What is the best battery for a 2004 BMW R1150RT?

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Waco, Sep 15, 2008.

  1. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    And don't say Odyssey. I had one of those in my GS. I got really tired of the clock going to 0:00 every time I started it on a cold morning. :bluduh I like maintenance-free, since I have to remove the fairing and the gas tank to get to it.
    #1
  2. TexasRT

    TexasRT Dual Sport RT

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    WK I'm not sure what's best but I can tell you I'm not happy with my new Westco 12V20P in an '03 RT. First of all, it is not a plug and play replacement. The terminals are just slightly different than the factory battery and you must straighten and then attempt to rebend them to fit the Westco battery.

    The second issue is that the Westco battery seems to drop charge much faster than my old BMW battery. I normally keep the bike on a battery tender (now I use the Accumate charger Westco recommends) but made the mistake of not hooking it up one weekend after a ride. A week later and the battery was so low it was reluctant to turn over. I've checked for current draw and only have the standard stuff such as clock drawing current. The old battery would sit for a month and then start right up.

    First time this battery fails to turn over I'll go back to a standard BMW battery or the OEM copy of it.

    By the way, you say you have to remove the gas tank to get to it - I thought the '04's were just like the '03's in that you could remove left side tupperware and then slide the battery out?
    #2
  3. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    You're probably right. I've never needed to touch the battery yet. That's good news. That means I only have to remove about a dozen screws.

    I think at least half of my problem is the fact that my commute is only 15 minutes one-way and doesn't fully charge the battery. I'm going to start putting it on the Battery Tender once or twice a week, at least until I get another battery.
    #3
  4. KCDakar

    KCDakar What are we waiting for?

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    Sorry but the 04 1150RT is remove tupperware then lift the tank to get the damn thing out.:bluduh
    Run it almost out of gas first. It is much easer that way.

    I have never had luck with anything but the OEM battery in my 04. I put it on the Battery Tender every day it is not being ridden.
    #4
  5. TexasRT

    TexasRT Dual Sport RT

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    KC, What is the difference between '04 and '03 RT's? It's not the easiest thing in the world to get the offside terminal off but it's not that bad. I've done this several times with just the left side tupperware removed because I generally checked the water levels every time I changed the oil.

    +1 on the battery tender. I kept my original battery on a tender whenever it was not being ridden and it lasted 5.5 years. I changed it out before leaving for Colorado in August simply because I didn't want to be on a road trip with a 5.5 year old battery.
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  6. KCDakar

    KCDakar What are we waiting for?

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    Hi TexasRT.:wave

    My 04 has a gel battery and maybe the terminals are different.:dunno I can't get my battery out without doing the tank. If there is a way I would love to learn it as it would make it much easer to do for sure!

    I will go out in the morning and have a looksee...:thumb
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  7. AK Bear

    AK Bear Long timer

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    I'm guessing you Odyssey battery was a bad fluke. I have two of them in two GSs and have never had a problem in nearly 4 years. Like yours, my Alaska bike is used for short commutes, and I run my PIAAs during daylight for to be seen by sleepy morning people. The worst that happens is that sometimes my antilock lights alternate to show the system is not working. Running a couple of miles with the PIAAs off or just running a couple of blocks and restarting always solves the problem. I'm guessing it's not your battery. I would check your alternator for output and the belt to make sure it's tight enough to turn it properly. Should be an easy fix. Good luck, Bear
    #7
  8. TexasRT

    TexasRT Dual Sport RT

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    Hey KC :wave

    Next time I pull the tupperware I'll do it and make a note of the process and PM it to you. Most of the time, I pull both sides of the tupperware because I generally resync the TB's every oil change and that is the only way to get the darn thing cleaned up but I've never had to raise the gas tank to get to the battery out. Obviously, it is much easier when I have to pull the tank but very doable without pulling or raising it. The terminals were different on the Westco battery by a couple of 64ths which required rebending the cable terminals but I don't think that should impede the removal.

    You are such a character - I didn't realize you had an RT to go with your other rides:D
    #8
  9. KCDakar

    KCDakar What are we waiting for?

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    :photog If you only knew...

    I look forward to the PM for sure. I love learning new and better ways to get it done!

    See you down the road.:thumb
    #9
  10. Gummee!

    Gummee! That's MR. Toothless

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    i didn't hafta lift the tank when I did mine.

    Oh, and I put in an Odyssey and didn't have ANY problems with it in the 2+ years I rode the thing after the stock battery died.

    So... despite what the OP sez, I'd go with another Odyssey in the RT. :nod

    M
    #10
  11. Global Rider

    Global Rider Alps Adventurer

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    Try a Panasonic battery.

    That based on the 10 and 18 years and still going on the two cars that I own and owned.

    At the price they go for, you really can't go wrong.
    #11
  12. torags

    torags Long timer

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    It's good to be mindful of the rpm's required to start charging the battery while running.

    If my recollection serves.... it's 1100 to 1500 rpm. So stop n go traffic with lights on can really diminish the charge. Battery tender is always a good thing. I like the cigarette lighter one..
    #12
  13. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    Well, I think the original battery is toast. I've been putting it on the battery tender about once a week and it's been starting fine, until today. After my youngest son's kindergarten graduation, the battery wouldn't even activate the fuel pump or the clock. I guess when these batteres die, they die. I went home and got my battery tender and they were nice enough to let me plug it in at the school. I hope I can get it started this afternoon and ride it home. 5 years on the original battery isn't bad. I'm debating between another BMW battery just like it or an Odyssey PC680.
    #13
  14. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    Had to ask a neighbor to bring his trailer. How embarrassing. :shog


    Man, the crickets are noisy. I've decided to get an odyssey after seeing that it's $50 cheaper than the BMW battery.
    #14
  15. k12lts

    k12lts Been here awhile

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    After 6 years on the OE battery in my K1200LT I replaced it with a Westco. That's been almost three years ago and it's doing fine. I only use a Battery Tender in the winter when the bike has to sit for 3-4 months at a time. In the summer I can let the bike sit for 3-4 weeks with no problem.

    The Westco and Panasonic are the same thing. I'd buy another one.
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  16. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    It starts a lot better with the new Odyssey. I assumed the battery in it was the original BMW brand, but it was a WestCo. Five or six years combined for two batteries isn't impressive. I only had to remove the left fairing and the airbox snorkel, so it wasn't as time-consuming as I had imagined.
    #16
  17. Badjayhawk

    Badjayhawk Adventurer

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    I used a Battery Tender religiously on my ST2 (oem was a Yuasa) and got six and a half years. It was still doing fine when I swapped it for an Interstate this week, just in case. I'm told by my Ducati dealer that motorcycle batteries much like auto batteries are actually manufucatured by a few companies in varying CCA amounts and such, then branded. (I think basically three companies make virtually all of the car batteries sold in the U.S. ).
    #17
  18. Waco

    Waco Renegade Sickle Hound

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    I learned the same thing about water heaters recently when I replaced one. "I need to replace my Rheem water heater, who sells them?" "They're all made by Rheem."
    #18
  19. NevBlu

    NevBlu Been here awhile

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    Replaced my Werker 18 AH (life unknown but 3+ years since purchase) with a Duracell 20 AH (Oct 2015), so will watch its service life. Normal practice is to trickle charge any time it sits without riding.
    2003 BMW R1150 RTP required removal of leftside plastic, but had already removed rightside plastic to replace gas line quick disconnect.

    On a humorous note, found dog food stored in outside of air box.

    Attached Files:

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  20. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    Wrap some heavy wire mesh over the end of air snorke to keep the critters out of your airbox.

    JR356
    #20