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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Two years ago, I put in a new Harley gel battery in my Fatboy. I have put approx. 6000 miles on since that time. Last weekend after riding 150 miles the bike started missing out very bad. I stopped looked for the source, found nothing, amiss. When I went to restart I found the battery was completely dead and I mean dead. I have never seen a battery fail so drastically or suddenly. The battery was so hot I could not put my hand on it. I let it cool down and then tried to charge it, it would not take a charge, so I replaced the battery with a new Harley Gel, After doing so I checked the voltage output to the battery, it read 15 volts, which is the top end of the scale according to the manual.

My question is do you think this 15 volts from the regulator is to much an caused the battery to short out? I would feel more comfortable if the reading is 14.5 to 14.0 volts, but I don't want to replace the regulator if they all put out 15 volts.
 

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That's one of those things where you are right on the edge, as 15V is the treshold at which you decide to replace the regulator or not.
Two years on a battery, in particular on a softail isn't all that bad either.

One of those things where you can go either way.
Maybe clean all the connections between the regulator and the battery and in particular the regulator ground and see if it comes down a couple of tenths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks hippo, you verified what I suspected. I will try you recommendations. I wish I had checked the output voltage when I changed batteries two years ago so I would now have a baseline to verify the regulator. Most places will not take back electrical parts, hate to buy a regulator when it might give a 15 volt output also. I really think two or three years on a softtail battery is about right considering it's location, wrapped in a hot oil tank.
 

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That, and the vibration on the rigid mount bikes doesn't help much either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hippo, I take it you, know Harleys' from the inside out. You might get a kick out of this battery failure. Wife and I were on the way to a friend's who lives about 175 miles from us on Labor day weekend. The wife rides a Yamaha V-star (her trainer). The missing out suddenly developed about 10 miles from their place. I pulled off the Highway at the first little turnoff which happened to be a small trail that ran down hill into the woods. After stopping and turning off the Fatboy, I looked her over and not finding anything amiss, I crawled back on and tried to start her, nothing, completely dead. My first thought was the stator wire to the regulator had come off, but no it was secure. Well you probably have guessed my next move, Yep, I rolled it down the little trail into the woods in an attempt to roll start it. Now I have a screaming wife,"Why did you do that" and my Fatboy, 200 yards from the Highway, in the woods.
My wife had a cell phone and called the friend who was not home, but she did manage to get ahold of another couple (friends) who where also staying at the first friends cabin. They also were on bikes and could offer no assistance. I walked up to the Highway, jumped on the V-star and drove it down the trail, parked next to the Fatboy, Got the wifes hairdryer out of her saddlebag, took out the leatherman, Cut the cord off the hairdryer and made me a set of jumper cables or should I say charge cables out of the hair dryer cord. After makeing the connections to the batteries, I started the Yamaha and let it run 10 minutes or so, the Battery in the Fatboy was so bad it would not take a charge. Now, I have her bike dismantled, her hair dryer cordless ,both bikes in the woods, it is getting dark and a unhappy wife.

About this time the friends who my wife had called earlier showed up in a truck. They didn't have jumper cables but a battery pack. After hooking the battery pack up. The Fatboy fired right up but as soon as I would disconnect the pack, she would die. Now what do we do?, no way to get the bike in the truck.

I emptyed the left saddlebag and put the battery pack into it. Took the hair dryer cord and wired it to the battery posts and the other ends to the battery pack cables. Hooked the cable ends to the battery, started the bike, unhooked the cables, the juice continued to flow through the dryer cord and the bike kept running. Wire tied the cable ends to the saddle bag so they wouldn't touch, replaced the seat and drove off. Next stop Walmart to buy a new hairdryer to shut up the wife.
 

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You know how it goes, necessity is the mother of invention.


Glad to hear Wally's was open. It could have gotten ugly. LOL.
 
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