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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my 1997 900 SS for two months. Had to slightly top up the battery's cells(left side mostly) when I first had it. Noticed small signs of acid leakage on underneath of tank left side where battery breather sits. I put this down to the overflow plastic hose not connecting properly to the battery.

This morning vaguely noticed a slight reluctance to start from cold, and maybe more than the usual low speed popping until it warmed up. Stopped after 3-4 miles for about an hour to go shopping. Came back, pressed the starter button, a reluctant half turn, then immediately a very loud BANG!. Smell of rotten eggs, vapour cloud from under the tank. All systems dead, but a strange new low 'whine' when the ignition turned on. Lifted the tank, all 6 battery plastic plugs popped off and scattered around. Removed the battery, left side cells had lost 2/3 of their acid/distilled water, the middle and right side cells on the min.mark or OK. I guess some vapour built up in the empty cells, and somehow ignited.

It looks like long term overcharging from the OEM reg, so I guess a new Electrex regulator is in order. Tomorrow I'll run a multimeter on the battery, and get readings at 3000rpm and at idle and with engine off. Following some of the excellent threads on this site, I'll also check wiring into and out of the regulator for signs of overheating.

I didn't trust the old battery, so I fitted a new one, it started first time, and on the way home it felt much crisper below 2000rpm cold and warmed up.

Am I missing anything here?

Your advice much appreciated.

Jules
 

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Anytime the plates are not fully flooded you can get gas buildup and have an explosion.

Overcharging would tend to run the battery too much and consume the water. So, it is possible that you have the right cause.

Did you ever check the specific gravity of the acid?
 

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Do you happen to use a Battery Tender or other type of trickle charger? If so, it may be overcharging the battery and you bike charging system may be just fine. I put my trust in a Battery Tender -- Big mistake in my case. Trust the lights at your own risk!! My friend had/has the same problem with his. I switch to a BatteryMinder. MUCH better!!!! Way more consistant and I think so far a better product.

You may want to glance at this post: http://www.ducati.ms/forums/showthread.php?p=559564

Don't forget to spray your bike down with a mix of Baking Soda and water or some other type of acid nuturalizer (not sure what that would be) since the acid was sprayed all over!!:eek: That stuff will start eating at anything metal..... even ruin paint. Nasty stuff!!!!!!!!!

Good luck with it....:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update

Update:

Ran a multimeter across the new battery today and got 12v with engine off (naturally), and 13.5v at 3000rpm, in fact no change up to 6000rpm, kept checking, slowly increasing the revs and repeating. Rock steady reading, so it would appear the regulator is doing its job. (I checked this after warming it up and a temp reading of 100.C).

Also I checked all the relevant wiring and no sign of any overheating.

So, unless the fault is intermittent, why did the old battery appear to boil away on the left side cells?

At least, I don't need to buy a new regulator for the time being......fingers crossed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Yellow blur, I've gently hosed down as much as I can, and will keep an eye on it.
 

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an exploding battery indicates a venting problem, IMHO. a kinked vent tube, defective vent passageway....the vent "system" is there to prevent specifically what happened to you. a weak or sulfated properly vented battery doesn't explode on its own, very unusual.

a moot point, however, now that you've replaced it.
 
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