Despite your reliance on these electronic gizmos, they do not always tell the truth and sometimes doing something simple and cheap will give you more information and a better quality answer. A suspected battery problem should always include a test for the alternator charging and current discharge from the bike electrics, so here you go:
The best tool you need is a cheap digital multimeter from Maplin or Machinemart with a dc voltage range. It will cost you less than a couple of gallons of gas!
All batteries charging from the alternator when the bike is running should get about 14 volts across the terminals when they are fully charged, or when just taken off the battery charger.
When a battery has rested, say first thing in the morning before starting up, it should have about 13V across the terminals. If it has less than 12 volts then it has a dead cell.
If you put the voltmeter across the battery terminals and crank the bike, the terminal voltage should not go lower than about 9 volts or 10 volts for a battery fully charged in perfect condition.
If you keep the voltmeter across the battery terminals, then run the bike with all the heated load and main beam switched on, the voltage may drop below 14 volts or worst case to 12 volts at idle, BUT should come up to 14 volts at 2-4k rpm. If it does, that means your alternator can match your load AND put charge back in the battery. The rpm that gives you that voltage balance is the rpm you have to try and keep up when all the gear is switched on.
If you are able to 'rest' the battery for a few days and repeat the checks, you will also find out how good the battery is at holding its charge, but read on:
On our bikes the clock is taking a small current 24/7. That is not a problem if the bike is ridden or even left a week, but there can be faults which drain a battery when the key is off. You can check that current with your new multimeter on the dc current range.
So you can see that spending about £8 on a cheap digital multimeter can give you a lot more information than just looking at a green led on an electronic charger. In the end you may well need a new battery, but you will have confirmed that for certain whilst also checking the bike current draw (key off) for a high current and you have checked your alternator output is ok.
If you need a new battery, buy the Odyssee if it fits your bike. More expensive, but fit and forget with a superior spec. to the oem batteries.
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