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J

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All winter I leave the battery out of the bike and occasionally check it; this year was no exception. However, after charging it prior to putting it in last weekend, acid started to come out of the vent holes in the top. It is the original battery, 2003 type GS, and I was charging it on 1 Amp for only an hour. First question is, why did this happen?

After getting the bike fired up for the first time and letting it sit and cool down, I went back and checked the battery, now installed in the bike. There were two finger tip sizes of acid again on the top. Second question, is this battery just overcharged and venting or is it on its last legs? Should I leave it out of the bike and get a new one?

Thanks.
 

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Sounds to me like you have 1 or 2 shorted cells. There's 6 cells in a 12V lead-acid (auto/moto) battery. Fully charged, and at no load, each cell should be 2.2V, so 2.2 x 6 cells = 13.2V. You should try to measure the battery to see if it's close to 13V. If it's 11 ish, one cell is gone.

When a cell shorts, the battery will try to overcharge itself, because what's normally a 13.x V trickle charger, is now trying to pump 13 V into a 9 or 11V battery, and this battery wants to stay at say 11V. So it does this with more current. Then you'll get bubbling from overcharging the remaining cells that are OK.

It's even worse running the bike, because these newer DUCs (1999 and on) have a 520 Watt alternator. They can push out 40 Amps, and these amps are going to go where they think they're needed---right into your crappy 11V battery.
 

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So that's what happened to my GS battery. I should have got a new one under warranty but I didn't want the hassle and installed a conventional wet cell instead, since it had the battery shelf to suit (the smaller GS was installed on a sub-shelf)

My advice, don't put the batt back in the bike. I did and acid leaked and some went on frame and rear wheel. Now I have specs on the frame and what looks like chain grease spots on th rear wheel but on the right hand side!!!!!
 
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