Battery after all.

The thick plottens!

Even though the bike started up on Saturday, and graciously allowed me to ride to Helimot and back, it was dead again on Sunday morning. Since I’d done all the voltage regulator and stator tests on Friday, I was back to thinking it was the battery. Some posts to Sport-Touring.net later, the guys there were also pretty convinced it was the battery. Since the damn thing always showed a full charge, but then fell to 6v or so when I’d crank the engine, they suggested that I take it to an auto parts store to have it load tested.

So, I had a little adventure yesterday.  I went to three different stores before I found a guy who was capable of/willing to load test the battery.  The conversations went like:

Me:  Hi, I’d like to get this battery tested.
Parts guy: That’s a motorcycle battery.
Me:  Yes.
PG:  We don’t test motorcycle batteries.  They’re different.
Me:  Oh, it takes 175 cold cranking amps.  No problem.
PG:  The voltage is different!
Me:  No it’s not.  See? *points to battery*  12 volts.
PG:  The cranking amps are different!
Me:  Yes.  I told you: 175 cold cranking amps.
PG:  We can’t test motorcycle batteries!

I finally found some 18-year-old cutie at Pep Boys who was willing to actually configure their battery load tester to 175 cranking amps; he set that up while I wandered around the store and filled my basket with more Crap I Really Truly Absolutely Need.

I wandered back to the parts cutie after a few minutes, where he unhooked my battery and pronounced it “bad”.  I explained that I was learning about my electrical system, and asked for something more specific than “bad”.

He looked sort of uncomfortable. “Well, the machine just says that the battery is ‘bad’ if it can’t do anything with it.”

Fair enough, I told him, but what, theoretically, might it be able to do with it?  

He looked around for his fellow parts cuties, perhaps for rescue from the crazy lady. “It just says it’s bad.  You’ll need a new battery.”

Naturally, they didn’t have either of the sizes that’d fit in the SVS, though he brought a couple other choices over for my inspection, bless his little heart.  I think he was placating me so that I’d go away and leave him to their usual tricked-out Civic customers.

So, tomorrow I’m going to go back to the place I bought the battery in the first place and see if it has any sort of warranty.  If not, it’s off to the dealer for a new battery.  Whee!  

Man.  I’m going to spend all week working on the VF700 carburetors, just to cleanse my brain and soul from stoopid electrics.  Mmmm gummed up carbs with too-stiff rubber insulators.  Mmmmm can’t seat the carburetors.  Niiiiiiiice carburetors.

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5 Responses to Battery after all.

  1. curtis says:

    Carolyn, AUTO? My Lord. My truckstop here in Nowheresville, Tx. could tell you amperes, voltage, aned projected life of the battery, and (teehee) what the competency of the last tester was. BTW we use a BVA 2000 tester. I’ve used it on my ’99 sportster battery and it gives a very accurate asessment in my opinion. Please do not ask anyone not familiar with your equipment any questions directly related to your bike. They know NOTHING. Like when I asked for a starter for my V-8 Vega a few years back. It is, however, good for a few laughs. Keep’em smiling.
    Curtis

  2. Greg says:

    Do V-Strom handguards fit the SV? Same company and all.
    When I pull the carbs on my bike, I put the rubber booties on a baking sheet and put them in a preheated 200 degree oven for 10 minutes or so. They practically reinstall themselves. I am assuming that the boots are what you mean by “rubber insulators”.

  3. carolyn says:

    Yeah, for some reason, that’s what Honda calls ‘em. *shrug*
    I haven’t checked the V-Strom handguards. I ended up getting a pair of KLR650 handguards that were on sale online — should be getting them soon, so y’all can see the carnage when I have to take a Dremel to them. ;)

  4. Camilo says:

    Hey there, great laugh on your conversation with the parts geniouses at the local counter. I had a quick question on VF700 carbs. I’ve just totally rebuilt a set on my friend’s bike and am trying to get them synced. Unfortunately, I took a break between mounting (used two planks to press down on the metal manifold to get them to seat into stiff rubber insulators) and syncing so I forgot what screws adjusted which carbs. Do you know the order of operation regarding the screw adjustments? Or, if you have a diagram or at least a picture of the bottom of the carbs to send to me, I’d majorly appreciate it. I live in Fort Lauderdale but am moving to Southern Cal in two weeks. If you help me out, your next batch of oil, filter and plugs are on me! Thanks.

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