Marco's Blog

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Running Out of Juice…

2007-04-01 2 min read Blog marco

When I jumped on the motorbike yesterday morning, I realized I had left the key in the ignition, with the lights turned on. As I twisted the key back and forth I had to witness how my once roaring bike had gone numb on me. There was no way to coax the purring engine into doing anything other than being a cold block of cast iron.

At least, I knew what it was… I left in my car to help Elizabeth move, returning some time in the late afternoon. Then it was time to get the starter cable and the instruction manual out. I would repair the battery myself. (Btw: did anyone notice how weird it sounds when someone files battery charges???)

What do you know, once I connect the car battery to the bike battery, the latter flashes in agreement and starts just fine. I keep the car running, and once in a while I will let the motorcycle go. Works fine as long as the engine is running, but you can’t start it again.

It’s a cold San Francisco day, and I am tired after the move. Still, I need to get the bike going. I jump on it, ride down 101 until I hit 380, then go back on 280 to the house. I jump off the bike and think it’s fine, but it still won’t start.

Next thing I start the car again. I charge the battery, and even just 5 minutes are enough: the bike engine starts without prompting. Unfortunately, this turns out to be a short-lived event. After minutes the battery discharges again.

Last way out: I get to Kragen Auto and buy a battery charger. I get one I can use for the truck, too – just in case I am dumb more than once. Home, I have to unscrew the seat again, and then I am on it. I charge the battery with the charger, and everybody is happy.