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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I walk into the parking garage at work the other night. It's about 6:00 PM. I'd parked my bike there that morning at about 6:00 AM.

As I approach my bike, I notice that the headlight is on.

Crap! A sinking feeling starts settling in to my gut as the realization that I left my ignition switch in the "Park" position all day long sinks in.

My brain starts racing. That battery is over a year old. Will it start? What am I going to do if it won't? I've got a few minutes before Moto Corsa closes. Could they come and jump start it for me? Could they just bring me a new battery?

I try to reassure myself that it's going to start. After all, I religiously keep it on a Battery Tender EVERY time it's parked over night and that's supposed to keep the battery in tip-top shape, right? Right?

So, I put the key in, turn the ignition to the "On" position and press the starter, and what do you think my reward was for diligently maintaining my battery? The bike fired right up, just as strong as it does the moment I take it off the Battery Tender every morning! Whew. Dodged that bullit.

Damn, do I love Battery Tenders. Saved from my own stupidity.

The moral of the story? Treat your battery with "Tender-ness," (get it? "Tender"-ness), and it will take care of you when you need it to, like when you make a stupid mistake such as walking away from your bike without double-checking to make sure that you didn't turn the ignition switch one click too far.
 

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On a related note, I found out something cool last weekend about the parking light position on our bikes. Any key, doesn't even have to be Ducati will take it out of that position back to the locked position. Give it a try. Be a friend if you are out and see a Duc with the lights on and turn it off for the owner.

DrD, glad to hear you didn't need a jump start. I only use the tender from this time of year on when the bike may only get out once every other week or less. I can only hope I would be as lucky if I ever leave mine on.
 
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So, I walk into the parking garage at work the other night. It's about 6:00 PM. I'd parked my bike there that morning at about 6:00 AM.

As I approach my bike, I notice that the headlight is on.
Hey Dale,

In the "park" position which lights are lit? I am guessing the front parking light, the tail light and possiblyas the license plate illuminator.

Phil
 

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OK, let's 'fess up here. If the headlight was on, the key was in the ignition and the ignition was left on. Otherwise, only the parking lights would have been on.

There's really no reason to leave the battery on the charger every night, if the bike is ridden daily. The bikes charging system will do a marvelous job of keeping the battery charged. I don't even begin to think of using a float charger unless I'm not going to ride for at least a month.
 

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How can you walk away from your bike in a garage and not notice the headlight is on?

The luck he experienced here was not the battery but the fact no one took his bike (leaving the key in the ignition).

Every donk has a lucky day.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
How can you walk away from your bike in a garage and not notice the headlight is on?

The luck he experienced here was not the battery but the fact no one took his bike (leaving the key in the ignition).

Every donk has a lucky day.
The key was in my pocket. It can be removed when the switch is in the Park position. I wasn't dumb enough to forget the key, just dumb enough not to double-check the position of the switch...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey Dale,

In the "park" position which lights are lit? I am guessing the front parking light, the tail light and possiblyas the license plate illuminator.

Phil
The headlight and the tail light were on. I didn't look to see if the license plate light was on. The tail light is LED. The license plate light is standard, but relocated under the seat facing forward. The headlight is a 55/60 watt bulb.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
OK, let's 'fess up here. If the headlight was on, the key was in the ignition and the ignition was left on. Otherwise, only the parking lights would have been on.

There's really no reason to leave the battery on the charger every night, if the bike is ridden daily. The bikes charging system will do a marvelous job of keeping the battery charged. I don't even begin to think of using a float charger unless I'm not going to ride for at least a month.

You folks with the mistaken notion that you can't remove the key when the switch is in the Park position are in for a rude awakening. The fact that you can remove the key when the switch is in the Park position is what makes mine such an easy mistake to make.

As for not putting your bike on a charger unless you plan on leaving it parked for a month, well, with a Ducati, that's asking for trouble. They begin sulfinating in as little as four days.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How can you walk away from your bike in a garage and not notice the headlight is on?
It is a well lit parking garage without walls in a well lit area of downtown Portland. It wasn't like it was in a small, dark garage where the light would be shining against a wall and obviously on. It was actually quite easy to walk away and not notice it.
 

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I never have used a tender on my bike. I try to ride at least once a week, and live in a pretty mild climate though.
 

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with my gt i did the exact same thing (left in park) probably 5 or 6 times - fortunately for me i DO park in a small, dark garage and noticed it before walking away. always pissed me off why they would have the park function anyway? and right next to lock... very easy to do.

glad you missed the bullet and got started up dr.
 
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The headlight and the tail light were on. I didn't look to see if the license plate light was on. The tail light is LED. The license plate light is standard, but relocated under the seat facing forward. The headlight is a 55/60 watt bulb.
Hey Dale,

This is a real puzzler!:eek:

First off I am guessing your head light was NOT on.. but the "parking" bulb in the head light assembly was on. I double checked and when the PS is in the "park" mode the 5 watt front parking lamp is lit, the 5 watt tail light is lit and the 5 watt license plate illumination light is lit.

That's a total of 15 watts of load or in terms of current you are drawing about 1.25 amps. Of course as the battery drains the battery terminal voltage will fall somewhat.

Even if your LED tail light is drawing significantly less then the approximately 416 milliamp stock tail light you should have drawn down your battery significantly to the point where you could not start your bike in the 12 hours it was sitting there in the "park" mode. I am surprised that your front parking light was lit at all!

The batteries in the Sport Classics are 10 amp/hour batteries and except when cranking over the engine you can calculate the life of the battery based on the 1/10 rule, meaning your should be drawing NO more then 1 amp/hour. So lets say for argument sake that your total draw was 1 amp. Your battery should have been drawn down to the point of total discharge in the 12 hours it was sitting there with the parking lights on.

Additionally these are NOT "deep discharge" batteries and most battery "experts" agree you should never discharge batteries like ours below 70% to 80% of their capacity.

FYI, your stock headlight draws about 4.6 amps and would have drawn down your battery to zero in just over an hour.

If you had waited say 30 minutes before trying to start your bike after discovering your bike was left in the "park" mode for 12 hours, it is possible that your battery may have recovered enough to start your bike. I have never heard of this happening but I do know when your first fill a new battery with acid that it will "self charge" up to about 70% capacity in about 30 minutes.

In any event you might consider a new battery given the stress your battery has undergone. It may not be long for this world.....

Something just doesn't add up.....
 

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I agree that it must have been his parking light, but there is one problem with your calculations.

FYI, your stock headlight draws about 4.6 amps and would have drawn down your battery to zero in just over an hour.
The Amp Hour rating is not the capacity before the battery to gets to zero. It is the capacity of the battery to provide its full rated voltage. So, after providing an Amp for 10 hours, the battery will still have a lot of current, but the voltage will now begin to drop below the battery's rating.

Still, starting a bike after that would seem unlikely. The LED tail light does factor in, since its draw could be nominal, but it's still hard to understand.

One possibility is that the bike does not have a stock battery. There are higher capacity batteries listed as fitting the GT.

And, yes, lead acid batteries produce current through a chemical process that does not happen instantaneously, so a good battery that has been constantly discharging (but not completely discharged) will "recover" somewhat if left to sit for a bit.
 
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I agree that it must have been his parking light, but there is one problem with your calculations.



The Amp Hour rating is not the capacity before the battery to gets to zero. It is the capacity of the battery to provide its full rated voltage. So, after providing an Amp for 10 hours, the battery will still have a lot of current, but the voltage will now begin to drop below the battery's rating.

Still, starting a bike after that would seem unlikely. The LED tail light does factor in, since its draw could be nominal, but it's still hard to understand.

One possibility is that the bike does not have a stock battery. There are higher capacity batteries listed as fitting the GT.

And, yes, lead acid batteries produce current through a chemical process that does not happen instantaneously, so a good battery that has been constantly discharging (but not completely discharged) will "recover" somewhat if left to sit for a bit.
Got it..... or should I say I found it...;)

Battery Storage Capacity Ratings

Two standard ratings are used to measure a battery's storage capacity.

Amp Hours

The Amp Hour rating tells you how much amperage is available when discharged evenly over a 20 hour period. The amp hour rating is cumulative, so in order to know how many constant amps the battery will output for 20 hours, you have to divide the amp hour rating by 20. Example: If a battery has an amp hour rating of 75, dividing by 20 = 3.75. Such a battery can carry a 3.75 amp load for 20 hours before dropping to 10.5 volts. (10.5 volts is the fully discharged level, at which point the battery needs to be recharged.) A battery with an amp hour rating of 55 will carry a 2.75 amp load for 20 hours before dropping to 10.5 volts.

Reserve Minutes

Reserve minutes is the number of minutes a battery will carry a 25 amp load before dropping to 10.5 volts. (10.5 volts is the fully discharged level, at which point the battery needs to be recharged.)


yeah a "dead" or fully discharged battery is when the terminal voltage falls to a specific level. See chart in link below.

HERE is a great link I found...... looks like sulfation starts to occur at the 75% charge level.

I actually did account for the LED tail light best I could. My 1 amp total current draw assumption included 416 milliamps for each of the two incandescent lights and the balance for the LED tail light.
 

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Yeah, you're just making a guess on the tail light, which is all either of us can do without more info. Some LED's have resistors so that, when used in a turn signal, they will make the flasher work correctly. Seems like a waste of most of the benefit of an LED to me. A tail light would have no need of that, so hopefully it would only be the actual LED wattage, which is maybe a 1/4 watt apiece with groups wired in series to make 12v. So, it could be as little as 1/2 a watt (all depending on how many LED's in the unit), or it could be resistored to a as much as an incandescent. Who knows?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I agree that it must have been his parking light, but there is one problem with your calculations...

Still, starting a bike after that would seem unlikely. The LED tail light does factor in, since its draw could be nominal, but it's still hard to understand.

One possibility is that the bike does not have a stock battery. There are higher capacity batteries listed as fitting the GT.

And, yes, lead acid batteries produce current through a chemical process that does not happen instantaneously, so a good battery that has been constantly discharging (but not completely discharged) will "recover" somewhat if left to sit for a bit.
You are right that it is not a stock battery, but I'm not sure which one we put in it.

And I completely agree that it seemed unlikely to me that the bike was going to start, but it did - more than once. What I didn't say in the first post was that, after starting it and then standing next to it revving it up like someone warming up a race bike hoping to prevent it from stalling for about five minutes. I managed to get my helmet on and secured with one hand, proceeded to click it into gear with the sidestand down and killed it. It started back up again. I'm telling you, it was my lucky day.

Now you've got me thinking about which light it was that was on. I'm gonna have to go back and double-check. Because of the way that my heated grips are wired, I think my headlight and parking light are on at the same time, but I don't remember what it does when it's in Park.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
How can you walk away from your bike in a garage and not notice the headlight is on?

The luck he experienced here was not the battery but the fact no one took his bike (leaving the key in the ignition).

Every donk has a lucky day.
BTW Mr. Jumps to Erroneous Conclusions: Not only was the key in my pocket, it was locked to a post cemented in to the Parking Structure's floor. Even if someone got a hold of my ignition key, they'd still have a considerable amount of work to do to get away with my bike.
 
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