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Asking for a friend



Man, this is a tough one to fess up to. Let's say I have a friend who in a drunken mishap over the winter accidentally put the Battery Tender Jr charger leads on the wrong battery poles (battery in bike, 2000 XX) and plugged the fucking charger into the wall. The bass-ackwards charger/battery made a funky humming noise immediately which the drunken idiot noticed after a short time, like less than a minute. They then unplugged the charger from the wall.


Damage done? What to check now?


Battery was then removed from bike and put on trickle charge (properly) a few times over the winter. Battery Tender Jr. would then charge it until the green light came on, like normal. Fast forward to now and the battery will not turn the engine over. 


Battery is likely 4-5 years old. Dead battery? Blown fuse? Something more serious fried during drunken idiocy?


Any and all help appreciated.

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Go to Walmart and spend the $60 already, cheap fucker.


"Will not turn the engine over" as in it tries and doesn't, or doesn't try at all?  Do you have a charger with a starter mode?


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Connect and forget with the Battery Tender® Junior! Capable of managing battery health all on its own, this charger and maintainer is equipped with reversed hook-up protection that checks for a correct connection before providing power to remain spark free. Link


It shows it having a fuse in the cord so you can look at that. 

I don't know what auto parts stores you have, but most here will test your battery for free.  I just did it this spring when my Wing's battery crapped out.  BTW- they can do it with the battery installed or carried in.





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It's very unlikely that 'your friend's mistake' did a much damage to the battery.  If it was a high power charger then it could, and could even let the smoke out of the battery in a boring or exciting way, but I assume a Tender JR is low power like 1-2 amps which would do very little damage if any.

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For point of reference, I keep 10 Battery Tender Plus brand smart trickle chargers (the "full sized" metal boxes) going all the time, and have for many years.  If the cables are on the wrong posts, it just alternately flashes the red and green LEDs, doesn't care, and won't go any further in it's pre-charge test sequence.


Two things could have happened.  First, keeping a Tender on a battery won't make the battery last forever. The battery can gradually age and allow only a surface charge over time.  When in float mode, the Tender doesn't know that and thinks it's doing a good job.  Second, the Tender can die and act like it's working okay, even though it's not putting out 13-14 volts to the battery.  The logic voltage can survive, but not the output.  This can happen if it is running through a serious power brown-out.  You can connect the Tender to a good battery and monitor with a volt meter to see if, once it goes to the red LED charge mode, the battery voltage slowly rises.  It has to be hooked to a battery to read the voltage because even if it is working right, it won't put any output volts on the cables unless it is satisfied the battery is there and the polarity is right.


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Thanks for all the feedback folks.


A little more related info...


I've been running two bikes for the last few years, the XX and a DRZ. I have and mainly use a Harley branded Battery Tender Jr. that trickle charges @ ~0.75a with an auto feature. I don't log when I charge the batteries over the winters but I try to charge each one at a time for a week or two then swap to the other. Both are AGM, XX is YUASA, DRZ is generic no name.


As mentioned my XX battery would charge to the point the tenders light would turn green, as expected. The DRZ battery was charging to the green light point during the winter but more recently (the last 1-2 charges?) it would not, the charger light would remain solid orange. It's finally getting nice out (yesterday was the first day of the year I wore shorts) so I, like everyone else, am in get-bikes-on-road mode. I gave both a full couple days on the charger this week and tried to fire them up. XX - dash lights come on like normal but starter did not turn the engine over at all. No click, no nothing. DRZ - starter jabs turned over the engine a bit but it was weak limp dick turns and only a few.


I figure I've got two dead batteries at that point and on Tuesday, I call the shop and ask them to prepare two new ones for me. [As a sidenote, YUASA runs ~$140 here and no name generic ~$60-80. What brands off batteries do you guys run? Does it matter? Both seem to have the same 1 year warrenty] While on the phone, the shop owner, Barry, notices that my DRZ battery is not even a year old and thus would be covered under warranty if it's actually dead. He asks me about my home charging situation as asks me to bring it in for them to assess/try charging, I drop it off to them 5 minutes before close on Tuesday. I went into the shop yesterday morning to see how it went and he tells me it's fine after a charge there in the shop and hands it back to me. I can only presume they have some top shelf charging set up. We talk about the XX battery and my charger and Barry says I should bring the suspect XX battery in to him too for them to check out/charge similarly. I agree. I know it's likely 4-5 years old.


I put the DRZ battery back in the bike at home yesterday afternoon and it works like new. It turns that engine over quickly and strongly, with the strength of an unexpected boner that a 15 year old would be desperately trying to hide in class. It is at this point that I remember my drunken charging fuck up ... errr my friend's .... and I start a wondering about possible damage.


I plan to drop XX battery off to Barry this week to see if they can resurrect it or sell me a new one. In the meantime I was aiming to check on anything that might have occurred during the drunken mishap.


I do have 2 other chargers.


One is a manual 1 amp with no auto feature. I.e., it's not a set it and forget it. Looks like they don't even sell manual ones anymore, but it's this one. You have to watch the time it's on and disconnect after x-hours.


The other I have is an older one I stole from my dad years ago. It's a big honker for car batteries and has a 2amp setting as the lowest option so I have been reluctant to use it on tiny bike batteries but it is variable and has auto/maintenance. I think it is an older version of this one. It does have a jump start type setting but I think it says it's like 80 amps or something.


I'm going to check fuses on the XX and will aim to take the battery into Barry this week but if any of you have any other suggestions in the meantime, it's appreciated.



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Almost all trickle chargers have a programmed voltage threshold below which they won't initiate a charging cycle (check to original paperwork). Most have no way of alerting you to a below threshold voltage - per the LED(s) they appear to be working normally but they're not actually charging.


I have an old Sears 12v 10/2amp charger w/voltmeter from the early '70s that I'll employ at the 2amp setting whenever I suspect a trickle charger isn't really performing. That works just fine for motorcycle batteries. After a full bench charge, the trickle charger is re-applied. After installation I retest voltage at rest and under load.


I have an earlier version (BA-7)of this load tester . . .




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On another side note, waaaay back, 1974 or so, One of the other mechanics was working on a Honda 350 trying to get it to start.

He had replaced a few parts to no avail and asked me to look at it. I hit the start button and told him that the battery was connected backward.

He said no, I checked that. I convinced him a new battery would fix it, it did.

Apparently the owner had the battery go dead flat and charged it with reversed polarity. It was spinning the starter backward.

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On 4/11/2021 at 10:02 PM, OMG said:

Apparently the owner had the battery go dead flat and charged it with reversed polarity. It was spinning the starter backward.





On 4/12/2021 at 8:41 AM, DBLXX said:

Sell the bike. It’s ruined. 




23 hours ago, SwampNut said:




12 hours ago, superhawk996 said:

I was only gonna offer a hundy, take the previous offer and run!





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