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Discussion Starter #1
Got to thinking about the battery in my 07 RT, it's original, stored with a battery tender, the super smart one. The bike was first registered and on the road in March of 2008. So the battery is anywhere from 3 to 4 years old. Loooong trip coming up this Summer.
Can anyone recommend a good replacement battery? Which brand lasts the longest? What kind of $$$ can I expect to shell out?

Thanks,
Mick
 

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You are asking questions for which you will probably not like some of the answers.

First, battery life for any lead acid cell is controlled a lot by temperature and individual use variability. So any answers you get will likely reflect only personal experiences, not absolute truths .

Old style flooded batteries if well maintained will generally outlast the stock gel cell type or AGMs.

AGMs like the Odyssey/Hawker need a charger from the battery makers approved list- they have charge requirements not met by many chargers including all older ones meant for flooded batteries. Many of the typical chargers used not listed by the battery maker cannot recharge a discharged AGM battery. Also, AGMs crank very well but not very long.
Some love them and I've used Odysseys in my track cars for a long time but don't want one in my bike. What I like abot them is their ability to hold a charge for a long time and the fact that a much smaller ligher Odyssey can run my track car, saving valuable weight.

For the adventurous there are new lightweigfht lithium batteries (eg Shorai) for motorcycles- personally I wouldn't touch one for a road bike until they've been around at least another 5 years with a good track record. There are no doubt some tradeoffs not yet understood and lots of questions not answered by their marginal website.

There are plenty of gel batteries made that are cheaper and punchier than the Exide- they can be had up to 20Ah ratings in the same size and all are cheaper than the BMW branded Exide. I'd pick whatever you can get locally or shipped that's the same rating as stock or better, or just go back to a flooded battery- they last as long or longer and are generally cheaper.

No doubt you will see responses from a few claiming the Odyssey is the best choice but be aware that it is different in behavior and you might or might not like it

FWIW, there is no need to pitch a working battery simply because it is getting old. You can measure the voltage it pulls down to while cranking, simply wait until the starter starts to crank a little slower, or use something like a Battery Bug if you want to use it until it really needs to be replaced. Batteries don't just die in normal use with no warning though you can certainly kill one with a massive discharge at any time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
racer7 said:
You are asking questions for which you will probably not like some of the answers.

First, battery life for any lead acid cell is controlled a lot by temperature and individual use variability. So any answers you get will likely reflect only personal experiences, not absolute truths .

Old style flooded batteries if well maintained will generally outlast the stock gel cell type or AGMs.

AGMs like the Odyssey/Hawker need a charger from the battery makers approved list- they have charge requirements not met by many chargers including all older ones meant for flooded batteries. Many of the typical chargers used not listed by the battery maker cannot recharge a discharged AGM battery. Also, AGMs crank very well but not very long.
Some love them and I've used Odysseys in my track cars for a long time but don't want one in my bike. What I like abot them is their ability to hold a charge for a long time and the fact that a much smaller ligher Odyssey can run my track car, saving valuable weight.

For the adventurous there are new lightweigfht lithium batteries (eg Shorai) for motorcycles- personally I wouldn't touch one for a road bike until they've been around at least another 5 years with a good track record. There are no doubt some tradeoffs not yet understood and lots of questions not answered by their marginal website.

There are plenty of gel batteries made that are cheaper and punchier than the Exide- they can be had up to 20Ah ratings in the same size and all are cheaper than the BMW branded Exide. I'd pick whatever you can get locally or shipped that's the same rating as stock or better, or just go back to a flooded battery- they last as long or longer and are generally cheaper.

No doubt you will see responses from a few claiming the Odyssey is the best choice but be aware that it is different in behavior and you might or might not like it

FWIW, there is no need to pitch a working battery simply because it is getting old. You can measure the voltage it pulls down to while cranking, simply wait until the starter starts to crank a little slower, or use something like a Battery Bug if you want to use it until it really needs to be replaced. Batteries don't just die in normal use with no warning though you can certainly kill one with a massive discharge at any time.

Thanks. I know folks rave about the Odyssey but they are expensive. I will look around and check prices. The battery on the 07 RT is easy to get to so a lead acid replacement would not be a big deal to maintain.


Mick
 

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Mick,

Have your battery LOAD tested, that will give you a better picture of its condition.

I have used Odyssey in several bikes with good results. AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries have almost the same charging characteristics as flooded batteries unlike GEL batteries which require a lower charge rate. The one thing about AGMs is that they need to be brought up to a certain level before a light trickle type maintainer will take over. I use an old 6 amp charger for 4 or 5 hours occasionally to top it up. I don't even own a tender.

When selecting a battery, look for the CCA (cold cranking amp) rating. I think that is more important than the Amp Hour Rating. After all, we are most concerned with starting the bike after which the alternator takes over. I have seen on the forums, a lot of folks going to cheaper batteries that are used in UPS applications. These batteries may have high AH ratings but are not made for cranking loads, look at the CCA or MCA ratings. I haven't used Westco batteries, but I understand that they are good AGMs with a lower cost. Check out Beemer Bone Yard as a source.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Boatzo said:
Mick,

Have your battery LOAD tested, that will give you a better picture of its condition.

I have used Odyssey in several bikes with good results. AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries have almost the same charging characteristics as flooded batteries unlike GEL batteries which require a lower charge rate. The one thing about AGMs is that they need to be brought up to a certain level before a light trickle type maintainer will take over. I use an old 6 amp charger for 4 or 5 hours occasionally to top it up. I don't even own a tender.

When selecting a battery, look for the CCA (cold cranking amp) rating. I think that is more important than the Amp Hour Rating. After all, we are most concerned with starting the bike after which the alternator takes over. I have seen on the forums, a lot of folks going to cheaper batteries that are used in UPS applications. These batteries may have high AH ratings but are not made for cranking loads, look at the CCA or MCA ratings. I haven't used Westco batteries, but I understand that they are good AGMs with a lower cost. Check out Beemer Bone Yard as a source.

Hope this helps.
Thanks.

I will check out Beemer Boneyard. Second Wind BMW tested my battery last year when they did a service and it was OK then. With the open ended trip I am planning I am going to get it checked before the summer.
Here in the Northeast, the snow pack is shrinking. I took my KLX250S for a ride along Rt 1-A in NH, right along the Atlantic Ocean. The temp was 51 degrees F, possibly 60 on Friday.

Mick
 

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Mick-F said:
Thanks.

Here in the Northeast, the snow pack is shrinking. I took my KLX250S for a ride along Rt 1-A in NH, right along the Atlantic Ocean. The temp was 51 degrees F, possibly 60 on Friday.

Mick
Just 15 miles farther inland still too much snow. Trailer still snowed in.. Grrrr. I feel the need to ride..........
 

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Few years ago I bought an old air head - R100/7 - Battery was 7 years old & the bike hadn't moved an inch in 5 years but had been on a battery tender setting out side with a tarp over the bike - This bike was setting along side an old guys house - I ask the guy if the bike would run - well I think that pissed him off - he turned around didn't say a word and grabed a gas can & dumped some gas in it - hit the starter & the dem thing fired right up!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I restored the bike - rode it for 5,000 miles & sold it with the same battery in it - TRUE STORY!

Also the clock? - after setting all those years - dead on!!!!!!!!!!!

Your results may differ :D
 
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