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post #1 of 33 Old Feb 14th, 2009, 9:44 pm Thread Starter
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Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

I need some help. I just replaced the battery on my 2002 K1200LTC with an Odyssey. Charged it up and all was well. I parked the bike for about 10 days - 2 weeks, went to start it and it was totally dead. Won't charge up either.

Seems I have an electrical leak somewhere. Here's more information:

I bought the bike used about 4 months ago. It had what I thought was a weak battery, so I left it on the battery tender. This may have masked a problem. With a new battery, I didn't think I would have to leave it constantly hooked up to the charger.

The previous owner had installed two pairs of conspicuity lights (say that real fast 3 times), with switches installed to the left of the stingray. He also removed the top case and replaced it with an aluminum rack. I removed the CD player from the right side case. The previous owner also removed the radio antenna and replaced it with one that resides under the seat.

He also installed the power centerstand connected to a toggle switch for activation.

I have to find the leak. How should I go about it? I have a multimeter, but confess I don't know much about it. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Ron
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post #2 of 33 Old Feb 14th, 2009, 9:48 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Ron... remove your "ground"... set your meter to "Milliamps".... connect the meter between battery terminal and cable.. so meter will be "between" the cable and battery.

Disconnect fuses one at a time and document the meter readings. When you find the "leak" you'll know.

BTW.. I live in RR.. so if you would like some help, ring me up...

Peace..
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post #3 of 33 Old Feb 14th, 2009, 10:02 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Ron,

I do not know of an LT that, if left for two weeks without running, will not discharge the battery. All LT's seem to have a drain on the battery when left parked. Could be something with the memory on the radio...alarm system, etc.

If I owned an LT, I would certainly make sure that it stayed on a battery tender if I was gonna leave it parked over about three days. It's kind of a hassle, but less of one than you're going though.

Hope you get it fixed!

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post #4 of 33 Old Feb 14th, 2009, 11:07 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Ron,

With the Odyssey you should be able to park the LT for a very long time... definitely more than 10 days. If the bike is not draining it then it may be the battery itself. Last year I had a brand new Odyssey go west and thought it was my bike! Luckily, Odyssey stand firmly behind their product.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captron4601
I need some help. I just replaced the battery on my 2002 K1200LTC with an Odyssey. Charged it up and all was well. I parked the bike for about 10 days - 2 weeks, went to start it and it was totally dead. Won't charge up either.

Seems I have an electrical leak somewhere. Here's more information:

I bought the bike used about 4 months ago. It had what I thought was a weak battery, so I left it on the battery tender. This may have masked a problem. With a new battery, I didn't think I would have to leave it constantly hooked up to the charger.

The previous owner had installed two pairs of conspicuity lights (say that real fast 3 times), with switches installed to the left of the stingray. He also removed the top case and replaced it with an aluminum rack. I removed the CD player from the right side case. The previous owner also removed the radio antenna and replaced it with one that resides under the seat.

He also installed the power centerstand connected to a toggle switch for activation.

I have to find the leak. How should I go about it? I have a multimeter, but confess I don't know much about it. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Ron
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post #5 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 12:04 am
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Smile Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Maybe this will help. As stated above see how many milliamps your cycle is drawing with everything off. Also make sure you aren't going to the park position on the steering lock/key mechanism as this allows the front and rear park lamps to stay lit. It's real easy to do in the daylight and not notice it. It'll kill your battery in just a few hours. Also be sure you aren't pulling the key out in the accessory position which leaves the radio on. If you're on mute you won't notice this either. The stock battery for the LT is a 19 Amp-hour battery (I think). Basically that means if you put 19 amps into it for one hour it's fully charged. On the other hand if you pull one amp for 19 hours it's completely dead. So if you are pulling .10 amps for the radio memory you'll be completely dead in 190 hours or eight days. You will draw some amperage at rest but it should be measured in the hundreths and not tenths of an amp. If you're seeing more than a few hundreths amps at rest then you have an issue that needs to be addressed. I saw another post where the radio had some issue with the controller head and drew excessive amperage at rest. I would check that circuit first. But with all that said, many big cycles with a radio or other accessories that have memories in them will only be good for a few days to a week off the charger. The batteries are simply too small for long term storage. If everything checks out amperage-wise consider a good gel-cell rated charger and top it off once a week.
Oh yea, almost forgot, make sure the light in your trunk hasn't been left on.


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post #6 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 12:56 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

If the leak drained the battery in 2 weeks, you can use the same procedure below, but if you use a 12v test light instead of a meter, it may make the troubleshooting a bit easier.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
Ron... remove your "ground"... set your meter to "Milliamps".... connect the meter between battery terminal and cable.. so meter will be "between" the cable and battery.

Disconnect fuses one at a time and document the meter readings. When you find the "leak" you'll know.

BTW.. I live in RR.. so if you would like some help, ring me up...

Peace..
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post #7 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 3:25 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Cfell,

For the benefit of us electrically retarded readers, could you confirm that the procedure is as follows:

Disconnect the ground cable from the battery and move away from same.
Set the meter to Milliamps.
Connect one of the meter´s pointers to the removed cable.
Connect the other pointer to the terminal that the cable was removed from.

Now, should I have some sort of meter reading whilst doing this, or a led light up on the 12 v tester as PerfectSwitch suggests ?

If so, what different reading will I get when I start removing the fuses, one by one.

I presume you mean remove a fuse, check the reading and then replace it again.

Thanks in advance, Simon.
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post #8 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 7:24 am
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Exclamation Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Ron, the first thing I would suspect is the hidden antenna. If the PO did not wire it properly to a switched power source it is then constantly drawing electricity from the battery. A good source of switched power under the seat is the heated seat connector.

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post #9 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 7:45 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Why or how does an antenna draw electricity when the radio / bike is switched off ?.
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post #10 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 8:05 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by simoncharles
Why or how does an antenna draw electricity when the radio / bike is switched off ?.
The OP stated it has an "After Market" type antenna under the set. Some of these type antennas HAVE to be powered to work. If not hooked to a "SWITCHED" power source it will draw power all the time.

Stevie Shreeve
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post #11 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 8:52 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

On most multimeters you have to move the positive lead to another socket in order to read amps.
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post #12 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 9:45 am
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Smile Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

A test lamp is not appropriate for this procedure. Only a multimeter will tell you what you need to know as amperage is a measure of how much electricity is flowing at a given voltage. wattage/voltage = amperage so a 100 watt bulb at 110 volts draws .9 amps. a 200 watt bulb draws 1.8 amps. Harbor Freight sells digital meters for about ten bucks.
Starting with a fully charged battery disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. Connect the negative (black) lead of the meter to the battery post. Connect the positive (red) lead to the battery cable going to the cycle wiring harness. If there were multiple ring terminals on the post make sure they are all connected together for this. Using a small nut and bolt helps to hold them together. I then use alligator clips to connect the probes as indicated above. Again if you seen anything above a few hundreths of an amp then there is a problem. You should see something like 0.03 on the readout.
Just for grins you can switch it to the accessory position to see how many amps the radio draws when it's on but don't go to the full on position where the ignition and headlamp are activated or you'll blow the fuse in your meter as most are limited to 10 amps DC current capability.
Also the power antennae comment is good. If it is a power antennae there's a good chance the guy wired it hot all the time and that would be the problem.
First things first though. Make sure that battery will hold a charge. Disconnect the negative terminal and hook the battery up to a gel-cell rated charger to see if it will take a charge. It has to be fully charged for the testing anyway.


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Last edited by deanwoolsey; Feb 15th, 2009 at 9:56 am.
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post #13 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 10:00 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

My guess would be a bad radio. Either make sure that you turn the radio off before turning the bike off or pull the radio fuse and see what happens. Since you pulled the cd player (another known battery drain issue), this cannot be the problem.
Good luck!

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post #14 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 1:15 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

You need 6 amp Odyssey charger to properly charge the battery. My guess is that when you received your battery it was not fully charged. Battery tender or LT's alternator can not charge Oddyssey fullly. (Oddyssey needs 14.7 voltage while charging) That's why you need the Oddyssey charger.

You can just measure the voltage on the battery. It is most probably less than 12 volts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captron4601
I need some help. I just replaced the battery on my 2002 K1200LTC with an Odyssey. Charged it up and all was well. I parked the bike for about 10 days - 2 weeks, went to start it and it was totally dead. Won't charge up either.

Seems I have an electrical leak somewhere. Here's more information:

I bought the bike used about 4 months ago. It had what I thought was a weak battery, so I left it on the battery tender. This may have masked a problem. With a new battery, I didn't think I would have to leave it constantly hooked up to the charger.

The previous owner had installed two pairs of conspicuity lights (say that real fast 3 times), with switches installed to the left of the stingray. He also removed the top case and replaced it with an aluminum rack. I removed the CD player from the right side case. The previous owner also removed the radio antenna and replaced it with one that resides under the seat.

He also installed the power centerstand connected to a toggle switch for activation.

I have to find the leak. How should I go about it? I have a multimeter, but confess I don't know much about it. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Ron

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post #15 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 6:47 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattKas
...LT's alternator can not charge Oddyssey fullly. (Oddyssey needs 14.7 voltage while charging)
OK, I don't get it. Does this mean that if you ride long enough without stopping to plug in your battery will go flat?
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post #16 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 8:24 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Nope. It means you can not charge Odyssey battery fully by alternator method due to the reason that most alternator systems provide 14.2 volts whereas Oddyssey needs 14.7 volts to get fully charged. It is recommended by Oddyssey that you keep the battery charged (top 20%) for longer life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimH
OK, I don't get it. Does this mean that if you ride long enough without stopping to plug in your battery will go flat?

Matt Kas

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post #17 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 8:32 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by cccpastorjack
Ron,

I do not know of an LT that, if left for two weeks without running, will not discharge the battery. All LT's seem to have a drain on the battery when left parked. Could be something with the memory on the radio...alarm system, etc.

If I owned an LT, I would certainly make sure that it stayed on a battery tender if I was gonna leave it parked over about three days. It's kind of a hassle, but less of one than you're going though.

Hope you get it fixed!

I agree with Pastor Jack. I would never risk leaving my bike unplugged for that long. Everytime its parked in my garage, its on a battery tender.

Carl

Euclid, Ohio
2003 Silver LTE
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post #18 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 9:17 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattKas
Nope. It means you can not charge Odyssey battery fully by alternator method due to the reason that most alternator systems provide 14.2 volts whereas Oddyssey needs 14.7 volts to get fully charged. It is recommended by Oddyssey that you keep the battery charged (top 20%) for longer life.
Why buy a battery that can't be kept at full charge by a standard automotive alternator?

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post #19 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 9:38 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Voyager
Why buy a battery that can't be kept at full charge by a standard automotive alternator?
So that they can sell you their charger too :-)

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post #20 of 33 Old Feb 15th, 2009, 9:42 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

It's clear the troubleshooter is not familiar with multimeters, and if the battery is fully discharged in 2 weeks, there's clearly enough current-draw to illuminated a simple test light, and as such, don't create unnecessary complexity....get a test light and run your tests...it should be apparently obvious what accessory is staying "live" and draining your battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
A test lamp is not appropriate for this procedure. Only a multimeter will tell you what you need to know as amperage is a measure of how much electricity is flowing at a given voltage. wattage/voltage = amperage so a 100 watt bulb at 110 volts draws .9 amps. a 200 watt bulb draws 1.8 amps. Harbor Freight sells digital meters for about ten bucks.
Starting with a fully charged battery disconnect the negative terminal on the battery. Connect the negative (black) lead of the meter to the battery post. Connect the positive (red) lead to the battery cable going to the cycle wiring harness. If there were multiple ring terminals on the post make sure they are all connected together for this. Using a small nut and bolt helps to hold them together. I then use alligator clips to connect the probes as indicated above. Again if you seen anything above a few hundreths of an amp then there is a problem. You should see something like 0.03 on the readout.
Just for grins you can switch it to the accessory position to see how many amps the radio draws when it's on but don't go to the full on position where the ignition and headlamp are activated or you'll blow the fuse in your meter as most are limited to 10 amps DC current capability.
Also the power antennae comment is good. If it is a power antennae there's a good chance the guy wired it hot all the time and that would be the problem.
First things first though. Make sure that battery will hold a charge. Disconnect the negative terminal and hook the battery up to a gel-cell rated charger to see if it will take a charge. It has to be fully charged for the testing anyway.
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post #21 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 7:42 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

By any chance do you have a DICE unit fitted?
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post #22 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 8:55 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

I agree that the KISS method is best however in this situation as in any modern vehicle there will be current draw at rest and it's important to measure the current. However with that said if there's something obvious such as the power antennae connected directly (unswitched) that is most likely the problem. However many test lamps draw too much amperage to illuminate if the issue is in the engine ECM or radio controller since we're dealing with minimal amperage at rest. But again I say charge that battery up fully with a gel cell rated charger and go from there.


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post #23 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 9:13 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

One thing I haven't seen mentioned here is the position that the bike is left in.
If you remove the key when the bike is not in steering lock mode, I find the battery drains far quicker.
I have left my Odyssey for a month on steering lock and 'just' got away with it. When touring for a few weeks, I have never had a problem without a tender.
Just don't put it on steering lock AND leave the parking lights on :-)

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post #24 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 11:54 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

I've left my bike parked for at least 45 days several times and it always fires right up. If something is draining your battery in two weeks it should be easy to find.
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post #25 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 1:05 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

What is unclear to me at this point:

Is the battery fully charged to start with?

PC680 should read 12.8Volts if fully charged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fountain
I've left my bike parked for at least 45 days several times and it always fires right up. If something is draining your battery in two weeks it should be easy to find.

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post #26 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 2:05 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattKas
What is unclear to me at this point:

Is the battery fully charged to start with?

PC680 should read 12.8Volts if fully charged.
I can only assume that after riding the bike the battery will be fully charged.

My Westco battery is 2.5 years old. I replaced the original BMW lead acid battery when it was six years old. It was not giving me any problems, I just thought it was time.
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post #27 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 7:52 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattKas
So that they can sell you their charger too :-)
I know why they sell the battery.

The question I asked is why would anyone buy one!

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post #28 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 9:10 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

I own a motorcycle shop. Sealed gel batteries need to be properly charged prior to sale or installation. If they are not they will read 12-13volts output but will not hold a charge once depleted. It is possible you left your parking lights on and drained the battery. A battery tender will will maintain the full charge but does not have the power to de-sulfate the plates.

The place where you bought the battery can blast the battery to bring it back to full life. We do it with a Christy charger that is recommended by the OEM for batteries initial charging procedure. Odyssey chargers and Battery tenders Jr. only have the power to maintain the battery charge not initialize them for service. Some batteries come from the factory pre-charged and if left on the shelf they lose about 3% per week and must be re-initalized after 6 months. It might have been in the distribution channel a little long.

Take it back to the dealer, he should be able to bring it back up to new specs.

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post #29 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 9:13 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

I appreciate all the responses. I'll try to answer a few of the questions raised.

I don't think I have a DICE (not sure that it is).

I usually leave the bike with the key in the off position but not with the handle bars turned left and locked.

I don't use the alarm and would remove it if'n I knew how.

I think the battery was fully charged. I didn't put it on any meter, but when the light was green on the charger, I assumed it was fully charged. Fired the bike up, no problem.

This is my 2nd LT. I had a 2003, sold it, rode a RT for a couple of years and now I'm back on the LT. I'm not doing anything differently with this latest LT but I can't keep the battery going without a charger. Not even riding it is enough. I never kept a charger on my 2003 and never had this issue, so my guess is there's a drain somewhere.

Since I want to lighten the LT as much as possible, it is my intention to strip everything off it I don't need or use. The radio/CD player with the antenna with be gone soon along with the speakers. I listen to an iPod anyway. I've got to check the installation of the fuse block and the aux lights/switches. They may be history, too...we'll see. There's 12V plug that's been installed. Might be handy.

If it's not one of these add-on gadgets, then it's got to be some native appliance sucking the juice.

I'll try checking one thing at a time with the multimeter according to the instructions given here. Thanks.

Ron
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post #30 of 33 Old Feb 16th, 2009, 10:11 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Not sure if you're turning the key to the "OFF" position where it locks the handle bars or not? There are three positions, OFF, ON, & RUN plus the parking light position which is to the far left or counter clock position of the ignition.

I had a similar problem with my battery draining back until November until I read a thread here that mentioned the battery draining when removing the key and leaving the ignition in the "ON" position.

I started leaving the ignition in the OFF position and since then my battery has not drained nor have I had to put the charger. I've even left the bike sitting for 15 days...I tested this back in December without any problems.

It appears to me that "switched" power on the LT does not mean turn the ignition to the "RUN" position where the dash & everything else lights up, but instead power tends to be switched ON in the ON position...I think that's an oxymoron on my behalf :-)

I'm by no means an electrical guru...hope you find the problem or find a simple solution to get you back on the road again.

Good luck!

Jose Gonzalez
2001 K1200LT
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post #31 of 33 Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 11:14 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

As a newbie, I attended a tech session Saturday at Open Road BMW in Newmarket. When the topic of batteries came up, Patrick Doyle, the head mechanic, asked a trivia question:
How long do you have to run the bike after starting to return it to full charge on the battery?

The answer was a big surprise to all of us: 90 minutes at 4000 rpm.
He went on to remind us that hopping on the LT to do a short run to the store, even several times, still leaves the battery weaker than before you first started it, since the alternator hasn't had time to bring the battery back.

Likewise, starting the bike in the winter because we 'want to hear the beast's rumble' does absolutely nothing positive for the battery, not to mention the condensation created in the system by not getting it up to operating temperature.

Tongue-in-cheek, he suggested making a recording of the motor in the fall, so we can play it during the storage months and get our BMW fix....

I came home from the tech session feeling much more positive about my LT, which I have yet to ride. I've spent many hours here reading through threads on all kinds of issues, and have been very impressed with the breadth of knowledge and experience that members bring to this board. Ask a technical question, and there is a flood of suggestions, often accompanied by detailed descriptions and even step-by-step pictures! Amazing responses.

However, I've come to realize that there is also a high concentration of 'problems' encountered by reading here, which has caused me to second guess my decision to buy the LT, even before I've had the opportunity to ride it- ex: final drive failures.

I have to keep a balance and not dwell on the negatives: the K bikes are amazing machines, and I should be able to ride this bike for many years with few problems.
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post #32 of 33 Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 8:40 pm
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

Better yet buy two LTs. if one breaks down or needs maintanence you can ride the other one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeeJay
As a newbie, I attended a tech session Saturday at Open Road BMW in Newmarket. When the topic of batteries came up, Patrick Doyle, the head mechanic, asked a trivia question:
How long do you have to run the bike after starting to return it to full charge on the battery?

The answer was a big surprise to all of us: 90 minutes at 4000 rpm.
He went on to remind us that hopping on the LT to do a short run to the store, even several times, still leaves the battery weaker than before you first started it, since the alternator hasn't had time to bring the battery back.

Likewise, starting the bike in the winter because we 'want to hear the beast's rumble' does absolutely nothing positive for the battery, not to mention the condensation created in the system by not getting it up to operating temperature.

Tongue-in-cheek, he suggested making a recording of the motor in the fall, so we can play it during the storage months and get our BMW fix....

I came home from the tech session feeling much more positive about my LT, which I have yet to ride. I've spent many hours here reading through threads on all kinds of issues, and have been very impressed with the breadth of knowledge and experience that members bring to this board. Ask a technical question, and there is a flood of suggestions, often accompanied by detailed descriptions and even step-by-step pictures! Amazing responses.

However, I've come to realize that there is also a high concentration of 'problems' encountered by reading here, which has caused me to second guess my decision to buy the LT, even before I've had the opportunity to ride it- ex: final drive failures.

I have to keep a balance and not dwell on the negatives: the K bikes are amazing machines, and I should be able to ride this bike for many years with few problems.

Matt Kas

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Laguna Niguel, Southern California (South Orange County)
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post #33 of 33 Old Mar 3rd, 2009, 6:41 am
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Re: Brand new battery - dead after 2 weeks

DeeJay;
The negatives, while they are real are a very small percentage of the number of units sold. Enjoy your LT and use it like it was intended. It is expected that the bike will run well so that get very little play on the site. If something is meeting your expectation there is little reason to discuss it because that is what is expected. There is very little chatter about the things that work as they should. If something goes wrong, and it gets posted, no matter how small, it becomes every ones problem. Keep the problems in perspective and realize that some people are a more particular and BMW is not perfect. Just ride it and if something goes wrong fix it.

This is not to exclude some perceived problems that have been documented as legitimate on this site like the final drive which seems to be a higher percentage then reasonable.

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