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I've heard of batteries exploding and I've woke up to a dead battery but never had one die mid-use until now. I was riding, my bike just died and wouldn't do anything the idiot lights wouldn't even come on. After I got it home I pulled the battery and luckily I have another bike that uses the same battery so I put the good battery on and the bike fires right up.

I was still thinking I had an electrical problem or my voltage regulator went out so I kill it, the bike I stole the radio from has a stereo so I take the battery I pulled and hook it up so I'd have tunes while I trouble shoot. The battery was completely dead not even enough power to run a stereo. I've since put several hundred miles on the bike with no issues so it was definitely the battery. Just never had a battery die mid-use like that.
 

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Charlie Tango Xray
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Yep, but a few times I noticed that the headlamp started getting dim and the turn signals stopped functioning, barely giving me enough time to make it home before I got stranded. With several bikes, I'm fanatical about maintaining my batteries. It especially happens all the time with my old 6 volt bikes. Even when I charge and check the battery before I ride. I just learned I need to replace the cheap 6 volt batteries every few years.
 

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Batteries can be weird: Everything is fine, you ride along, park the bike, try to start it again and then NOTHING. This is the way 99.99% of the bikes I've owned have informed me that it's time for a new one.

I have only had one new bike do something odd to me: A new 1987 BMW R65 and I were riding down a road, on a beautiful day, about 100 miles from home. The bike had about 200 miles on it and I'd bought it maybe 3 weeks earlier. My bikes can sit in my garage for a few weeks at a time, even when I lived in Southern California like I did then. The bike just quit as fast as if I turned the key off and I coasted to the side of the road and parked the bike.

I did all of the tests that I could and thank GOD the BMW had a very good, high quality tool kit that made it easy to remove the seat to look at the battery. The way it died, I thought it was a main fuse or even the positive or negative cable being disconnected. A good test is to just push the horn button and normally if a battery has one foot in the grave it will at least make a feeble sound but nothing was heard.

I called my wife and my Dad helped her hook up our motorcycle trailer to her pickup and she came and got me.

I took the almost brand new bike to the top rated BMW dealer in the area, Browns BMW, in Pomona, CA, dropped it off and the service manager called me the next day to inform me that I could pick up the bike as it was ready to go! They checked everything and there was no charging problem so they put a brand new battery in it.

He asked me how often I rode the bike and I told him probably every two to three weeks or so and he asked me if I use a "battery tender?" I answered no as I had no idea what a "battery tender" was. He told me that BMW's must be kept on a battery tender when not in use and of course they sell them.

I told him that I'd had LOTS of Japanese bikes and had never had a no start situation or had one fail me and leave me stranded!

Two days later, I sold the bike.

Now, I hook every bike I have up to a battery tender and rotate it to the three bikes about every week or so. Living in the sometimes frozen Midwest doesn't let me ride much when it's so cold! (22 degrees this morning)

Battery tenders are cheap but make sure you get one with a charging 'pigtail.' My tender is an over priced BMW one---go figure!

Sam:coffeescreen:
 

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.. I was riding, my bike just died and wouldn't do anything...
...The bike just quit as fast as if I turned the key off and I coasted to the side of the road and parked the bike....
I didn't think a bike, once it is already started, needed a battery to stay running.. :confused:

Are you saying if I pulled off a battery cable from my running motorcycle it would quit running?
 

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I didn't think a bike, once it is already started, needed a battery to stay running.. :confused:

Are you saying if I pulled off a battery cable from my running motorcycle it would quit running?
That would depend on the motorcycle. Most modern ones won't run without a battery connected.
 

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When they start computerizing ignition and fuel systems, a constant connection to a battery is usually required to run. More dependable, less maintenance, but it's not as easy to bump start as the old ones. My guess is that EFI-equipped motorcycles won't even bump start with a dead battery.
 

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Gone.
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I've never tried it but I wouldn't think so. You need some initial power to turn on the ECM and turn the fuel pump on to pressurize the lines.
 

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Please. Do not EVER disconnect the battery on a running vehicle, motorcycle OR car.

The alternator is putting out current. When you disconnect the load inductance in the windings attempts to KEEP the current flowing and causes the alternator output to spike to several hundreds of volts. That will fry any and everything.
 

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Very Famous Person
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The first post mentions batteries exploding. I've seen many people hook up battery cables in a manner that will allow spark between a clamp and a battery post. Not good.

I had an employee wiggle some wires on a car battery that created a spark which ignited battery fumes. Blew the whole top off the battery in one blast. Imagine how much power there must be for that to happen.

Point is, no matter what vehicle battery you are messing with, be sure you know how to handle the sparks from the cables if you have the type of battery that allows access to the inside water. That type will allow explosive gas to escape and potentially ignite. The newer sealed batteries are much safer--fortunately.

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I have had a (car) battery go open-circuit - internal fault - but that's rare.

Running without a battery is NOT wise with any modern vehicle. It can cause all kinds of problems. I don't know about "several hundred volts" but without a battery, many alternators will put out as much as 30 to 50 volts if the regulator doesn't control it. (Most regulators will hold the voltage down to 14 to 18 volts but why take the chance?)
 

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Please. Do not EVER disconnect the battery on a running vehicle, motorcycle OR car.

The alternator is putting out current. When you disconnect the load inductance in the windings attempts to KEEP the current flowing and causes the alternator output to spike to several hundreds of volts. That will fry any and everything.
I guess it depends on what sort of vehicle you're working on, and how they're wired. If you disconnect the battery on a Harley, or it suddenly fails, it's not going to hurt anything because of a voltage spike. In fact, if you need to check the stator output just go ahead and jerk the connecting plug out while it's running and measure the voltage directly from the stator wires. It's going to put out about 13-20 VAC per 1k of RPM if it's healthy. Stator output isn't effected by what's attached, hooked up, or functioning down the line.
 
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