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Discussion Starter #1
Strange things has been happening. When I leave the 2003 LT in 1st gear, the battery drains to the point of not being able to start the bike in 9 - 10 hours. Thought I had a bad battery, but ran all the tests from the manufacturer and that looks good.

I started leaving it in 1st gear at work because I was parking on a slope. Had to pop the clutch twice to get it started so I started digging into it. When in my garage, I tested the current draw but have only done it in Neutral so far. This weekend will be more testing in 1st gear.

In Neutral, I see about 200mA when I first connect the battery and then it will settle down to 20mA or less. That is pretty normal for what I have witnessed in the past.

Was wondering if anyone else has run into this issue.
 

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Did you also test it disconnected or removed from the bike? as in leave it sitting for 24 hours on the garage floor and then test it? or leave the negative cable off the battery and test it the next day?
 

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Did you also test it disconnected or removed from the bike? as in leave it sitting for 24 hours on the garage floor and then test it? or leave the negative cable off the battery and test it the next day?
Yes - I ran through a testing process of charging it completely with my Battery Tender out of the cycle and then waiting 30 minutes and taking a voltage reading. Waited 12 hours and took another voltage reading. Then put it in the cycle and started it a few times taking a voltage reading after each start.

There was a voltage drop over 12 hours, but less than .5v so I didn't consider that too bad. The one things I didn't do was take voltage readings when trying to start the cycle to see how it may dip down. With a full charge, the cycle starts in 2 or 3 seconds so it won't give it much time to check for voltage drop.
 

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You've checked you're not leaving the lights on when at work? (turning the key past steering lock and turning on parking lights)

It would be some really sneaky sneak path to drain the battery through the gear indicator switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You've checked you're not leaving the lights on when at work? (turning the key past steering lock and turning on parking lights)

It would be some really sneaky sneak path to drain the battery through the gear indicator switch.
Yes, I have verified that there are no lights on.

I agree - doesn't make any sense, but it is the only thing I can relate to the issue consistently happening. Thought it may have been something to do with being on a slope, but my garage floor is level. Typically it starts OK in the morning, but not today and the only thing different was I left it in 1st gear.
 

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i would suggest that you likely have a weak battery.

how old is your battery?

try FULLY charging it with a full size charger (not trickle). after a couple of years-they go.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Battery is about a year old. It is a Scorpion. I'll do some more testing.
 

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Simple test to confirm your issue. Get a cheap meter from Harbor Freight (ten bucks) and check your key off amperage draw on the battery. Then stick it in first gear and see if it changes. You should see about .02 or less amps with everything off. If it's above that, reconnect the cable and check amperage draw across your fuse contacts to isolate the problem circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Simple test to confirm your issue. Get a cheap meter from Harbor Freight (ten bucks) and check your key off amperage draw on the battery. Then stick it in first gear and see if it changes. You should see about .02 or less amps with everything off. If it's above that, reconnect the cable and check amperage draw across your fuse contacts to isolate the problem circuit.
I've got a few VOM's. I did take current readings but so far only in neutral (posted those readings in my original post). I plan to pull the negative cable off tonight and try it in neutral and compare.

Was really wondering if anyone else had noticed an issue like this. Trying to avoid finding the phantom current draw culprit if someone else had a similar issue and already tracked it down to something suspect.
 

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This is a new symptom to me so I am interested in what you find. I have been around LTs now for ten years and never had this issue come up. Sounds like you know how to handle a meter. I use a serious load bank now to test batteries as the old voltage drop over time will not find all flaws.

Just realized I hit a milestone - 9,000 posts!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Sounds like you know how to handle a meter. I use a serious load bank now to test batteries as the old voltage drop over time will not find all flaws.

Just realized I hit a milestone - 9,000 posts!
Many moons ago I earned my electronics degree. Still remember how to turn on the VOM :) I see you are a fellow HAM. I am K9WWW. Congrats on the 9000 posts. I feel honored that you used that milestone for a post for me!

Good idea about using a load bank. I do have a large resistive tester for big batteries and I imagine it would be a good test for this one as well. I can throw that one on as a test point. Really want to get to the bottom of this because I just don't trust parking it for more than a few hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
This sure smells like a grounded wire issue to me.... Time to start pulling fuses while testing.
I am a little confused. How would pulling fuses find a ground wire issue?

Ah, you mean if a power wire is grounding out. Gotcha.
 

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Did some more testing tonight. I had the battery charging all day and put the Schumacher BT-100 Battery Load Tester on it. I hit it with a load for 8 seconds and it barely hung into the 200CCA zone. I let it recover for one minute and then hit it again for about 5 seconds and it fell into the BAD zone about 3 seconds in. I let it recover for another minute and when I hit the load switch, it immediately went into the BAD zone.

I put the Battery Tender on it and brought it back up to full charge (which happened pretty quickly.) I kept my meter on the battery when cranking and it went down to about 10V. I let it idle for about 20 seconds. When running I was getting a bit over 14V. I got three starts. The 4th attempt failed to start the bike. I am leaning towards a bad battery. Working with the reseller to see if they want me to do more testing. It is under warranty till the end of the month.
 

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Could it be an alarm fault ?
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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i actually had 2 bad batteries in 2 years. i believe in one case it was just bad but in the second, i had left the bike un "tended" for a few weeks and had to hit it with a FULL size charger to get a crank out of her. the batteries were from Batteries Plus and they honored both in warranty issues. the 3rd battery is on trickle with my Battery Tender (full size-not Jr.) WHENEVER she's in the garage. if i'm gone overnight, i take the tender with me and use it. this one has been good for a 2nd year now and it keeps on perk-o-latin'.

if it were i, i'd just tell the reseller i want a new battery. screw the testing for their sake.

WB9GMO
 

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Did some more testing tonight. I had the battery charging all day and put the Schumacher BT-100 Battery Load Tester on it. I hit it with a load for 8 seconds and it barely hung into the 200CCA zone. I let it recover for one minute and then hit it again for about 5 seconds and it fell into the BAD zone about 3 seconds in. I let it recover for another minute and when I hit the load switch, it immediately went into the BAD zone.

I put the Battery Tender on it and brought it back up to full charge (which happened pretty quickly.) I kept my meter on the battery when cranking and it went down to about 10V. I let it idle for about 20 seconds. When running I was getting a bit over 14V. I got three starts. The 4th attempt failed to start the bike. I am leaning towards a bad battery. Working with the reseller to see if they want me to do more testing. It is under warranty till the end of the month.
Looks like you found the issue! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
@Mike - The reseller has been really good to work with in the past. I get the reason for asking me to test it. I have the tools so it is no biggy.

@14wntr - I hope I have... It gets me how these bikes can chew through batteries for no apparent reason. I get there are a lot of electronics on them, but except the clock and maybe the alarm, nothing should be drawing current in an off state. Even the radio doesn't need power when off for memories. I pulled that out a couple years ago and sent the amp off for repair and when I put it all back together 5 months later, the memories were still in there.

My first Scorpion batter lasted 4 or 5 years so I ordered up another one when that one got weak. The one I received last year was the same modem number but it looks like they cheapened them up. The posts were not the same and I am not having good luck with them. Maybe it is just me though.
 

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I have a regular lead acid battery in mine 4 years now, just measured and bought the biggest one that would fit, Power Sport from a store here called Canadian Tire. During winter it has a solar panel with 12 volt regulator on it. Once riding it again it sits with nothing on it and even if I am away 2 weeks still OK.

On the K100 and K1100 I used AGM because of the extreme heat from the rad being blown through the center and I had a no name AGM that lasted 7 years. It started out on the K100 and died on the K1100 just as it was sold. It seems the AGM could take the heat much better than lead acid, not so much of a problem on the LT.

I imagine some motorcycle batteries sit on the shelf for long time until sold

I was warned by an independent motorcycle battery supplier to watch date on battery if I bought a pc680
 
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