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Brad Fitzpatrick

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My Daily Tweets [May. 29th, 2008|11:39 pm]
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  • 20:02 Dear twitter: motorcycle battery dead. Please advise on run-starting it down big hill. #
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: matthew
2008-05-30 07:23 am (UTC)

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Go buy a battery tender and leave your bike on it when not in use. You'll want to get the BMW one as it knows how to deal with the gel cell in your bike.

As for push starting it? That generally doesn't work so well with motorcycles. Besides, don't you still have BMW roadside assistance on that thing? If not your insurance should provide for you.
[User Picture]From: jayp39
2008-05-30 07:56 am (UTC)

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Why wouldn't push starting work with motorcycles? My experience is that it's easier, 'cause they're so light and the engines are small(er). 'course, kick-starting is even easier if you're lucky enough to have one.

Of course if your battery randomly died for no apparent reason (as opposed to because you left a light on), that might mean something is wrong with your charging system and push-starting or kick-starting may not do you any good, it'll eventually not even have enough juice to make a spark.
[User Picture]From: glyphard
2008-05-30 03:49 pm (UTC)

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nonsense. you can roll start a motorcycle the same way you would a car. i've done it several times.

the battery tender is a definite necessity for any motorcycle garage though!
[User Picture]From: matthew
2008-05-30 06:10 pm (UTC)

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Light bike + high compression ratio + likelihood that the battery can't hold a charge == Brad standing at the bottom of said hill calling for roadside assistance anyway.
[User Picture]From: brad
2008-05-30 06:06 pm (UTC)

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I've left it on the battery tender since I ran it down, and it charged back up (solid green light), but it makes a weird pathetic sound and won't start. And then plugging the battery tender back in after the weird pathetic sound, it no longer shows a green solid light but the red solid charging light (not even the blinking green 80% charged light).

Which makes me think the battery is kinda fucked.

But yeah, I do have roadside assistance. I'll call them today.
[User Picture]From: matthew
2008-05-30 06:11 pm (UTC)

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Yeah, sounds like that battery is toast. How long had you let it sit not on the charger?
[User Picture]From: brad
2008-05-30 06:51 pm (UTC)

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Oh, I use the bike daily. I only put it on the charger if I'm going to be away for a few days or more.

In this case I left it on overnight in the garage (the parking lights or whatever... didn't get the key turned all the clicks counter-clockwise... :-/)

[User Picture]From: matthew
2008-05-30 07:07 pm (UTC)

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Doh. That'll kill it quick.
[User Picture]From: zarex
2008-05-30 01:41 pm (UTC)

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Unless your bike has a strange ignition system, it should be pretty easy; I've done it many times on my old bikes. Turn it on, glide down the hill, and pop the clutch. Just be ready for a jolt of acceleration when the engine kicks on.
[User Picture]From: girl_on_a_stick
2008-05-30 02:06 pm (UTC)

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What is the, the third time now?
:P
[User Picture]From: brad
2008-05-30 06:06 pm (UTC)

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Second! :P

But only the first time that it's my fault. The first time the battery was just defective. This time I just kinda left it on. :)
[User Picture]From: girl_on_a_stick
2008-05-30 06:09 pm (UTC)

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Well it IS a BMW, the wine decanter and cigar humidor probably ran down the battery a bit . . .
[User Picture]From: boonedog
2008-05-30 03:35 pm (UTC)

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I used to know how to do that on a car but I don't know if it's the same as a motorcycle. If I remember correctly on a car, you take the brake off, push the clutch in, start rolling downhill, then switch from clutch to gas while turning the ignition key.
[User Picture]From: glyphard
2008-05-30 03:47 pm (UTC)

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it'll roll start just like a car. put it in first or second (depending on hill steepness) if it's got a choke(open it), but given it's bimmer, probably doesn't have a choke.

then roll with the clutch in. once you get up to 10 or 15 mph let out the clutch quickly and feather in the gas.

rinse and repeat until you have a running motorcycle.

(same approach as a manual transmission car)
[User Picture]From: iamjosh
2008-05-30 03:50 pm (UTC)

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Place bike in second gear, turn key to on postion, get rolling about 6-8MPH let cluch out bike kinda bucks and then starts.

Second gear should make bike buck less, starting in first gear can also be done but is generally more difficult.

Best of luck!
[User Picture]From: djdrue
2008-05-30 07:13 pm (UTC)

totally doable

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I've jump started my triumph that way several times.

I agree with starting in second gear... should make it easier.