How NOT to treat your battery.... - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Nov 19th, 2005, 5:36 pm Thread Starter
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How NOT to treat your battery....

I'm embarrassed - I KNOW better - I was stupid and did it anyway. Just hope someone else can use my experience to avoid doing similar themselves. I hope so. It's the only possible redeaming factor of this story! So, pay attention.

Many months ago, I put a tracker on my LT (what's a tracker? check the 'other gadgets' forum and look for the APRS thread). If I leave the tracker running for a couple days, the battery runs down - as expected. It is a 5 watt VHF transmitter after all. So, I plug a generic '1 amp' motorcycle battery charger into the driver's accessory socket as part of my 'parking for the night' routine.

Usually, I'd let 'er sit over-night and next day I'd ride to work, around town and then home. Then plug 'er in again for that night. Well, winter tried to arrive this week, some snow and ice - so I drove the truck for the 4 days of slick roads, leaving the LT plugged in and ignored all that time. I got the LT out Friday morning after the roads had cleared some.

She was reluctant to start from the get-go. Shoulda known then. Poor starting all day getting progressively worse at each client site - brake failure warning lights started a blinking like Rudolph's claymation snout after lunch and then at the end of the day, after dark with temps dropping rapidly, she wouldn't start at all. Got a jump start from one of the guys at work and made it home. Plugged 'er in again. (that right there is the epitome of a crainiorectal inversion)

This morning she wouldn't start at all. Painful, slow, groaning minimal rotation of the engine. No where near enough to start. I pulled the battery and found what I expected. To say it was simply 'dry' would be an understatement. It was parched - top of each cell looked like a desicated chunk of hundred year old drift wood atop a bald sand dune in the Sahara. I still have no idea how on earth it was even powering the head light and radio. Hella battery Excide!!

I'd totaly cooked the moisture out of the electrolyte by consistantly OVER CHARGING it. About a third gallon of distilled water later and weeks too late - she starts and runs . But I still get the occasionally brake fail warning lights.

My battery is toast. It's impressive, what with all the crap and sulphating, it'll even start the beast. Can only say good things about Excide for building a battery that'd take this kind of abuse and still start the bike!!

I expect to limp along (with some planning and for-thought) for a few days until a new one arrives via UPS.

So, moral? Do *NOT* just put your bike on a 'dumb' charger and leave it there! At least without checking the electrolyte levels. Daily wouldn't hurt. Instead, treat yourself and your battery to one of those 'smart' tender/keeper/chargers. Those types that'll actually monitor what your battery condition is, give it what it needs and treat it nicely the rest of the time. If you want the convenience of leaving your bike plugged in when not ride'n it - you gotta put some smarts into the charger to keep from toasting your battery. Or use your own smarts and monitor the thing. Still wouldn't be a bad idea to second guess the smarts in that charger and look at the levels yourself now and then.

Worst part is I knew this already. I know how this stuff works and simply got lazy. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Wasted an otherwise good battery simply by being complacent.

Now, dosh that was budgeted for toys, instead goes out as 'penance' for my arrogant attempt at cheating the laws of physics.

Tate

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post #2 of 9 Old Nov 19th, 2005, 7:05 pm
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What are you putting back in? The Odyssey is MUCH harder to overcharge, and can sit for MONTHS without charging and still have most of it's charge left.

I had one that I had removed from my LT about 14 months ago, as it was beginning to show slight signs of being not quite as strong as when it was new. It has been sitting on my garage floor, uncharged for that time. About 4 weeks ago my lawn tractor battery bit the dust and I wanted to get the back 40 cut. Hmmmm, took the battery out and just for the heck of it sat the old Odyssey (about 1/3 the size of the tractor battery) in place, hooked it up, and tried it. HA.. The tractor spun over like it never had before!! It is still in there. I have been thoroughly impressed by the Odysseys, now more than ever.

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 #3 of 9 Old Nov 19th, 2005, 7:13 pm Thread Starter
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Look'n 'round for some place to get an odessey. There's a speciality battery shop in town that ould likely order one in for me. No idea of costs. Look'n for an online shop. At least to compare against. Got a favs?

Oh, yea - and a 'smart' charger too.

Tate

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post #4 of 9 Old Nov 19th, 2005, 7:27 pm
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Cool

I purchased my odyssey from Battery-Web.com. I cant find paper work with price, I think it was $92.00 delivered.

Stay away from motorcyclebatteriesusa.com, charged my card never recieved battery. had the best price but I got tired of waiting and the phones were disconnected, never could talk to anyone.

NOGILLS2


Booze Brother# 69
2003 K1200LTE "BEERBURNER" RIP 07/21/09
2006 Aluma Trailer "AFTERBURNER" SOLD
2007 ST1300ABS "Quicksilver"




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post #5 of 9 Old Nov 19th, 2005, 8:33 pm
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Do a search for PC680 or PC680J on this site

There are several discount supply stores online the eBay store motobatteries has a good reputation 71.95 + 14.00 S&H for the MJ Metal Jacket version .

eBay Search

Dave

BMWMOA #120588
website has been hacked - down for now
Riding since '65 - 30+ bikes (lost count)
Current Stable:
'06 R12GS Adv, '98 Buell, '95 Ultra, '95 Fatboy, '71 Rickman, '53 Panhead
2009-2010 KxxxxLT or whenever BMW updates the platform


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Last edited by dronning; Nov 19th, 2005 at 8:40 pm.
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post #6 of 9 Old Nov 21st, 2005, 1:55 pm Thread Starter
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Wow!!

Local battery shop can get the PC680 (Odessey) for 'bout $80. Be here Wed, 'on the truck from Durango'. About the same delivery time as what UPS shipping whould've done if I'da ordered from some online place. But, no extra shipping costs! AND he's cut'n me a deal on a 1.5a computer controlled gel/agm/flood smart charger that he personaly gurantees I can leave on my bike as long as I'd like without cooking another battery.

Difference in price without paying extra for shipping more'n made up for the cost of the charger.

Sometimes it does pay to shop local :up:

Now, for a localish BMW dealer......

Tate

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post #7 of 9 Old Nov 21st, 2005, 4:15 pm
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I use a generic "maintenance charger" designed to leave on all the time (like a battery tender). I still however leave it on a timer. It goes on once a day for about 1 hour. Bike starts like new every time and battery does not go dry.

Paul S.
..........................
Producer of the K1200LT Service Videos
Maker of the HD Lugage Rack kit

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post #8 of 9 Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 8:22 am
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Local Battery shop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zotter
Wow!!

Local battery shop can get the PC680 (Odessey) for 'bout $80.
......

Zot, was the local bat shop a chain ?

Jon Bush
' 09 RT
"SAPHIRE"
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post #9 of 9 Old Nov 22nd, 2005, 1:51 pm Thread Starter
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Ya know - I'm not sure. May well be.

He mentioned a warehouse in Denver and a store in Durango.

"Hensley Battery & Electrical" here in Casper. Google search shows an association with an address in Denver.

Maybe not so much a chain, but an association of independants? Something like 'NAPA'?

Delivered price will be just a tad over $81.
He had a traditional flooded battery for an LT in stock - was $79 and change. He couldn't come up with a reason to sell that one to me right then. Neither could I.

Tate

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