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I have a 2003 FXDL that I bought new in January 2004. The bike doesn't turn over like a champ anymore. Is two years of battery life about right? I'm in So Cal so the longest the bike has ever gone without a ride is one week...10 days tops. :bleh: I checked the cables and everything is clean and tight. With a multimeter, how would I check if the battery is still strong? I'm not good with multimeters so explain it to me slowly.

Thanks
 

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Infidel
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If you keep it charged it should stay good for 4-5 years...but there's a lot of variables involved and heat is your enemy.
 

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Stock battery on my '01 fxdwg is still going strong. Never on a tender and never sits longer than a week without riding, all year 'round.~!Awesome!
 

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XLIII
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How long are most of your rides?
If it's mostly to the corner pub and back, it's never getting fully charged after the drain of starting that pig.
If it gets to stretch its legs a lot, then I dunno...
 

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If the bike is ridden weekly and at a decent clip each ride, the battery very well could go 4 years or more.
If the bike sits more than a week just put a battery tender on it and your good to go.
 

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MegaGlide said:
How long are most of your rides?
If it's mostly to the corner pub and back, it's never getting fully charged after the drain of starting that pig.
If it gets to stretch its legs a lot, then I dunno...
Our rides are longer than just "to the store". If I am going to go to the trouble of "suiting up" in the winter, I am going for a RIDE. We'll go for an afternoon for several hours, so the battery gets charged up proper. MY wife commutes on her E-Glide and so her bike is not a problem. Most of the time, I'll get a shorter ride in during the week as well, but I have never had a problem with my battery. As an aside, I had a motorcycle battery in my homebuilt airplane, turning a VW engine, and it sat for long periods of time. It lasted 6 years with minimal maintenance. I kept the water level up, but it never required charging in between flights. But I have had new batteries go TU in a matter of weeks, so it CAN happen.:)
 

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I'm Paid Up...
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I trrow mine out every 2 years. I figure the 75$ is cheaper than a tow with 2 hours wait time.
to check your battery.
select dc volts on meter
put + lead on +battery
put -lead on - battery
should read 12.6volts or so if good
crank engine over while checking meter, volts should not drop below 10 or so.

If both readings are good, battery is probably good, but please re read my first line.
 

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XLIII
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crash01 said:
Our rides are longer than just "to the store". If I am going to go to the trouble of "suiting up" in the winter, I am going for a RIDE. We'll go for an afternoon for several hours, so the battery gets charged up proper. MY wife commutes on her E-Glide and so her bike is not a problem. Most of the time, I'll get a shorter ride in during the week as well, but I have never had a problem with my battery. As an aside, I had a motorcycle battery in my homebuilt airplane, turning a VW engine, and it sat for long periods of time. It lasted 6 years with minimal maintenance. I kept the water level up, but it never required charging in between flights. But I have had new batteries go TU in a matter of weeks, so it CAN happen.:)
Sorry, my question was aimed at the original poster. Shoulda' quoted...
 

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Infidel
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DR_DEUCE said:
I throw mine out every 2 years. I figure the 75$ is cheaper than a tow with 2 hours wait time.
Damned good advice. ;)
 

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The way to check a battery if you don't have a real tester is the load the battery with a source like the high beam on. Check the voltage across the terminals. Should read in the upper 12 volt range. If not charge it and try again. Most bad batteries are obvious. Usually they read less than eleven volts. A battery that reads good but starts weak is usually indicative of bad connections or cables or starter.
 

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Don't waste a good battery

I have never chucked a modern sealed battery before five years. I have never had a problem. My bike is ridden daily from May 1 through to winter Storage which varies widely in Vermont. Once stored I put a battery tender on it. During the winter of the fith year, I will leave the battery in the bike and use it throughout to check mods etc. then it gets a new one in the spring when riding season starts again. The biggest key is the first initial charge, and maintaining full charge with a battery tender in the winter thereafter. When I replace the battery after the five year mark, it is still working fine, but at that point I feel it's served me well and gets replaced.
Rick
 

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A riding buddy and myself both have '03 bikes. Both replaced our batteries this past spring when we brought the bikes out. Neither battery would charge. Others that I know are still going stong on there batteries. So as someone said there are several other factors that go into that.

We have both added Battery Tender to our bikes and use it regularly.

I know it sucks!
 

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1st charge

Keep in mind that the 1st charge is critical to the longevity of the battery. I always ask the dealer for a new uncharged battery and do it myself. Put it on a trickle charge till up to 100%. Takes a good day and half.
 

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I replaced mine after five years, use a battery tender. The battery is in my buddies lawn tractor now living out its golden years...:D
 
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