Parasitic Drain


Parasitic drain (AKA draw) can be defined as any electrical device that draws electric current when the ignition key is turned off. The KTM factory spec for maximum parasitic draw is 2ma. I get 1.3ma for my '03's LED clock in the instrument panel. Not much, but enough to draw a marginal battery down over the interim of a long storage. If you're going to store your bike for more than a couple of months it is probably better to remove the clock fuse, or disconnect the negative (ground) cable at the battery.

Eliminating excessive parasitic drain is a good idea for anyone, as you never know when you may have to leave your bike set for longer than you anticipated, and it would be nice to be able to start it when you get back. Also, excessive drain can reduce the life of your battery.

To do the check you will need a multimeter that will read milliamps. It doesn't have to be an expensive meter, but don't get an unreliable piece of junk either, or you will spend more time troubleshooting your meter than on your bike. ~ $50-$60 ought to get you something decent for this purpose. Digital is easier to read, but not a deal breaker if you already have an analog and like it.

Possible suspects (reported by Inmates and dealers) that can kill a good battery overnight (or few) are:
-Bad VRR
-Bad multi-instrument panel
-Bad carburetor heaters (or connected to wrong ACC)*
-Short in AC generator
-Short in wiring
-Faulty accessory connected to always on circuit
-Faulty relay connected to always on circuit
-Dirty or corroded electrical connection
-Faulty ignition switch/lock

* A common SNAFU is for the installer of the carburetor heaters to hook then to the ACC1 (always on) power. This will not be obvious when testing for a drain, as they will not draw current until the air temperature drops below a certain temperature.

Of course you could ride all your bikes every day for an hour or so to keep the batteries charged. Might be a slight problem when snow is up to the eaves, but hey, who said life was easy.

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