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Old March 18th, 2018, 07:30 AM   #1
Senior Member
Joined: May 2017
From: Philadelphia USA
Posts: 165

I Ride: 2013 Hyperstrada
Anyone using HICAP starter circuit wiring?

I've used this wiring in an old truck from 1967 with great results for cold weather starting. Serious improvement, went from a truck that would wear the battery down until it couldn't crank half the time to starting on the first try in all weather.

I'm wondering if it's worth doing on a motorcycle. And there's even a pre made kit available for the HS here.
Ducati starter upgrade - starting upgrade for Ducati motorcycles

With the truck I mentioned I sourced all the OFC high strand rope wire and copper terminals from some ghetto auto sound shop. It's used for high power amps in those places.

I've had a lot of trouble getting my HS started this winter. She's had to be put on the charger several times after cranking her over enough to drain the battery without ever starting. I actually spent more time riding my little Suzuki S40 because it started 1st time on days so cold the HS wouldn't even try to crank.
I replaced the battery on the HS yesterday. The one that was in there took a beating over the past few months.

Anyways if anybody has tried this HICAP wiring upgrade out on their bikes I'd be interested in learning how it worked out.

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Old March 18th, 2018, 09:11 AM   #2
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Joined: Jun 2014
From: Boston
Posts: 753

Hard to answer because this may not be the problem. I had to replace my battery after 2.5 years - I think cranking a big high compression twin in cold weather just takes a toll.

If you're riding a lot in the city with a lot of electrics on, it might be draining the battery because of low revs and time spent idling in traffic. plus short runs and multiple starts. I usually keep my electrics unplugged in the city.

Also - what oil do you use in the winter. Something like a 10w - xxx might take off some of the strain.

Just trying to see what else could be playing a role here.

I do ride in the cold up here in Beantown - sadly the snow, flooding and salt have forced me take the bike off the road. My last start - to get it in my studio - was at 12 degrees F - it did it, but it didn't like it.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 11:00 AM   #3
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Joined: Jul 2014
From: California
Posts: 1,041

I've never had an issue with mine. I cleaned all the stock terminals and applied some dielectric grease to keep them from corroding when I was first chasing down my starter motor issue.

Stock battery still seems to be holding up as well. I keep it on a tender from time to time, and its going on 5 years. I usually see ~10 years from a Yuasa lead-acid battery.
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Old March 18th, 2018, 03:29 PM   #4
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From: uk
Posts: 615

I Ride: Triumph Thruxton R.Ducati 916 foggy rep, NC30 Honda, RD350 YPVS F1, Ducati HyperStrada,CCM FT6
Like Kuksul, I cleaned and applied electrical grease to my terminals, prior to that I also heated up and soldered the wire to the terminals instead of just crimped connections, this makes a big difference to lower the resistance.
Original battery 2013 bike with 20k miles. Left without battery tender for three - four weeks at a time without using. Due to working offshore, only time my bike didn't start was because I'd left my sat nav on and it drained the bike over the four weeks.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 04:54 AM   #5
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Joined: Mar 2018
From: Charlotte, SC
Posts: 17

I Ride: '13 HS 821, '02 Monster
I used a hicap wiring kit on my old '996. those were notoriously hard to start.. made a big difference. However, I can't say I've seen cranking issues with my Hstrada. I would replace battery first.
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Old March 19th, 2018, 04:35 PM   #6
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From: Philadelphia USA
Posts: 165

I Ride: 2013 Hyperstrada
Just put a new battery in on Saturday and she still takes 4 tries in 35-45 degrees.

Very interesting to know that about your 996 Bones. Thanks for that info!
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Old March 20th, 2018, 01:04 AM   #7
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Joined: Mar 2013
From: Naples, IT
Posts: 1,901

I Ride: 2013 White Strada
My history:
-Stock Battery: For first 2 years with near daily use, bike turned over first cycle. Around year 3, started taking 2-3 cycles when cold, little quicker when warm. Always garage kept. This is when I learned their was a better starter option offered.
-Shorai: Installed this around year 4. Still took couple cycles from cold. I learned that Lithium batteries need to "warm up" from cold to provide good starting amps. My bike is in a shelter but gets cold soaked in 30-40F temps overnight. It will not start if I twist the key and hit the button from cold. Once I run the highbeam for 5-10 mins, it slowly kicks to life. Starts 2-3 cycles for rest of ride day, better if warmer out.. I feel this is more the battery than the starter.
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