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Discussion Starter #1
My bikes don't get ridden all that often, being I am in San Francisco, don't commute and I only get out on one of em when I can. As a result, I suffer dead battery issues. Have for years, but I need to do something.

I have to park in a public garage and there are no electrical outlets that I can use, and even if there were, the garage owner is not about to let me tap into his utilities to use a trickle charger. So I plan to use a trickle charger in my basement.

Note: I have a battery charger, but it is NOT a trickle charger.

My questions are:

1. Which trickle chargers do you use? Any brand that is good or known by members to be a good one, so to speak?

2. What should I look for as to features. Most on eBay mention things like:

a. Automatic Battery Float Charger - huh?

b. Provides constant minimum current 12.5 VDC regulated output.

c. Some chargers provide a strong rapid charge BUT tend to boil out liquids & ruin the life of the battery. [that sounds bad].


3. Are they safe enough that I can hook it up and not worry about the thing blowing up and starting a fire. They seem safe considering that they are meant to stay on all the time.

4. Do trickle chargers "wear out" the battery over time? I think not since it does not seem any different than the charging that goes on when the bike is running.

Also, I am wondering if there are any quick connect/disconnect terminals for motorcycle battery cables, so I do not have to use the screwdriver each time I want to detach or attach the cables to the terminals.

I suspect there are none. If none, have any of you perhaps cut the cables and attached male/female connectors to both ends? Seems an easy workaround, but I would have to get connectors sufficient to handle the load, although I don't think there is that much.

Any tips would be appreciated.

P.s. This would be for the 1996 900 SS SP as it is the only bike I don't ride much and the only one the battery has pooped out on me. The bike had an alarm, which I thought might be draining the battery [even though I did not activate it]. Last weekend I yanked the whole thing out [in a way that Arnold the Terminator tore out that guy's heart at the beginning of the movie].:eek:
 

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is there a light bulb in the storage space?....if so then get one of those adapters from home depot that has a plug and allows the bulb to screw in and then plug a 6 foot extension cord to a power strip and then plug in the necessary amount of Battery Tender's......if the owner of the storage space says anything...then remove it all....but if I were you....that'd be my reccomendation....also consider the types of batteries there are out there instead of the liquid lead cell...there are Gel Cell and AGM batteries.....this company though seels a great charger with their batteries as an option and I got my most recent battery from them and a charger and I have used it to charge a couple of batteries so far and it goes to auto trickle!
http://www.westcobattery.com/index.html
 

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The Battery Tender Jr. is just what you need. It's the cheapest of the Battery Tenders and it's intended mainly as a battery maintenance charger. It comes with a a "quick release" SAE connector which can also be used to get power to other 12v electrical devices on your bike. I use it on all of my bikes. They make a waterpoof version too.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
There are no bulbs in the garage, already thought of that. In fact, the basement where I would be attaching the charger is to one of the bulbs down there.

The garage lighting is about 15 feet overhead and it's fluorescent anyway. But I would prefer not to use any of their outlets since they would look at my doing so as an overreaching move on my part, even though we all pay $300 per space, per month, and I have five vehicles.:(
 

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well....I would certainly hate to have to drag a battery along with all the other gear to the bike everytime I'd want to ride...and what about taking the right battery for the right bike?...what if you change your mind as to which bike you want to ride before you get there?...maybe look into getting a big fat deep cycle marine battery and put it in a small lockbox to leave there with the bikes with some baby jumper cables and jump a bike there when you need to off the marine battery and then take that home periodically to charge it!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
zooom said:
well....I would certainly hate to have to drag a battery along with all the other gear to the bike everytime I'd want to ride...and what about taking the right battery for the right bike?...what if you change your mind as to which bike you want to ride before you get there?...maybe look into getting a big fat deep cycle marine battery and put it in a small lockbox to leave there with the bikes with some baby jumper cables and jump a bike there when you need to off the marine battery and then take that home periodically to charge it!
You hit it on the head, I do not relish lugging even a little bike battery to and from the garage.

That jumper battery is a damn good idea. The garage is secure so no one is going to mess with it.

Hmmm.... maybe I can charge others a fee for jumping services. ;)

I'm going shopping for one of them babies right now. Kinda pissed at myself for not thinking of it.
 

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gomura said:
The Battery Tender Jr. is just what you need. It's the cheapest of the Battery Tenders and it's intended mainly as a battery maintenance charger. It comes with a a "quick release" SAE connector which can also be used to get power to other 12v electrical devices on your bike. I use it on all of my bikes. They make a waterpoof version too.
+1 with what gomura said. I have the small waterproof battery tender jr. that comes with quick disconnects and attachable jumper cables. You can buy the cables seperately from Cyclegear. My battery dies due to it's size if it sits more than one week. And my trailer is in the backyard all the time with the bikes in it. I don't have the luxury with running an extension. When I take it out to cycle the fluids, I just plug in the jumper cables and connect to a portable battery jumpstarter for few seconds. The jumpstarter will hold a charge for more than 6 months but you can take it in whenever you like for charging. Maybe you can put a small locker where you park your bike with a lock. It comes with an aircompressor and small floodlight. They're $30-40 bux and looks like this..
 

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Lot of good suggestions here.
If the basement has a window you could try use a solar charger.
I think your battery will last longer now that you've "Arnold" it.
The alarms create a constant, though minimal, drain when hooked up even if they are not armed.
 

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That's what you need. On the bottom right that's the wiring you will attach permanently to your battery. The other end of that wire is the quick-connect (with pretective cover) that you will have tucked, but accessible somewhere underneath the fairing ... that way charging your battery is reduced down to a 30-second plug-and-play process.

Go to:

http://batterytender.com/

... for more details and answers to FAQ.

I have been using this for many years and you need not worry about dead battery issues due to infrequent use anymore. I travel a lot, sometimes for weeks at a time, if my bike is hooked-up to that, I know it will fire-up on the first try when I get back home.

If your battery is fully drained, it can take 8 hours or so before it brings it back to life, otherwise, it's all just maintenance and use.
 

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I think some of you are missing the point..

Roto, for a nominal fee ( and airfares ) I'll come and ride your bikes / drive any cars for you.. Save you the hassles.. would once a fortnight be enough or do want them taken out evey week?

Always willing to help

Mal


hahahahahaha
 

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Discussion Starter #12
cheech said:
+1 with what gomura said. I have the small waterproof battery tender jr. that comes with quick disconnects and attachable jumper cables. You can buy the cables seperately from Cyclegear. My battery dies due to it's size if it sits more than one week. And my trailer is in the backyard all the time with the bikes in it. I don't have the luxury with running an extension. When I take it out to cycle the fluids, I just plug in the jumper cables and connect to a portable battery jumpstarter for few seconds. The jumpstarter will hold a charge for more than 6 months but you can take it in whenever you like for charging. Maybe you can put a small locker where you park your bike with a lock. It comes with an aircompressor and small floodlight. They're $30-40 bux and looks like this..
Boy, duh factor here. I have two of those things. Never have used them, though seemed good to have. I put them in the basement about 4 years ago and forgot about them. Guess I'll go looking for them, but the basement is a 400 SF black hole filled to the brim with stuff. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mals900ss said:
I think some of you are missing the point..

Roto, for a nominal fee ( and airfares ) I'll come and ride your bikes / drive any cars for you.. Save you the hassles.. would once a fortnight be enough or do want them taken out evey week?

Always willing to help

Mal


hahahahahaha
Sure you don't want 1st class accommodations tossed in?
 

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Another alternative, granted it's more effort, is to disconnect the battery terminals. Clocks, security systems, general leakage (electrical, not fluid) from high humidity will run a battery down when not in use. A jump from another battery will help start a long standing bike easier, but the charging system will still be strained to put juice back into the battery. Most bike charging systems do not return energy to the battery unless the motor is spinning faster than 3500-4000 rpms.

Or, you could just find another place to store them that has an outlet available. Heck, you can store them at my house, I'll even put a trickle charge on them once a month, and because you're a member in excellent standing, a half price deal of a buck and a half a month. There, problem solved!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
cheech said:
When I take it out to cycle the fluids, I just plug in the jumper cables and connect to a portable battery jumpstarter for few seconds. The jumpstarter will hold a charge for more than 6 months but you can take it in whenever you like for charging. Maybe you can put a small locker where you park your bike with a lock. It comes with an aircompressor and small floodlight. They're $30-40 bux and looks like this..
Last night cleaned out a hall closet and EUREKA, I stumbled upon the jump-starter that I have never used. Pretty deluxe unit [see pic]. Even the charger/adaptor was there. Plugged it in and charging it up. Hopefully it's still "good," as I think it is about 5 years old. :(

But if it's dead, they are cheap enough I can buy another and send this one to the recycler at the fire department . [In San Francisco, batteries can now be dropped off at the fire dept. for recycling. Remember to never throw any battery in the trash. Matter of fact, a new California law just went into effect, where it is an infraction to throw any battery into the trash, AA, AAA, 9 volt, or any type. Toss in the trash, get caught, $50-$100 fine, forgot the amount].

Looks like that is a good solution for my dead batteries. Cannot believe I forgot about that as a solution, and worse, that I had one of these, never used, sitting in a closet.


Also ordered a trickle charger for the old battery. Maybe it is still good, so it can be a spare.

Thanks everyone for the tips, tricks and help.

 

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Check out the specs on the ACI chargers offered by Motowheels before you buy. It is the best unit I have ever used in terms of features. Or, their website at acichargers.com.
 

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Great, I'm looking around and nobody carries a bettry for the ST3, just everything else. Wonderful.
 

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Roto have you thought about a solar tender? Lots out on the market,just google.
 
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