Battery question - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old May 11th, 2010, 9:40 am Thread Starter
CMV
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Battery question

I understand these bikes drain power when just sitting in the garage. A lot more than one would think just running a digital clock should consume. But how long should a battery be good?

Bike has an Odyssey PC680 which I thought was a pretty good battery. It was installed 08/2009 per the written note on the manual that was included with the bike. Sadly no original sales receipt. If the bike sits for ~2 weeks (alarm off), the battery is drained enough that the starter won't engage. Lights come on, servos make all the usual buzzing, but start button does nothing. I didn't realize this battery was < 1 y/o prior to buying a replacement PC680 - found the install date after purchasing replacement.

When I bought the bike, the shop had it on a charger as it had been sitting a while. Since I've bought it, it has mostly been ridden a few hrs a week which might not be enough for the charging system to maintain the battery on its own.

I have a decent charger that allows me to select 2A - 6A for what type of battery I want to charge. It took about 5.5 hrs (on 2A which is all a little battery like this should be charged on) to get the battery to "charged" & the charger automatically stopping last weekend which seemed like a long time compared to a mower or ATV battery of similar size. Seems fine now, but I figured sitting only 2 weeks - battery must be on last legs.

Can the new battery stay in its box in the garage for a long time? I don't know how to tell if the original battery is ok & the bike just drains that much over a couple weeks or if I should put the new battery in ASAP before I get stranded (well sitting around waiting for a jump anyway). If my original battery is ok & just acting normally, I hate to replace it needlessly. But if the new battery will go bad sitting around until the original fails, that doesn't make much sense either. Got the new PC680 from Batteries Plus & didn't think to ask about return policy (because I just assumed the bike had an old battery that needed replaced anyway).

I guess what I'm getting at is how do I tell if the battery is just fine & I'm just not running the bike enough to maintain it or is the battery - only a year old - failing? If there is a way to tell with certainty that the battery is operating normally and I can trust it, what should I do with the new one I bought? Store it or try to return it? Lastly, if the 8/2009 battery is failing, it should be under warranty. Can an Odyssey retailer tell by a code on it how old it is or is there no warranty coverage w/o original sales receipt?

2003 K1200LT
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post #2 of 10 Old May 11th, 2010, 9:46 am
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Re: Battery question

I keep mine on a trickle charger which isn't going to hurt the battery rather then having it go flat

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09 K1200 LT
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post #3 of 10 Old May 11th, 2010, 10:32 am
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Re: Battery question

Another vote for a Battery Tender, or other brand. I use the Yuasa and have a Powerlet plug. When I get in either that day or the next, I plug it in and keep it on. I also use the radio on the bike when I am in the garage and never turn it off. I just let it go off by itself. If I do not keep it on the charger, it will go south just enough to where it will not start. No problems as long as I keep it plugged in.

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post #4 of 10 Old May 11th, 2010, 11:36 am
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Re: Battery question

+1 on Battery Tender. I have a Battery Tender+ and it's plugged in whenever Babe is in the garage. No matter what you do, there is enough parasitic drain to prevent starting after 2 to 4 weeks. JM2CW

Benny C. (Central Texas)
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post #5 of 10 Old May 11th, 2010, 1:19 pm
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Re: Battery question

I ran my original battery without a tender for five years. The longest I let it sit idle was 6 weeks and I never had a problem. But in the last year she showed signs of aging and I replaced her with an Odyseey and I now use a tender on it and the GS as I don't ride them both as much as I would like to.

John
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But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #6 of 10 Old Aug 23rd, 2010, 7:11 pm
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Re: Battery question

I'm pretty sure I need to replace the BMW battery in my LT. I won't be able to get to it until next week as I'm away from the bike until then. I'd like to order the battery and be prepared for the install. What panels need to come off to get to the battery? Any tips on the install? Thanks, d.
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post #7 of 10 Old Aug 23rd, 2010, 7:30 pm
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Re: Battery question

The good news is NONE. The seat needs to be raised and there are a couple of screws in the battery clamp. Disconnect the negative terminal first and note the number of wires (better yet take a digital picture). The remove the positive teminal wires and note how many are on there (picture?). Unscrew the clamp and remove the battery.

Installation is just the reverse. Install positive terminal wires followed by negative terminal wires. Don't be surprised if you see a big spark when you connect the last wires, this is normal.

Once you have it all buttoned up turn on the key but don't start (also be ready with the alarm FOB as it may sound) then rotate the throttle fully two or three times and shut off the key. Then start as normal after that.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #8 of 10 Old Aug 24th, 2010, 9:46 am
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Re: Battery question

There are other things besides the clock that are current vampires when the bike is idle. The radio has a memory connection that draws a little power, I believe the alarm sys. even though not armed, draws some. If you were to connect an ammeter in the battery circuit, you would be surprised at how much is being consumed when the bike is switched off.

Having said all that, your battery is probably OK. The only really good test is to get it LOAD TESTED. That will show the true condition. You should be able to get that done at a battery supplier or a dealer.

In the meantime follow the advice that others have posted, use a tender especially if you don't ride a lot. Also, I would say the 5.5 hrs @2 amp charge sounds about right if the battery was pretty far down.

Bill
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post #9 of 10 Old Aug 24th, 2010, 10:33 pm
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Re: Battery question

CMV, don't know if this helps, but... I took my 07LT to Batteries Plus on Sunday, was thinking about replacing the OEM Gel battery because when hot the hydro centerstand doesn't always work. The tech put a tester on my battery and said that I still had 260 CCA cold cranking amps, I think. Anyway they didn't try to sell a battery. You may want to have them put a load on your battery to see what's up. Good luck.
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post #10 of 10 Old Aug 26th, 2010, 12:13 am
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Re: Battery question

Thanks for the advice on the battery John. As usual, it was right on. Two screws on the clamp, old battery out, and new battery in. Easy to do, and I'm back in business. d.
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