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How long to idle to charge battery?

3982 Views 31 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  Hazle
How long do I need to idle the bike to charge the battery when not riding it for a couple of weeks? I try to ride all year in Colorado but there are some weeks when it is just colder than I want to ride. This morning I wheeled the Canyon Dancer out of the garage door and let it idle for about 10 minutes then shut if off and rolled it back in the garage. Am I using more battery to start it than I am putting back in with the idling? I have a battery tender (Schumacher) but am using it on my classic car right now.
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First off, nobody here is wrong except for anyone who would fully charge a very low battery with his charging system. HF has their version of the battery tenders on sale frequently for around 6 bucks each. I keep one on my emergency generator at home. When I attended a Honda school many years ago, it was explained that when you charge up a very low battery from your charging system you are potentially ruining a perfectly good battery....slow charging's best. I realize this choice is not always an option. Normally riding down the road, your regulator keeps your battery charged in little spurts as needed. If your battery's seriously down, the regulator dumps all the amperage available from your charging system into that battery. If this happens to be for an extended period of time, the battery can get hot and the plates inside warp and touch each other.....POSSIBLY(not always) ruining or otherwise decreasing the full functionality of the battery. A low amperage slow charge won't threaten the battery's longevity with the high heat. My suggestion would be (if not using a tender) and you really just HAVE to do something is to check your battery's voltage with a multitester. If you're around 12.5 or more Volts, then I wouldn't worry about it
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