We decided to take a run at an electrical article, since about 90
percent of problems and breakdowns come from the electrical
component. Besides, it's riding season and we all need to check
our electrical connections before we ride off into the sunset.
This is especially true of bikes stored in moist or seaside
climates. Besides, I'm riding the King to Laughlin and need to
check it out. It's been awhile. Here's the lastest upgrade to the
king: King Meets Zippers and D&D
This article will cover some basic electrical checks, since
being forced to charge your battery indicates deficiencies in your
charging, or wiring system--or you left the goddamn lights on.
This rambling will also cover all the aspects of the latest
battery charger from Biker's Choice, the Xtreme 12-Volt battery
maintenance charger. If you find it necessary to charge your
battery, take it out of the bike and place in on a wood or fabric
surface, not steel or concrete (draws battery charge). Make sure
the terminals are clean. A loose or corroded terminal will
prevent the battery from accepting a charge. No shit, just that
will leave you along side the road.
Corrosion, or bad grounds cause most electrical problems,
especially in dense humidity climates. Check your grounds
annually; clean the connectors and the ground surface.
Batteries are nasty dangerous bastards. Make sure to
protect yourself around them. Don't mess with a battery near
flame, extreme heat or next to your custom painted Ferrari. If
the bastard explodes, you could lose your eyesight and that
$5,000 paint job. And that acid crap is super nasty. Don't get it
on anything. There is a cure. Mix some baking soda and water
and have it standing by to clean anything with battery acid
splashed on it. This is no jive. If you get battery acid on
anything, it's toast. Believe me. I have a number of holy shirts
from acid meetings.
Wear eye protection and don't fuckin' smoke around
batteries. Fortunately, for incased batteries, we don't have to
mess with acid as much anymore, but I'm still building choppers
and using bullshit little batteries with acid requirements. Whatta
mess. Make sure the area used for charging is clean and well
ventilated. Okay, enough for the safety procedures. The Xtreme
Charger comes with complete safety warnings.
Here's the leads that allow you to connect the
battery to the Xtreme charger quick.
For years I liked Battery Tenders, because they monitored
charging process and dropped the charge level automatically,
when the battery was completely charges. If the charge level
dropped, the automatically kick into gear again. This Xtreme
charge handles those tasks and more to keep your battery
strong and charged. Below is the full description of the Xtreme
capabilities. The kits also come with a lead set you can bolt
directly to the battery for easy access at anytime. Check this out,
then we'll give you some testing, trouble shooting electrical tips:
The Xtreme Charge is ideally suited for AGM and
Maintenance-Free Batteries. The combination of PulseTech’s
patented pulse technology and proprietary charging algorithm
allows it to charge these high-performance batteries more fully
while maintaining a safe charge profile for traditional batteries.
The Xtreme Charge Battery Maintenance charger comes in
variety of colors, which may suite a particular need. If your
looking for the best battery maintenance charger for use on any
12v battery rated from under 10Ah to over 150Ah, pick your
color, and get one today.
Includes fuse-protected quick-disconnect battery clamps and
lugs, Important Safety Instructions and Quick-Start Guide. The
Xtreme Charge is fuse-protected, spark-proof, and is UL and CE
Comes with a Five-Year Warranty
Xtreme Charge Maintenance and Charging
The Xtreme Charge is a microprocessor controlled
and bulk charger for any type of 12-V lead-acid battery. It
features PulseTech’s intelligent circuitry, which imposes only the
correct amount of charge rate as determined by the continual
evaluation of the battery’s condition. By using only the
appropriate amount of charge rate, the battery is maintained
safely at its proper operating voltage indefinitely. Conversely, if
the charger is connected to a discharged battery, its bulk charge
capability (2.5A actual/5A effective) will re-charge the battery
rapidly and safely so it can be put back into service quickly.
Charge rates may be as minimal as 0.2A during typical float up
to the full 2.5A for more deeply discharged batteries. This
variable float charge ensures optimal charge rate is applied to
the battery at all times.
PulseTech’s unique and patented PULSE technology
increases the duty and life cycles of your battery by minimizing
the size of the lead sulfate crystals. This allows a battery to
accept as much charge as possible. PULSE technology helps
ensure that your new batteries will stay in like-new condition
while improving older batteries dramatically. Duty cycles are
typically extended from three to five times for all types of lead-
PulseTech’s ReNew-It Pulse Technology
Twelve years ago, PulseTech applied its technology to a
line of innovative and unique products designed to make
batteries stronger so they will work harder and last longer than
To get an idea of exactly how important PulseTech’s
technology is to the performance of all your powersport toys,
consider this: The main cause of vehicle failure is battery failure.
The main cause of battery failure is sulfation buildup on the
battery plates. And ReNew-IT Pulse Technology prevents
When it comes to a dead battery, chances are it is still good.
You just can’t reach the energy due to sulfate buildup. That
means you have to buy another battery even though the one you
have may still be useable. Xtreme Charge helps prevent this
These charts were taken from an H-D manual.
How Renew-IT Pulse Technology Makes Batteries
PulseTech’s Xtreme Charge connects directly to the
The Xtreme Charge emits a pulsating DC current that removes
the sulfate deposits from the plates and returns them to the
battery acid as active electrolyte.
Here is how it works:
1. Lead-Acid batteries work by releasing
through an interaction that occurs between the positive and
negative lead plates and the lead sulfates in the electrolyte.
2, Sulfation buildup occurs as lead sulfates form on
the battery plates during the normal charge/discharge cycles.
During this process, some of the sulfates enlarge to the point
where they won’t accept energy so they stay on the plate. Over
time these sulfates can build up until efficiency is reduced and
finally the battery dies.
3. ReNew-IT Pulse Technology works to prevent
sulfation buildup by removing the sulfate deposits from the
plates through a unique Ion Transfer process.
4. The lead sulfates then return to the battery acid
as active electrolyte. When connected on a regular basis, our
battery maintenance systems will also keep the sulfates from
building up again.
Get True Battery Power
PulseTech’s technology works with all types of lead-acid
batteries including sealed, gel cell & AGM. By keeping the plates
“clean”, batteries charge faster and deeper so they work harder
and last longer than you ever thought possible. They also have
greater charge acceptance so your battery will recharge faster
and release all of its stored energy. With more available energy
so your vehicles last longer between recharges and your
electronic accessories work better.
You get the true
power of your batteries.
Some of our patented products also prevent the normal loss
of battery power on stored vehicles and equipment no matter
how long they sit unused—even months at a time.
They even help protect the environment. Since batteries last
longer, it reduces the danger of contamination caused by lead
and sulfuric acid dumped from prematurely discarded
Xtreme Charge 5 Stages of Charging
1. Initialization: Xtreme Charge’s unique
test feature evaluates the battery thoroughly during initial
connection to determine the appropriate charge rate based on
its size and condition. It tests the battery continually for as long
as it its connected to the charger to maintain the optimal bulk or
float charge rate. This test step incorporates a “Bad Battery”
indication if it determines the battery is faulty and can not be
2. Saturation: A proprietary computer-
integrated technology measures both the voltage and current to
determine the appropriate amount of charge the battery is able
to accept at any given time. As the pulse and saturation charges
improve the battery’s condition, the charge rate is increased
safely to an optimal level. This proprietary algorithm protects the
battery from the risk of damage due to overcharging.
Here's a shot looking for that 14 volts.
I reached into a couple of Harley manuals and to Pablo, our
Bikernet Harley factory trained technician for additional info. If
you suspect a problem with your charging, you're experiencing
sparking when you hit the starter, or the battery needs to be
charges, here's some tips.
First, check all your grounds and battery posts for
connection and cleanliness. Then take a voltmeter and run it
across the batter whiled the bike is idling. It should indicate 12
volts (see chart). Now run the throttle up to about 2,500-3,000
rpms. The indication should jump above 14.1 volts, indicating
that the charging system is working.
Sand those terminals and cable lugs for the best
Before you toss the regulator and replace it, you need to
check the connections with the alternator. Make sure you
haven't lost a ground or run over a speed bump and ripped
through a wire running along the bottom of your frame, which is
against the code of the west. Don't run wires under frame rails.
Keep them up and out of harms way.
To check the alternator, here are a couple of tips. Pablo
suggests that you take an old regulator plug, with the wires and
create a testing lead. If you check the resistance to ground on
each lead, they should be open. "But if you take the derby off
your primary and run into that burnt electrical smell," Pablo said,
"the alternator is toast." There's also an AC test. Start the bike
and run it up to 3000 rpms. Attach your alligator clips to your
alternator leads and it should read over 40 volts or 16-20 volts
per 1000 rpms.
"With the newer models, we have seen some issues with the
bikes having batteries going dead after a couple of days," Pablo
said. "A milliamp draw test and total current draw test is the first
things you check in the H-D flow charts. Corrosion on the
system relay on some models can cause this."
Charging the battery with the Xtreme system on a
wood block far away from the welders.
"The service manual, including the electrical diagnostic
manual are a must on the new models. You basically have to be
a Circuit Head to work on these things nowadays. The H-D
Digital Tech we use at the dealership also helps with the serious
hard to find electrical gremlins."
"Fuck, I'm just a old Seabee resistant to change. Man
invented technology to frustrate himself you know. Just look at
what we have done to a motorcycle over the years. Seriously
though, one can, with a cheap DVM (Digital Volt Meter) do allot
of trouble shooting on the H-D charging system. Like checking
the stator for AC volts output. A grounded stator, continuity
One more addition from Pablo: DC Voltage output at the
battery with the bike running is also a quick check. The system
should be putting out over 14 volts but not more than 15 volts
at 3000 RPM. Usually, you will see like 14.1 to 14.4 volts or so,
that is if the regulator is good and shunting excess voltage to
So, with the Xtreme Charger and a volt meter, you can check
your battery, the charging system, the alternator and check for
bad grounds and busted wires. That's all you're gonna get from
the Bikernet tech staff today. Let's go to the Cantina for a beer.
Pablo, and his first chopper, back in the day.