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Well I've had my bike on the Battery Tender ever since I bought it... I took it out for the first time and rode all day yesterday, the bike fired up every time I started it. I left the bike out last night and didn't have it hooked up to the tender, it was pretty much dead this morning. Charged it, rode for 45 miles, turned the bike off at the gas station, tried starting it and it was pretty much dead. Ended up having to push start it 3 times today...

So, I need a new battery. Can Anyone suggest a good battery for an ST4/where to get one? Also, it looks like swapping the battery is going to be kind of a pain in the ass... I haven't tried getting to it yet, but how much bodywork am I going to need to take off? Thanks guys!
 

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Charged it, rode for 45 miles, turned the bike off at the gas station, tried starting it and it was pretty much dead.
First thing you need to do is check the charging system. After a 45 mile ride, the battery should have charged. If the charging system looks "ok", then I'd assume the battery is dead.

For getting to the battery on a '99, the best thing to do is to pull off the two dash covers, pull the mirrors, pull off the headlight fairing, and remove the right side fairing as an assembly (the two parts). You *can* just remove the lower section of the side fairing, but it isn't worth the hassel. Also, I would change to the smaller 12B-4 battery that is found in the newer bikes, plus, they are readily available as maintenance-free.
 

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Go with the yuasa same as R-1 I believe, may get a cheaper price that way. I paid 115 from the dealer cause I needed it asap. I found them online for as low as $89. I just removed the lower right and middle fairing, might be different as I have an 02. They only thing difficult is those damn fairing screws they never go back in like they should.
 

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Go with the yuasa same as R-1 I believe, may get a cheaper price that way.
Yes, the R1 has the same sized battery....at least my wife's 2000 R1 does.

There is an article on page 7 of this Desmo Leanings on one way to do the battery conversion from the 16AL-A2 to the 12B-4 battery....

http://www.usdesmo.com/leanings/Leanings_2007_3_Fall.pdf


Now, as for name brand batteries, here is something I wrote a while back....

From 1987-1993 I worked to Yuasa-Exide Battery in Sumter, SC as a production operator in several departments and then as an Engineering Technician the last two years I was there. We manufactured batteries with the brands of "Yuasa" and "Exide" but also *lesser quality* brands as Challenger. The thing is, all of these batteries came from the exact same batch of batteries. They went through every aspect of the manufacturing process, side-by-side, until the "Formation Room". In this department, the cells were filled with acid, charged, and then put through at least one discharge test that determined their quality.

The discharge test was a quick draw-down of the cells, and every few minutes, the operator would go through the circuit with a hand-held multimeter and check the voltage across each battery. Depending on the battery's voltage at a given time, it would be deemed as good enough quality for Brand A, Brand B, Brand C, Brand D, or as scrap.

Now, most circuits of batteries that were being charged consisted of 18-96 batteries. The operator started at one end and worked their way through each cell, calling out the voltages, as another operator wrote down the numbers. The draw-dawn tests were a short period of time, such as fifteen minutes, so if the operator started on one end of a 96-battery circuit, by the time he reached the 96th battery, it would naturally be much lower than the voltage of the first battery he read. Now, take into account illegible hand-writing and water smearing the ink on the paper (there are shower heads constantly spraying water on the batteries to keep them cool), and you have a lot of good batteries being stated as bad, when in fact they may have been better quality than the better branded ones. After the ranking of these batteries from the draw-down tests, they were separated after being recharged and sent to shipping where they were cleaned, had labels slapped on them, and boxed for shipping.

So, I tend to buy the cheapest battery I can find and often buy off-brand batteries from places such as www.ebatteriestogo.com (Edit - last time I checked, they quit carrying that size, for now). I've owned and seen a LOT of crap Yuasa, Exide, and Interstate batteries that couldn't hold a candle to most of the cheaper batteries I've owned. If not anything else, for the going price of an OEM Yuasa battery, I can easily buy 2-3 cheaper brands that will far outlast the life of that one Yuasa battery.

Ok, continue preaching how great OEM and Yuasa batteries are. I'll go back to surfing....
 

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Life is too short to worry !
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I recommend a Westco AGM battery after 2 lesser known branded batteries were inconsistent in holding a charge and never were as good at cranking the engine over.
 

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I'm a fan of Westco batteries as well. Buy them right off the Westcobattery.com website, $70 with free shipping.

pg
DD
 

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I recommend a Westco AGM battery
I'm a fan of Westco batteries as well. Buy them right off the Westcobattery.com website, $70 with free shipping.
Without going back under the fairings, I think the last 3-4 batteries I bought were WestCo batteries from www.ebatteriestogo.com

I just went on thier website and it looks like they are in stock, again. $68.95 with free shipping....


http://ebatteriestogo.com/landing_pages/powersport/UB12B-4.htm

I need to order another one of them. The first one I bought is finally almost shot.....I think it is 5 or 6 years old and probably has 30,000 miles on it.
 

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I use the Yuasa used on the newer bikes, even on my Guzzis (I get a good deal on them as my daughter works at the Ducati dealer). Samller than the OEM on my ST2 and works great.

Tom
 

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Please note that this bike is a 1999. 1999 used a 16Ahr wet cell battery. Many of the replies above, I think, are for the 2000 on up Ducatis that use a smaller gel cell battery.
The smaller battery won't fit the battery box nicely, unless you want to cut a custom wooden spacer for it. And note that the newer gel cell battery is 12Ahr, and it goes in "backwards".

Was the battery 10 years young, or did you buy the bike used? I was able to squeak close to 8 years from the OEM battery on my bike... I ended up putting a bigger 22Ahr AGM battery in my bike.
 

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Please note that this bike is a 1999. 1999 used a 16Ahr wet cell battery. Many of the replies above, I think, are for the 2000 on up Ducatis that use a smaller gel cell battery.
The smaller battery won't fit the battery box nicely, unless you want to cut a custom wooden spacer for it. And note that the newer gel cell battery is 12Ahr, and it goes in "backwards".
The conversion is explained in the article I referenced above (starting on p.7)..

http://www.usdesmo.com/leanings/Lean...007_3_Fall.pdf


I did the conversion several years ago, and it was fairly straightforward and the battery was not backwards. For a spacer, you can make a wooden one, but Ducati offered an OEM plastic spacer, complete with the Ducati "D" molded into it. The article I referenced also states that a newer negative battery bracket can be bought to avoid notching the battery box. The battery hold-down requires the drilling of one hole and the purchase of the OEM Ducati bracket. It costs about $20-$25 for all the parts to do the conversion, and getting acid on the bike will never be a concern with the smaller, gell battery (the 16AL-A2 is only available as a conventional "wet" battery).....you could also look for a newer ST battery box off of eBay as an alternative.

Checking my logbook, I did the conversion on July 22, 2002 and it (and the battery) has done well for the last 32,000 miles. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for the helpful responses, again you guys prove to be a great community and a great source of insight!!

So today I started my bike (it was on the tender overnight) and rode it 30 miles or so.. I was all set to push start it when I started it again, but she fired right up. On four separate occasions today I turned my bike off and it fired right up. Including the one time I stalled it in traffic at a stoplight, that could have been really bad (it was already embarassing)... This bike is a little touchy in stop n go traffic like that. Anyway, right now she's on the tender again for the night. Maybe I can squeeze a little more life out of that battery if I just make sure to keep it hooked up overnight. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me since after riding 40 miles the battery should charge itself anyway, but who knows...? I'll probably order the battery anyway and do the install whenever I find the time and the patience. Is it really that much better to do the battery conversion? Or will I be fine with the original model/size? Thanks again!
 

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Is it really that much better to do the battery conversion? Or will I be fine with the original model/size? Thanks again!
The 12AL-2A size is fine, but the smaller battery has more benefits other than it being smaller and lighter, it also is available as a gel battery, is more common among motorcycles, and since it is not a conventional lead-acid "wet" battery, they can be easily shipped all day long. The disadvantage to the wet battery is that most online stores will not ship one because the acid in them, and potential for spilling, requires an additional HAZMAT fee.

For me, it only made sense.......of the eight bikes I have running, only two do not use the 12B-4 battery. This way, I'm a little more standardized, and it is easier to swap batteries around. It's the same reason why all (except for two bikes) are running a 120/70-17 front and 180/55-17 rear tire.....it just makes it easier to have spares laying around. :D
 
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