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Thread: Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning. dduelin's Avatar
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    Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning.

    My 2015 DCT had 30,000 miles on the original battery. The last few times I started it (over the most recent two week span) I had noticed it was a little slower turning over and the thought had entered my mind that the battery might be nearing the end of life but it continued to hold 12.6 to 12.7 volts when I checked it. Last weekend I was about 10 miles out of town on a dirt road when I stopped to change gloves. Just prior had been riding about an hour 3000 rpm or more (highway). Normally I select neutral prior to stopping the engine but this time I killed the engine with the side stand. When I went to start the motor the transmission self-selected neutral but when I pressed the start button the starter relay made one click noise then silence. Several attempts, same result. No repeated clicking like a deeply discharged or defective battery refusing to close the start relay - just one click then silence. The dash warning lights were on and normal for key ON and engine off. I took off the battery cover and put a screwdriver to the battery terminals - they were tight but I was going to loosen and retighten them when I remembered the heated grips were still on. I turned them off and the engine started on the next try, a little slow but "normal" as of recent. I finished my planned ride of 120 miles without turning off the engine. My on-board voltage minder indicated 12.9 to 15.1 at all times. When I got home I turned it off and restarted it and it cranked healthy and strong and a voltage check of the battery was 12.7 volts. I put on a float charge overnight. Two days later I checked it at work with a commercial motorcycle battery tester. Steady voltage was 12.63 volts but the battery did not pass a load test and the tester stated Replace Battery.

    This is just a cautionary tale. Batteries can seem healthy right up until they are not and DCT bikes have no way to start the engine without a satisfactory source of power to the starting system. What to do differently? Check the battery with a load tester when it indicates any change in health and rely less on system voltage reported by voltage monitors. I guess I will invest in a portable jump battery device at some point.
    Dave

    GL1800
    NC700XD




  2. #2
    Super Moderator Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning. 670cc's Avatar
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    Thanks for reporting on your experience, Dave. As you point out, batteries often work right up until they don’t.

    Due to the finicky nature of batteries, carrying a portable jump pack is just about as important as a tire repair kit, IMO.
    Greg
    GWRRA Member
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    "240,000 Mile Club"

    NanCyX . . . . . . . . . . The 250

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jt105's Avatar
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    Good catch with turning off the heated grips.
    I got stuck at a gas station once. Same thing with the slower than normal cranking. I turned on the key to record my odometer and reset the trips. By the time I pressed the starter, the headlight drained the battery down enough to leave me stranded.
    Lesson I learned is I now replace the battery as soon as it shows signs of weakness. Same with the car when cold weather hits. The first time itís slow to start, I get a new battery.
    Car batteries typically last me 5 - 6 years. Motorcycle batteries 3 - 4 years.

    JT

  4. #4
    Senior Member Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning.
    Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning.

    Bike: 2015 NC700X DCT
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    Thanks for the tale Dave. I think we have now heard similar stories enough to admit that, if you even think it's turning over slower than normal, you need to beware the failing battery!!
    I may be getting older, but I refuse to grow up.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ste7ios's Avatar
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning. SilverRocket's Avatar
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    Dave, that's very similar to the experience I had recently:
    Bike won't start- all apears normal.

    It's got me a little leery every time I go to start the bike, I used to start it up after I'd geared up, but now I make sure it starts BEFORE I put on my gloves and helmet.

    My battery never gave me any warnings before and none since, though I have invested in a NOCO brick-sized backup power supply. It takes up about 1/2 the space inside my new Givi tank bag. Naturally, once I'd bought it I saw others at the bike show in Long Beach that were smaller.

    Will you replace it with the same OEM battery? Yuasa IIRC.

  7. #7
    Member Vinny's Avatar
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    The NC is new to me, very new... this thread opens up a whole new world of "what if's". Having come to the NC from touring bikes which I very seldom even hit a gravel road, getting out in the boonies on a dirt road or forest service road somewhere with very little traffic or chance encounters with others and in these mountains... possibly no cell service! Wow... time to pause and rethink backup plans before hitting those roads in the spring. Thanks for the post, Dave!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Stranded in the woods. Battery gave me warning but very little warning. dduelin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverRocket View Post
    Dave, that's very similar to the experience I had recently:
    Bike won't start- all apears normal.

    It's got me a little leery every time I go to start the bike, I used to start it up after I'd geared up, but now I make sure it starts BEFORE I put on my gloves and helmet.

    My battery never gave me any warnings before and none since, though I have invested in a NOCO brick-sized backup power supply. It takes up about 1/2 the space inside my new Givi tank bag. Naturally, once I'd bought it I saw others at the bike show in Long Beach that were smaller.

    Will you replace it with the same OEM battery? Yuasa IIRC.
    I replaced it the day after the incident. I changed jobs recently and our bike budget is very tight. I wanted the OEM YTZ12S Yuasa but with a good discount it would have cost me $120. I purchased a Firepower CTZ12S for $55.
    Dave

    GL1800
    NC700XD




  9. #9
    Senior Member drdubb's Avatar
    Bike: '14 Honda NC700XD, '71 Honda SL350
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    Many years ago, I took my Nighthawk 750 to DMV to take the riding test for my endorsement. One of the first activities, is to cut the bike and restart quickly to simulate a stall in traffic. The Nighthawk went blank. Ended up having to get the truck and hauling her home. I did not suspect the battery because of the suddenness of the failure. I tore the electrical system apart looking for the problem. The battery gave me 12 or more volts on the VOM. After much prodding by friends, I pulled the battery and had it load tested....failed the test. Lesson learned.

    I've got one of those emergency starters, need to start keeping it charged and carry it with me.
    Dance as if no one is watching.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Bike: 2015 Honda 700XD, 2018 Yamaha XMAX 300
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    Batteries charge between 13.5 and 14.5 Volts. How old was your battery?

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