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post #1 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 10:33 am Thread Starter
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Question Battery Charge question?

I know there is a separate category for chargers, batteries, etc.... but I wanted to get this to as many as possible. It's not a major concern but merely my wondering mind why this happens. After a ride, 5 miles or 300 mile trip, distance doesn't matter, when I plug the Battery Tender (for Gel Batteries) in to the bike I first get the red light, then the green light starts blinking showing that it is charging but indicating the battery is at or above 80% charge. This goes on for 4+ hours until I go to bed for the night (I never timed exactly how long it does this but by morning the light is steady green indicating a full charge). It did this with my old Westco battery that I just replaced 5 days ago and it does this with my new BMW Gel battery. I guess my question is, why is the battery not showing fully charged after a fairly long ride or at least fully charged after 30 minutes or so on the charger. Whenever I hooked my Harley up after a ride it showed Green (fully charged) immediately.

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Jerry P. Hatley
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post #2 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 10:37 am
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Are you hooking the tender up to the bike first or the wall first? When I bought mine, they said that I should plug it into the bike THEN the wall. Otherwise, the tender doesn't read correctly.

AJ
2013 K1600GTL (not yet named)
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post #3 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 10:58 am
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I have noticed the same thing you have about the charger. I put mine on the charger unless I am going to ride the LT in a couple of hours.

It takes about 30 minutes after I plug in the charger to even get the flashing green light (80% charged) and an addition 3-4 four hours to get a solid green light. Several times I have unplugged the charger when it is showing a solid green light and immediately plugged it back in. Each time it goes through the same sequence regardless of how long it has been off the charger. I just tried the suggestion of disconnecting the power cord and plugging the charger into the bike and then connecting the power cord and it did the same thing.

I don't think I have answered your question except to say that mine has done the same thing for the past 2 1/2 years. I have just written it off to a feature of the charger.

Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?

Alan Stuber
2003 K1200 LTC Titan Silver
Austin, Texas



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post #4 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:17 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astuber
I have noticed the same thing you have about the charger. I put mine on the charger unless I am going to ride the LT in a couple of hours.

It takes about 30 minutes after I plug in the charger to even get the flashing green light (80% charged) and an addition 3-4 four hours to get a solid green light. Several times I have unplugged the charger when it is showing a solid green light and immediately plugged it back in. Each time it goes through the same sequence regardless of how long it has been off the charger. I just tried the suggestion of disconnecting the power cord and plugging the charger into the bike and then connecting the power cord and it did the same thing.

I don't think I have answered your question except to say that mine has done the same thing for the past 2 1/2 years. I have just written it off to a feature of the charger.
Yup, me too! When I hook the BT to Toad, it shows a short-term red, then begins blinking green. It will only go to solid green when I'm not lookin'!!! Butt, it has always done this - OEM battery and currently (pun?!)the PC680 Odyssey. I'm not sure what the charged threshold is for going solid green - my leetle charger booklet doesn't say. Maybe I can catch it sometime on the i4c unit.
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post #5 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:27 am
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Same here. Wondered the same thing. Thought maybe it was the older battery, but the new one behaves the same way. Maybe the alternator has a lower overcharge set point than the battery tender.

Joel
'02 K1200LTC
"Mauve Mile-Eater"
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post #6 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 11:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dochatley
Whenever I hooked my Harley up after a ride it showed Green (fully charged) immediately.
Then I suspect the system on the Harley was set at too high a voltage and was actually overcharging the battery. Did you ever measure the voltage while it was running? Should be between 13 -13.5 and never higher than 14.2. The primary function of the alternator is not to charge the battery but rather power the electrical loads on the machine. Any capacity left over is then available to provide light charging.

John
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post #7 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 12:32 pm
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Mine is completely different than everyone else that replied. My BT will turn solid green in under two minutes. This happened with the PC680 and is now doing the same thing with the Westco battery. I can let my bike sit for over a week, and when I plug in the BT, it will turn solid green in under ten minutes.

I do not know why Dick is getting a red indicator when he first plugs the BT in, something is not right with that.

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


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post #8 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 12:38 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
Mine is completely different than everyone else that replied. My BT will turn solid green in under two minutes. This happened with the PC680 and is now doing the same thing with the Westco battery. I can let my bike sit for over a week, and when I plug in the BT, it will turn solid green in under ten minutes.

I do not know why Dick is getting a red indicator when he first plugs the BT in, something is not right with that.
Do you have the Gel battery type charger or the one for the older Lead Acid battery? My is specifically for the Gel type battery and has acted like this from day one.

Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?

Alan Stuber
2003 K1200 LTC Titan Silver
Austin, Texas



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post #9 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 2:00 pm
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Ditto to that.


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post #10 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 2:51 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
Mine is completely different than everyone else that replied. My BT will turn solid green in under two minutes. This happened with the PC680 and is now doing the same thing with the Westco battery. I can let my bike sit for over a week, and when I plug in the BT, it will turn solid green in under ten minutes.

I do not know why Dick is getting a red indicator when he first plugs the BT in, something is not right with that.
Hi, Mike - I have the Battery Tender Plus, and I see where Jerry has the Battery Tender for the gel batteries. I suspect that may be why there is a difference in operation and light menus.

On the BT Plus instruction sheet, it sez:

Red Light Flashing: the red light flashing indicates that the BT Plus has A.C. power available and battery charger's microprocessor is functioning properly.

Red Light Steady: when connected properly, red light will stop flashing and burn steady; will remain on until the BT Plus completes the charging stage. When red light is steady, the charger is charging the battery.

Green Light Flashing: when green light is flashing (red light will be on), charger has determined the battery has greater than 80% capacity available.

Green Light Steady: when green light stops flashing and burns steady, charging is complete and battery can be returned to service.

Again, due to difference in chargers, this may not apply, Jerry. My manual sez, under troubleshooting: Charger is charging, but the green light does not go on - the battery has an excessive current draw, remove battery from equipment. (Sounds like they're saying the battery should be disconnected from the bike's system while being charged).
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post #11 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 3:38 pm
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Battery Tender Charging

I asked the same question to CC BMW Metuchen, NJ. There answer seems to make sense.
I was informed that in order to charge a gel battery properly and safely while charging to its full capacity the battery must charge at a slower rate. A faster rate heats up the gel battery and causes a shorter battery life span.
Sounds plausable.

Last edited by PhilD; Sep 28th, 2006 at 3:40 pm. Reason: Spelling Error
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post #12 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 3:44 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lost_but_Happy
Are you hooking the tender up to the bike first or the wall first? When I bought mine, they said that I should plug it into the bike THEN the wall. Otherwise, the tender doesn't read correctly.
Yes, I plug into bike then turn circuit protector switch on to power charger. I wonder, as was said, if the way the charger is programed for gel vs. standard chargers has something to do with it. As astuber said, I can unplug mine when green light steady and plug back in and the process starts all over again. At least I know I am not the Lone Ranger here.

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Jerry P. Hatley
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2007 R1200RT (Betty Lou)
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post #13 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 4:35 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtrevelino
Mine is completely different than everyone else that replied. My BT will turn solid green in under two minutes. This happened with the PC680 and is now doing the same thing with the Westco battery. I can let my bike sit for over a week, and when I plug in the BT, it will turn solid green in under ten minutes.

I do not know why Dick is getting a red indicator when he first plugs the BT in, something is not right with that.
I wonder how old your battery is compared with everyone else whose battery takes longer to charge. My OEM battery is almost 3 yrs old and takes a long time to charge. If I let the bike sit for more than 2 weeks, not ridden or hooked up to the charger, it will not start the bike.

Tom

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post #14 of 17 Old Sep 28th, 2006, 8:58 pm
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My charger is the BT Plus. The PC680 battery was approximately three years old and the BT light turned steady green in a matter of minutes. I went to the Westco because it was three years old and it did not provide enough cranking amps to satisfy me. At times it would crank so slow that the abs lights would continue to flash. The Westco has a higher cranking amperage.

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


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post #15 of 17 Old Sep 29th, 2006, 12:34 pm
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Battery Charger

I have both type of chargers for two different batterries: gel cell and lead-acid. Both chargers did the same thing. I would not worry about the cycling and reading, as long as everytime you need juice, the battery does its job.
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post #16 of 17 Old Sep 29th, 2006, 2:37 pm
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Wink

Just to add to the stats, I have the BT+, and a PC-680 on my 2000 LT and I get the steady red first off just about every time I hook it up. Then eventually goes to flashing green, and finally steady green. It varies as to how long the red stays on before it starts flashing green, and how long till steady green. Been using it for over five years now on two different batteries with nary a problem, so we're content to let it do what it wants!

John

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post #17 of 17 Old Sep 30th, 2006, 2:51 pm
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Here's a different data point. I bought the BMW branded battery charger when my original lead acid battery was replaced with a BMW Gel unit. Never used the charger, so after a year I sold it on this list.

Note that I have several accessories powered from the OFF key position, so I always lock the forks when leaving the bike. Also, it's my main transportation, so very rarely sits for more than a couple of days without being ridden.

So the answer once again is: Just Ride It.

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