I have a suzuki bandit 1250 fitted with a datatool system 4 alarm. I keep my bike in my garage in a compound. The trouble I have is my battery keeps going flat when left. I had to replace the battery earlier this year. My question is, is there anything I can get to keep the battery topped up as I do not have power in the garage. My wife wont let me keep a battery in the flat on an optimiser. I have seen solar powered optimisers for sale but I am not sure how they would fare during the winter with very little sunlight around. At the moment I have my alarm on winter setting but not sure if this will affect insurance. Other than starting the bike up every few days I cannot seem to find a solution. Any help would be appreciated thanks.
Keeping battery charged
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The big questions
1. can you get the bike in your flat - divorce !
2. can you fit a solar panel charger outside your garage and it not get robbed - no divorce !
Keeping Battery Charged.
19mikey, How about a 12v Heavy duty power-pack with a built in 240v invertor. Some have built-in compressors for tyres etc but the better ones have invertors that can power an Optimate or similar. This could be charged in your flat and then plugged into your bike for 2-3 days a week.Also if you look on the side of your battery it will have a boost rating of maybe 2-3 Amps for 2-3 hours. The second generation MF batteries are better than the first lot and would benefit from a boost charge every couple of months plus the Optimate use. Steve.
keeping battery charged
Cheers Steve, I will have a look at the heavy duty power pack idea. Sounds like it may well work. Must work out cheaper than getting a new battery every year.
the big question
Sorry Bob but I live in a first floor flat so it would be too heavy to lift up the stairs and I am not confident enough to ride it up them. Not sure how good the solar chargers are, especially in the winter with not much sunlight.
I made my own...
I made my own solar charger to charge my bike up outside using a small 15W (12Volt) solar panel (about 10cm by 30cm) which feeds a "solar regulator" which stops your battery getting overcharged. Overcharging would otherwise be quite easy since 15W is just over an amp and most
batteries are about 10 amp/hour total capacity so without the regulator
even a flat battery would be full after a few hours).
The panel and regulator can be bought from the likes of ebay really cheaply. The panels are the smallest you can get and are often sold with ciggarette lighter fittings to charge cars (they don't work to well for this as cars have bigger batteries and people use them inside the car where they are too shaded) whilst the regulators are made for solar powered lights etc and ensure that you don't over charge your battery. I bought an accumate lead for the bike and then bought another accumate lead to mate with it and soldered it onto the solar regulator output.
I was very careful with a multimeter to make sure everything was connected the right way (+tive output of the regulator to +tive on your bike battery) and it worked first time. The regulators also come with circuit diagrams...
It works fine even during the winter - my 250R had Oxford heated grips and would go flat after 4 days even when they were off but with this I could leave it connected over the Christmas or Summer breaks and get a nice sharp start. Only problem for you is you need to put the solar panel on the Outside of the garage and drill a hole in the wall (or drill carefully through the window frame avoiding the glass) to take the power in.
I had a similar problem earlier this year with a kawasaki EL250. Battery flat after a few days. It turned out that starting the bike and leaving it on tick-over was flattening the battery. The bike needs to be running at high(ish) revs before it will charge, 3000 rpm on that bike and it needs to run for a good few miles to replace the charge used by the starter motor. So even though you'll do the engine a favour by starting it now and then, it does cause problems for the battery. I think I read an article in MCN about batteries and it mentioned that you need to do 15 to 20 miles before the battery is recharged after using electric start. Hope this helps.
I used to have a spare battery stored on the window sill of a cold room (the loo!) with a small solar panel attached. I think the solar panel helped maintain the charge for longer (despite being behind glass) but I was never sure and I used to put the battery on the Optimate for a couple of hours, perhaps twice a year.
Anyhow, since my bikes live outside and the Kawasaki is currently SORNed pending some well-deserved tlc I've taken Andy949494's advice and bought a solar charge regulator with the intention of keeping the bike battery topped up in situ. I'm a bit disapointed that the charger isn't weather-proof though. It's heavily vented.
I need a garage!