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Discussion Starter #1
The other day I attempted to hook up a Battery Tender Jr. to my 2020 Rebel 500 ABS to keep the battery charged during the winter months.

After a lot of finagling, I was able to get that damn battery cover off and install the ring terminal accessory cable on the battery. When I plugged the SAE end of it into the battery tender, it showed a flashing green light indicating the battery was over 80% and charging. I wasn’t able to get the battery cover back on properly, however, since the battery tender was working I just put it in as best I could for the time being. Prior to plugging the battery tender into the outlet, I also started up the bike to make sure there were no issues after working on the battery and all was good.

The next day, the battery tender showed a steady green light indicating the battery was fully charged. However, after unplugging the battery tender’s SAE connector from the SAE plug on the bike, I can no longer start the bike. When I turn the ignition key, the lights and dash all turn on normally. But when I put the bike in neutral, raise the side stand, flip the kill switch to the “engine on” position, and pull the clutch in, the bike makes its usual startup + cranking sounds but the engine doesn’t start.

Upon inspecting the battery, I noticed that the nut on the positive terminal was actually very loose so I tightened it until it was snug and tried starting the bike again. Still nothing. When I plugged it in to the battery tender again, though, the light is now red indicating the battery is charging but under 80%.

Is it possible the battery discharged enough to no longer be able to start the bike because the positive terminal connection was loose? Or is something else the culprit here?

Really appreciate any advice you all could offer.

(On a somewhat separate note, how on earth do you reinstall that battery cover? I just can’t get it to fit properly amongst all the stuff crammed under the seat.)
 

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I would think having enough juice to spin it would mean enough juice to start it, I'm fearing bad things.
 

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Yes, charge the battery fully and then post back what you find.
A battery in a discharged state no good to anyone.
And if the nut was loose anything could happen even no start because not enough power could get from the battery to the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, charge the battery fully and then post back what you find.
A battery in a discharged state no good to anyone.
And if the nut was loose anything could happen even no start because not enough power could get from the battery to the starter.
So I checked on the bike today and, while the battery tender indicated the battery was fully charged, the bike still wouldn’t start.

However, I was able to get the bike to start by removing the battery tender rings from the battery terminals and reconnecting the battery as it originally was. Had to crack the throttle open a bit initially, but now the bike starts consistently every time.

Is it possible that the bolts that screw into the terminals aren’t long enough to fully screw in when the battery tender rings are on, which is causing a poor connection that keeps the bike from starting?
 

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I would super-inspect that battery tender lead and put a tester on it. If you put it back on make SUPER SURE those ring connectors are not shorting on something nearby.
 

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So I checked on the bike today and, while the battery tender indicated the battery was fully charged, the bike still wouldn’t start.

However, I was able to get the bike to start by removing the battery tender rings from the battery terminals and reconnecting the battery as it originally was. Had to crack the throttle open a bit initially, but now the bike starts consistently every time.

Is it possible that the bolts that screw into the terminals aren’t long enough to fully screw in when the battery tender rings are on, which is causing a poor connection that keeps the bike from starting?
sure is possible...follow the tip in this post and video to shim the bolt nuts...link should take you to post #3 in the thread.

LINK to post and video
 

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2020 Rebel 500 S
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So I checked on the bike today and, while the battery tender indicated the battery was fully charged, the bike still wouldn’t start.

However, I was able to get the bike to start by removing the battery tender rings from the battery terminals and reconnecting the battery as it originally was. Had to crack the throttle open a bit initially, but now the bike starts consistently every time.

Is it possible that the bolts that screw into the terminals aren’t long enough to fully screw in when the battery tender rings are on, which is causing a poor connection that keeps the bike from starting?
Forget any possibility of "poor connection" because the starter motor turns over the bike!
If your motor actually turns over when you hit the start button - then connections are good enough for running.
The reason for my statement is because instantaneous starting current drawn by the starter is up to a hundred amps, and a poor batt connection will never transfer those currents.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Forget any possibility of "poor connection" because the starter motor turns over the bike!
If your motor actually turns over when you hit the start button - then connections are good enough for running.
The reason for my statement is because instantaneous starting current drawn by the starter is up to a hundred amps, and a poor batt connection will never transfer those currents.
Any idea what the issue could’ve been in that case? I just took the bike out for an hour ride (after removing the battery tender rings from the battery terminals) and didn’t experience any issues.
 

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Any idea what the issue could’ve been in that case? I just took the bike out for an hour ride (after removing the battery tender rings from the battery terminals) and didn’t experience any issues.
maybe a faulty tender unit? They are chinese arent they?
 

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My only other thought is - Are the ring terminals made of metal??

Second thought - IF it cranks - WHY doesnt it start????????
Removing the ring terminals fixing this makes NO sense!
Do you mean the charger is attached to the ring terminals when it doesnt start?
THAT is different!!! and WOULD mean that the charge IS the problem!
 

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if it were me, i would throw that charger in the trash or try to return it
 

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Just spitballin' here. Were the ring terminals on the correct posts? Don't know what difference it would make, but who knows, ??????
The fact that the engine turns over but doesn't fire when the charger is attached is odd. Is there another wire attached to one of the posts that you may have forgotten to reattach when you hooked up the charger?
 

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Did OP ever figure out what went wrong after the install? I’m curious to see what happened
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Did OP ever figure out what went wrong after the install? I’m curious to see what happened
Don’t know what was going on, but I’ve taken the bike out for a couple rides since removing the battery tender and haven’t experienced any issues. Bike starts up fine every time now.

Will probably try installing the battery tender again at some point but, for now, I’m just gonna keep riding.
 

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Don’t know what was going on, but I’ve taken the bike out for a couple rides since removing the battery tender and haven’t experienced any issues. Bike starts up fine every time now.

Will probably try installing the battery tender again at some point but, for now, I’m just gonna keep riding.
Damn, it’s a bummer that you had issues after install. But bright side is like you said it’s running fine without it at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Damn, it’s a bummer that you had issues after install. But bright side is like you said it’s running fine without it at the moment.
And, while it was a frustrating experience, I did learn how to access my battery, which helped me become ever-so-slightly more comfortable working on my bike and problem solving issues. I also didn’t have to spend a bunch of money getting the bike towed to a shop and having them work on it.

So yeah, didn’t quite turn out the way I had originally imagined, but I did get some good things out of the experience.
 

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And, while it was a frustrating experience, I did learn how to access my battery, which helped me become ever-so-slightly more comfortable working on my bike and problem solving issues. I also didn’t have to spend a bunch of money getting the bike towed to a shop and having them work on it.

So yeah, didn’t quite turn out the way I had originally imagined, but I did get some good things out of the experience.
Thats great youre feeling more comfortable working on the bike out of this unexpected issue. We all definitely start from somewhere, no one knows everything anyways off the bat. Dont let it discourage you from trying again. Best thing I can say is working on things like motorcycles or cars it wont go smoothly very often anyways so hopefully this doesnt discourage you from working on your bike in the future. Hope the next time you try the battery tender install it comes out working as intended with no issues.
 
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