Battery for street-parked scooter running many short trips?

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bikerbrewer
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Battery for street-parked scooter running many short trips?

Post by bikerbrewer »

The wife started a new job recently, and it's only 3 miles away (joy!). However, she commutes via scooter, and it seems this isn't far enough to charge the battery after a start. It will start fine for a few weeks, and then get slowly worse until we give it a charge, at which point it's fine again for a while. This battery is new.

Normally the answer would be a trickle charger, but we live in an apartment with street parking only, so that's not a great option short of bringing the battery inside (which I don't care to do).

Things I've contemplated are:
Different battery
Solar trickle charger cleverly mounted so as to discourage theft
Asking Genuine to reconsider not putting a kickstarter on the 170i

Any thoughts? If I were someone with time and cash to spare I'd work out a cool replacement body panel with a solar trickle charger built in, but I don't have time to invest in that now.
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ericalm
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Post by ericalm »

Kickstarter are actually tough to put on fuel injected bikes, though not impossible… But you still need a decent amount of battery power there.

I've heard mixed reviews of solar trickle chargers. I had one for a car; it never seemed to work. That was years ago; they may be better now.

Different battery probably won't help, though. They vary in terms of longevity but still need more charging.

So my suggestion: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NT9IN12

Portable battery jump starter.
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Dooglas
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Post by Dooglas »

Does she have a place to park at work with a power outlet? Doesn't really matter where the battery is topped up.
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Post by lovemysan »

Simplest solution is 2 batteries and a trickle charger. Phillips head screw driver is all you need to swap them. Charge one and then swap it once a week.
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MYSCTR
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Topping Off The Battery

Post by MYSCTR »

We had the same kind of problem with the wife’s scoot for years although her commute was a bit further, it was all at lower speeds and had several stops at red lights with blinkers. We did two things we would suggest; 1) do the battery mod to get a slightly larger capacity battery that will last longer on a good charge and 2) find a way to run an extension cord out to the scoot and charge it overnight just one night a week, locking the battery tender in the pet carrier and hook up the pig tail for easy charging. Another option may be to take the long way home everyday or a nice ride ‘out of town’ where you can open it up at least once a week and just ride for 30-40 miles at higher speeds.
Funny thing, both the wife and daughter have new jobs and newer scoots and are commuting the same 3.5 mile distance 5 days a week and neither of them have used a battery tender the past 3 months. Their current route has more of a straight shot at 45 mph and less lights so maybe this is working and they are both riding 2014 170i scoots. Maybe it is time to get the trickle chargers out since the colder weather has arrived. Good luck, let us know how it works out.
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bikerbrewer
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2 battery option

Post by bikerbrewer »

Thanks for the responses!

Her ride is about 1.5 miles of relatively slow, windy park road followed by about 2 miles of stop and go downtown city riding. It's actually a pretty nice way to start the day; a ride through the corner of Balboa Park that drops you right in to the skyscraper part of town.

I don't think she has a way to plug it in at work; but I'll ask. I think she uses a parking garage most days, but at least once she's just parked it in front of the building.

I like the idea of just working in an occasional longer ride, though for now it will probably just be us swapping batteries or keeping a tender around. It's annoying to unscrew the compartment and connectors, maybe there's a quick-release mod? Even wingnuts would be an improvement.

Incidentally, this reminds me of something people here might find interesting. California has a law whereby if your employer pays for your parking spot (like in a parking garage they don't own) they are legally obliged to provide you with the cost of that spot if you don't use it. Scooters are a good deal easier to park than cars, of course! When I lived in LA I rode a bike (the kind with pedals) and got over 2 grand a year thanks to this.

http://www.arb.ca.gov/planning/tsaq/cashout/cashout.htm

There's a few catches, though. The law only applies if they have over 50 employees (my wife works for a tiny museum, so she doesn't qualify) and it's only for a business that pays for each spot individually as opposed to just owning a whole lot or garage.
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posts

Post by bikerbrewer »

I forgot to ask - is there a way to make it easy to attach a tender? It would be nice to have some exposed posts that could be used for charging (or jumping) instead of having to pull off the battery cover and leave it sitting there all day with the floormat up.
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Pig Tail

Post by MYSCTR »

Search these parts below for pictures & prices (we got these from Amazon).

Pig Tail: Battery Tender 081-0069-6 Ring Terminal Harness with Black Fused 2-Pin Quick Disconnect Plug

25' Extension: Battery Tender 081-0148-25 25' Quick Disconnect Extension Cable
Attachments
Pig tail is included with package shown on right hand side
Pig tail is included with package shown on right hand side
IMG_2443.JPG (186.34 KiB) Viewed 143 times
Secured with a zip tie on the left side of the scooter
Secured with a zip tie on the left side of the scooter
IMG_2442.JPG (139.01 KiB) Viewed 143 times
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babblefish
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Post by babblefish »

Tell her to ride faster...sorry, couldn't help it. :lol:

Would a AGM battery do better in this type of use over a standard "wet" lead acid? I have an AGM in my scoot and most of my rides these days are under a couple of miles each way. And I don't ride everyday. But then, I tend to ride fast...:)

Forgot to say, I haven't had any dead battery issues with my AGM battery, even with the short rides.
Last edited by babblefish on Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Dooglas
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Re: posts

Post by Dooglas »

bikerbrewer wrote:I forgot to ask - is there a way to make it easy to attach a tender? It would be nice to have some exposed posts that could be used for charging (or jumping) instead of having to pull off the battery cover and leave it sitting there all day with the floormat up.
Your wife rides a Buddy, yes? If so, use the Battery Tender Junior or other tender whose output does not exceed 1 Amp and connect through the 12V outlet.
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Post by Tocsik »

If she parks in the sun, I would love to hear the results of the solar charger. I bought one at HF but have never used it. I would be about 12 bucks with the 20% discount.

http://www.harborfreight.com/15-watt-so ... 68692.html

There's also the 13 watt briefcase style but that would harder to keep wandering fingers from grabbing it.
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bikerbrewer
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Solution

Post by bikerbrewer »

I would like to try out the solar charger, but given that she parks in a place where anything that can be grabbed most definitely will be (gaslamp, San Diego) I think we'll stick with the two battery option for now. If I ever have time I might try my hand at a 3d-printed body panel that incorporates a solar charger to the design; could be a fun thing to offer the community.
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Post by jrsjr »

babblefish wrote:Would a AGM battery do better in this type of use over a standard "wet" lead acid? I have an AGM in my scoot and most of my rides these days are under a couple of miles each way. And I don't ride everyday. But then, I tend to ride fast...:)
Forgot to say, I haven't had any dead battery issues with my AGM battery, even with the short rides.[/quote]
This is what I was going to say. AGM batteries have a couple of advantages over lead acid batteries. The main advantage, of course, is that an AGM battery isn't toast after a single discharge like a lead acid battery. (A single full discharge reduces the life of a lead acid battery by 30% according to the article on car batteries in the new issue of Consumer Reports). Also, AGM batteries don't go flat as quickly as lead acid batteries when they sit, so that eliminates the battery tender and issues with finding an outlet for a charger and so on.

The downside to AGM batteries is they cost about twice as much and it's not 100% clear to me that they last twice as long. That's my only reservation on them. I want to see some hard data on that.

As far as low maintenance and reliability goes, AGM wins hands down, if that's your main decision criteria.
bikerbrewer
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AGM/lead acid?

Post by bikerbrewer »

I thought AGM was a type of lead acid battery?

We bought one of these and have been using it: https://www.chromebattery.com/ytx7a-bs- ... ttery.html . It makes reference to using an absorbed glass mat. It does slowly get weaker after repeated rides, but hey, you get what you pay for I suppose. I don't really mind swapping the battery every week or two.
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ericalm
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Post by ericalm »

I've been using the Scorpion AGMs for a couple years and have been quite happy with them.

http://www.batterystuff.com/powersports ... 12-BS.html

It definitely has more starts between charges than the stock Yuasa, but I can't say how many…
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