Portable Jump Starter for the LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old Dec 8th, 2012, 5:07 am Thread Starter
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Portable Jump Starter for the LT

The weather is starting to get cold here in Mass, but thanks to my heated gear, I can usually ride the LT year round for commuting to and from Boston. The problem is when the temps drop below 25F, the bike is at risk for not starting. I've managed this in the past by either parking in a garage, or finding a place to plug in my battery tender, but I'm wondering is a portable jump starter might be better.

Does anyone have any recommendations? I'm looking for something small and flexible enough to use for the LT, something that can hold a charge for at least a few days, and any recommendations on how many amps?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 8 Old Dec 8th, 2012, 6:07 am
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Re: Portable Jump Starter for the LT

Probably the best thing to do is put lighter weight winter oils in the beast. I'm not sure if the manual recommends this or not but one of the motor heads may chime in on this.
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post #3 of 8 Old Dec 8th, 2012, 7:00 am
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Re: Portable Jump Starter for the LT

Mine has started just fine below 10 degrees F with 20w50 oil. With the thick oil I do take it easy for at least 10 miles to let the engine & oil heat up. A good battery is essential in cold weather.

Dave Selvig
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2000 Canon Red LT



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post #4 of 8 Old Dec 8th, 2012, 10:44 am
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Re: Portable Jump Starter for the LT

With a good (Odessy) battery..If kept on the tender overnight, Should provide plenty of power to start the bike....If you're having worries it's likely your battery is getting to the end of it's life...At least in the winter...

If you have a real season of cold temps.. 5W30 oil would also be a good idea...Change it back to 15W40 in the summer..

One of those little jump boxes that you get at the hardware store would be fine...Keep it indoors...

I'd be rigging up a special socket to use so you're not in there with cables..



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Last edited by JPSpen; Dec 8th, 2012 at 10:51 am.
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post #5 of 8 Old Dec 8th, 2012, 12:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Portable Jump Starter for the LT

My battery is good. I use a tender at night, and always using winter oil. Despite this, if I leave the bike outside all day in less than 20 degree temps, it will have a slow crank and a tough time starting. Below 10 degrees and I have a 50/50 chance.

I just want something compact and rechargable that can give it the little extra juice to crank it over. I don't know anything about these units so any recommendations would be much appreciated! Can they be hooked in through the accessory outlet like the Tender?

Thanks!
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post #6 of 8 Old Dec 10th, 2012, 10:22 am
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Re: Portable Jump Starter for the LT

I'm not sure I'm at all convinced your "battery is good".
It may be "in spec" for summer use, but it clearly isn't flipping the engine over properly in cold weather. That means either 1) your battery is weak in the cold. 2) LT's draw more power than can be provided by a prime motorcycle battery of the size that will fit in an LT or 3) your LT's starter is weak.

I'd suggest you have your battery cold-load tested -- at 10F or so. Batteries are funky things...I've seen some bizarre failures. Plus...motorcycles are not as often run at 10F as they are at 50F, so a "good" battery may be incapable of doing the job...you may need a "great" battery.

An external jump-pack is based on the exact same technology as your main battery is, so IF your battery is good, it is unlikely a jump pack will help much, as it will be suffering from the exact same cold. It's primary benefit would be a little extra current, MAYBE that would be enough to get you going. Realistically, jump-pack batteries usually live a much harder life than main batteries, they are charged more rarely, they are discharged and then not immediately recharged, etc, so there's a strong probability that it may not help you when you need it.

(Don't get me wrong, I *love* good jump-packs, made a lot of friends and got a few free meals from 'em, but buying a good one these days is not easy, and you need to treat them well)

You can NOT hook up a jump-pack though an accessory outlet for starting the bike -- when you crank the engine, it will draw more amps than the outlet's fuse and wiring will take -- hopefully the fuse blows before the wiring melts. I've used jump-packs attached to the accessory outlet when a car had a battery SO dead that it couldn't keep the engine running when the the car was in reverse with the brakes on (slow engine speed, four light filaments going)...in that case, I started the car by jumping the battery, then attached the jump pack via the cigarette lighter charging cord to keep the engine running as I followed the guy to the battery store...but do NOT try to start via the accessory plug!!

IF your starter is healthy, and LT's just can't start off the stock-size battery in perfect health (haven't owned mine in 10F weather yet, and honestly don't plan on starting it at that temp), maybe you need to put a small car battery in the top-case, and wire it down to where the battery was. Not to be done by the electrically challenged -- lead acid batteries store a lot of power, any flaw in the wiring, either immediately or after a few thousand miles of vibration, can result in amazing failures, often involving molten plastic, metal and/or spraying acid.

Nick.
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post #7 of 8 Old Dec 11th, 2012, 11:44 am
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Re: Portable Jump Starter for the LT

Just wanted to share something I noticed on my 2000 K12LT recently.

For background, my Odyssey is about 2.5 years old already. Still seems very strong, no issues.
I usually attach my Deltran Battery Tender Jr via the powerlet port on the trunk. When I do this, the charger usually gets done in about an hour or two, going to flashing green (75% or greater charge) within minutes and later solid green.
Last night, I attached it differently, going more directly to the battery with the SAE plug. This time it took about 4+ hours before the Tender went to solid green light.
This was a counter-intuitive reaction from the Tender since the greater resistance from plugging further away from the battery should have resulted in a longer charge time. But something in the charger's control circuitry which lets it charge AGM batteries differently than flooded batteries caused it to cut off sooner when plugged in through the powerlet port.

I attached a voltmeter and the resting voltage is higher than I normally get when charged through the powerlet port.

Dave
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post #8 of 8 Old Dec 17th, 2012, 10:55 am
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Re: Portable Jump Starter for the LT

Quote:
Originally Posted by dukey33
Just wanted to share something I noticed on my 2000 K12LT recently.

For background, my Odyssey is about 2.5 years old already. Still seems very strong, no issues.
I usually attach my Deltran Battery Tender Jr via the powerlet port on the trunk. When I do this, the charger usually gets done in about an hour or two, going to flashing green (75% or greater charge) within minutes and later solid green.
Last night, I attached it differently, going more directly to the battery with the SAE plug. This time it took about 4+ hours before the Tender went to solid green light.
This was a counter-intuitive reaction from the Tender since the greater resistance from plugging further away from the battery should have resulted in a longer charge time. But something in the charger's control circuitry which lets it charge AGM batteries differently than flooded batteries caused it to cut off sooner when plugged in through the powerlet port.

I attached a voltmeter and the resting voltage is higher than I normally get when charged through the powerlet port.
um. Isn't the rear powerlet port switched, so that when the bike is off, that powerlet port isn't connected to the battery? If (key word there) my memory is correct, you were probably just trying to "charge" things like the radio and other things that are turned off, but not the battery.

It certainly has nothing to do with "resistance" between the port and the battery, unless you have some seriously bad wires in there...a battery tender does not pump enough current to see a change from a few feet of good wire, 'specially not through ports designed to take 10A heated suits and such.

Nick.
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