Solar Battery Charger for the K1200LT??? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 11:00 pm Thread Starter
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Solar Battery Charger for the K1200LT???

Hello :
I of course having only had my beauty K1200LT "Grace" for a month have noticed the short time between riding and then no more starting without a recharge of the battery. This is no fun away from home!

I have read the postings here at length and allot of thought on the recommended chargers.

But here in Florida it would seem you would be able to use a solar trickle charger just like the sailors use to maintain their batteries.

In fact on line I found several solar charger that were not to expensive compared to the BMW charger.
If they in fact had the right trickle rate would they work with the current battery? Would this solve my problem of having to run the extension cord out to my bike to charge it? Would it even make economic & environmental sense?

It would seem that the Algorithm school of charge would lean away from this, but has anyone out there tried it and had positive results? Pun intended.

Johnny B. Surfing
Fort Myers Beach
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post #2 of 12 Old Feb 1st, 2007, 11:11 pm
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Johnny B. Surfing.. interesting handle..

Nope, haven't tried it. I don't know how long you're leaving "Grace" alone before she needs a boost... Do you leave the bike outside? Is the "alarm" set? What year bike? How old is battery?

There are many more questions... because, if your battery is needing replacement, "just do it"...

Regarding "solar" charging... electricity is electricity... however, "optimization" requires the specialized chargers you mention.

Since you seem interested primarily in "maintaining" between charges, the "solar' may be acceptable.. What is the output of your target choices?

...............
J.M.J...
Dcn Channing

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post #3 of 12 Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 3:58 am
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I would make sure that you have a good battery and that nothing is drawing power when the ignition is in the "off" position. A good replacement battery that will provide good cranking power is the Westco 12V20P AGM sealed battery. My LT can sit for two weeks (I have never parked it more than that) and will start right up without having to charge the battery.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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post #4 of 12 Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 2:49 pm
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a) Mike is correct, a good battery should not have any problems even after weeks of not riding, IF you turn off all the consumers

b) your battery is approx. 15Ah. This means that a trickle charger, even an unregulated one with a max charging current of 150mA will not damage the battery if if left on for weeks and months. Normal lead acid batteries can take 1% of their capacity indefinitely without getting harmed.
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post #5 of 12 Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 4:30 pm
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So, J. B. S., got your answer? Do you have a "group buy" for us? =)

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post #6 of 12 Old Feb 2nd, 2007, 10:39 pm Thread Starter
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Check it out at http://batterystuff.com/solar-chargers/

Thank you Gentlemen!

I am including the link to one of the better web sites I found for the Solar charger. Take a look at http://batterystuff.com/solar-chargers/

For $35 you can either keep your battery topped off, or who knows blow the thing up. But the color seems to match my pacific blue!

The group so far seems to have a go for it, feel to me.

My bike by the way has 36,000 miles is a 2001 K1200LT and it is parked outside, I have been keeping the key on off and the bars locked.
I know the fellow I bought it from said it was a new battery less than 1 year old. I just had them do the 12K service and the shop said the battery was fine and nothing derogatory showed up on the computer diagnostics.

I noticed some threads say that you may need a bigger better battery than the LT comes with to handle all the luxury Gizmo Cool Stuff.
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post #7 of 12 Old Feb 3rd, 2007, 8:27 am
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You have gotten good answers. A solar charger will not harm the battery. If your battery is going down to non starting capacity in less than 3-4 weeks, something is wrong, either you need a new battery (get an AGM type battery, such as the Westco or Odyssey), or something on the bike is drawing too much power with the ignition off. There is always some power usage, but it is measured in milliamps.

I have a solar charger I got from Harbor Frieght several years ago that I use on my old Toyota Pickup that sits for months at a time. I paid less than $10 for it, and have not had a problem with that battery since.

Here is their latest version of that one:
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=44768

They also have larger ones.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #8 of 12 Old Feb 3rd, 2007, 9:19 am
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Battery should not be running down that quickly

My 2002 just had it's battery replaced and I hardly ever placed it on a charger. I own a charger and if the bike will not be ridden for a month or two, I'll plug it in. I probably don't ride it more than most though as it only has about 27,000 miles on it. I'd check out your electrical system to see what is running. Problem with a solar collector on a bike is that you must leave it outside in the sun and that ain't good for my big fat green pig.

Dano
Tampa, Fl.

12 K1600 GTL
02 K1200 LT (gone but not forgotten)
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post #9 of 12 Old Feb 3rd, 2007, 10:27 am
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This may be a dumb question, but would there be any harm in mounting one or two of these $10 HFT chargers and leaving them connected to the system? Perhaps mounting them on the top care rack when not using it for luggage. One less thing to plug in when parking the bike.

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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If you want to be happy for a year, marry.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime, ride a motorcycle.

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post #10 of 12 Old Feb 4th, 2007, 11:11 am Thread Starter
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OK I am in on the $10 solar charger, but I think I need a new battery!

Gentlemen:

Good suggestions I did go online and order the Harbor freight charger 1.5 w for $10. The other one for $25 was a 2 w and someone said go with 1.5.

I just came home from Church and went out to ride the bike and guess what?
It's dead again. It was on the trickle charge twice this week until it said full.

The fellow I bought it from would keep it hooked up to it whenever it was in the garage daily. Maybe the battery has a short memory.

I have the bike off, the handles locked, I notice the clock is still on, and this week I left the alarm off.

So ? Any tips on
A. how to make every power sucker go off?
B. What is the biggest strongest most oversized monster battery that I can put in 2001 K1200LT?

I plan on going coast to coast in June and I sure don't want to be in the desert with no juice.

Thanks,
monster
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post #11 of 12 Old Feb 4th, 2007, 11:49 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyBSurfing
Gentlemen:

Good suggestions I did go online and order the Harbor freight charger 1.5 w for $10. The other one for $25 was a 2 w and someone said go with 1.5.

I just came home from Church and went out to ride the bike and guess what?
It's dead again. It was on the trickle charge twice this week until it said full.

The fellow I bought it from would keep it hooked up to it whenever it was in the garage daily. Maybe the battery has a short memory.

I have the bike off, the handles locked, I notice the clock is still on, and this week I left the alarm off.

So ? Any tips on
A. how to make every power sucker go off?
B. What is the biggest strongest most oversized monster battery that I can put in 2001 K1200LT?

I plan on going coast to coast in June and I sure don't want to be in the desert with no juice.

Thanks,
monster
Monster.

I think you are going to want to get the pc-680 battery from Odyssey. I actually got mine of eBay since no one local carried them - think it was +/- $85.

If you do a search for Odyssey or Odyssey battery, you'll see a lot of guys have been using them for quite a while with out being stranded.

Thanks,
Shawn

Bartlesville, Oklahoma
'03 K1200LT Titan Silver "Big Iron"
BMWMOA #118204
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post #12 of 12 Old Feb 4th, 2007, 11:53 am
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I would take the battery out of the bike and charge it while it is sitting on a piece of wood (if you do not have a bench). After charging it, let it sit for a couple of days and check the voltage. It should still be as high as when you disconnected the charger.

Possible voltage drains are:
1. The cd player in the side case. This was noted on the 99 and 00 LT's. You will hear it cycling even with the key off.
2. Bad radio (again on earlier models).
3. Accessories such as a iPOD.

Mike Trevelino
Williamsburg, VA
2008 RT
2000 LT - Totaled at 99,960 miles


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