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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, I need your help again. Over the past week, my Suzuki Bergman has had difficulty starting. I only ride 1 mile every day to school and back. I heard that this is draining the battery and I have been charging the battery ever since. The fuel is flowing correctly and I replaced the spark plug but the battery seems to go out of power very fast after I charge it.

I have been using a 1.5 amp trickle charger with automatic maintain mode to keep the battery strong. But after a while the battery will become weak very quickly and I have to charge it again. Scooter has 8200 miles on it. When I finally start it and get it running, there are no issues at all when it is running, but the issue is getting it to start. I have to constantly try to start the scooter and hold the starter switch and both brakes for more than five seconds before it starts and catches

But when I charge it and the battery is at full charge I am able to start it again. I don't want to pay for new battery but is there another way to fix this problem that is more affordable? Thank you.

Should I get a new battery or what do you guys recommend?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
By the way, when I took out the old spark plug today it was very black at the top and had oil on it
 

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I read that there was a recall on the stator on some Burgman models. You might want to have it checked. You can usually find a replacement for less than $50.00. If your battery terminals are loose and/or corroded this can set up a path for current to follow to ground causing a constant drain.

You are using the proper charger for your battery, but remove it from the compartment, clean it off, inspect your leads and test your battery after you charge it. Most battery stores will do an amperage test on it for free. If your battery is good, then I would suspect the charging system.

Good luck with it....
 

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I'll add a few general items to Roger's good advice.

You're driving habits are tough on the battery (and engine) in general, only driving 1 mile start to finish. The bike never gets fully warm (burns off condensation, curd off the spark plug, etc.) and the charging system isn't running long enough to top off the battery. Your new habit of the trickle charger is a great idea, IMO.

In general my motorcycle batteries only last about 2 years. I read an article years ago that the vibrations (more than cars) shorten their lives. My experience with car batteries is a replacement every 4 to 5 years for comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I'll keep using the trickle charger then. Leads on battery are clean as can be; The battery is only six months old. Bolts connecting to the battery are also tight and snug. I think it's definitely my riding style.

Do you guys have any advice on how I can care for the scooter with the way I ride? All the maintenance is up to date.
 

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That charger is too powerful at 1.5 amps to keep using. less than an amp would be best for that size battery. A safe charging current is 7.5% of it total capacity I believe.

I would buy a new battery and charge it when needed with a charger made for the job. Your battery is probably damaged by giving it too many amps to often.
 

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Get a Deltran battery tender to charge your battery. The ones made for motorcycles/scooters are less than half the price of a battery and generally extend the life of a battery by 3 or more years easily. They are .75 amps. Without a battery tender I'd be buying a new battery every spring. I have one for each of my cars and for each scooter.

Trickle chargers are best thrown in the trash unless you have the equipment to monitor the state of your battery. And the trash can is where that battery you are charging will be if you forget to remove the trickle charger - it'll fry a battery if left on since trickle chargers have no means of monitoring the state of charge in a battery. I fried more than a few before switching to a tender.

As for riding one mile? Try the scenic route on occasion. Or change your oil every 500 miles. Along with spark plug. Or maybe try a bicycle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My 1.5 amp trickle charger has an automatic maintain mode that senses when the battery is fully charged it will stop charging it until it senses the battery is low and then charge it again. No need for a battery tender if I have this kind of charger right?
 

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As for riding one mile? Try the scenic route on occasion. Or change your oil every 500 miles. Along with spark plug. Or maybe try a bicycle.
Oh cut the guy some slack. The grocery store is about one mile from my house and there is only one way to get there. If that were my commute, there aren't many options.

On the other hand, it'd be a great excuse to go PLAY on the bike a couple of times a week. Sorry dear, I need to do some battery maintenance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
UPDATE: Today when I went to fire the bike up the bike would not catch at all. I made sure that I was holding the brake levers and the sides stand was up but the bike would fire but not catch at all. As I mentioned before, there will is an oily spark plug one I removed the spark plug yesterday to replace it. Is something wrong with the spark plug boot? I made sure the boot clicked in

Air filter is clean, new spark plug, and charged but weak battery. Should I go invest in a new battery and see if that solves the problem, or am I missing something? The headlights and taillights turn on and the dashboard also turns on but the bike will not fire. Would it be the Stator, and if so, how do I access to replace it?

I don't know anything about the electrical systems on the bikes so please help me!
 

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The Battery Tender Plus that I use, is a 1.5 amp
charger/maintainer. It will charge up to 1.5 amps
if needed...otherwise it trickle-charges as needed.
I have 2 batteries connected in parallel...my Battery
Tender Plus has kept both batteries working great
since May of '06 when the original battery was replaced.
My radio package has a constant trickle-draw of
current, to maintain the memories, so my scooter
is always pluged-in to the charger whenever I'm at home.
 

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I can tell you from experience that it takes about ten miles on the scooter to get back what you chewed up just starting it, so you started it twice in two miles, or ten times in ten miles....hmmm, sounds time like you are only draining the battery and screwing up the engine, since it doesn't even get a chance to warm up in that amount of time. Take the bike on a long ride at least once a week. It needs it.
 

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Air filter is clean, new spark plug, and charged but weak battery. Should I go invest in a new battery and see if that solves the problem, or am I missing something? The headlights and taillights turn on and the dashboard also turns on but the bike will not fire. Would it be the Stator, and if so, how do I access to replace it?

I don't know anything about the electrical systems on the bikes so please help me!
Since the battery sounds like its worn out you really should replace it first - troubleshooting stators etc is best left to someone that can do that.

If the battery does not have enough amperage to activate the solenoid the starter isn't going to do anything. And IMO a battery can be fully charged or weak - not both. It sounds like you've worn the battery down. Lead acid batteries are good for so many charges but that also depends on how far down they are discharged before being recharged.

If you battery charger has a float mode it isn't a trickle charger since by definition a trickle charger does not shut off. Do you know for a certainty that your charger is working as it should? It should charge to ~14.8v then shut off. Riding only two miles and putting the charger back on should not wear out your battery even if the scooter wasn't charging the battery at all. Sounds like the battery is worn out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
UPDATE: I do have some good news. After charging the battery for two hours, I disconnected the trickle charger and try to fire the scooter back up. It started IMMEDIATELY! :)

I then took it to O'Reilly auto parts and another scooter shop to have them test the battery. It was reading at a healthy 12.4 volts. However, the meter test said that the battery was BAD. I'm thinking that the battery is worn down and will only start when it's fully charged. I guess I can either keep doing this (frequently charging the battery) or get a new battery.

What do you guys think? Since the scooter is starting I am very hopeful and optimistic.

Again, thank you everyone!
 

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The battery is likely toasted as there is no way it can be properly charged after starting with just a 1 mile trip (which is also as others have said the worst possible thing you could be doing to that poor little motor). Because of this duty you need to change the engine oil at shorter intervals as well, each 1000 miles or less if you persist in the 1 mile trips...

You can easily check the battery's cranking capacity by monitoring it's voltage while cranking the engine--it should be able to hold at least 10.5 V while doing so, if it cannot it is shot. Most likely a shorted cell from the abuse.

What brand/model is your automatic trickle charger? Many lesser brands claiming to have auto-sensing do not really, or at best do a half-way job IF connected to an automobile battery.

Schumacher's SEM-1562A is a good unit with a real microprocessor controlled charge monitor. It is also widely available, often in stock locally at Walmart and most FLAPS.



I have had one, the earlier model SEM-1562 (with no "A"), for 5 or 6 years...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree with the shot cell theory. I have the exact same charger actually as you show. 1.5AMP Schumacher battery trickle charger. I don't have a battery tester, could you recommend what battery tester I should buy to check the voltage on the battery when it is cranking? Would I need a multimeter or something? Sorry, I am really new to this
 

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I agree with the shot cell theory. I have the exact same charger actually as you show. 1.5AMP Schumacher battery trickle charger. I don't have a battery tester, could you recommend what battery tester I should buy to check the voltage on the battery when it is cranking? Would I need a multimeter or something? Sorry, I am really new to this
Any inexpensive multimeter will work, Harbor Freight often has them for $3.00 or even less.

If you want a great tool for testing lead/acid batteries in general be they flooded cell, gel or AGM, this conductance tester from HF is amazing. It is sometimes on sale for $60.00...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One more question; I went to the local scooter shop today and spoke to one of the technicians. He told me that if I left the trickle charger on for a couple of days it MIGHT actually nurse the battery back to 100%. Is this true?
 

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He's right. It's not impossible and it costs next to nothing to try, so I'd recommend trying. I'd plan on purchasing a new battery though, just in case it doesn't work.

If you do get it to start, drive it until you need gas. Actually running the bike at a brisk pace for at least fifty miles will help a lot of things - battery, buildup on the spark plugs, etc.
 

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No, or more correctly generally no¹. Monitoring the cranking voltage will tell the story, less than 10.5 V means the battery is a goner (or undercharged). Typically a battery with a weak cell may show 12.4 to 12.6 V after charging and stabilising, but fail the <10.5 V cranking test.

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¹ - Shorted cells that have failed because of sulfation (a result of consistent undercharging or leaving them discharged for an extended period) can sometimes be revived by applying a high current (30+ A) pulse of 24 to 30 V. This can "blow out" the sulfated bridge and revive the battery. It will nonetheless be weakened by the experience, and two to several "shocks" may be needed--each running the risk of showering the immediate area with electrolyte (predominately sulfuric acid).

I am not aware of any battery failure that would be reversed by keeping on a trickle charger, except perhaps one of those fake trickle chargers mentioned earlier that could perhaps heat the battery to the point that some part of its chemistry reformed. Then I could not envision it to be more than a brief redemption...
 
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