Battery Life? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 6:37 pm Thread Starter
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Battery Life?

Took a little trip to Charleston this weekend. Hadn't been on the bike all week, but had no problem starting it up. Stopped for a quick stretch and a soda, got back on the bike and it was completely dead. Got a jump from the store clerk (very nice guy) and got into Charleston. Had the battery tested, they said it was holding a charge, but given its age, could leave me stranded at anytime. So, I got a new one to be safe, but started wondering if it was really the battery or if I should be looking for an electrical problem. I've got an 02 that was sold by the dealer in 03 - no idea when the battery got installed. It has been on a tender since new. Is it reasonable that the battery is dead - or should I look further?

Joel
'02 K1200LTC
"Mauve Mile-Eater"
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post #2 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 6:53 pm
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Battery

Joel,
FWIW, I just bought my bike, and it has the BMW Gel, probably OEM battery. It also, will hold a charge, and if they test it as voltage, mine is showing 13.45volts. However, it is DEAD as a Doornail. I just bought the bike, and had to Jump start it to take it on a test drive.

I then trailered it home(Had my 4yo with me...Cmon guys, I KNOW BMWs aren't meant to be trailered. Every time I looked in rearview, I could see her chewing on her straps).


When I got home, I put it on a charger and reconditioned it. Desulfered..or something to that effect. It held a charge and looked good. Well, then I reinstalled it in the bike and it cranked right up. I took it for a drive, and went to put some gas in her, and then I went to start her up....and NOTHING!!!!

I got another jump, rode to the PD worked my shift, and I had stopped back by the house and got the battery tender and stuffed it in the sidecase. I left it plugged in while on duty. Then when I left to come home, it cranked up. I stopped for a bite to eat KNOWING I was going to get a jump from a fellow officer on duty. But she cranked back up on her own. Then drove it the 1hr ride home. Once home, parked her in the garage, shut her off, and then turned her back on and and just dash lights....not enough to even have her turn over.

So, to answer your question. As long as you do not have anything aftermarket that is on a constant "hot" wire that you left on and she rode fine with the jump, I would say Yes, it is just the battery. I ordered a new WestCo AGM(not gel as I have learned on the site). It was supposed to be here last week, but didn't make it. So, Mon or Tues I am told now.

So, when you KNOW you need a jump and you refuse to stay parked due to it, like today. I jumped it from a jump pack, and then took off for a jaunt around Colorado Springs to see the down town areas and see what it has to offer me now that I live here. Lots of Stop lights, and being new to the LT all together, I was afraid I would have a crappy take off and then be pushing it to the shoulder waiting on a jump...but NOPE!, Had a great time.

Your new Battery will be your answer Joel, if it goes dead on you in a short period of time, you will know.


Another few Questions.

What Battery do you all use?
How long do you usually get out of that battery?
Do you ALL leave them on a Battery Tender?
Is there a constant drain in the electrical system on the LT that requires the Battery Tender?

Bill

Colorado Springs, CO
2003 K1200LTE "Infinite"
2002 HD FXDL "Kristi"
2002 K1200RS "Monique"
1996 R1100RT "Kami"
1988 K75s no name
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post #3 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 7:45 pm
 
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All I can tell you is that there isn'y another bike out there that's harder on a battery then these LTs. My'02 is on it's third battery...although one of them was damaged due to neglect. (Hey! I was stoopeed back then. ) FWIW, disabling the auto-alarm seems to really help.
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post #4 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 8:00 pm
 
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Battery Life

I have an 02 and will be putting my 3rd battery in the bike next weekend. I leave the bike on a tender at all times while at home and have no problems starting it. If traveling and forget to turn any electrical device off ( GPS, valentine 1, etc) the battery is dead overnight.

john
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post #5 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 11:19 pm
 
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I just got an 02 as as well, and it has a newer GEL battery in it, wich so far, so good. The other day, I guess I left the "dome" light on in the top box over night, and when I went to start it up - BOO! dead. I jumped it and it has been fine since.

I guess I am not really sharing any important information here, just had some "drink" and want to hear my self type...

Ah, drinking and web surfing.....
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post #6 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 11:27 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopos
The other day, I guess I left the "dome" light on in the top box over night, and when I went to start it up - BOO! dead. I jumped it and it has been fine since.
That light is supposed to shut off when the top box is closed. Then again...you never know. Kinda like the refrigerator light. Is it ON right now?! Lord knows. Some of this stuff just takes faith!
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post #7 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 11:31 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
That light is supposed to shut off when the top box is closed. Then again...you never know. Kinda like the refrigerator light. Is it ON right now?! Lord knows. Some of this stuff just takes faith!
I tried to get my cat in there to tell me if the light stay on - or what when I close the lid, however she (the cat) was more interested in sleeping....

It feels like there are 3 positions to that light switch and I recon that one is always on....
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post #8 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 11:34 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopos
It feels like there are 3 positions to that light switch and I recon that one is always on....
Nope. There are 3 positions...but the typical 'door' position only works for BMW's cars. Don't ya just hate it when they use a car part on a BIKE!

I'm hoping my new GT doesn't have any car parts on it!
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post #9 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 11:37 pm
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Just to confirm like others I have an '02 that I picked up in early '03 and put a new Gel Cell in it this spring (eBay)- three seasons from the lead acid - not bad!! I occassionally used the tender over the winters. Like others switches put in the worng position - ignition or luggage box lite can cause dead problems along with long sessions to listening to the radio!

Even though people say tenders are used all the time I never use it during the riding months.

My 2 cents . . .

Dan Finazzo
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post #10 of 23 Old Jun 18th, 2006, 11:38 pm
 
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I am pretty sure that they used a car horn for the LT. That thing is so freak'n loud!!

(which I really like).

HOOONK!!![U]
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post #11 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 9:31 am
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Gee, I have an '02 I bought used in '03 with 3600 miles. Now has 67,000 miles and the original lead-acid battery. I keep it on a Tender Jr. and (usually) keep the electrolyte up, although last fall the starter was a real sluggish in the 25 degree temps at the Falling Leaf rally. When I investigated I found the fluid level way below the top of the plates. Thank goodness there's a WalMart on every corner for funnels and distilled water.

The light in the trunk is switched IIRC so it doesn't matter if it's on or off; when the key is off, it's off.

Excuse me I have to go check my battery, I'm sure that after posting this it'll be dead as a brick.

Motor On ,/'


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post #12 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 10:17 am
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Yes. There is a constant battery drain. Using a Battery Tender Jr solves that problem.

If you try and use the cigaret lighter jack, you will probably run into oxidation/corrosion problems. So, I just pop the seat and use alligator clips.

Heat kills batteries.

Bob, 00LT
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post #13 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 11:14 am
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After 4 batteries in my '02 I mounted the battery in some foam rubber to dampen vibrations. Too soon to tell if it works.
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post #14 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 11:14 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa

Heat kills batteries.

Bob, 00LT

I was surprised how hot the battery compartment was when I lifted the seat to jump it. I'm guessing it was no hotter than normal, but it was very very hot, and that was after sitting for a half hour or so.

Joel
'02 K1200LTC
"Mauve Mile-Eater"
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post #15 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 11:32 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopos
I just got an 02 as as well, and it has a newer GEL battery in it, wich so far, so good. The other day, I guess I left the "dome" light on in the top box over night, and when I went to start it up - BOO! dead. I jumped it and it has been fine since.

I guess I am not really sharing any important information here, just had some "drink" and want to hear my self type...

Ah, drinking and web surfing.....
My '01 had a switch that disabled the top box light when closed, are you sure your '02 does not do the same? Look on the right side near the hinge, there is probably a switch there. Turn the light on, then depress the switch, the light should go off.

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 #16 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 1:07 pm
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I was wondering about you guys with the gel cell batteries, what Battery Tender are you using? Is it the gel cell specific one PN# 021-0156?
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post #17 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 1:16 pm
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Mine isn't a BMW battery tender.
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post #18 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 6:31 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa
Mine isn't a BMW battery tender.
Bmw makes their own tenders and "Battery Tender" is a brand specific. The Battery Tender Jr and the "regular Battery Tender Plus" will not charge a gel cell to it's maximum efficiently. Only the Battery Tender plus ( PN #021-0156) will do that. Like wise the 021-0156 will not to the best job on lead acid and glass matt batteries.
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post #19 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 7:37 pm
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I have my original Gel battery if anyone wants it.(Installed 12/03) Still works fine, but I got paranoid and changed it out for a new AGM Westco last week. It's always been on a tender and starts the bike everytime, but I can't help being a worry-wort.
You pay the shipping and buy me a beer at the National and it's yours.

R1200GSA Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It's off to Alaska I go!
(Down to ONE BIKE - ARGH!)
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post #20 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 8:27 pm
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Hmmm...

I don't know if I should jump in cause tomorrow mine proly won't start but I have an '01 (48K) and it still has original battery... I keep it on a Battery Tender.. (original one).. The tender is probably 15 to 20 years old.

In the summer I will hook up the Tender if I am traveling for work without the bike (usually a week or so) but otherwise I don't use the Tender in the summer.. I use the bike 6 to 7 months a year depending on weather.. The LT sits on all winter (I never start) and every 2 months during lay up I top off the fluid with distilled water and never let the fluid get to the plates and try never to let the battery sit with a low charge..

Jack D. (Southern Connecticut)
2001 Black LTC
2015 Blue R1200GSA
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post #21 of 23 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 11:20 pm
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Batteries had problems with me until I switched to an Odyssey. Those Odyssey batteries will take more abuse then any battery I have seen. On at least three occasions I let the battery voltage in my LT drop below 3 volts while in storage one time the voltmeter showed less then 2 volts. The battery tender brought them back no problem. The same battery has enough power to start my Cessna 182. I would have one in my airplane if it were FAA approved. A friend of mine had one in storage for over 18 months then hooked it up and it started his 320 cubic inch airplane engine. chip
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post #22 of 23 Old Jun 20th, 2006, 8:07 am
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I just replace my original 2002 battery after 3.5 yrs because I was taking a 5000+ mile trip out west and didn't want to be bothered trying to find a battery if it failed (or waiting for one to be UPS'ed). I was not having any problems with it, but I replaced it with a WestCo battery, anyway. I ordered it from the WestCo website and it was delivered to my door within 3 days. Fit perfectly and I could reused the BMW positive L-bracket. I think it was around $90.00 with free shipping. It was worth the peace of mind, not having to worry about it during the trip. Also, I no longer have to check the battery fluid level.

Dick Wood
2014 R1200RTW Quartz Blue Metallic
Previous2008 Aventurin Silver Metallic K1200GT
Previous 2002 Toscana Green LTE
Previous 1995 HD FXDL
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post #23 of 23 Old Jun 20th, 2006, 11:07 am
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The Battery Tender Jr and the "regular Battery Tender Plus" will not charge a gel cell to it's maximum efficiently. Only the Battery Tender plus ( PN #021-0156) will do that.

6 Sigma, 7 Sigma, 8 Sigma, all the same for me on a battery that will only last a couple of years.

Temps back down to 105F, a cool wave.

Bob
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