ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Old's Cool > Airheads
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-14-2012, 02:11 PM   #1
ozmoses OP
Ride On
 
ozmoses's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: USA
Oddometer: 3,044
Why are WestCo batteries such crap?

Just found out my fourth (& last!!) WestCo is dead after spending the off season on a tender, in a heated shop.

Some background-

Battery #1 arrived and was installed but failed before the month of May, 2 years ago, was out. IIRC, it lasted 29 days exactly. I did contact MK Battery, they did send a replacement which arrived cracked & leaking...so they sent out another. The package was not damaged, just the battery, which I found odd.

In the meantime:

Not believing it could be a failed, new battery I performed troubleshooting,etc & out of frustration bought a WalMart "neverstart" that I could always use in the tractor. It fired the bike right up.

When the replacement for the replacement arrived I installed that in another bike. That WestCo was in use for 6 months, then stored as per my conversation with Paul(?) at MK battery- on a tender in a heated space. The next spring, which was last year, that battery was leaking. After a few conversations, he sent yet another one my way. Though the bike it was in last year saw minimal use, it was on a tender & it seemed to function fine up to the day I removed it.

Taking it out of storage & installing it earlier today, I was anxious to hear the bike wake up. What I heard was...nothing. No starter, no lights. Dead.

Battery seems to have a "surface" charge only, failing under load. Not only that, but if I'm reading the code correctly, this battery is actually older than the one I initially purchased by one full year!

So, at best for me, a WestCo lasted 6 mos of minimal use. The WalMart version is still going strong.

I'm not interested in any sort of warranty replacement again, pro-rated, 100% free or otherwise & won't even make the call. These batteries, whomever manufacturers them vs labelling, are at least in my experience, crap.

Am I alone in this experience?
ozmoses is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 02:32 PM   #2
craydds
Beastly Adventurer
 
craydds's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Oddometer: 1,154
Wow, sounds like you've had troubles! I have a WestCo battery that is still good after 9 years.
__________________
ABC #12947
'75 R90S
craydds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 04:16 PM   #3
AntonLargiader
Beastly Adventurer
 
AntonLargiader's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Oddometer: 4,191
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmoses View Post
Am I alone in this experience?
You may be alone with that sort of run of bad luck, but I've replaced lots and lots of Westcos. Many of them didn't last long or allowed ABS faults on Oilheads from the beginning.

I think they're junk. Maybe they used to be OK when they were actually Panasonics but now they seem to be lowest bidder.

I sell a lot of Odysseys and they last very well.
__________________
Anton Largiader largiader.com BMWRA.org
AntonLargiader is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
craydds
Beastly Adventurer
 
craydds's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Las Cruces, NM
Oddometer: 1,154
Anton, I may want to try an Odyssey for my other R90S.
__________________
ABC #12947
'75 R90S
craydds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 06:48 PM   #5
supershaft
because I can
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Oddometer: 8,796
Made in China gives me a lot of trouble. Nothing against Chinese people. I know they can make good stuff if they want to but I guess most buyers don't want good stuff. Working 70 hours a week for 28 cents an hour isn't good either. Especially when just saying the word 'union' can get you 12 years in prison. In this country China is a lot of people's model for free market capitalism. China is run by Marxist. It's really quite a good example of what any country would be like without unions and workers rights. Without unions and workers rights a marxist and a capitalist end up being about the same thing I guess.
supershaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 06:55 PM   #6
squish
Out of the office.
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Where the Ghetto meets the sea.
Oddometer: 6,093
Don't discount the tender as being bad. For long term storage I've taken to using a digital lamp timer and setting it to come on only for a few hours ever few days.
__________________
On vacation for a spell
squish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 07:01 PM   #7
Boon Booni
Red Clay Halo
 
Boon Booni's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Richmond, Va
Oddometer: 13,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozmoses View Post

Am I alone in this experience?
Wow..

I've had two in my airhead. First one lasted 9 years, and I replaced it because I thought, damn that's an old battery.

That was in 2008. The second seems to be holding up just as well.

I don't trickle charge my batteries. My airhead will sit sometimes 6 months over the winter in my unheated garage.
I've never had to jump start the bike.
__________________
Where the fuck...
Where the fuck is the bike?
You gotta be shitting me.
Where the fuck is the road?
Boon Booni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 07:56 PM   #8
Bill Harris
Confirmed Curmudgeon
 
Bill Harris's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: backwoods Alabama
Oddometer: 7,275
AGM batteries are the new technology, but I'm a traditionalist and use the old reliable slosh-batteries. At least you can remove the filler caps and check the state of each cell with a hygrometer. And Yuasa is built here in the USA.
__________________
'73 R60/5 Toaster
Luddite. Not just a philosophy, a way of life...
Bill Harris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 08:02 PM   #9
bmweuro
Mad Scientist
 
bmweuro's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Chico, California
Oddometer: 3,411
I sold thousands upon thousands of Westco batteries over 10 years and the only issue we ever had was one batch of 12V30's which was a /6 and /7 battery. Westco took care of them and never a problem since.
Sounds like your charger might be the issue or.......
__________________
BOXER Metal
BMW Biker Scum
BMW Mad Scientist!
VBMWMO #7770, BMW MOA #48694 & Airhead BMW Club #600
bmweuro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 08:06 PM   #10
ozmoses OP
Ride On
 
ozmoses's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: USA
Oddometer: 3,044
9 years?!? That's living right.

All in all though, it seems I'm not alone in my sentiment about WestCo brand...interestingly mine were (are) the 12v30's.
ozmoses is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2012, 08:58 PM   #11
supershaft
because I can
 
Joined: Sep 2010
Location: San Francisco Bay area
Oddometer: 8,796
AGM batteries have been around for 30 years now. Even good batteries have a lot of bad batteries in the mix. Panasonic has been the buzz battery for a while now and I hear bad stories along with the good about them too. That's batteries in general but I think that part of the deal is a lot worse coming out of China. I have seen Battery Tenders cook wet cells dry in a year's time. They over charge big time as far as leaving them hooked up continuously is concerned.
supershaft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 09:20 AM   #12
batoutoflahonda
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Easton Wa
Oddometer: 1,376
I don't charge them over winter (Oct.-April/May) and I've had a mix of batteries, including wesco. They sit in the bike (dirt, oilhead, airhead) unheated and still hooked up and usually have enough juice to get the bike to fire. If not, I just put a regular old charger on them for about an hour and never had a problem with them. I change them out more often for time than any thing else.

Be an interesting pole: trickle charge vs not over winter/results. Maybe keeping them at full charge isn't a good thing?
__________________
It's eight and a half gallons of gas; and an engine. What more do you need?-- BMW R80G/S

Save lives. Legalize lane sharing.

Cow eyes don't glow.
batoutoflahonda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 09:41 AM   #13
rufusswan
Studly Adventurer
 
rufusswan's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Branson MO
Oddometer: 962
I've never trickle-charged a battery, even over winter. I do at times bring them into the the house. Of course, I don't remember which decade that I first heard of trickle chargers.

I have heard the 'old wives tale' that setting them on the concrete in a cold garage would deplete them.
__________________
1971 BMW R75/5 Toaster LWB
1974 Honda CL200
http://zenhuckfinn.wordpress.com/
rufusswan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 12:40 PM   #14
lkchris
Albuquerque
 
lkchris's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Oddometer: 988
The original mission of Westco batteries is hospital emergency lighting.

They're not designed for automotive use let alone to fit a BMW.
__________________
Kent Christensen
Albuquerque
'12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S
lkchris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2012, 01:06 PM   #15
ozmoses OP
Ride On
 
ozmoses's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: USA
Oddometer: 3,044
To trickle charge or not, that is the question. I was never sure myself, hadn't done so previously but went w/ the advice of MK battery rep.

It's funny, I also will not put a battery on concrete for fear of that same tale.


Dunno' Ikchris, you should inform WestCo of that in as much as mine has printed, not labelled, on the back:

Replaces BMW 53030.

Hopefully y'all are out riding!
ozmoses is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 11:22 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014