numbnuts57 - I liked and related to your rant!
I have needed to jump start my 2 1/2 year old DTC three times recently with the stock Yuasa YTZ14S battery - twice when I left the key (and lights) on for more than one hour and once when I had the flashers on for about two hours. So, twice maybe my fault and once for the flashers being on too long??? Obviously bump starting an automatic is NOT an option. Personally I think the OEM battery should have handled this way better, but maybe it is a problem of storing the bike with the battery in place through two Minnesota winters. Anyway I decided something needed to change. And - yes the battery is in a weird place, but wait till you want to replace the air cleaners or (heaven forbid) put on the OEM heated grips! (Rant over.)
I have done two things to fix this:
First - About a year ago I started carrying a small Li portable jump starter power pack ($50 one from Amazon) in my tank bag. I can get to the battery leads easy enough by removing the (basically useless, IMHO) Tool Box from in front of the "centralized mass" battery using just the Allen key under the seat. This works fine for the occasional blunder.
Second - A month ago I replaced the OEM battery with an Antigravity ATZ-10-RS Li battery ($180 USD from rockymountainatvmc.com). So far I am very happy with the Antigravity!
Couple of notes about Lithium Ion batteries and the Antigravity specifically (just my personal concerns):
- A Lithium battery weighs about 6 lbs less than the lead/acid. I know, that is only about 1% of the total, but hey, every bit helps, and mass remove has to be better than centralized mass
- Antigravity has a "Re-Start" button so jump starting, supposedly, is no longer needed. Cool feature, but a PITA on the Africa Twin since you basically need to remove the battery to access the restart button. I do like the Antigravity, but think I would be happy with any name brand Li battery.
- As noted above, Lithium batteries need some warm up time in the cold. Not normally a big deal for a motorcycle...
- The Antigravity is about $50 more than the Yuasa. I am happy to pay the extra just for the weight savings! And there are many other battery options.
- To deal with the long, cold MN winters - I got a battery maintainer compatible for Lithium - $28 on Amazon.
Sorry for the long post - just to sum up - I suggest getting a Lithium Ion replacement.
Must be an ID-Ten-T error!