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plus some basic battery science

....The "Battery Tender" is a low amperage battery charger, with a built in monitoring circuit which is designed to keep any battery at maximum "health" and will therefore extend the life of the battery, often by several years.

The FZ1 Stock Battery
....  the FZ1 comes with a stock sealed battery, so DO NOT remove the sealing caps as it will allow gases to escape and destroy the balance between the cells and internal electrolytes. 
....Since the FZ1 battery is a sealed battery, It is not possible to check the charge state by measuring the specific gravity of the electrolyte.  Therefore the charge of the battery has to be checked by measuring the voltage of the battery (The FZ1 Service Manual gives the directions starting on page 3-51).  
....FZ1 Battery type is GT14B-4, 12V, 12 amp-hrs.

Saverton Missouri Community Church, ten miles south of Hannibal on the Mississippi River.
Do not pray that your battery will work, a Battery Tender used consistently will be your salvation.

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Yamaha FZ1
Battery Tender Installation and Use


....The "Battery Tender" WWW.BATTERY TENDER.COM is a low amperage battery charger, with a built in monitoring circuit which is designed to keep any battery at maximum "health" and will therefore extend the life of the battery, often by several years.  Where I used to change a battery every two years, I am generally running 4 years, and sometimes five.  Into the 2001 season, my Magna battery will be on its 6th season and the Vmax battery on its 3rd.  I am famous for being dropped in the boonies by a bad battery.  Cycle batteries are small and take a lot of vibration/dehydration abuse.  I generally buy the best battery available.  The Battery Tender is the one of the best, if not the best battery monitor on the market.  I use them on all my batteries, including auto and boat.  
....The battery tender comes with a "lead" that will connect to the battery , and can be run out one of the sides of the cycle so the lead off the tender can easily be connected during storage.
...Battery Tenders can be found in many larger cycle shops, and there are a number of other types of substitutes on the market, but pay the little extra for the Tender and get the best.  You will not be sorry, and the extended life and health of your batteries will more than pay for the cost of the Tender, which generally runs from $45-55, however if you watch in some of the cycle magazines there will show up for $38-44.  Most mail order businesses carry Tenders:  Dennis Kirk tends to be one of the highest while Competition Accessories one of the lowest, but check out the sales in the magazines.
....I keep my tender on 100%  of the time.  It is important to check you water level consistently if you do not have a MF battery (maintenance free), as a low battery is a sick battery, and a sick battery will die faster and leave you stranded (with me, it is likely to be in the middle of some northern forest, miles/hours/days, from being on the road again).  It cannot be overstated how important a healthy battery is for riding reliability.  Use a Tender and check your water level.  Use distilled water in batteries.  Remember the Vmax has a little window, where water level can be viewed by looking back under the seat from the front, without the Yamaha pox of going down from the top. The Magna is not much better as the battery has to be removed through the right side cover to view each cell.  Both need and will hopefully get sealed or gel batteries on the next go round.  They were not available at the time of the last purchases. The FZ continues to be refreshing, MF battery that can be reached by turning the key and taking the seat off.  
....Whenever one comes in from a ride and connects the battery tender up to the cycle, it is always noted that the tender will charge the battery for at least a moderate amount of time, indicating that as predicted the load/drain on a small cycle battery is never totally kept up with by the cycle's charging system.  The cycle battery is always trying to catch up and never totally "healthy" without a tender "looking over it".
....My old battery tenders are not the new "plus" version.  With the plus tender the green light will start flashing when the battery is 80% capacity of charge.  Just taking a bike out for a 20-100 mile ride, the normal spin of the day, it will generally take 10+ minutes for the battery to recharge to the 80% level, and another 10-30 minutes for the battery to reach capacity.  Point is, a cycle charging system never keeps up with the drain from starting and use, nor the drain caused by high heat around the battery.  If one does not use a tender then the battery "health" is always sub par with the life span cut significantly and more importantly the road reliability always in question.
....After coming off a three day, 1050 miles trip to Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, the FZ battery recharged back up to 80% and 100% in about the same short interval as after a local ride.  This probably is an indication that the FZ charging system was doing a fair job of keeping up with total battery drain and the battery remained in good health during long hours on the road and after many stops/starts.

....A trickle charger is the most common.  They charge at a fixed rate, and do not "know" when the battery reaches full charge, will keep running and can boil the battery dry and destroy it.  Watch them carefully, but since they are rather slow, that should not be a major problem unless you forget and leave it on for days.
....Taper chargers decrease the amount of current moving into the battery as the voltage of the battery goes up.  But they still have to be watched carefully to prevent drying out, overheating, etc.  They are not a lot faster than trickle charges and have basically the same drawbacks. 
....The pulse charger like the Battery Tender has a circuit which can monitor the  charge throughout the charging process.  The pulse charger decreases output to the battery as it becomes fully charged, then switches to a monitoring mode.  As the battery self discharges, and the voltage level drops below a preset point, the charger swings into action to bring the battery back up to full charge.  This is ideal for keeping the batteries chemistry in "good health" and especially for cycle batteries which are small and sit around a great deal of the time.

Installation of the Tender Lead on the FZ1 is a very easy process.

Remove the Seat to Expose the Battery 

....Under the left side of the seat is the seat/helmet lock.  
....Insert the key and turn clockwise, while gently lifting up on the back of the seat.
....The seat is very easy to remove on the FZ1.

Remove the Left Side Cover to Allow Routing the Tender Lead Cable to the Outside of the FZ1

.....Only a Phillips screwdriver is needed to remove the side panels.
....Remove the Philips screw, and place in a small parts container so items are not lost and handy for replacement.
....DO NOT tug/pull on the side panel until you understand how it comes out of the rubber keepers, as show in the next pics.



....The top fastening point is a rubber gourmet, and should be removed before the bottom pin.
....By carefully pulling outward the top of the side panel will slide out of the gourmet and pull away just enough to life the bottom pin out of its keeper.

....With the seat removed and side panel off, the installation of the Tender lead is simple.

Connect the Tender Leads to the Battery Terminals

....Using a Phillips screwdriver (10mm driver or a Phillips head socket that fits) completely remove the negative and positive battery terminal bolts.  NOTE:  the VibeRaider, posted, "I tried the screwdriver, but the bolts would easily get rounded if they were too tight. So I just used a 10mm bolt remover instead. I got a better fit."  He is correct, my Phillips started slipping and I got sloppy, just bearing down harder and breaking the bolt loose.  THE 10MM NUT DRIVER IS THE BEST TOOL TO USE.  This is a good time to mention, you need to purchase a good set of nut drivers, plus Allen, Phillip and screwdriver sockets to use with you ratchets and breaker bars.  These sockets do not come with the normal assortment.   

....Place the correct Tender leads on top of the battery cables and re-install the battery bolts.  BE SURE to place the red Tender lead on the red/positive battery terminal.  
....Next route the wire to the outside.  

Routing the Lead Cable from the Battery to the Outside of the FZ1


....Select any route to the outside that you like.  I like to have the outside plug on the side of the bike as it is more convenient to use.
....Be careful to select a position for the plug where it will not be melted, or where it will not get caught in the chain or other equipment.

Closing Up

....Carefully slip the bottom pin of the side panel in place, push the top into the rubber gourmet, and replace the back screw.

....Replace the seat and test connect the bike and Tender leads.

Connecting to Power

Automatic Monitoring
….The Battery Tender Plus is completely automatic and my be left on whenever input power is made available to the charger.
….The charger output depends on the condition of the battery it is charging.
….When the battery is fully charged, the indicating light will turn green and the charger will switch itself to a storage charge mode and will automatically monitor and maintain the battery at full charge.

….Always connect or disconnect the Battery Tender leads before plugging or unplugging the outlet cord into AC power.

….If the charger is left connected to a battery for long periods of time on refillable batteries, check water levels periodically and consistently so the battery fluid level does not become low.  On maintenance free batteries, of course DO NOT attempt to remove the caps to check water.

….The Battery Tender Plus has a spark free circuitry. The clips will not spark when touched together.
….The Tender will not produce voltage or turn on until it senses three volts from the battery it is connected too. It must be connected to a battery to start working/charging.

….The Tender’s clips or ring terminals must be clipped/bolted to a battery in the correct polarity to initiate output voltage. Thus if the A.C. cord is plugged into power the output clips will not spark when touched together since the tender must be hooked up correctly to function or to spark.

….A flashing red indicator light means that a charge has not been initiated, and the clips must be connected to the proper polarity to start the charger.

Charging Times/Rates
….The Tender charges at a rate of about one amp per hour. Thus a fully discharged 15 amp-hour battery will take about 15 hours to fully charge. Big automotive batteries may take several days to fully charge. Remember the green light will go on when the battery is fully charges.
....FZ1 Battery type is GT14B-4, 12V, 12 amp-hrs

 Indicator Lights
….No light means the Tender is not properly connected into an AC power source.
….Red Light flashing indicates the Tender has AC power available and the Tender’s microprocessor is functioning properly but charging is not occurring because of a lead connection problem or the battery is completely dead and the Tender will have to be "tricked" to start charging.
….A totally dead battery will probably be below three volts and thus not trigger the battery tenders safety circuit to start charging. However, by hooking the dead battery up with jumper cables to a live battery (leave engine off) the Tender can be tricked to start charging. Disconnect the live battery as soon as the red indicator light of the Tender stops flashing. The red indicator will stay solid, thus the showing the tender is in charge mode.
….Steady Red Light shows the battery is connected properly and the battery is charging. The solid red light will remain on as long as the battery is in the charging stage.
…..Green Light flashing (the solid red light will also be on) shows the battery has greater than 80% of its capacity available for use. At this stage of charge, the battery can be returned to service if absolutely necessary.
….Green Light on steady shows that charging is complete and the battery is ready for use, or in storage monitoring mode.

….No indicator lights turning on probably means the charger is not connected properly to AC power.
….If the green light goes on when it is known that the battery is in a discharged or recently used condition, the battery may be defective with an open cell or heavily sulfated (plates highly coated). A battery dealer can test the battery for you.
….The red light shows charging for an extended length of time, with the green light never going on, may mean the battery is defective or there is excessive current being drawn from the battery, so remove the battery from the bike/auto/boat to see if it will fully charge. If the battery does fully charge when disconnected, trace down the excessive equipment draw.
….If the red light comes on when long term storage charging, then the battery may have become defective, or there is an excessive current draw while installed in the vehicle. Remove the battery form the equipment as see if a full charge occurs.


It is guaranteed that totally draining a battery 2-4 times will drastically shorten the life of the battery and as importantly, its capacity to deliver current is drastically impaired.  You have just ruined your battery.  DO NOT completely drain a car/cycle battery.  Sitting around over the winter or for prolonged time will do it, excessive grinding and load will do it, a slow draining load will do it.  

Well, of course the answer is to always use a Battery Tender, always keep the battery fluid at the correct level, always treat the battery with tender loving care.  Aways keep you bike in good running order so it starts easily, and along those lines start and  take your  bike on a lot of 15-30 mile trips.

Another good idea is buy the best battery possible.  I think that is Yuasa.

Motorcycle News Battery Article (a must read)

Yuasa Battery page 

A cycle battery is small compared to an auto battery.  It is subjected to much more vibration and physical abuse.  It is often under load and rarely properly charged.

The typical cycle battery is made up of a case, positive plates, negative plates, plate separators, cell connectors, filler caps, and a sulfuric acid/water electrolyte.  It is divided into six individual cells, which are connected together.  Each cell is composed of a stack of lead plates separated by an insulator such as fiberglass or treated paper.  

The lead plates carry a charge and are connected to each other, positive to positive and negative to negative in the stack.  The positive plates are made of lead peroxide (PbO2), and the negative plates are formed of lead which is made with a surface that is very irregular or spongy looking, because a battery's capacity to deliver electrons or current pressure  is dependent on the surface area of plates exposed the electrolyte.  

Each cell is connected to the next cell in series, positive to negative.  Each cell produces about 2 volts of direct current, for a total of about 12 volts for a healthy fully charged battery.  

The total output of electrons for a battery, thus the total "power" it can produce at anyone time is related to the number of lead plates in each cell, their size, their "health."  

The plates are bathed in a bath of sulfuric acid and water mixture, and there is a slow chemical reaction between the sulfuric acid and lead in the plates which produces lead sulfate and  causes the constant release of electrons which  create the charge at the surface of the plates and thus the movement/flow of electrons, which gather in numbers and force as they flow through the system of plates when a demand, or load is put on the circuit, such as hitting the switch for the starter motor.  An analogy would be turning on a faucet to pump  water down a pipe to do work at the other end.

When the battery is producing an electron flow on demand, or in a discharge cycle, the sulfuric acids (H3SO4) and lead (Pb) reacts to produce some Lead Sulfate (PbSO4) and some excessive hydrogen (H).  In the process free electrons are "floating" around and available at the interface of the solid lead and liquid mixture.  These excessive electrons repel each other and set up an electrical field which flows or moved along the surface of the plate, and eventually wires of the electrical system.  This flow or "pumping" of electrons can be used to turn the starter motor, honk the horn, run the lights, supply the engine electrical system, etc.  His demand for electrons put high demand on the chemistry of the battery, and remember cycle batteries are small and fragile.  

A cycle battery has a "chemical life," but it can be extended by proper care.  When a battery is not in the discharge phase or producing electron flow, there will be a chemical recharging phase, where some of the lead from PbSO4 will move back to the lead plate surface and some of the SO4, will re-bond with the free hydrogen to reform Sulfuric acid molecules.  That is where the charging system of an auto/cycle comes into play, to introduce some free electrons into the system and create enough chemical "power" to "pull" the SO4 away from the Pb.

Thus the sulfuric acid and lead if not "used" up, but it moves back and forth in a series of chemical reactions with release electrons to be used for powering the cycles electrical system, but a series of chemical reactions that to run in reverse and replenish "itself" must have "recharge" help.  That is where a Battery Tender is a must.  It "tends" to the business of keeping the correct electron flow to keep the lead in "its place" and the sulfuric acid in "its place."

Use a Battery Tender, 100% of the time.  One Tender of each battery, hooked up whenever the bike is not being used.  Batteries self discharge sitting around and never charge properly while running, so without a Battery Tender (or similar unit) you battery is not going to be in good health.  It will be "fatigued" all the time.

Never use anything but distilled water.  Never add sulfuric acid after the initial charging.

Minimize physical "bouncing" of the battery as much as possible.

Keep the terminals very clean.  A dap of dielectric grease can help reduce problems.  Corrosion will drop you at an inopportune time.  

Buy a good brand of battery.

Do not constantly/severely discharge a battery.

Check the water level consistently.  Keep the water level up!

ALWAYS give a new battery a good charging before installation. 

As described above, the lead and acid are not used up, they just change forms.  However, during the chemical reaction going on in the battery, water vapor, free hydrogen gas, and free oxygen are lost by "evaporation" out the vent tube.  That is where the water in the battery goes.  So that is why you MUST monitor the liquid level of the battery.  Low liquid in the batter is like low liquid in you, not healthy to the system and leads to early collapse of the system if the problem continues, and even permanent damage if collected during the problem.  Check the water level often.

The lead is not used up, but there are still problems with what is called sulfacation of the plates.  Lead sulfate is a whitish crystal that adheres to the plate surface.  If allowed to build up the crystal layer will stop the chemical reactions necessary for electron flow or current to be produced.  Excessive sulfacation  occurs when a battery is excessively and/or frequently  discharged without being properly and consistently charged.  Again, this is where the Battery Tender comes into play.  Your battery is always kept at the right charge level, so excessive crystallization of the plate surface is delayed by a couple of years in most cases.  The life of my cycle batteries has increased a minimum of double and close to triple in most cases.  From 1-2 years per battery to 4-6 years!!

An idle battery will lose about a third of its charge within a month of sitting around.  The poor chemical "health" of a partially discharged battery will drastically decrease the life expectancy.  

You bet!!  Remember that hydrogen gas and oxygen gas are produced in the chemical reaction of lead with sulfuric acid.  Remember in high science class when hydrogen gas was produced by splitting water with electricity and then collected in a test tube, and the "pop" or explosion of a glowing split when it was introduced into the test tube.

Hydrogen gas is very, very explosive and the explosion is very powerful.   Hydrogen gas burns/exploded readily.  Remember the blimp, the Hindenberg!!  Your battery can be a little Hindenberg.  It has hydrogen and oxygen gas being produced in it.  A spark can set off the hydrogen gas.  Keep sparks away from batteries.  Keep them in ventilated areas.  Hook up the charger clips before plugging into the electrical outlet.  

Wear safety goggles when working around batteries.  If acid should get into the eyes, it is imperative to flush with water as fast as possible and keep flushing for a long time, then get to a doctor quickly  to see if the cornea has been damaged, but not before extensive flushing with water.  

ALWAYS give a new battery a good charging before installation.  You can use a Battery Tender for this also.  Just hook it up and leave it on for a day.  If in a hurry, be sure to have the shop pre-charge the battery.  Do not install a battery that is not pre-charged.  A fresh battery with electrolyte has a 70-80% charge and tends never to go beyond that point without a pre-charge.

Be careful about using an excessively high or fast first charge.  Charge at a rate below 2amps, and closer to 1amp if possible.  Again, use a Battery Tender for at least 6 hours.

A site that discusses starting system problems.
Yuasa Battery page 
Motorcycle News Battery Article (a must read)
Electrex USA, charts and parts

Use the FZ1 Sitemap  to navigate all of the FZ pages.





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