Slow Crank - Battery? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Oct 10th, 2010, 4:44 pm Thread Starter
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Slow Crank - Battery?

I keep my battery on the BMW charger at all times. I bought the bike (2005 LT) used over 2 years ago and it had a replacement battery in it already. Recently I noticed the thing will crank slowly or stop cranking until I hit the start button a second time. This only happens after I am out of the garrrage and been riding for a while. Hot or cold restart doesn"t seem to matter. Is this the symptoms of a battery about to go? Or should I be looking at something else?

And as a side issue, what do you guys think of the Westco batteries at Beemerboneyard? http://beemerboneyard.com/westco12v20p.html

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old Oct 11th, 2010, 11:44 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Slow Crank - Battery?

Hmmm, first time no response. Did I ask the question wrong?
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post #3 of 9 Old Oct 12th, 2010, 10:05 am
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Re: Slow Crank - Battery?

A few things come slowly into the dim cavern of my mind. Starter motors are durable, cost $$ and take time to change, so we won't go there until last.

Most starting problems are a combination of weak battery and bad connections. Loose or corroded connections at the battery or starter drop the voltage and cause the starter to slow it down, but once started there is enough 'juice' to run the bike normally.

Lift the seat and have a look at the battery terminals. Even if you don't see any corrosion, wiggle them to be sure they are snug on the battery terminals.

Before you leave on a ride, disconnect the charger and let everything sit still for 10-15 minutes, then measure battery voltage. It should be no lower than around 12.7 volts fully-charged and at rest. Anything much lower means it is not getting, or taking, a full charge, which may be either a 'bad' battery or charger.

Now, go ride!

When you return, let it sit for 10-15 minutes without connecting the charger, and measure battery voltage again, looking for the same 12.7 volts or so. Anything much less and the battery is not charging fully, and is either 'weak' or is not being charged correctly.

So, if you measure the same resting battery voltage after using your charger and after riding, a low resting voltage means the battery is 'weak.'
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post #4 of 9 Old Oct 25th, 2010, 12:20 am Thread Starter
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Re: Slow Crank - Battery?

Well today I took the big girl out and twice it would barley turn over. When I got home I checked the battery voltage and it was 12.01. I did as JimH suggested and I cranked it with the meter hooked up and it went below 7 Volts. I'll be picking up a new battery tomorrow.

Does anyone have any opinion on the Westco batteries. BMW wants $185.00 for thiers and the Westco is $71.00.

Thanks!
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post #5 of 9 Old Oct 25th, 2010, 12:32 am
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Re: Slow Crank - Battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygret
Well today I took the big girl out and twice it would barley turn over. When I got home I checked the battery voltage and it was 12.01. I did as JimH suggested and I cranked it with the meter hooked up and it went below 7 Volts. I'll be picking up a new battery tomorrow.

Does anyone have any opinion on the Westco batteries. BMW wants $185.00 for thiers and the Westco is $71.00.

Thanks!
Spend a C-note and pick up an ODYSSEY PC-680 .... much better than the Westco or Oem offerings IMO

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post #6 of 9 Old Oct 25th, 2010, 12:59 am
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Re: Slow Crank - Battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonygret

Does anyone have any opinion on the Westco batteries. BMW wants $185.00 for thiers and the Westco is $71.00.

Thanks!
IMHO... I would not waste the money on a BMW battery. I wasted $135(few years back) on one of them and they are no better than a cheap POS. I have a basic battery that was around $70 and it has worked perfectly for several years now.
(In NV if you can get 3-4 years out of a battery... thats pretty good.)

Tvguy
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post #7 of 9 Old Oct 25th, 2010, 4:15 am
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Re: Slow Crank - Battery?

What ever brand battery you get make sure it is AGM and not GEL. GEL batteries have characteristics that make them fail quicker due to variations in charging voltage and current drain. AGMs are very stable and can take a lot of abuse. The PC680 is AGM and I believe the Westco is as well. I have a PC680, but have heard good reports on the Westco. You may want to compare the amp/hour ratings of both.

I agree with the statement above, save your $ and don't buy a BMW brand battery. BMW doesn't make them anyway.

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post #8 of 9 Old Oct 25th, 2010, 7:41 am
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Re: Slow Crank - Battery?

I was getting ready to ask the difference, but did a Google search instead. Here is what I found.....



GEL vs. AGM Sealed Batteries

Motorcycle Batteries All Batteries Battery Chargers 6–48 Volts Solar Chargers Pure Sine Inverters Battery Restoration Battery Products Fuel Treatments Engine Cooling NiMH Rechargeables Power Tools Emergency
AGM (absorbed glass mat) is a special design glass mat designed to wick the battery electrolyte between the battery plates. AGM batteries contain only enough liquid to keep the mat wet with the electrolyte and if the battery is broken no free liquid is available to leak out.

Gel Cell batteries contain a silica type gel that the battery electrolyte is suspended in, this thick paste like material allows electrons to flow between plates but will not leak from the battery if the case is broken.

More often than not AGM Batteries are mistakenly identified as Gel Cell Batteries. Both batteries have similar traits; such as being non spillable, deep cycle, may be mounted in any position, low self discharge, safe for use in limited ventilation areas, and may be transported via Air or Ground safely without special handling.

AGM Batteries outsell Gel Cell by at least a 100 to 1. AGM is preferred when a high burst of amps may be required. In most cases recharge can be accomplished by using a good quality standard battery charger or engine alternator. The life expectancy; measured as cycle life or years remains excellent in most AGM batteries if the batteries are not discharged more than 60% between recharge. There are some AGM batteries we sell that offer excellent 80%+ deep cycle abilities.

Gel Cell Batteries are typically a bit more costly and do not offer the same power capacity as do the same physical size AGM battery. The Gel Cell excels in slow discharge rates and slightly higher ambient operating temperatures. One big issue with Gel Batteries that must be addressing is the CHARGE PROFILE. Gel Cell Batteries must be recharged correctly or the battery will suffer premature failure. The battery charger being used to recharge the battery(s) must be designed or adjustable for Gel Cell Batteries. If you are using an alternator to recharge a true Gel Cell a special regulator must be installed.

If you are unsure which battery or charger is best for your application, please call or email our tech people for help making the correct selection.

Dano
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post #9 of 9 Old Oct 30th, 2010, 3:46 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Slow Crank - Battery?

I instaled the Westco battery and took her out today for a while. First thing I noticed is the thing would barely idle. Kept wanting to die unless I gave it some throttle. I did as others suggested before taking it out and twisted the throttle stop to stop twice with key on. Anyway after several more long stop lights that worked itself out.

After two more shut downs while running errands the LT started perfectly. So as a final note on this thread, the slow crank was caused by the bad battery. BTW, I am using the Westco AGM I got for 72.00 and am charging with the BMW charger. All is good.
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