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Battery drain on a 2018 Goldwing

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I have a 2018 Goldwing with a Hannigan Sidecar. The battery has been draining and not charging on reasonable distance rides. I checked the charging system, battery, and tested for a phantom draw. All systems check out ok and no phantom draw was found with or without the sidecar connected. The bike seems to shut down lights on the sidecar and the headlights flash when the battery gets low. If I recharge the battery, the lights come back on and function normally. Totally at a loss to figure out what is causing the problem. Any help appreciated! Thanks.

Do you put the battery on a charger overnight? If good in the morning but gets weaker as the day goes on, could be a bad cell and not taking full charge, but will read normal with a multimeter. 

I recently had a battery issue on a rig, the voltmeter read 13.6, but was erratic when trying to turn over the engine, sometime yes, sometimes no....

Took it to an Auto Zone, they tested it, 13.6. Asked for a load test. First time came back at 9.7, a second load test came back at 9.2, Not enough to turn over the engine. Bought a new battery, everything is working normal now.

Hope it is something simple for you too. 

We purchased a digital voltmeter from Battery Tender that plugs into the charging pigtail, which helped us sort out a battery problem 'in the field" a couple years ago:   I presumed all was good with standing voltage at 13.6; however, voltage dropped to 9.2 as soon the starter button was pressed.  Yep, bad cell.

Lee Summer Grove, LA Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

Re: Phantom Draws:  We have discovered that "always live" USB charging ports apparently create a draw (apparently from always working to drop voltage from 12 to 5).

Lee Summer Grove, LA Ural cT, CJ750, Burgman/Texas Ranger, Zuma 50F, MB5, TW200, CRF250L, GTV300

Thanks for the suggestions. I had the battery tested and it tested fine. However, as you are suggesting, I am willing to bet as CC said it’s got a bad cell.  It’s been sitting overnight. I will test this morning and see what the status is. Keep you posted on what I find. Thanks again for your suggestions.

If your alternator is charging properly but the battery falls while riding  it is either a bad cell or when it heats up 2 plates begin to touch causing a dead short to the battery. the only other thing is your alternator could be failing at higher RPM's ( have had this happen) do you have a volt meter that you can monitor your alt output. Then one more thing to check is all your wiring to be sure your not loosing connection anywhere 

if the battery is bad a load test will show it right away. 

Thanks, i have a volt Meter and it shows a constant 14.5 charging rate. My guess is that it’s the battery under load. Will check Tomorrow. There is an isolator for the sidecar lights since that is regular 12v and the bike is LED. as a precaution I changed all bulbs in the sidecar except headlight to LED.  Will let you all know what I find. Thanks again for all the help.

Something what fails frequently without finding it: Cables that pass through walls. From outside all OK and behind on the hidden side some creepy short or corrosion. that gets only sometimes contact.

Other point: gel batteries are very picky with battery chargers... had it with a brand new one. key off 13,2V. Key on dead 0V.  On my bikes as soon the voltage drops while turning over with less then 9V getting to the ignition => spark is gone. Often a fresh battery is the best solution, but not every fresh battery is a good battery!

Last but least the reason for most bike failures is "Lack of use". (see that a lot when my son has my Ural confiscated.)

   2018 Wing - battery 3+ years old - could be time to replace it.  The gel cell/sealed batts. seem to me to fail erratically like you have described. The old wet batteries would just start gradually cranking slower & slower. I don't miss the corrosion issues however. 

Thanks, all systems check out ok. Charging at a consistent 14.5 V , battery at 12.6 cold.  Only issue may be the cell issue that was described earlier with cells touching when battery heats up while riding distance. Will check Tomorrow when I ride to church. Let you know what happens.

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