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When I started wondering about the risk of plugging into the small battery I started wondering about where the online updates and security system are plugged in the the bike. If they only run off the small battery then I could see the risk of not turning the bike on or charging for longer periods of time. If the sequence to turn on the main power pack requires the little one and things run off the little one I can see there being an issue. My guess is when you plug the bike in to charge it has the main system on and hence charges the little one. As well as when you turn the bike to run mode. This would make me start to wonder if a battery tender could be important for the winter if you don't plug the bike in or turn it on regularly. I wish they explained how things worked in these systems a bit more. Or regular bikes it is fine because people know and it is a well understood system. Here it really should be spelled out. Secondary battery charges at these times..... Is it really so hard? The controller should totally light up the main power cell and charge the small batter if it dips below 25%. If the little battery dies do you then have to charge it/replace it to even bring the main cell online? Maybe these questions are dumb but I feel like I don't know how the stupid thing works. Anyone have a good understanding of these dynamics? Maybe I should put that battery tender pigtail back on the bike when I install the new usb port.
 

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2020, Harley Davidson LiveWire
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I've been told by the engineers (white gloves), that there is no need for a tender at any point as the RESS and BMS manages the little battery whenever it needs to be topped off (automatically checking it to be sure it maintains its own good SoC.)

this is from several HDMC engineers who worked on building the bike.

unless something is wrong, since Oct '19, (nearly 20k) I've not had a small or big battery issue (knock on wood) and the longest it's sat without any interaction is a month (Vaca).
 

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Over my first winter there was a warmer day in the 50’s so I decided to take a short ride after reading many comments in these forums about battery issues. It’s the only time I had a low voltage battery warning. I don’t recall the exact wording but after a 30 min or so ride it was back to normal. At least the message was clear about what was wrong. I’ve had the caution symbol a couple times as well as a “call service” message where the bike wouldn’t start/move. After cycling the on/off switch a few times it reset and I was good to go again. A little more information would be helpful when there’s an error. My closest dealer is 250 miles away so for few times this has occurred I reset it and forget it and hope it doesn’t bite me in the back side…
 

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So, FWIW, on 12/06/2021 I rode the ELW down to 18% SOC (range 24 miles), plugged it in and charged it to 100% (131 mi.), unplugged it and left it alone for the winter. Was hopeful for a mid-winter thaw/ride, bud it was not to be.

Kept the bike covered with an indoor soft cloth cover (an old one from H-D I had kicking around from an old Sportster I once had) in an unheated wooden barn on plywood over a concrete floor. Did absolutely nothing with/to the ELW between 12/06 and 05/05; did not charge/"top off" the bike all winter and did not leave the 12v battery plugged into a tender.

Fast forward to May 5, 2022 when I took the bike out for a state inspection and a long blast to blow off the cobwebs, so to speak. Bike started and ran without issue, SOC showed 97% (125 mi.) before I took off. Ran it down to 51% SOC (67 mi.) by the time I got it home. No alarms, alerts, DTCs, or anything untoward -- just got on and rode.

Fast forward again to now. Haven't ridden the ELW since November 16th of this year -- but I'm still hopeful! Parked it then and it's showing 78% SOC (106 mi.) and I don't intend to do anything but cover it again for the winter -- unless and until it gets warm and dry enough for me to go riding (55°F and partly sunny or clearer -- yeah, I'm a wimp, gimme a break, I'm getting old (age 65)) and I drain it down below 25% SOC.

DK if this is helpful and of course past performance is not a guarantee of future results, but that's the way I'm betting. I'll try to remember to follow up on this in the spring -- feel free to remind me if you like!
 

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So, FWIW, on 12/06/2021 I rode the ELW down to 18% SOC (range 24 miles), plugged it in and charged it to 100% (131 mi.), unplugged it and left it alone for the winter. Was hopeful for a mid-winter thaw/ride, bud it was not to be.

Kept the bike covered with an indoor soft cloth cover (an old one from H-D I had kicking around from an old Sportster I once had) in an unheated wooden barn on plywood over a concrete floor. Did absolutely nothing with/to the ELW between 12/06 and 05/05; did not charge/"top off" the bike all winter and did not leave the 12v battery plugged into a tender.

Fast forward to May 5, 2022 when I took the bike out for a state inspection and a long blast to blow off the cobwebs, so to speak. Bike started and ran without issue, SOC showed 97% (125 mi.) before I took off. Ran it down to 51% SOC (67 mi.) by the time I got it home. No alarms, alerts, DTCs, or anything untoward -- just got on and rode.

Fast forward again to now. Haven't ridden the ELW since November 16th of this year -- but I'm still hopeful! Parked it then and it's showing 78% SOC (106 mi.) and I don't intend to do anything but cover it again for the winter -- unless and until it gets warm and dry enough for me to go riding (55°F and partly sunny or clearer -- yeah, I'm a wimp, gimme a break, I'm getting old (age 65)) and I drain it down below 25% SOC.

DK if this is helpful and of course past performance is not a guarantee of future results, but that's the way I'm betting. I'll try to remember to follow up on this in the spring -- feel free to remind me if you like!
CLARIFICATION: 12/06/2021 above is December 6th, not June 12th! Sorry for any confusion!
 

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311 Posts
awesome to hear.

please be aware, battery health for long sits should be between 30-70%.

cool to hear it only went down 3%, but it's hate to see the battery prematurely damaged from a higher SoC for so long.

just FYI.

cheers and thanks for the great info!!
 

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awesome to hear.

please be aware, battery health for long sits should be between 30-70%.

cool to hear it only went down 3%, but it's hate to see the battery prematurely damaged from a higher SoC for so long.

just FYI.

cheers and thanks for the great info!!
C'mon, Mother Nature, I need to ride off some miles! 😉
 
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