BMW Luxury Touring Community banner
41 - 60 of 68 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
948 Posts
Since mine has been slow to turn over after sitting for a few weeks and I don't know if it is original or not on an '08 I purchased used, I ordered a PC680 for my TX trip. Although they tagged my card immediately, they sent a note back that it is backordered until a date after I leave :-(. $95 with free shipping makes it worth the wait though.

I will plug into my charger for now, and be fine on the trip I am sure, since I will be getting hundreds of miles a day in to keep the current battery up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
101 Posts
I have yet to be convinced that permanent or frequent battery connection to a trickle charger/tender does extend the battery life. Generally, during the riding season (and it is only about 7 months here in SW Alberta), I very seldom connect battery to a charger. I disconnect the battery in winter, but keep it on the bike in unheated garage. Once in three or four weeks I would put a trickle charger on it to top it up which usually takes 5 to 15 minutes.
My 2009 RT battery is still strong and so was the battery on my 2006 GS when I sold it in 2012. I actually do not remember replacing battery on my previous bikes and some of them were 5+ years old.
I just recently purchased a Battery Tender Junior to replace my old 1 Amp trickle charger with something more sophisticated, but I do not see a reason to change my charging, or rather not charging, habits.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
140 Posts
gbob said:
Two dealer warranty replacements , still cranked slow when sub freezing . I gave up an replaced with an Oddesy . I tryed a test push start a big no go , would not turn over just skid . So if she flatlines out on the road jumper cables are the only chance .

Bob G
2011RT
What gear did you try the bump start? I have had success by rolling down a hill, getting some speed up, and then popping it into third gear. First and second gear offer too much resistance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
PadG said:
Thanks. I was curious about your reasoning. I agree with all of them, but I do have my charger connected all the time. It's not that I "trust" my charger, but I can see the status light of the charger every time that I step into my garage, and so I can tell if something is amiss.
Is it a coincidence that all of you complaining about battery life are using a battery tender?
My fear is that the tender boils the battery dry. That kills batteries as quickly as anything. I wonder how many of those dead batteries would comeback to life with a little water.

I keep my terminal connections clean and do not use a trickle charger on my Honda. I think the current battery is 6 years old. I haven't had my 2002 R1150RT long enough but when I took delivery the battery was dead and the prior owner used a tender. The terminal connections were really corroded. He also had a CB and Satellite Radio and not sure what else. I not sure what their amp usage is. If you are using more amps than the alternator makes, I suggest you need a bigger alternator or some power management decisions, not a better battery.

My 2¢ Dale
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
455 Posts
VDale420 said:
Is it a coincidence that all of you complaining about battery life are using a battery tender?
My fear is that the tender boils the battery dry. That kills batteries as quickly as anything. I wonder how many of those dead batteries would comeback to life with a little water.
These are closed cell batteries. The trickle charger in theory is suppose to extend the life of the battery when the bike is not in use. All of this is way above my head, all I know is I did not use a trickle charger with my first battery. It lasted one year. The second battery was on a trickle charger. It was 5 years before I replaced it. I only replaced it to have peace of mind for a big road trip coming up in July.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
VDale420 said:
Is it a coincidence that all of you complaining about battery life are using a battery tender?
My fear is that the tender boils the battery dry. That kills batteries as quickly as anything. I wonder how many of those dead batteries would comeback to life with a little water.

I keep my terminal connections clean and do not use a trickle charger on my Honda. I think the current battery is 6 years old. I haven't had my 2002 R1150RT long enough but when I took delivery the battery was dead and the prior owner used a tender. The terminal connections were really corroded. He also had a CB and Satellite Radio and not sure what else. I not sure what their amp usage is. If you are using more amps than the alternator makes, I suggest you need a bigger alternator or some power management decisions, not a better battery.

My 2¢ Dale
Funny that you should quote me, and I don't have any battery issue!!!


In any case, I think that your evaluation about a good modern trickle charger boiling off electrolyte is a misunderstanding (or misinformation) on your part. Your statement might have been either true or very close to the truth once upon a time, but not any more!

These modern chargers are very intelligent in that they senses the voltage of the battery and apply a charge voltage only when the battery voltage drops below a certain level, otherwise no charging is applied. The charger that I use is "Battery Doc", and when I have it connected directly to the battery, I would rarely see the charge light come on at all. That made sense to me, because with the direct connection the CAN Bus is turned off, and the only draw from the battery is the bike's clock and other very minor electronics. OTOH, when I have my charger connected via the external power port on the RT, the CAN Bus stayed active all the time, and there is a bigger draw on the battery from the CAN Bus. As a result, I would see the charge light on the charger come on every few hours, but for less than a minute, just to top up the battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
Guys,

Very informative post!

Aren't the Odyssey PC680's terminals transposed laterally? i.e. + and - are on different sides as compared to the stock battery? How did people manage the connections?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
Stock battery on my 2011 RT. Six years old kept on a maintainer so always good to go. Interesting I forgot to charge for a couple of weeks last month and it had not enough oomph to start her. 15 mins later on the battery maintainer she turned over - just. I'm thinking time for a replacement? But six years sounds reasonable to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
First of all full disclosure : I work for a European battery maintainer manufacturer that supplies the OEM charger to just about every high performance car in the world.

The two main causes of battery death are SULPHATION and ELECTROLYTE GASSING.

Suplhation is the number one cause of death and is a result of leaving a battery undercharged for long periods of time. In a flooded battery (the most commonly used and cheapest) the plates inside the battery will build up a coating that keeps the Acid/Water mixture from contacting the plates and no charge will be generated. Try to find a battery charger that test for sulphation and has a desulphation mode to help keep the plate clean.

Electrolyte refers to them mixture of ACID and Water in the battery, if this level drops too low the plates will no longer be covered and the battery efficiency will be reduced. Charging a battery causes heat generation and the liquid inside the battery will start to boil. To keep the battery from exploding from the pressure the battery has vents built in to it that allow some of the pressurized gas to escape, meaning that the battery has lost some of it's electrolyte. Over time this loss can be significant. The way to avoid this is to not charge the battery unless it actually needs it.

Trickle chargers place a voltage and low current on the battery at all times, even if the battery if fully charged causing gassing. This is why many people actually remove the trickle chargers after some period of time. A better approach is referred to as Pulse Charging, which means that the low current mode is pulsed on and off either based on time (on for an hour, off for an hour - this still leaves a lot to be desired) or based on the battery voltage (It only comes on when the voltage has dropped to 95% and then turns off again - the best solution available). A voltage based pulse charger will never overcharge the battery.

My advice is to ditch your old linear charger (if it hums it's linear) in favor of a micro-processor controlled charger that is rated for your battery size (Measured in Amp/Hours) most motorcycle batteries charge best with something less than 1 amp. Using too large of a charger really stresses the battery but some chargers allow you to switch between battery sizes so the same charger can be used on your car and on your power sport batteries.

When I go to trade shows I'm constantly running into people that swear by our chargers and get 5+ years from them.

A good charger will cost as much as one good battery ($70 or so) but will pay for itself within a couple of years when you're still using battery #1 and your friends are all on #2 or #3.

Ski
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
No they are not.
It seemed to me that they are. Check out the attached pics. Perhaps I am missing something...

On a separate note, the PC680 is at least an inch wider than the stock battery which fits snugly in its place with the plastic holder and rubber strap. How did people fit the PC680 in its place? Left it sticking out and secured by the rubber strap or something?
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
It seemed to me that they are. Check out the attached pics. Perhaps I am missing something...

On a separate note, the PC680 is at least an inch wider than the stock battery which fits snugly in its place with the plastic holder and rubber strap. How did people fit the PC680 in its place? Left it sticking out and secured by the rubber strap or something?
Not on my 2012RT. Camhead.
This is why we need to start breaking down the RT'S into sub types. We mix all RT models into one group and then we have to figure out which one a person is talking about. I brought this up a while back and guys gave me a hard time over it.

Not all RT's are the same. We know that. But there are so many differences depending on what we talk about.

So I guess the newer RT'S have reversed battery cables.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
According to Odyssey batteries they do not make a battery for the 2015 RT. Probably because of reverse polarity. They go as far as 2013 RT. Camhead. I'm sure if you really wanted to install one you could extend the cables to reach over far enough. Maybe in the future odyssey will manufacture a PC680 with reverse polarity posts.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
134 Posts
According to Odyssey batteries they do not make a battery for the 2015 RT. Probably because of reverse polarity. They go as far as 2013 RT. Camhead. I'm sure if you really wanted to install one you could extend the cables to reach over far enough. Maybe in the future odyssey will manufacture a PC680 with reverse polarity posts.
Correct. I saw that on Odyssey's website.

Here is an idea: On a Wethead (2014+) one can turn the battery 180 degrees so that the +ve terminal is facing towards the left of the bike. That will solve the polarity issue.

However the problem about the size and space (width of battery) available would still need to be addressed. I can't think of an elegant solution at this time. Perhaps Odyssey will come up with a new battery to fit the RT Wetheads...

Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,199 Posts
First of all full disclosure : I work for a European battery maintainer manufacturer that supplies the OEM charger to just about every high performance car in the world.

The two main causes of battery death are SULPHATION and ELECTROLYTE GASSING.

Suplhation is the number one cause of death and is a result of leaving a battery undercharged for long periods of time. In a flooded battery (the most commonly used and cheapest) the plates inside the battery will build up a coating that keeps the Acid/Water mixture from contacting the plates and no charge will be generated. Try to find a battery charger that test for sulphation and has a desulphation mode to help keep the plate clean.

Electrolyte refers to them mixture of ACID and Water in the battery, if this level drops too low the plates will no longer be covered and the battery efficiency will be reduced. Charging a battery causes heat generation and the liquid inside the battery will start to boil. To keep the battery from exploding from the pressure the battery has vents built in to it that allow some of the pressurized gas to escape, meaning that the battery has lost some of it's electrolyte. Over time this loss can be significant. The way to avoid this is to not charge the battery unless it actually needs it.

Trickle chargers place a voltage and low current on the battery at all times, even if the battery if fully charged causing gassing. This is why many people actually remove the trickle chargers after some period of time. A better approach is referred to as Pulse Charging, which means that the low current mode is pulsed on and off either based on time (on for an hour, off for an hour - this still leaves a lot to be desired) or based on the battery voltage (It only comes on when the voltage has dropped to 95% and then turns off again - the best solution available). A voltage based pulse charger will never overcharge the battery.

My advice is to ditch your old linear charger (if it hums it's linear) in favor of a micro-processor controlled charger that is rated for your battery size (Measured in Amp/Hours) most motorcycle batteries charge best with something less than 1 amp. Using too large of a charger really stresses the battery but some chargers allow you to switch between battery sizes so the same charger can be used on your car and on your power sport batteries.

When I go to trade shows I'm constantly running into people that swear by our chargers and get 5+ years from them.

A good charger will cost as much as one good battery ($70 or so) but will pay for itself within a couple of years when you're still using battery #1 and your friends are all on #2 or #3.

Ski
Good info. I experienced the gassing overheating on my OEM battery and I put it to an early grave. Since then I only use a Battery Tender trickle charger. It is a pulse charger. I now have two. In search of a third one in the future. I use one on my second automobile. Once the battery is charged up of course.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
712 Posts
I am wondering this as well. I leave my Battery Tender Jr. connected from October to May or June, depending on when it warms up. I only leave it off when the temperature in the garage gets quite hot. I am into my 4th year with the original battery and no signs of any issues. Bike starts right away even with no tender on it. I will be leaving it connected again this winter. I also use these tenders on my ATV, Tractor, and Snowmobile batteries and get long life from them as well. I have never had a bike long enough to have to change the battery, but I plan on keeping this one so maybe I will find out.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,227 Posts
I am wondering this as well. I leave my Battery Tender Jr. connected from October to May or June, depending on when it warms up. I only leave it off when the temperature in the garage gets quite hot. I am into my 4th year with the original battery and no signs of any issues. Bike starts right away even with no tender on it. I will be leaving it connected again this winter. I also use these tenders on my ATV, Tractor, and Snowmobile batteries and get long life from them as well. I have never had a bike long enough to have to change the battery, but I plan on keeping this one so maybe I will find out.
Like you, I also leave my BatteryDoc (Battery Doc - Complete Battery Charging Solutions) hooked up from Dec. to about April, and on top of that, I always hook it up to my bike as soon as the RT comes into the garaged and turned around. Basically, that charger is plugged into the bike all the time that it's "home". My '07 RT original battery was changed out in 2013, and it was still quite strong. I changed it only because Odessey had a great deal on the battery at the time, and I figured that the original had lasted plenty long enough.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2wheeljunkie

·
Registered
Joined
·
458 Posts
I suggest not leaving your tender connected for long periods of time. One day every week or two is plenty. Also push starting will work as long as there's enough current left to charge the fuel rail and you use third gear (not first) to do your push start.
Ha! Tried that but the size of the pistons and the compression and the reverse drive from the rear wheel means it just skidded to a stop when the starter switch failed. 30 degrees C pushing it down an incline was hot and sweaty work.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 6speedTi

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,055 Posts
The cost of a new battery is relatively small compared to most everything else. 4 liters of oil if you buy designer oil and filter comes in similarly priced. Tires, brake pads, gasoline, everything--the battery is just another consumable so replace it every 3y will catch the vast majority of new OEM batteries especially if you ride the bike regularly, or replace it every 2y whatever. I'm lucky and don't have to overwinter the bike to speak of, but if I did then would consider a trickle charger.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,289 Posts
So how long does a front tire last?

How long a rear tire?

A light bulb?

No way to answer the question. No way to predict lifespans of a battery.

Based on climate, use, load put on it, and is it maintained correctly there is no answer. I have got 7 years out of a motorcycle battery and I have gotten 3 years.

After running your bike and it sitting 24 hours a battery at rest should be somewhere around 12.80. Same off a charger 24 hours. If you seeing a lot lower than that time for new one.
 
41 - 60 of 68 Posts
Top