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So three slackers who don't look stuff up are standing around a bike and start debating the following:

* Does starting the engine and letting it just run recharge the battery (as it would on a car) or on a bike do you need to actually have it moving.

I was arguing for the run the engine and it will charge the battery. Which is it? :)

--02 ZX6R
 

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If the battery needs a refreshing charge, no amount of idling will properly recharge it. Even short trips will not help.

You need to run the engine at 4,000 rpm just to check the alternator output voltage.
 

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The engine on a bike will charge if the bike is NOT in motion I THINK. SWJ, DL, or Rob Lee or someone more knowledgeable than I can probably elaborate.

However, be aware that your RPM has to be above 3500 RPM or so to get enough charge.

'00 ZX6R silver
 

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Hi,
Idling will charge the battery if it is in good condition. If the battery is low and needs a recharge you will need either a long ride or a charger. Better the second.
I believe the theory that says that if engine is working then the alternator is producing some amount of electricity. Obviously the alternator will be calculated to supply enough energy to run bike and charge battery.

Carlos
 

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Many alternators require something more than just idle speed to adequately re-charge the battery. This applies to any bike, car, truck, or whatever. Typically most engines if set on idle will allow the battery to continue to discharge.
One thing no has yet mentioned is the harmful affect of condensation when you simply start up an engine a run it for a few minuets, even at sufficient RPMs to actually charge the battery. Whenever a nearly closed or sealed container (crankcase in this instance) is exposed to repeated heating and cooling cycles, moisture will form inside. I’m sure most of you have, on occasion, seen a white, milky substance in the oil level window. That's good old H2O. The way to avoid this is to make a habit of not starting your engine unless you're going to ride the bike. I have seen the result of this repeated starting (to charge the battery or circulate the oil) mostly in the long winter climates, and the result can be serious corrosion and resulting engine teardown in the spring. Some engines showed serious rust on engine internals.
 

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i hate when i accidentally add to an old post. [:M7]
 
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