I am looking for a new battery for my Electra and wondering which way to go. Originally they had 2 6v batteries fitted but technology has move on since then so they are more options. My bike has a single 12v battery of 9AH but seems to struggle especially when the weather is cold so I am wondering what to do to replace it. Is it worth going to 2 x 12V batteries in parrallel for more grunt for example.
What are all of you doing in your Electras?
The idea of 2 batteries in parallel is not good. as soon as one battery falls a fraction on charge/voltage the better battery will then charge IT so they eventually go flat sooner that one battery would. The original 2X6V in series (another poor idea) was done through space demands. ie there is little space (one under the seat, one in the tool box! crap)
So what to do? Survive with a 9Ahr and look upon the electric starter as just a 'weight penalty'. After all 7,5:1 and 380cc 'softy' is not hard to start is it? Can even be started by 'hand'.
If you change the battery type then another consideration is the charging system, The original Lucas regulator box despite still working tended to under OR overcharge the battery. Converting to Zener diode could be a correct step but Lucas Zener diodes stopped manufacture in the 1980s anything 'called' a zener since is very suspect. The only answer is the modern regulator/rectifier. If you want to use the bike then the statement 'it is all original' is for the Museum.
Space is the biggest problem on this bike. I have one, and this is what we have done, removing the under the seat battery carrier and the Lucas regulator (on/off the mudguard) give you some space for a 12V. (And gets the tool box back). Any more ideas?
Thanks for the response. The bike is running a modern reg/rec already and when received had the one battery under the seat so it sounds like that is the best of the available options. I need to rebuild the battery holder to set it lower anyway as there are witness marks under the seat to show where the battery terminals have made contact previously so I will see just how much space I can gain, if any.
I can recommend Motobatt AGM batteries they have great cranking power and were the only battery that would start a high comp 400 single I had,
If there are witness marks under the seat from the battery terminals BEWARE the later (real) Triumphs had this problem as the piece of plastic the factory stuck under the seat fell off! And of course the owners carried on regardless. 'Fools Paradise' is another term. One chap (with a Triumph) phoned me one day with the problem that his battery had EXPLODED as he rode down the street! The bike not stopping as it ran on the alternator/rectifier, I pointed out that an extra weight on the pillion seat might have done this, he agreed 'the wife was responsible'.
So beware steel seat pans sitting on batteries is NOT recommended.