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Wont start below freezing ...

733 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Luigi
There is definitely a problem with Lithium battery in cold weather, the routine of switching lights on is marginal and unreliable. The only way I can gaurentee a start in cold weather is a trickle charge all night.

The same engine has functioned well for years with lead acid battery ....so I m going to ask for a swap its a brilliant bike but I use daily and this isnt good enough.

Anyone else had similar issues?
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To clarify you are going to ask to swap the battery? It sounds like you are wanting to swap the bike.

From other forums, it sounds like this is a "known" issue for Ducati's and for Li batteries in general. You shouldn't need to trickle charge it (i do hope you got a charge that is rated to charge Li batteries or that is a fire hazard). The easiest way to start your bike when it's cold outside is to just turn on the headlight and let it drain the battery a little then start it (see the video linked below). Li batteries are better in general than lead batteries but you do have to know how to use them.

Yeah, if it get cold here it has a hard time starting. However it seems that if I press the start button just for a sec, say 2 or 3 times. It will light up on the 4th or 5th try. When I keep it on a battery tender. sometimes it still takes 2 try's.
SOP on Lithium batteries in cold weather is to engage the starter very briefly (2-3 seconds) several times, pausing in between. This helps bring the battery temperature u, which is where the problem lies. I guess leaving the headlight on will have a similar result but the starter is a much bigger draw and should work faster.
This is from my Beta 500 RR-S owners manual, also equipped with a lithium battery:

Press the startup button for a max of 3 seconds. If the vehicle does not startup, wait 30 seconds before attempting a new startup.
Pauses are needed to diffuse the generated heat and to avoid damaging the battery. If the battery is at a temperature below 15°C, the electric startup will be weak, not because the battery is deteriorated but because it needs to be warmed up. Therefore, with temperatures below 15°C, several startup attempts may be necessary to heat the battery and thereby increase the battery power provided by the battery.
My bike stopped functioning in November, as morning temperatures dropped below 5 degrees celsius (we live in Norway where low temperatures are hard to avoid). Five weeks and an endless series of phone calls and emails later, the dealer claimed to have found the reason for the problem - the battery, as mentioned above in this thread. The battery was then changed to a more winter-capable version, and the problem should be solved.I wish... Three weeks ago I took the bike out from winter storage at the dealer's, and everything worked perfectly, for almost 24 hours. To make a long story short, the car/bike rescue service know where I live. They've been here three times to pick the bike up and bring it to the dealer, who still hasn't worked the no-starting issues out. The coming week will be the seventh week the bike doesn't work /stays over at the mechanic's. To top my list of grievances the front discs have been changed once and must be changed again, rear disc must also be changed, the emergency lights/blinkers kept flashing for hours a couple of times, impossible to turn off, and on my last trip yesterday it kept accelerating half a second after I went off the throttle. I really love this bike, but I am pretty close to really hating it even more.
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the front discs have been changed once and must be changed again, rear disc must also be changed
Mind sharing why they had to be changed?
I don't know if warped is the correct term, but the brakes bite/apply unevenly, and the problem is very noticeable at low speeds. According to the dealer all of the four DXs they delivered last year had the samme issue, even though they were from different production "batches".
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