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Thread: Battery Life (when to change)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Battery Life (when to change) JoeZ's Avatar
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    Battery Life (when to change)

    I still have my original battery in my 2012 NC. Considering I keep the bike attached to a battery tender when it's parked in the garage, I haven't had any issues with the battery at all. BUT..... Considering the bike is now 6 years old should I count my blessings and just change the battery out as a precaution, or just keep riding till it gives me issues? I mean I don't worry about getting stuck cuz I primarily ride local and carry a battery booster in the bike. Any thoughts? Are others riding the 2012 still using their original batteries?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Battery Life (when to change) 670cc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeZ View Post
    I still have my original battery in my 2012 NC. Considering I keep the bike attached to a battery tender when it's parked in the garage, I haven't had any issues with the battery at all. BUT..... Considering the bike is now 6 years old should I count my blessings and just change the battery out as a precaution, or just keep riding till it gives me issues? I mean I don't worry about getting stuck cuz I primarily ride local and carry a battery booster in the bike. Any thoughts? Are others riding the 2012 still using their original batteries?
    Well, first of all, I'd think your battery is, at most, just short of 5 years old, not 6, since the NC came to the U.S. in the last week of July, 2012. Nobody would have a 6 year old NC in the U.S. until summer, 2018.

    If a battery has not shown signs of failure or weakness, I usually change mine proactively at about 8 years age. You can run a check of the open circuit voltage after a full charge and rest period. The voltage is measured, then you consult a chart which will give you an indication of the percent capacity remaining.

    You can also do a load test to assess battery condition.

    Since you carry a booster, I'd suggest waiting until signs of battery failure before changing it, unless you're planning on taking a trip to the boonies.

    Many people might report far shorter average battery life than what I experience, but I think cold winter storage extends the life of mine. Batteries living in hot climates do not last as long, and in extreme heat they don't last long at all. So, if you live in a hot climate, adjust your battery life expectations accordingly.
    Last edited by 670cc; 7th June 2017 at 11:33.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Battery Life (when to change) JoeZ's Avatar
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    Only said 6 cuz I bought it used :-). Great info. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Battery Life (when to change)
    Battery Life (when to change)
    turbodieseli4i6's Avatar
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    I'm still on the OEM battery with a tad over 55,000 miles. I'll wait until it gives me a warning before I order a new one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member netizen's Avatar
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    My 2012 is still on original battery and I haven't kept it on a tender as I should have. It's gone dead a few times (not in the last year) due to not keeping it charged over the winter. But it is still going strong.
    on NC700x, also have a VFR 750

  6. #6
    Senior Member Battery Life (when to change) Fuzzy's Avatar
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    My 2013 has never been on a tender and has original battery. 43,000 miles on NC. One time it sat long enough it wouldn't start bike. Jumped it from my truck and went riding. It sat under a cover in my driveway 3 months this winter. May have been a bit weak, but stated NC just fine. I don't do many short rides. I live at least 10 miles from anywhere I would ride to and typically ride 50+ miles when I get on NC.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member ste7ios's Avatar
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    It's a good idea not to take into account everybody's practices and battery's lifetime because they're affected by many factors like riding distances & time, environmental temperatures, number of charge cycles and parasitic drain. You may have a safer conclusion only by riders in your area with the same motorcycle model and very similar riding habits...

    You've to monitor battery's SoC (State of Charge) from time to time and maintain it accordingly...

    In hot climates (temperatures above 77F) battery's life will be shorter than the expected (~5 years) because of the increased self discharge, grid corrosion and sulfation. (As a general rule, every increase of 15F above 77F will cut the battery lifetime to the half.)

    Keep also in mind, one more problem with our factory activated batteries, that they may not be so fresh when we buy them (and we can't know if they're properly maintained by the store from the time they purchased them) so they may have decreased capacity from the beginning of our usage.

    Also note that the usable capacity of a SLI lead acid battery is only about the half of its named capacity (5.5 Ah in our case).


    For example, my YTZ12S was good for only two years because of the short distances in the city (less than 20-30' & less than 5 mi. between every engine start), some increased parasitic drain by the alarm & the Scottoiler eSystem, and the hot climate (for a battery) of Athens, Greece. Occasional charging didn't really help. The result was that the battery could never reach a full charge (it's the only way to stop sulfation) and maintain any charge for sufficient time.

    I solved that problem with a LiFePO4 battery because of their different properties (there is no sulfation, they've insignificant self discharge rate, and they get charged really fast!).


    To answer your question if the battery SoC is bellow 50% (OCV (Open Circuit Voltage) for YTZ: 12.5 V) and while starting the engine the voltage drops bellow 9.5 V its time is close...


    Take a look at Yuasa's Technical Manual for more detail. (Always advice your battery's manual about SoC and OCV relationship, etc, ignore general SoC tables. All values refers to temperatures of 77F and you may have to compensate them to your temperature).

  8. #8
    Commuter Extraordinaire Battery Life (when to change)
    Battery Life (when to change)
    SergeantChuck's Avatar
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    Count me in with the group of 2012 owners with original batter. Never used a battery tender but I ride year round. Still no battery related issues other than the ones I caused. LOL

  9. #9
    #1 Elite Battery Life (when to change)
    Battery Life (when to change)
    Beemerphile's Avatar
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    You will find batteries that last using tenders and batteries that last without. You will find batteries that die young using tenders and batteries that die young without. Many people with a long-lasting battery seem to think that their particular regimen is what caused it to last and they recommend that regimen like religion. Sometimes batteries last and sometimes they just die. Most of us can name an old guy that smoked and drank into his eighties and a health nut that died in his 40's. The difference is that most folks would not conclude that the old guy lived long because he smoked and drank or that the young guy died because of a healthy diet.

    I print the dates on a battery when I install it. One of mine was installed in 2006. There is no way I would change it before it croaks because I could put in a new one with Infant Death Syndrome. I do carry a MicroStart though.
    Motorcycle don't lie!

  10. #10
    Junior Member DeeJay's Avatar
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    When a battery starts failing the MIL warning light starts coming on. So whenever the MIL warning light ever come on, don't panic - always get the battery and battery terminals checked first.

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