Saturday, August 9, 2014

I turn the key and...

Nothing.

No click, no roaring to life.  I pop the seat and the inner light glows weakly and that indicates only one thing to me.  The battery is dead or dying.

I can't help but wonder if maybe I didn't close the seat enough and accidentally drained the battery.  Do to a lot of different reasons I'm not going to go into I've not ridden my bike since last Saturday. It was a error that I wanted to rectify this weekend.  Luckily for me it appears pretty easy to replace.

To be honest, I was not unhappy about the battery.  After all to the best of my knowledge it was the original battery and it lasted for four or five years if not longer.  If I got that long out of any battery that I bought new;  I would be happy even though I knew that the general life of a motorcycle battery was only two or three years tops.  Besides, another opportunity to grow as a mechanic!  Although my owners manual warned me that only a qualified mechanic should replace the battery.  I'm definitely not that.

First then, to the geeks favorite friend, the internet.  I was wondering about the price, would my mechanic have the battery in stock or would he over charge me for it?  How long would it take for me to receive the battery if I ordered it online?  Was there some video somewhere which would explain the correct procedure?  I have replaced various car batteries over time, this should not be to difficult...right?  There was a little corrosion on the negative terminal.

The tender in use

The Kymco forums didn't really have much for me.  I also considered getting a battery tender.  After all, if I got a rechargeable battery would this not extend the life?  Although it seemed it be a waste of money for me.  My bike generally does not sit.

In the end someone in my park had a tender that they let me borrow.  It slowly but surely charged.  Then VROOM!  Okay it's a scooter so maybe not VROOM! but she did start - so I'm happy.  I rode it briefly around the town to ensure it was working.  I decided to ride it to work later tonight.

But the question still remains.  Do I get a tender or assume that the battery is shot?  In either case for a small investment (about $35 US) I would have a tender.  I might even try to find something that I can place under the seat since I often work at night, and being stuck out in the middle of nowhere at 2 AM does not really appeal to me.  Ah...another farkle.

As always I'll update ya!

7 comments:

Dar said...

We have a tender and I only use it in the winter if I am not riding, otherwise I don't bother. I've had to push start my bike once and I have to say that sucked trying to push a 483 pound bike up enough of an incline and then popping the clutch and hoping it would start. I had to do it twice and it sucked. I bought a new battery because it was due for it anyway.

Robert Wilson said...

We have one slight problem...no hills in Florida. I live near the 6th highest peak in the state and it's only something like 253 feet above sea level.

Canajun said...

I'm always worried about anything that "might" strand me somewhere I don't want to be, so you're right to be concerned. But before making any spending decisions you might want to check these guys out. Their technical writeups should help you figure out what's going on, and maybe they'll even be able to supply you with what you need.
Good luck.

David Masse said...

The battery is likely toast. Out with old, in with the new!

The other possibility is a defective switch on the underseat light. A creative way to check that could be to take a point and shoot camera, turn off the flash, set it on the self-timer and put it in the compartment, let it take the pic and see what you get.

wkreps said...

Heck, the thing has lasted 4-5 yrs then buy a new battery. If you are riding year round then you probably don't need a tender. Here in Illinois, a tender is a required accessory. Now that it is running, you could use a multimeter and test the voltage (running and at stop) to see if it is actually charging and/or holding the charge.

Trobairitz said...

The battery may have charged from the tender, but it doesn't mean it will hold. been there, done that.

If you do decide on a new battery. Check out Cycle Gear if you have one near you. Hubby buys their battery that has a free lifetime replacement if it goes dead. Has exchanged it once when having charging problems with the Tiger and they did it, no questions asked.

bob skoot said...

Robert:

I keep my bike on a tender all the time. Winter or summer doesn't matter. It is always plugged in when it is parked. I am 5 years on my battery and it seems like new.

I think you need a new battery. Would be different if you had a kick starter

bob: riding the wet coast