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I don't ride my bike as much as I would like to, so the bike sits for a week or 2 at a time occasionally. Needless to say, I had to ride it the other day and the battery was dead so I push started it and popped the clutch. Then I went for a 30 minute ride, thinking that maybe the stator (right?) would charge the battery back up. So i got off the bike, went to class, came back, and it barely gave me anything when i tried to start. It gave me maybe 1 full second of an effort and then NOTHING. So i had to push start it again. Rode for an hour and then took the battery off to be charged for 10 hours. The battery now has a full charge, but I'm going to load test it this weekend to check the voltage. Only thing is, I can't check cranking amps with a load test and I was wondering if the load test is pointless and if I should just get a new battery instead...

If i do get a battery, I have no idea which to get. The battery only has one marking on it. It says 'BS' on the side of it. No other codes or ANYTHING. How do I figure out which battery I need? Do i need to measure the battery or are motorcycle batteries specific sizes depending on the type? I've done a little searching around and am not getting the answers I need.

Thanks in advance guys.

P.S. - Somebody told me its not good to push start my bike. Is that true? I don't plan on doing it again, I just needed to do it a few times bc I was in a pinch
 

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Sounds like you need a new battery. After a while they just don't hold a charge any more. Even if you do get it charged it may only hold for a week or a few days. New batteries are not usually more than $100 or so. Call around to auto parts stores and just tell them you need a battery for year/make/model bike that you have and get quotes for the best price, that will save you from driving all over the place. Also there is nothing at all wrong with push starting, other than it being a pain in the ass and embarrassing.
 

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Most battery manufacturers have a fitment list either in a book or online plug in make and model comes out with recommended products from that manufacturer.

ie here Yuasa Batteries :: Motorcycle

Odyssey Drycell Motorcycle Batteries

A true load test will check cranking amps, a voltmeter across the terminals won't tell you much.
However if you want a basic guide a good but flat battery will read around 12-12.2 volts across the terminals a fully charged battery will be around 12.4-12.6 volts. Anything below 12 suggests it has dropped a cell or is about to. For a basic load test you can put a volt meter across the battery and take note of what the reading is then turn the headlights on even with a flat battery the voltage should only drop about 0.2-0.4 volts. If it dumps down to a number with anything that starts with an 11 if its really bad a 9 the battery is dead and you need a newy.

Although as I said this is a basic guide you can preform with a multimeter/voltmeter the definative answer will be a load test which most battery retailers will do for free.
 

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GET A BATTERY TENDER!!! It'll solve most of your future problems. while i have owned/used one, never had a battery go bad. the longest i've had the stock battery in any of my bikes was the Busa... 5 years... then i sold the bike. grrr. i seem to have bike adhd
 

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I use a battery tender when I park the bike every night. I have a Black&Decker orange one, it's very good at keeping the battery level.

These older Ducatis are famous for their bad charging systems, so I've done all the typical steps to take care of my battery, and I advice:

1-Get a voltimeter permanently connected to the battery terminals. This way everytime I ride I monitor how well the bike is charging, and I have an idea of how good is the battery before I ride. (Nero Diablo's numbers are good in my case)

2-NEVER push start it or attempt to start it when the battery is low. This could cause other, more expensive, electrical problems.

With your symptons, I'd say it's possible that your battery is ruined or going to be ruined soon, given that it has fallen too low. My old battery had this problem, and then I recharged it but it wouldn't hold charge due to a lack of water in it. I re-filled and re-charged and it worked fine, but this is a short term solution, in general.

However, not only would I check/replace the battery, but most importantly, get a multimeter and test your charging system. An R/R failure is not uncommon on vehicles that don't have a very reliable charging systems (read: sportbikes in general).

Do it like this: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/51669068/Ducati Info/Charging system article from VA Duc adobe.pdf

Or, here is some useful info, too: Charging System Diagnostics - Rectifier/Regulator Upgrade - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums (although, when he says that at idle battery voltage should be 13V+, that does not apply to MY bike; I don't know if it does to yours)
 

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GET A BATTERY TENDER!!! It'll solve most of your future problems. while i have owned/used one, never had a battery go bad. the longest i've had the stock battery in any of my bikes was the Busa... 5 years... then i sold the bike. grrr. i seem to have bike adhd
This.

If you do have to replace it you should seriously consider one of the lithium ion batteries. They are lighter big time and tend to hold a charge well over time.
 

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Spiffy...
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Push starting is not going to damage the bike physically, but like Uncal said, can cause electrical issues. The first one that comes to mind is an exploding battery. It is unlikely, but I've seen it before on a lawnmower; started it with a bad battery in it, using the pull starter. After a few minutes, boom.
 

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By the way, are you a member of any specific zx6 forums? That's always a good thing, to find a good brand/model specific forum.

You wouldn't believe how much wisdom I've found in the Ducati forum. My bike would not be running without it.

There, you can search/ask what battery is recommended for your bike.
 

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Push starting is not going to damage the bike physically, but like Uncal said, can cause electrical issues. The first one that comes to mind is an exploding battery. It is unlikely, but I've seen it before on a lawnmower; started it with a bad battery in it, using the pull starter. After a few minutes, boom.
Yeah.... this CAN happen. But it's pretty unlikely.


If you've gotten to the point of having to push start a bike, then it's because you need your bike and it's your only option.

Thus- if I'm in the situation where I need to push start my bike, I'd go ahead and do it every time. First option would be a jump start... but if you are by yourself with no cars around, then you can't do that.
 

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Spiffy...
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Yeah.... this CAN happen. But it's pretty unlikely.


If you've gotten to the point of having to push start a bike, then it's because you need your bike and it's your only option.

Thus- if I'm in the situation where I need to push start my bike, I'd go ahead and do it every time. First option would be a jump start... but if you are by yourself with no cars around, then you can't do that.
Agreed. I've push started bikes many times before, and I will likely do it again. But I can say that I've never quite felt comfy riding with a questionable battery with my jewels resting right above the battery box after seeing one blow up :D
 

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Most bike manufacturers use the smallest and lightest battery they can get away with, but really the heavy lead-acid batteries are stone-age for sport-bikes these days. A strong battery is the foundation of your motorcycle; if it won't start you can't ride it so spending a few extra bucks is well worth it. I got the Shorai extra-strong 18Ah lithium battery (only weighs a couple of pounds) and their battery tender which plugs into a cable to the 5-pin port on the battery ($250 total). Lithium batteries are a bit sluggish in cold weather (until cranking perks up the ions) so I got the stronger model than standard. Shorai says their battery can last 10 yrs with proper care.
 

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Spiffy...
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Most bike manufacturers use the smallest and lightest battery they can get away with, but really the heavy lead-acid batteries are stone-age for sport-bikes these days. A strong battery is the foundation of your motorcycle; if it won't start you can't ride it so spending a few extra bucks is well worth it. I got the Shorai extra-strong 18Ah lithium battery (only weighs a couple of pounds) and their battery tender which plugs into a cable to the 5-pin port on the battery ($250 total). Lithium batteries are a bit sluggish in cold weather (until cranking perks up the ions) so I got the stronger model than standard. Shorai says their battery can last 10 yrs with proper care.
What kind of care and maintenance do those batteries require?
 
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