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Brad Fitzpatrick

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Battery Update [May. 30th, 2008|01:49 pm]
Brad Fitzpatrick

Follow-up to this tweet: I was able to run-start it down the hill. (so awesome!) But it kept wanting to die unless I kept giving it gas. In fact, it did die again a few miles from my house, but fortunately on another hill. That attempt wasn't going so well to get it going again, and I realized I left the house without my phone. (gulp) Fortunately I got it going again (after using up a few hills) and rode it around some more and finally parked it back in front of my house with the intention of letting it idle for awhile while it charged.

No go. It wouldn't even idle.

Called the service center who suggested a "niiiiice looooong ride." I explained that it wouldn't idle and the trickle charger went green repeatedly but wouldn't start. He laughed and said, "Yeah, you're going to need a new battery."

"Okay," I said, "I should be able to make it there as long as I keep giving it gas."

He laughed some more and said, "Good luck."

My options are basically:
1) take the battery out. (did this once --- pain in the ass)
2) have it towed (annoying)
3) attempt to get it there.

With 3), the worst case is I go back to 2). And 3)'s the most fun.

[User Picture]From: eli
2008-05-30 09:12 pm (UTC)


If you compression start it in 2nd gear you shouldn't even need a hill... just push it as fast as you can, hop on and pop the clutch. When I first got my bike I'd forget to turn the key all the way to off and so, unfortunately, got pretty good at the technique.

My triumph might be lighter than your BMW though, so I suppose that could be an issue. It might also be worth stating that I'm likely considerably stronger than you ;)

Jealous I'm not there to go on the adventure with ya. Good luck.
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[User Picture]From: denshi
2008-05-30 09:17 pm (UTC)
I don't know motorcycle engines, but in autos lines like "But it kept wanting to die unless I kept giving it gas." indicates alternator failure. What's the skinny on your electrical system?

Avoiding #1 (but you have all the tools now, right?), and trying #3, you could perhaps chain on a low Wh battery just for the trip.
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From: seeds_of_peace
2008-05-30 09:19 pm (UTC)
I've had a totally dead battery before.. get 'er jumped, DO NOT use any A/C or vent or radio or anything else that will eat electricity.. and double-foot the idling to keep it from dying. That experience made me buy a portable jump-charger battery, so I can always jump myself off if needed.
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From: seeds_of_peace
2008-05-30 09:19 pm (UTC)
oh wait, it's a motorcycle.. merr :P
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[User Picture]From: bandicoot
2008-05-30 09:22 pm (UTC)
4) Buy a spare motorcycle ;)

Second to the alternator failure possibility...
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From: djwatson
2008-05-30 09:22 pm (UTC)
Lack of idling sounds more like alternator failure!
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[User Picture]From: krow
2008-05-30 11:04 pm (UTC)
alternator failure :)

Charge the battery on a charger, and then ride it to someplace to have the alternator replaced (or replace it yourself, it is normally very easy).
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[User Picture]From: jayp39
2008-05-31 03:28 am (UTC)
I had identical symptom's to Brad's and mine was a regulator/rectifier problem. Fortunately those are not very expensive.
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[User Picture]From: taral
2008-05-30 11:07 pm (UTC)
If it keeps dying while running, your alternator is gone too. They do seem to go in pairs.
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[User Picture]From: gregw
2008-05-30 11:27 pm (UTC)


You forgot option 4 - tell Happy McLaugherston at the bike shop to go to your place and tow the motorcycle in with his teeth.
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[User Picture]From: alohawolf
2008-05-31 04:24 am (UTC)
Your Alternator is Dead.
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[User Picture]From: whitaker
2008-05-31 05:10 am (UTC)
4) Buy a battery and plug it in

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[User Picture]From: brad
2008-05-31 05:43 am (UTC)
I'm increasingly convinced (like all the comments above) that it's not the battery. Or that it was (until I charged it) but the alternator died in the process.

Because Evan was able to jump start it for me, and then it'd idle, but it'd die again once I tried to accelerate and the RPM dropped too low (even if I tried to keep it revved high the whole time ... we tried 5 times...)
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