BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old Dec 31st, 2014, 7:04 am Thread Starter
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BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions?

Currently I run a BatteryTender to maintain my battery on the LT. It works OK but there have been times that I don't think it is indicating the right charge state. Example is one that I know I ran the battery down when doing maintenance. The GS-911 said it was at 8.7v. I threw on the charger and the BatteryTender started to immediately flash the green light which means it is at least 80% charged. Then it showed fully charged within 10 minutes. I unplugged the Tender for a few minutes and plugged it back in and it started charging again.

The battery is about a year old and normally I wouldn't even let it get down as low as I just did. I wasn't paying attention to how long I had the ignition on without running the bike. The BatteryTender is about 6 years old.

Don't know if I buy into the desulfating feature on the Optimate because as far as I know, that takes quite a bit of voltage and time to truly desulfate, but I thought I would see what others who have used them think.

Let me know your opinions.

1973 Yamaha 250 Enduro (crash and burn)
1982 Yamaha Virago 920 (sold)
Honda CB750 Custom (sold...good riddins!)
2003 K1200LT - Black (for sale)
2005 K1200LT - Ocean Blue Metallic

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post #2 of 8 Old Dec 31st, 2014, 11:48 am
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Re: BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions?

Battery tender won't work if the battery is below 9 volts. I think other brands are similar. Try a regular charger like 6 or 10 amps.

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post #3 of 8 Old Dec 31st, 2014, 11:50 am Thread Starter
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Re: BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions?

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Originally Posted by jkersh1 View Post
Battery tender won't work if the battery is below 9 volts. I think other brands are similar. Try a regular charger like 6 or 10 amps.
Thanks for the info. I'll see where it is at today. Looked like it was charging better after the power cycle. Maybe it put just enough in the first time to get it to 9V.

It sounds like this is something the Optimate would handle better, is that correct?

1973 Yamaha 250 Enduro (crash and burn)
1982 Yamaha Virago 920 (sold)
Honda CB750 Custom (sold...good riddins!)
2003 K1200LT - Black (for sale)
2005 K1200LT - Ocean Blue Metallic

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post #4 of 8 Old Dec 31st, 2014, 11:55 am
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Re: BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions?

Buy into it. The Optimate and other smart charges have de sulfate cycles and they work. They have special charge rates that after bulk charging allow low current charging to complete an in depth charge (even better than the bike). There is much to read about it all. There is good information on the Yuasa site. Some of the new chargers will sense and start charging as low as 2 volts. Inexpensive chargers are not the bargain you need. There are different charge patterns and voltages for the different types of batteries. These chargers sense this need.

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post #5 of 8 Old Dec 31st, 2014, 12:18 pm Thread Starter
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Re: BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions?

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Inexpensive chargers are not the bargain you need. There are different charge patterns and voltages for the different types of batteries. These chargers sense this need.
When I bought it, I thought the BatteryTender was the cat's meow because it had programmed charge methods which were so much better than the old trickle charger. Is the OptiMate that much better or is it really just more marketing? I wouldn't call the BatteryTender a bargain purchase. Think it was about $70.

I do run an AGM battery but I don't see a way on the OptiMate to program for a specific battery type to give that specific charging method based on battery type you are referring to.

1973 Yamaha 250 Enduro (crash and burn)
1982 Yamaha Virago 920 (sold)
Honda CB750 Custom (sold...good riddins!)
2003 K1200LT - Black (for sale)
2005 K1200LT - Ocean Blue Metallic

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post #6 of 8 Old Dec 31st, 2014, 2:17 pm
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Re: BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions?

In the latest copy of MCN January 2015 Stu Oltman has a reply to a question about capacity of chargers and their effect on batteries. Not directly related but the article drifts into what your asking. An extended article is here:
Yuasa Batteries -

I feel that batteries and their maintenance is little understood and this is reflected in all the electrical and battery issues that crop up in our discussions of bike issues.
I do feel that some specific chargers are better than others even though on the surface the descriptions of each are very similar. And, for sure you can get along with just about any smart charger much better than none. I have tossed all my chargers from years back. They take up too much space.

(The Oltman article is several pages long but gives detailed description of what is going on with your battery and it's charge needs)

Beech
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post #7 of 8 Old Dec 31st, 2014, 4:32 pm
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Re: BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions?

I run a Guest 2606. 6/2/float amps. Not cheap, but will charge a dead battery much faster and floats with the best of them. It also has potted components and is waterproof. It'll also charge the car battery. About a hundred bucks. On the other end of the scale you can get a Schumacher floating charger at Wally World for thirty bucks or less. My son uses one of those and it works just fine.


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post #8 of 8 Old Dec 31st, 2014, 9:19 pm Thread Starter
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Re: BatteryTender vs. Optimate - charger opinions?

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Originally Posted by deanwoolsey View Post
I run a Guest 2606. 6/2/float amps.
That looks like a pretty bulletproof charger Dean.

I was reading more about the OptiMate and it sounds like some really mixed reviews when it comes to true analytically tested features. Sounds like in general it is overly complicated with a cheat sheet needed to decipher the 19 LED combinations. I'm sure it is a find charger and it is nice it will try to charge a battery that is really depleted.

Wish my Battery Tender Plus would charge a highly discharged battery but it isn't that tough to jump a battery for a little bit to get enough juice into it for the BT to take over. Only two LEDs to deal with and the LED code is printed on the unit. Red flashing, red solid, green flashing, green solid. It would be nice to have a meter but that is just me.

All that said - my BT is working for me and normally I wouldn't run the battery down like that. As Dean knows, I am in the middle of doing major maintenance on my bike and left the ignition on too long and I think the ABS servos really draw some juice. Next time I will make sure to fully charge the battery before starting and keep the charger connected during.

1973 Yamaha 250 Enduro (crash and burn)
1982 Yamaha Virago 920 (sold)
Honda CB750 Custom (sold...good riddins!)
2003 K1200LT - Black (for sale)
2005 K1200LT - Ocean Blue Metallic

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