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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok guys, I need some help. Fact or fiction?:

Cold weather drains batteries in a bike? :confused:

I know a person who may believe that cold weather drains batteries. I dont think so, but......I could be wrong. I just need to know for peace of mind. Can anyone help resolve this?

Oh, and a certain moderator better not delete this. It's not aimed at anyone, it's just something I need to resolve for myself.
 

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Well I hope this helps you out and I know Larryg will chime in and add what needs to be added.

Car, motorcycle, truck, marine, recreational vehicle starting and deep cycle lead-acid batteries are perishable. During the discharge process, soft lead sulfate crystals are formed in the pores and on the surfaces of the positive and negative plates inside a lead-acid battery. When a battery is left in a discharged condition, is continually under charged, or the electrolyte level is below the top of the plates, some of the soft lead sulfate re-crystallizes into hard lead sulfate. It cannot be reconverted during subsequent recharging. This creation of hard crystals is commonly called "lead sulfation". It is the leading cause and accounts for over 80% of the deep cycle lead-acid battery failures. The longer sulfation occurs, the larger and harder the lead sulfate crystals become. The positive plates will be light brown and the negative plates will be dull, off white. These crystals lessen a battery's capacity and ability to be recharged. This is because deep cycle batteries are typically used for short periods and then are stored for long periods while slowly discharging. In contrast, a starting battery is normally used several times a month, so sulfation rarely becomes a problem unless it is stored for over two weeks.

Sulfation is a result of lead-acid battery discharge while in storage, which is a consequence of parasitic load and natural self-discharge. Parasitic load is the constant electrical load present on a battery while it is installed in a vehicle even when the power is turned off. The load is from the continuous operation of electrical appliances, such as an emissions computer, clock, security system, maintenance of radio station presets, etc. While disconnecting the negative battery cable will eliminate the parasitic load, it has no affect on the other problem, the natural self-discharge of battery. Thus, sulfation can be a huge problem for lead-acid batteries while sitting on a dealer's shelf, in a basement, or in a parked vehicle, especially in hot temperatures.

How do I prevent sulfation?
The best way to prevent sulfation is to keep a lead-acid battery fully charged because lead sulfate is not formed. This can be accomplished three ways. Based of the battery type you are using, the best solution is to use a charger that is capable of delivering a continuous "float" charge at the battery manufacturer's recommended float or maintenance voltage for a fully charged battery. 12-volt batteries, depending on the battery type, usually have fixed float voltages between 13.2 VDC and 13.6 VDC, measured at 70° F (21.1° C) with an accurate (.5% or better) digital voltmeter. For a six-volt battery, measured voltages are one half of a 12-volt battery. This can best be accomplished by continuously using a three stage or four stage, microprocessor controlled charger, such as a Battery Tender (Deltran), Truecharge (Statpower), BatteryMinder, Schumacher, etc., or by voltage-regulated charger, such as a ChargeTek, etc., set at the correct float voltage. By contrast, a cheap, unregulated "trickle" or a two stage manual charger can over charge a battery and destroy it.

A second and less desirable method is to periodically recharge the battery when the State-of-Charge drops to 80% or below. At 70° F (21.1° C), a battery with 100% State-of-Charge measures approximately 1.261 Specific Gravity or 12.63 VDC and 80% State-of-Charge measures 1.229 Specific Gravity or 12.47 VDC. Maintaining a high State-of-Charge tends to prevent irreversible sulfation. The recharge frequency is dependent on the parasitic load, temperature, a battery's condition, and plate formulation (battery type). Temperature matters! Lower temperatures slow down electro chemical reactions and higher temperatures speed them up. A battery stored at 95° F (35° C) will self-discharge twice as fast than one stored at 75° F (23.9° C).

However. While we set our bike aside for winterizeing, we pull the battery out and keep it on a charger so it keeps it full charge due to non use and start-up.

A third technique is to use a voltage regulated solar panel or wind generator designed to float charge batteries. This is a popular solution when AC power is unavailable for float charging.

So how do I store my battery?
There are four simple steps. First, if the battery has filler caps, check the electrolyte (battery acid) level in each cell. If required, add only distilled water to the recommended level, but do not over fill and clean the top of the battery and posts. Second, fully charge the battery. Third, store the battery in a cool (above freezing), dry place where it can be easily recharged. Finally and most importantly, prevent sulfation by keeping the battery charged at 100% State-of-Charge level by continuously float charging or by frequently recharging the battery.

I hope this helps you and now you can sleep better tonight. :D
 

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dont worry.. a certain moderator doesnt delete threads that contain a legitimate question that somebody needs answered. Thats what we are all here for. Remember, the only dumb question is one that isnt asked ;)

The reason that winterizing means pulling the battery and leaving it on a trickle charge thru out the winter months, is to keep it from draining to nothing due to cold weather, and ruining the battery..also possibly ruining due to freezing up totally ( but that depends on where you store it alot too)

Here's a good how-to on winterizing from a buddy of mine..

BATTERY:

Disconnect terminals from battery to motorcycle and remove battery;

Bring battery indoors (or to a location that will not freeze) for storage;

Place on battery a wooden surface (not stone, concrete nor steel -- a wooden board on the floor will do, but a wooden shelf or wooden work bench is better) in a ventilated area away from any source of sparks (i.e. - do not store next to a furnace or propane dryer, etc).

Examine battery terminals on motorcycle. If corrosion is present, sand lightly with emery cloth to remove corrosion.

Coat battery terminals on motorcycle with a layer of dielectric grease or petroleum jelly (vaseline).

IF BATTERY IS NOT SEALED-GEL TYPE:

Remove caps from battery cells, place in bag and tape to exterior of battery.
Fill each cell to upper mark with distilled water. Do not use filtered or tap water!
Connect a motorcycle trickle charger (0.9 Amp or less) to the terminals and plug into the wall.
Cover battery's top surface with wax paper or a sheet of thick plastic, but not tightly (cover should sit atop the battery, not seal/wrap it up). This will help prevent dirt & dust from entering and the electrolyte from splattering if it boils at any point or the battery is disturbed.

IF BATTERY IS SEALED-GEL TYPE:

Connect a motorcycle trickle charger (0.9 Amp or less) to the terminals and plug into the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
GSXR750DJ said:
Well I hope this helps you out and I know Larryg will chime in and add what needs to be added.


By contrast, a cheap, unregulated "trickle" or a two stage manual charger can over charge a battery and destroy it.

Lower temperatures slow down electro chemical reactions and higher temperatures speed them up. A battery stored at 95° F (35° C) will self-discharge twice as fast than one stored at 75° F (23.9° C).[/B]


I hope this helps you and now you can sleep better tonight. :D


Actually, I understood none of it except the part I have here. So basically, with the temp. we're experiencing here, there's no need to put it on a trickle charge every night. Right? :confused:
Because couldn't that swell a battery if you charge it even with a full charge?
 

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CrunchieJD said:
Actually, I understood none of it except the part I have here. So basically, with the temp. we're experiencing here, there's no need to put it on a trickle charge every night. Right? :confused:

There is a good possiablity that is doesn't need to be put on it everynight. Over the winter months I have keeped my battery it in a warm spot around 57-63 degrees while charging it maybe twice a week till light shows green. And then there was a few times that I left the battery in the bike all winter since I had it in a heated garage and started it a few times a week and rode it for 5-10 mins if the roads were ok to ride on.

Some of it also has to do with the type and brand of battery you buy. Some cheap batteries will drain faster then others no matter what you do to them while the more pricer ones will not.

I'm sure there are more factors on this matter but I will now wait for one of the others to put in there :2cents:
 

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Unless ur going to be riding every few weeks or so during the winter months, there's probably not a need to keep it on a charge, unless the bike is stored in cold temperatures, then its probably a good idea...IMO

but if you're not going to be riding at all, say from November to April, then you wanna pull the battery, and keep it on a trickle charge to keep it from de-charging. batter tenders can keep it at a fully charged state, by constantly monitoring it. If it falls below full charge, it will initiate a sequence to restore full charge, then once it reaches that point, it will stop and stay in monitor state.

:)
 

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Car guys say you're supposed to disconnect and remove for storage. I've known several people who haven't, go to start it in the spring, and it's dead as a door nail. However, I have never pulled my battery or even disconnected it in my cars. I have the advantage of keeping it ina heated garage though, and I try to start her at least every other week. This method has worked for me for 5 winters now. Actually one of those winters I was in a unheated facility but the car was driven often (mild winter and first year I got the new car!)
 

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My name isn't Larry but you could have just said it a little more simply than all of that.

Yes, heat and cold will adversely affect your batteries charge. Most people don't know that heat will do the same to a battery that cold does....

See how much more simple that is...
 

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Gas Man said:
My name isn't Larry but you could have just said it a little more simply than all of that.

Yes, heat and cold will adversely affect your batteries charge. Most people don't know that heat will do the same to a battery that cold does....

See how much more simple that is...

Nah,its actually not a spousal disagreement, but a daughter and her father disagreement...i just chimed in and my :2cents: .

and yeah chris, I know its simple...but i had to provide some evidence for my explanation, so had to dig on the net a bit for it. :)
 

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Just tell her that "I'm your father and you will do as I say!!"

Let me know if that works!! :lol:
 

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I just got the November issue of Consumer Reports. They tested car batteries and found that only a few deliveried what their labels imply when it comes to cold cranking amps (CCA). CCA indicates how the battery will perform at zero degrees F. Northern batteries have more conductive plates, while southern batteries offer added heat resistance. Never seen a test on motorcycle batteries, but they are probably manufactured for added heat resistance.
 

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Need4Speed750 said:
yeah, we all now how bad confustion can be!! :bash:

I never said I was a good speller. I might have won a spelling bee in 2nd grade but darn it, thoses word were not as hard as this one. LOL :lol:
 

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I just use a battery tender jr. brand charger on my bike. my garage is heated so i leave it on the bike. i even plug it in when not riding in the summer because my bike has very high compression and hayabusas are known for their compression stroke starter kickback doing damage so a fully charged battery is important.
 
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