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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2013 spyder rt se5. Tried jumping battery from running car. Didnt work. Bought new battery and everything was fine. Today went for a ride, stopped, tried to start. Dead. I mean dead dead. Jumped it from a non running vehicle and got it home. Question: what to do next? Why would a new battery die? Thanks in advance folks
 

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Whenever a car I've had has done this, it has been the charging circuit. Typically in my experience it was the alternator.

I would charge the battery up disconnected from the Spyder. Take a voltmeter and test the battery voltage, it should be something like 12.5 volts or thereabouts.

Now connect the battery and start the Spyder, run it at about 1500 rpm or more, and test the voltage at the battery. It should now be about 14.5 volts - approximately.

This would show the alternator and the charging system is charging the battery. If the voltage with the Spyder running is say 12.5 volts or lower, it isn't charging properly.

Now, a faulty alternator could pull the battery down and be a big enough drain to discharge it quickly and cause it to fail. There must be some element to the charging system working or it would not run with a seemingly dead battery when jump started. If the battery is dead like that, I doubt if the Spyder is just running with the battery supplying the electronics and the spark, it would not run very long like that before it stopped. I suspect the alternator or associated electronics are causing a big drain on the battery. You can take the battery out, charge it and take it to an auto parts store and they should be able to load test it to see if it really is dead as in defunct. My experience with cars that alternators can fail and discharge the battery, but still be operational enough to allow the vehicle to run.

However, the Spyder might be smart enough to not try to start if the battery level is below a certain charge level. More info, like was anything working when you tried to restart it? Was it just the engine not turning over, or were all the electronics dead etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Whenever a car I've had has done this, it has been the charging circuit. Typically in my experience it was the alternator.

I would charge the battery up disconnected from the Spyder. Take a voltmeter and test the battery voltage, it should be something like 12.5 volts or thereabouts.

Now connect the battery and start the Spyder, run it at about 1500 rpm or more, and test the voltage at the battery. It should now be about 14.5 volts - approximately.

This would show the alternator and the charging system is charging the battery. If the voltage with the Spyder running is say 12.5 volts or lower, it isn't charging properly.

Now, a faulty alternator could pull the battery down and be a big enough drain to discharge it quickly and cause it to fail. There must be some element to the charging system working or it would not run with a seemingly dead battery when jump started. If the battery is dead like that, I doubt if the Spyder is just running with the battery supplying the electronics and the spark, it would not run very long like that before it stopped. I suspect the alternator or associated electronics are causing a big drain on the battery. You can take the battery out, charge it and take it to an auto parts store and they should be able to load test it to see if it really is dead as in defunct. My experience with cars that alternators can fail and discharge the battery, but still be operational enough to allow the vehicle to run.

However, the Spyder might be smart enough to not try to start if the battery level is below a certain charge level. More info, like was anything working when you tried to restart it? Was it just the engine not turning over, or were all the electronics dead etc.
It was dead dead. Not a thing lit up
 

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I would do the voltage check on the charged but disconnected battery, then the voltage check with the battery installed and the engine off idle enough to be charging. That will tell you if it is just a straight alternator failure or not. The fact that the bike runs once started with the battery dead, means that at some level the charging circuit is working, if only to keep the electrics running.

Now, if the alternator is good then I would look at something pulling current from the battery continuously. It cannot be a straight short somewhere otherwise I think it would be blowing fuses and you would likely get can-bus module related errors on the display, i.e. error codes being thrown. I presume you are not seeing error codes.

So, if your alternator is charging the battery with 14.5 volts or so present, I would look to one of two things.

I would fully charge the battery on a charger and put it in the Spyder. Make sure it starts, then turn it off, leave overnight with the key out and try to start it in the morning. If the battery is dead again, it must be something that is continuously drawing current even with the systems turned off - a parasitic draw while sitting idle. Now you can charge the battery again and put your meter into ammeter mode and insert it inline in the circuit across each fuse location after having removed the fuse. Remember to have the ignition off and the key out. If any fuse location is recording more than milli-amps you have found the culprit circuit. Of course, then you have to find out what is wrong, but you will have reduced the dealer's research time by a fair few hours.

The second thing, if the overnight parasitic draw doesn't cause it, might be a bad diode in the alternator. The bike might start and run when jumped, but drain the battery whilst doing so, such that when you try to restart it there is not enough juice in the battery to do anything. This has been the most common fault on most cars that have done this to me. If you get to this point, I suppose the only solutions are to test it yourself, using some Rotax related servicing guide which I don't have, or take it to the dealer and have them diagnose it. I'm sure BUDS test equipment or some alternator diagnostic gear will work it out for you. I've no idea about further diagnosis about Rotax (or likely Bosch) alternators in detail I'm afraid.

So everything I said above would apply to all Spyders, but at some stage I believe they went over from a motorcycle style stator / rectifier / regulator arrangement (a virtual alternator in some ways) to a true external car like alternator. If your unit does not have the external alternator (not sure about the change over year) you will have to diagnose whether it is the stator or the rectifier / regulator and I'm sure they are Rotax / Can Am (or perhaps even Aprillia) specific parts and unless you know what you are doing it might be just throwing parts at it until you fix it. As the bike runs when jumped I would think the stator is not where I would look first otherwise it would not have any electrical power to run anything.

If the bike is recent enough to have an external alternator (for 2013 I think perhaps it might not) I suspect the external alternator is at fault (or its inbuilt rectifier / regulator). Whilst probably being a time consuming thing to remove and replace, it is likely a fairly standard Bosch part and probably a good candidate for a rebuild.

The reality is though, unless you have a reasonable mechanical background and are happy to pull the bike apart to some degree and / or have electrical diagnosis means, I would tend to take it to one of the better dealers if there is one near you. I myself, know enough to be dangerous, I could probably isolate what it seems to be in order to talk intelligently to the service tech so he isn't spouting rubbish at me. However I would not attempt the complete diagnosis and repair myself.

Be very aware though, many of the parts required for such repairs are on back order at most dealers, parts outlets and Can Am themselves. I did a quick scan on the web and if the dealer says it's a while for parts, they are probably being truthful and I doubt they will substitute used parts for new. Just saying.

Good luck and please note the above advice is all to the best of my knowledge, which means it is probably worth what you paid for it...
 

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It was dead dead. Not a thing lit up
Let's keep it simple here, as much as possible.

New batteries often come without much of a charge.
While it is possible that your new battery is in fact "bad", it probably is more likely that you have bad connection at the OTHER end of one of the main cables.

After checking ALL of the main connection points, fully charge your new battery with an external charger, let it sit for a few hours and check the voltage. A new AGM battery fully charged should read at least 12.8 volts and the tenths are important. Test the voltage again with the Spyder running. That should be a minimum of 13.2 and 13.8 is more likely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let's keep it simple here, as much as possible.

New batteries often come without much of a charge.
While it is possible that your new battery is in fact "bad", it probably is more likely that you have bad connection at the OTHER end of one of the main cables.

After checking ALL of the main connection points, fully charge your new battery with an external charger, let it sit for a few hours and check the voltage. A new AGM battery fully charged should read at least 12.8 volts and the tenths are important. Test the voltage again with the Spyder running. That should be a minimum of 13.2 and 13.8 is more likely.
Thank you
 

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Running 12.5 off or on. Getting battery tender today.
If that really means that you get 12.5 volts at the battery with the engine running,
then you have a charging system problem that needs to be fixed.
A battery tender is NOT the fix......as the battery will continue to go dead while it is ridden.
A shop visit will probably be required.
 

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+ 1 with that. Sadly for you just not enough volts. You will end up stranded. The charging system as Easy Rider said needs attention. Its not preforming as it should.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If that really means that you get 12.5 volts at the battery with the engine running,
then you have a charging system problem that needs to be fixed.
A battery tender is NOT the fix......as the battery will continue to go dead while it is ridden.
A shop visit will probably be required.

Not what I wanted to hear, but thanks
 

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2013 spyder rt se5. Tried jumping battery from running car. Didnt work. Bought new battery and everything was fine. Today went for a ride, stopped, tried to start. Dead. I mean dead dead. Jumped it from a non running vehicle and got it home. Question: what to do next? Why would a new battery die? Thanks in advance folks
Bought a new battery from dealer. I had the same problem. Got to dealer and they discovered a hairline crack in the new battery. Seems BRP didn’t want to replace but they did. All good now. Also the batteries they are installing are AGM (absorbed glass mat). I would recommend a tricle charger I use battery tender plus. It seems my new battery wasn’t fully charged. i am not an expert by any means but it could be a cheap fix about $40. Good uck!
 

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And I would recommend that you STOP calling smart automatic tender type chargers "trickle chargers".
Because those are two vastly different things.
Cheap trickle chargers are NOT recommended.
I don't think you can even buy a charger now that is not automatic - swaps to float mode to maintain voltage - cant overcharge if left on. Trickle Charger - Smart Charger - Battery Tender, Battery Maintainer - etc... are all terms used to mean the same thing.
 

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I don't think you can even buy a charger now that is not automatic - swaps to float mode to maintain voltage - cant overcharge if left on. Trickle Charger - Smart Charger - Battery Tender, Battery Maintainer - etc... are all terms used to mean the same thing.
NO they are NOT.
"Trickle charger" does NOT belong in that group.

A prominent example of an actual trickle charger is the $9.95 charger from Harbor Freight.
It consists only of a ~15 volt transformer and a diode or two.
There is nothing automatic about it.
 

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NO they are NOT.
"Trickle charger" does NOT belong in that group.

A prominent example of an actual trickle charger is the $9.95 charger from Harbor Freight.
It consists only of a ~15 volt transformer and a diode or two.
There is nothing automatic about it.
Harbor Freight sells that - really? I only see this one at Harbor Freight online and it is a float charger - does not overcharge. Automatic Battery Float Charger (harborfreight.com)
 

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I have always used the Battery Tender Plus units and have been happy for over 20 years with one of the units. Used them on BMW's, Triumph's and on the wife's Mustang. The BMW / Triumph dealer here sends them out with new bikes with the relevant connector hooked directly to the battery, no Crock clips. I really doubt that for $20 it has any level of automation at all. I'd be very cautious myself as the last thing you need is an overheated battery causing a fire in the garage over the winter.
 

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The price of the unit under discussion is $9.99, not $20.
Sorry, my eyes are old, I thought it said $19.99. I looked up chargers on HF and the one I found was $19.99 (SKUs 62813, 61911, 63161) and I seriously doubt that model had a lot of automation. The $9.99 item (SKUs 64284, 42292, 69594, 69955), probably even less likely. I'd trust neither of them. Certain things I'll buy from Harbor Freight but cheap electronics is not one of them. I've had too many faulty items over the years. Something as critical as correctly charging and maintaining a motorcycle battery without either letting it discharge, or frying it and causing a fire, I would leave it to a better quality item. But that's just me, others may have better luck, or better experiences.
 
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