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Old August 2nd, 2014, 09:05 AM   #1
Proteus
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Battery charging

I'm trying to figure out a battery issue with the Elite 80 scooter my wife's riding.

About a month ago I replaced the battery, and didn't have any issues when I was riding it. She's riding it to work and nothing else, so it only gets 4 miles per day. In Chicago traffic that's about 30 min though.

Yesterday was the 10th day of this riding pattern, and it had no juice after work. We jumped it and it started right up. This morning, no dice.

She did start riding with the high beam during the day last week, do high beams generally draw enough extra current to make a difference? Or is it just not getting enough high rpms to charge and it took 10 days to wear down?

Trying to figure out if it's the high beams or just the riding pattern, either way I think we'll need to give it some more use during the week or hook the battery up to my charger every weekend.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 03:31 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proteus View Post
I'm trying to figure out a battery issue with the Elite 80 scooter my wife's riding.

About a month ago I replaced the battery, and didn't have any issues when I was riding it. She's riding it to work and nothing else, so it only gets 4 miles per day. In Chicago traffic that's about 30 min though.

Yesterday was the 10th day of this riding pattern, and it had no juice after work. We jumped it and it started right up. This morning, no dice.

She did start riding with the high beam during the day last week, do high beams generally draw enough extra current to make a difference? Or is it just not getting enough high rpms to charge and it took 10 days to wear down?

Trying to figure out if it's the high beams or just the riding pattern, either way I think we'll need to give it some more use during the week or hook the battery up to my charger every weekend.
It's possible the charging system is kinda weak, and the short trips with the high beam on doesn't provide enough charging.

I would charge the battery on a charger to get it back up to 100%. It should read 12.7V if it's fully charged after sitting off of the charger for a while (it will read higher immediately after charging).

Put it back in and start it up. Read the voltage with the low beam on while at idle and while revving about 3000 or so. It should be over 13V when revving, and over the regular voltage (12.7) even at idle. Do the same with the high beam on. If it's lower with the high beam on it may not be enough charging to keep the battery from draining. Short rides at low RPMs doesn't provide as much charging as longer trips at higher RPMs.

That should tell you if the high beams are drawing too much for the charging system to handle.
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Old August 2nd, 2014, 09:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Proteus View Post
.........She did start riding with the high beam during the day last week, do high beams generally draw enough extra current to make a difference? Or is it just not getting enough high rpms to charge and it took 10 days to wear down?

Trying to figure out if it's the high beams or just the riding pattern, either way I think we'll need to give it some more use during the week or hook the battery up to my charger every weekend.
High beams may be only 5 watts or 0.45 A more.
In heavy traffic, she is using a lot of brake light, which may be around 15 watts.

Even low rpms should be charging up all the time.

The real killer is the electric starter working after each 4 miles.
Simply put, the generator does not have enough time to recover the electrons sucked by the starter motor.

The best solution: to hook the battery up to a charger every weekend (keep teh charge rate at less than 1 A).
A full battery is a happy battery; a battery that is deeply discharged frequently cannot live long.
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 05:24 AM   #4
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If the high beam is with two bulbs lit (as on the ninja) then it adds more, 35 or 55 W. But there could be a problem with the charging system.

I happened to measure the battery voltage at idle on the ninja the other day, a whopping 14 V. On the scooter it should at least be 13.6 V, at least when revving.

4 miles of daily driving should be well enough to keep the battery charged. The electric start takes a lot of current but only for a few seconds.
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Old August 3rd, 2014, 07:32 AM   #5
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I'm trying to figure out a battery issue with the Elite 80 scooter my wife's riding.
1989? I'd start looking at the electrical system. The GY6 (QMB139) engine stator coils are really cheap and often need replacing. I'd say yours has done good for 25 years.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 05:46 AM   #6
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Thanks for the help everyone.

I charged it up last night, started just fine this morning. I'm going to break out the multimeter tonight and do some testing.

It's just one headlight - the headlight is alternator-driven so maybe it has more of an effect?

I wish we had a plug in our parking area so I could just throw on a battery tender, but it's not that big of a deal to bring it upstairs and charge it on the weekends.
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Old August 4th, 2014, 06:58 PM   #7
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..........I wish we had a plug in our parking area so I could just throw on a battery tender, but it's not that big of a deal to bring it upstairs and charge it on the weekends.
This may help you know when the poor thing needs extra juice:
http://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Installing_a_voltmeter
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Old August 5th, 2014, 05:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motofool View Post
This may help you know when the poor thing needs extra juice:
http://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Installing_a_voltmeter
A voltmeter would be great! Need to see if I can find a spot to stick it - there's not much room in between the handlebars.
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