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A UK Site Dedicated To The Suzuki C800, VL800, VX800, M800, VZ800, VS800, C50, M50 Model Intruder / Boulevard / Marauder
 
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 Battery Replacement Conundrum

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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:40 am

So after the post holiday cold spell, I decided to crank the bike up for its bi-weekly warm up once it got above 40F, and it wouldn't crank long enough to start before the dreaded clicking started. It always had before; even on the coldest evenings, so I put it back on the battery tender, and tried again a couple days later, when it got above 50F, and it started OK. The battery tender "bad battery" light had been coming on randomly on different days since last Fall, but it always started regardless, and the battery was fairly new when I got the bike two years ago, but I figured I'd just replace it and be done with it. Problem is, everywhere I look, I'm getting different information! I just wanted to get a good quality replacement and a decent deal, so I've been researching batteries online, in hopes of finding one without having to take the old one out just yet and take it somewhere to match it and make sure it fits in the smallish compartment under the bike, but still meet the power and spec requirements. The manual says it's an FXT12-BS (10aH/10HR), but the parts finder at the local shop's site says it's Suzuki part number 33610-38a01 which says it's 16H, and even the Yuasa PDF cross reference that I downloaded says it's YB16B-1A? All a little baffling at this point, with all the YTX FTX 10s 12s and 16s, and I'm open to whatever will perform the best and still fit in the battery box, so If anyone's got some solid information and good suggestions, ( I even saw lithium-ion batteries for bikes now; what's the deal with them?), I'd be glad to hear them.  I got a couple months before good riding weather resumes, but I'd like to get all this and a few other items taken care of during the down-season, and it's looking like it might take me that long digging through the vast array of manufacturer designations and sizes, that tell me fuck-all about whether their battery will fit in my bike and perform the way I need it to!  Appreciate any data/info available...



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v-twin
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:48 am

Take the battery out and measure it. Then get the biggest battery that will fit in the hole Very Happy

Whatever you do though do not buy the cheapest one you can find, get a branded one with a decent warranty. I think the battery on your bike is physically smaller due to its location. The Cranking Amps stated on a cheap battery may not actually be accurate and batteries do not like the cold which means that even when new its only just man enough to start the bike.
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:53 pm

Thanks Andrew; I've been afraid that it's coming down to doing that, and I need to put it up on the stand to get my front rotor off and resurfaced anyway, so I'll probably do both at once; maybe this weekend, as it's supposed to warm up a bit again. Fortunately, most of the review sites also list the physical dimensions of the battery with the specs, and I absolutely intend on getting the most powerful branded one that I can stuff in there! (Will also measure the inside dimensions of the box itself; in case they left some extra room they didn't utilize!  Very Happy ) Yuasa and X-Rated (from Throttle-X), are looking like the top contenders; and even BatteryTender has a highly ranked battery, but it's specs say it's only good down to 40F degrees? Then there's the decision of maintenance free, AGM or gel-cell, but as you noted; the CCA are really what matters; just as with automotive batteries. I'm certainly willing to pay more to avoid the worries of having to do this again anytime sooner! I had the battery out when I first got the bike; to put the battery tender connector on, but can't remember what the CCAs were, or even what brand it was. It'll be interesting to compare it to what I'm finding available now, and have no intentions of getting anything in the bottom of the price range listed! I'll post again once I get the battery out and decide on my best option. Maybe it'll help someone else out facing the upgrade challenge...
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peardrop3
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:10 pm

A suggestion if I may?
Why not use a couple of electrical alligator clips or even some twisted wire to the terminals so it gives you some space to lift the battery out without loosing any electrical connections?
Personally I would just lift it out & make some notes of size etc etc & be done with it & after you have done just put the battery back but don't tighten down the screws too much, just enough to have a connection as you'll be dragging it out soon ok?
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Tue Jan 16, 2018 7:09 am

That's not a bad idea Peter. I wouldn't actually have to disconnect it at all, but on my model; the battery actually drops out of the bottom of the bike, when you remove the two screws that secure a rotating support plate that closes the bottom of the battery box. There's just enough cable length, (had it down to connect the battery tender cables when I first bought it), for the battery to sit on the ground, where you can disconnect the wires from the posts to remove it. Makes it kinda' tricky to not ground a screwdriver or something while doing the connections, but I obviously just had to be careful. Should be enough space under there to measure it fairly accurately and not lose connection, then just slide it back in until I have the new one. Side note; it was cool that the site actually wished me happy birthday when I logged in! Had to disable my pop-up blocker just to see what it said tho!
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v-twin
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:24 pm

Happy birthday Barry. I hope you've had a good one so far.
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simbo
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Tue Jan 16, 2018 5:48 pm

v-twin wrote:
Happy birthday Barry. I hope you've had a good one so far.

Yeah   happy birthday pal 
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Skidalot
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:27 pm

Happy Birthday Barry!    It's a milestone one too at the half century mark! thumup
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:28 am

Thanks for the bday wishes all! Yeah; the half century seems to be the point where I stop giving a shite about birthdays! guttss
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v-twin
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:52 am

If you have not grown up by the age of 50.........you don't have to  thumup
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peardrop3
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:31 pm

Happy birthday Mate! I did not know the battery came down from the frame as I thought it came from under the seat. Oh well at least you can get at it fairly easily.
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:39 pm

Guess I get a free pass on the growing up Andrew; just as stupid as when I was 21 still I think!
Yeah Peter; I was kinda' shocked to find the battery compartment on this 01 Intruder too. Every other bike I've ever had was under the seat! Guess it makes room for other things, but just sucks I have to put the bike on the stand any time I need to get at the battery!
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:31 pm

Well, I finally got off my arse and dropped the battery so I could get some solid answers on a replacement, (and also just realized there's an entire "battery" section of the site where I probably should have posted! Der!). The connectors you can see in the first pic are just the battery tender cables that I installed when I got the bike; the actual cables to the bike have NO room to drop them, and in the second pic, you can see that they "conveniently" placed the negative cable that you need to disconnect first, right behind the voltage regulator w/heat sink fins, so that it has to be unbolted at least, (not disconnected), to get at the negative connector at all. The 3rd pic shows the positive connection, that can easily be gotten to before lowering the "trap door" bottom plate that holds the battery in by removing the two screws that secure it in the up position under the battery, (can be seen just behind the battery in the first pic). You can also see that the positive side of the battery box has a small recess pressed into the side of the metal, (best seen in the shot of the positive cable connection), and the battery itself has a small lug in the plastic cap on that side, which I presume was a design feature to 1): make sure the battery only goes in the one way, and 2): keeps the battery from flailing back and forth in the box, which keeps it centered and stationary, so I'll have to figure a way to remedy that, if the replacement I decide on does not have this feature built in. Also, as you can see, the dual front and side connections on this battery itself was a boon to having a spot to connect the tender on the front, and the bike cables on the sides as necessary. As this battery is obviously a wet-cell, (in the bench pic you can see several of the cells are below level on electrolyte, and could probably be filled to extend the life of the unit?), I'm looking to go with an AGM maintenance free unit, which should last close to 5 years or better without issue from all I've read, but I apparently need to find something with the connections I need, and make sure it will stay put as with the built in locator lug on this unit. Will post a solution when I come up with one and do the install. Just removed this one completely, as there's nothing on the bike that needs power currently...




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peardrop3
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:53 pm

Cripes they do't give you much room eh? At least you can get it sorted now Barry as you say.
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:43 pm

Yeah Peter; it's a pretty tight fit in there, and unfortunately, it's proving fairly difficult to find a good branded AGM battery that's specific to this model for some reason?  I've found a few Lithium-Ion versions that say they'll fit, but the connections on most anything I've found aren't the same as this one, which will make it very difficult to attach the tender cables as I'd had them, but probably not impossible. While the lithium batteries boast much lighter weights, and seem to have plenty of power, they don't appear to hold up very well in colder temperatures, so I've shied away from them for the most part, and they are nearly twice the price of most AGM batteries to boot! Ahhh; the search goes on...
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:40 pm

So hopefully I've found a proper replacement; this BikeMaster MG16-BS. It doesn't show as fitting the bike on most battery replacement listings where I've found it, BUT, the size is identical, and so are the connections, so I can't see it not working. I hope not, as I just ordered one from eBay for $81, and it should be here from California early next week. It's "TruGel" construction is supposed to be capable of install in any orientation, and with 200 CCA, it should have plenty of power, and boasts that it should have a life double of any conventional battery, so we'll see. I'll post more once I see how things go...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/BikeMaster-TruGel-Battery-MG16-BS-/173111631612?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c1#rwid

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peardrop3
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:13 am

thumup
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:31 pm

So after a bit of fiddling, I got the BikeMaster Tru-Gel fit in, and it whips the motor over toot-sweet; sounds real healthy in cranking speed! I did have to make some slight modifications to the connectors however, but the battery itself fit in quite snugly. These terminal blocks that were in the original battery were about .69mm too big each way to fit in the metal housings of the new battery terminals, but a few minutes on the hand mill, (Bridgeport), at work, took care of that straight away, (before and after milling pics).






Also, it seemed the positive cable end to the bike, was just a tad too long from the screw hole to the end of the of the connector to fit properly to the battery, (see red arrow of old terminal pic for clarification), but a couple minutes with a good file took care of knocking the end down enough to allow proper fitment.





So all in all, pretty happy with the battery they said "didn't fit" my 2001 VS800GL, and we'll see how it holds up. Got the motor warmed and changed the oil after the battery fit up, so now it just needs a good washing, (planning on doing so this afternoon), plus I'm looking to upgrade the headlight to either halogen or COB LED, and I'll be ready for the spring. As of now, they're talking about 3 inches of snow tomorrow!
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simbo
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:43 pm

Nice work again Barry 
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peardrop3
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Sun Jan 28, 2018 6:56 pm

Looking like things are working out ok now Barry!
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bagtoracer68
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PostSubject: Re: Battery Replacement Conundrum   Mon Jan 29, 2018 3:18 am

So far so good. Gotta do something to keep me from going mental while I can't ride it! Next I'll be ordering the headlight upgrade. Will post some pics if I get onto something good...
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