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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 16th May 2018
gpydeski gpydeski is offline
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Default New battery

I ordered a new sealed battery from autozone today. The old one lasted just shy of two years. The price for that one was about $60. The one I ordered has the same exact small dimensions but is $30. The main difference that I can see are cold cranking amps old one 100 new one 58. However bike is kick only so that isn't an issue. All the other things appear to be the same. Anyone think of this not working the same?
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Old 16th May 2018
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Ferrous Head Ferrous Head is offline
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Generally, you get what you pay for.
What I found with smaller sized batteries was a difference in construction. Internally the batteries aren't as strong on the smaller batteries.
Why would that bother us ? Because the death of batteries usually comes about as a result of sulphation on the plates. After time a large enough buildup on the plates causes the battery to lose surface area and the battery "dies".
But with smaller sized batteries what can happen is the plates actually flex and break. The battery dies. What causes the flexing ? Seems to be vibration is the killer. On a 500cc 4 cylinder bikes their is almost no vibration to speak of. All of my IH engines DO vibrate a little bit.
But for $30 who cares ?
As long as you have a magneto for ignition you can always get home.
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Old 16th May 2018
gpydeski gpydeski is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferrous Head View Post
Generally, you get what you pay for.
What I found with smaller sized batteries was a difference in construction. Internally the batteries aren't as strong on the smaller batteries.
Why would that bother us ? Because the death of batteries usually comes about as a result of sulphation on the plates. After time a large enough buildup on the plates causes the battery to lose surface area and the battery "dies".
But with smaller sized batteries what can happen is the plates actually flex and break. The battery dies. What causes the flexing ? Seems to be vibration is the killer. On a 500cc 4 cylinder bikes their is almost no vibration to speak of. All of my IH engines DO vibrate a little bit.
But for $30 who cares ?
As long as you have a magneto for ignition you can always get home.
No magneto or titanium man
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Old 16th May 2018
Ferrous Head's Avatar
Ferrous Head Ferrous Head is offline
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Oh Oh.

Someone stole your magneto ? What are you using for an ignition system ?

For $30 more take a spare with you.
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  #5  
Old 16th May 2018
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Chuckthebeatertruck Chuckthebeatertruck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gpydeski View Post
I ordered a new sealed battery from autozone today. The old one lasted just shy of two years. The price for that one was about $60. The one I ordered has the same exact small dimensions but is $30. The main difference that I can see are cold cranking amps old one 100 new one 58. However bike is kick only so that isn't an issue. All the other things appear to be the same. Anyone think of this not working the same?

No reason at all.

I run a 4aH battery in my 59 . . . there is no cold cranking amps -- it's a back up light battery

The battery only does two things:
1) give you enough initial voltage to fire the plugs while you're kicking
2) give you a tiny cushion for getting home if the generator fails


A couple of weeks ago, I pulled my 59 out for its first ride of the season. The battery was so discharged the lights barely glowed. A couple of kicks later and we were off.

I've run lantern or back up light batteries in kick only bikes since the late 90s. I average 3-4 years out of them. Most are $20-25 and sealed. No acid issues. They usually die due to my utter lack of battery maintenance and never being on a trickle charger over the winter.

I concur with Ferrous -- vibration kills batteries faster than anything else.
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  #6  
Old 17th May 2018
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Ferrous Head Ferrous Head is offline
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I nearly went mad a few years ago running a Mert Lawill battery/points system on the sidecar. Sometimes the battery would last for an entire meeting. Sometimes it crapped out on the first lap.
Eventually gave up and went to Shorai's. Haven't had a problem since. Even with a smaller battery. Only now all it does is run the fuel pump.
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