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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone recommend me the best battery to use for colder weather starting. Moving from Southern California to North Carolina soon. Got the Enduro new in June, always felt that the stock battery is a bit weak. Turns the bike over pretty slow most days. What would be the best option for the strongest starting battery. I like to ride to work most days (I'm a stupid Brit) unless it's snowing or black ice. Cold weather does not really faze me.
 

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AGM batteries have good cold start performance and do not mind being stored as much as lead-acid batteries. If you aren't after the weight savings of a lithium battery, and willing to deal with the quirks and cost, the AGM will operate like a stock battery but with better overall performance and operating parameters. If you uses a charger or battery tester, make sure it is specified for the type of battery you have.
 

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I've had very good luck with Odyssey brand batteries, which are AGM. No problem starting my GS in sub-freezing weather. They also last forever, and are very tolerant of being deeply discharged.
 

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My '15 Multistrada is a slow starter, but I haven't changed anything on it yet.

My 1299S also chugs a bit with the OEM battery, so I replaced it with a Shorai and it cranks up much quicker.

My Aprilia Tuono also struggled and it was known for having stator and grounding issues. I put a Shorai battery and a set of the MotoElectric cables on it and it spins up and starts much faster.

I had a Shorai battery in my KTM 300XCW that I didn't touch for 3 years, no trickle charger of anything. When I decided to sell it, I figured I had to make sure it was still running nicely. It fired right up off the battery with the second touch of the starter button.

At some point I will replace the Multistrada battery with a Shorai.
 

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MBT12B4

I hear good things about the Motobatt line. I don't have one but when my mts needs one I will probably go with the Motobatt. As I have searched Odyssey does not seem to make a battery that fits the mts. Let us know what you get and if it works.
Cheers
Stevo
 

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Not strictly "on topic" but I think very much related to cold weather starting ... battery to ground and starter wiring. You might want to investigate this as well. For example:

starting upgrade for Ducati motorcycles

(not affiliated in any way; just know that small wires = voltage drop = less than ideal performance of the starter)
I will second this. I had replaced the battery on my SuperSport about every other year as it always seemed to "just" start in colder weather... it never left me stranded but it felt like it was only a matter of time. The new battery was better than the old, but not terribly confidence-inspiring. I chalked it up to a small battery overcoming the friction and compression of a big twin. Then I upgraded the electrical system to starter wiring with larger-gauge cable, cleaned all connections (including battery to frame which is often overlooked) and coated everything with dielectric grease and WHAT A DIFFERENCE. Suddenly the bike would start from cold in warmer weather in less than a second of cranking, and I had NO PROBLEM cranking in cold weather.

I just started up my multi this morning, it was 2ºC / 34ºF and it started with no drama, ~1sec. I just put a brand new lead acid battery in last week, I find that regular old lead-acid batteries of a decent brand (i.e. Interstate, AC Delco, etc.) work fine down into pretty low temps, well below freezing, if the bike is garaged at night. They are a helluva lot cheaper than AGM's, and I can charge it with any number of chargers I already own. If it's going to be really cold, we're talking colder than -10ºC / 13ºF, any battery's performance is going to suffer... the manufacturer's literature will tell you at what temp the rated CCA was measured at, and how much drop you can expect with temp.

One last thing is that if you are doing short commutes, your battery may not be getting back to fully charged after the prolonged cranking required in colder weather... especially if you've got heated grips, or extra lights, or power your phone/gps/bluetooth... a trickle charger will dramatically improve the performance, and increase the usable lifespan, of your battery in this situation.
 

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I don't know how the current Multis are for wiring and what the stock battery is, and my last two bikes (the Guzzi and the MS) have the factory Yuasa battery and I had zero issues with them. My Guzzi started right up in sub-freezing weather with a five year old battery, and my MS had no issues starting up last winter in sub-freezing. Unless something changes my mind, I'll go with another Yuasa, which I believe is AGM.

Pity about the Odyssey, those are nice batteries, but a Yuasa AGM for under a hundred bucks would do for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hicap

OK, so been busy traveling and crazy long work hours. Finally got round to ordering the Motoelectric Hicap wiring set. I'll let you know how it work once it's delivered and installed. Wish me luck.
 

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OK, so been busy traveling and crazy long work hours. Finally got round to ordering the Motoelectric Hicap wiring set. I'll let you know how it work once it's delivered and installed. Wish me luck.
I will be keeping an eye on this thread. My enduro never gives me a sense of confidence starting even when it is warm out let alone when cold.
 

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Hicap cables installed

Ok, for those wondering? I installed the hicap kit today. Very nicely made cables, comes with everything you need to make a nice installation. Michael from Motoelectric was very helpful & responsive. Quickly sending out replacement cables within 3 days. When the original set ending up being the incorrect length.

Installation wise, I would allow 2 hours. I was unable to double up the cables as suggested in their installation guides. It was just too tight of a fit, and looked messy. I went ahead and removed the original cables and only used the Hicap cables. Seeing as they are much thicker and supposely better quality. It's a bit of a tight fit in places and a little tricky at first fishing out the old wires and installing the news one. But if you just take your time and be methodical, it's a pretty easy job.

Basic tools needed.

4mm, 5mm & 6mm Hex Keys
T20 torx
10mm socket & 10mm wrench
cable snips

OK, now the answer you are all waiting for? did it make a difference to my bike starting better, or more quickly. I'm sad to report NO! I had no difference or improvement in starting. Battery is good, 12.4 volts with ignition on. 14.2 - 14.3 volts with bike running.

So I guess my next option is to find a battery with more cold cranking amps? not sure why my bike spins over so slowly. It always starts, just does not turn over very quickly. Whenever I'm out on a ride with friends. Everyone is like? hmmm? that does not sound good. Like I have a weak or flat battery, and before you ask, yes all connections are good.

OK, so who can recommend me the highest Cold Cranking Amps battery. I had good luck with a Shorai battery in my old 1st Gen Tuono. But seeing as I moving to North Carolina, I'm not sure about using a lithium battery in cold weather?
 

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Ok, for those wondering? I installed the hicap kit today. Very nicely made cables, comes with everything you need to make a nice installation. Michael from Motoelectric was very helpful & responsive. Quickly sending out replacement cables within 3 days. When the original set ending up being the incorrect length.

Installation wise, I would allow 2 hours. I was unable to double up the cables as suggested in their installation guides. It was just too tight of a fit, and looked messy. I went ahead and removed the original cables and only used the Hicap cables. Seeing as they are much thicker and supposely better quality. It's a bit of a tight fit in places and a little tricky at first fishing out the old wires and installing the news one. But if you just take your time and be methodical, it's a pretty easy job.

Basic tools needed.

4mm, 5mm & 6mm Hex Keys
T20 torx
10mm socket & 10mm wrench
cable snips


Not sure why my bike spins over so slowly. It always starts, just does not turn over very quickly. Whenever I'm out on a ride with friends. Everyone is like? hmmm? that does not sound good. Like I have a weak or flat battery, and before you ask, yes all connections are good. But seeing as I moving to North Carolina, I'm not sure about using a lithium battery in cold weather?
The issue of slow starting after installing the HICAP II kit is very rare but does come up from time to time.

The answer is *not* to assume the battery is not up to snuff. It might not be but you can't assume that.

The first thing to do is to test to see how many amps the starter motor is drawing. To do that you need a DC clamp meter which will read up to at least 200 amps.

Sears makes a decent unit and the link to it is here

Sears.com

If the starter motor itself is partially defective (or worn) or the sprag clutch is dragging due to excess wear then a new battery will only work well for a month or 2.

The HICAP II kit eliminates the normal chokepoints in the starter circuit where the wire meets a terminal and the energy has to transition.

The energy in any circuit is in the metal in the wire. A battery acts like your heart and pumps the energy along the circuit. The much higher copper content (due to our uprating the wire from 8 GA to 4 GA and changing the terminals from brass/steel to pure copper) increases the energy in the circuit by approximately 250% and generally allows the bikes to start right up (about 99% of the time).

But a dragging sprag clutch or overly worn starter motor can cause the current draw to be in the 120-180 amp range and most batteries will not deliver that much current under real-world conditions (they may do it once or twice under test conditions when new).

The Denso 700 watt starter motor should only draw 56 amps - if there is no added load. A decent figure on a bike with some mileage would be 66-86 amps. If the draw is much higher than that then the problem is in the sprag or starter motor.
If the draw is normal then the battery should be tested and the clamp meter can be used for that test.

When starting the bike, the battery should not drop below 10 volts (staying above 11 is best). If it drops to 9.5 volts it is considered *end of life*. A battery that will not hold at least a 70% charge (about 12.45 volts open circuit, i.e. key off, no load) is also considered *end of life*.

We have over 5,000 of the HICAP kits out in the field and out of that number we have heard back from approximately 30 riders that they still had starting issues after the installation.

Hope this helps.

Riders with questions can reply here or PM.

Thanks,

M./
 

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The way it is

Could it just be the way it is. Just picked up a brand new '17 MST and the starting sounds tenuous compared to previous bikes but it does start right up just the same. Sounds like a weak crank, but is it really? It doesn't sound like anyone has been left stranded.
 

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One way to eliminate the battery as an issue would be to jump start the bike from a known good battery. If the starter spins faster, that might point to the battery. If it doesn't, then not the battery.

The voltage with the motor running is measuring the output of the charging circuit, not the battery.

Battery voltage with the motor off may or may not tell you about the state of charge and capacity of the battery.
 

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To try and add some useful info to the starting issue.

In the video below a HICAP II kit buyer documents the problem he has in trying to start his 999. Many problematic bikes do start up within 3-4 seconds but even that is a problem in that batteries "do not like" to be discharged that long.

And anything over 4 seconds is actually considered abusive. If your bike is taking this long to start then you will chew through batteries every year or so, as they degrade at an accelerated rate from the long cranking times.


Now if you know anything about science, you know that there is only one way to do real science: only change one variable at a time.

In the video below we see the results of changing the starting circuit from the OEM to a HICAP II kit. The only difference is the HICAP II kit. Same battery, same load.


The video clearly illustrates that the Ducati starting system is engineered to start right up in 1 second or less but that the issues we cover below usually keep this from happening. He did not charge up the battery or even move the bike off the lift.

We get a lot of emails and videos back from riders who are just amazed that simply installing our kit brings about such a dramatic improvement to the engine starting event.

When a HICAP II kit has ben installed and the bike still cranks for a long time before starting it points to 1 or more problems -

- the batteries true energy storage capability is highly depleted due to cranking the engine for long periods. It may charge up to 100% and even hold that charge, but when put under a heavy load it falls down. This is because the lead softens due to the heat generated during the long cranking times (remember 3-4 seconds is a long time to a SLA battery) and the lead begins to fall off the plates. You can only test for this "hold a charge but fall down under load" with a voltmeter or an external battery load tester.

- the sprag clutch is dragging. When required to do additional work a DC motor will draw more current to try and do that work. A dragging sprag adds more work to the starting event. The excess current draw often exceeds the capability of even fairly new batteries.

- the intermediate gear is binding on its shaft. This will also cause slow starting and the starter motor to draw excess current. (I know an ex-Ducati dealer who used to make a lot of money off Hyper riders who would wheelie a lot as the oil in the sump would flow to the back of the bike and the shaft would be starved of oil. It would begin to bind and the bikes got harder and harder to start).

- the starter motor is either defective or has been degraded due to flowing a lot of current across the commutator while cranking. Carbon builds up which causes the motor to draw more current, and things just degrade from there.

The HICAP II kit increases the energy in a starting circuit by about 250%. The energy is in the metals in the circuit (the battery pumps that energy around the circuit). In the OEM circuits (across all brands of motorcycle) the metals are tin, brass, steel and copper.

In the HICAP II upgrade *ALL* of the metal is high purity copper.

All makers use the same Ohm's Law recipe for calculating which starter motor to use, wire sizing etc. But a motorcycle is a very different environment from a car. The large increase in vibration (over an auto engine bay) and the much higher heat (vs. the fairly open engine bays) causes the circuits to fall off much faster. Add in a slightly dragging sprag or a starter motor that is not 100% on spec and you have the many bikes that have ongoing starting problems.

Hope This Helps.

M./
 

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The hicap kit looks neat, I'll have to do a bit more reading. For me, all my starting problems went away when I replaced a stock yuasa on my 2010 with an EarthX 36c. The 360 CCA is absurd, turns over the motor in under 1s every time even at near 0 Boston temperatures. I won't say that's the fix for every bike, but it did work for mine. The EarthX is also pricey.
 

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The issue of slow starting after installing the HICAP II kit is very rare but does come up from time to time.

The answer is *not* to assume the battery is not up to snuff. It might not be but you can't assume that.

The first thing to do is to test to see how many amps the starter motor is drawing. To do that you need a DC clamp meter which will read up to at least 200 amps.

Sears makes a decent unit and the link to it is here

Sears.com

If the starter motor itself is partially defective (or worn) or the sprag clutch is dragging due to excess wear then a new battery will only work well for a month or 2.

The HICAP II kit eliminates the normal chokepoints in the starter circuit where the wire meets a terminal and the energy has to transition.

The energy in any circuit is in the metal in the wire. A battery acts like your heart and pumps the energy along the circuit. The much higher copper content (due to our uprating the wire from 8 GA to 4 GA and changing the terminals from brass/steel to pure copper) increases the energy in the circuit by approximately 250% and generally allows the bikes to start right up (about 99% of the time).

But a dragging sprag clutch or overly worn starter motor can cause the current draw to be in the 120-180 amp range and most batteries will not deliver that much current under real-world conditions (they may do it once or twice under test conditions when new).

The Denso 700 watt starter motor should only draw 56 amps - if there is no added load. A decent figure on a bike with some mileage would be 66-86 amps. If the draw is much higher than that then the problem is in the sprag or starter motor.
If the draw is normal then the battery should be tested and the clamp meter can be used for that test.

When starting the bike, the battery should not drop below 10 volts (staying above 11 is best). If it drops to 9.5 volts it is considered *end of life*. A battery that will not hold at least a 70% charge (about 12.45 volts open circuit, i.e. key off, no load) is also considered *end of life*.

We have over 5,000 of the HICAP kits out in the field and out of that number we have heard back from approximately 30 riders that they still had starting issues after the installation.

Hope this helps.

Riders with questions can reply here or PM.

Thanks,

M./
I've got the kit for my 15... I don't see any instructions for the DVT multi's on the motolectric site. I imagine I can figure it out and use the pre-dvt instructions as a basic guide... but if you have dvt instructions that would be helpful. I'd especially like to know if there are tricks to feeding the wire through without having to move/disconnect a ton of things (which is what it looks like I'll have to do).
 
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