care, but some will be useless after a year, others can last 7-8 years easily.

Best to charge it fully with a "smart" charger like a Battery Tender or Deltran etc., then check the battery voltage after a few days, starting cycles and see what you're getting. You can also check the voltage at the battery while the bike is running to make sure your charging system is working.

These values are from my Honda manual but should be similar or close:

Fully charged: 13.0 - 13.2V
Under charged: Below 12.3V

with the bike running at 5000RPM voltage should be greater than your measured battery voltage (above) and less than 15.5V
 

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TV Guru
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11,779 Posts
If that 5 days was out in the cold, you betcha it can go dead. However, a brand new battery that was properly prepared and charged before sitting should go at least a couple weeks before it goes dead if the weather is warm or the bike is in a heated garage. If it's an unheated garage and it's cold outside, you might get a week before it will start having trouble cranking.

If the battery is old or wasn't properly prepared, you may be needing to top it off after just a couple days of sitting, even in good weather.

Remember: motorcycle batteries are tiny little things compared to car batteries. Where cold cranking amps on car batteries can be in the hundreds, they are in the dozens on many powersport batteries. Also, idling a lot can cause a battery to fail to charge while the bike is running since a lot of bikes need at least 1500 RPMs to exceed the break even point on voltage.
 
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