battery

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by wumhenry, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. wumhenry

    wumhenry Adventurer

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    The battery in my '16 R1200GS went dead after the bike sat idle for almost month, although I had it hooked up to a trickle charger. Several questions come to mind.

    First, is it likely the battery is now NDG?
    Second, could I buy an inexpensive testing device that would tell me whether the battery can still hold a charge, and if so, which such thingie do you recommend?
    Third, if it can still hold a charge, what device should I use to recharge it?
    Fourth, if I recharge or replace the battery, which trickle charger should I use to keep it up, going forward? (The one I have now, which obviously doesn't work well with the R1200, I bought several years ago from a Harley dealer and used it without problems to keep a Harley Road King charged up before I traded up to the Bimmer.)
    #1
  2. NorthIdaho800gsa

    NorthIdaho800gsa Bad influence

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    Your battery might be defective.
    I'm not sure if you could take it to autozone or the like and have them test it for free. Might be worth a call though.
    Only thing I could say about the maintainer is make sure it mates with your battery. Is your battery a agm or lead acid or whatever. Just make sure it is set to maintain that kind of battery. good luck

    Edit: You can also take a multi meter to the maintainer and check the output.
    #2
  3. t6pilot

    t6pilot Been here awhile

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    Battery 3 years old may be at end of its life cycle, just saying!!
    Best charger/maintainer I’ve found is Optimate4 wired with a pigtail or DIN (bmw) connector direct to battery. This allows heated gear and tire pump operation without canbus interference
    As for battery purchase I gotten several from Rocky Mountain Power Sports, good folks and free shipping

    Jim
    #3
  4. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    Any decent battery store will load test a battery plopped onto their counter, usu. for free.

    A 3+ y/o battery isn't often worth trying to regenerate once depleted. There are exceptions, of course.

    Amazon often sells the high-output AGM from Yuasa for under $90, delivered. That GYZ series battery fits every BMW 1200 ever produced.

    Trickle chargers... meh. Old tech for traditional, lead acid batteries. With AGM, you're better off using a charger with floating capability, and the will carry at least a 3 amp load. I use an 8 amp model from Schumacher that costs < $35. Competing models are sold by HF and others.
    #4
  5. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    Easiest way to test your battery is bring it up to charge 13.2 volts OFF the bike. I hook it and let it stand 24 hours if it looses charge toss it
    #5
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  6. Jager

    Jager Been here awhile

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    Harley touring bike batteries are more akin to car batteries than the dinky, 12AH batteries that BMW specs for their GS series. I've always considered BMW's battery choice for the GS a marginal item, particularly given the electronic requirements of latter-year models. It's possible you've been over-charging your GS battery, using your Harley charger.

    A trickle charger for your GS should be delivering somewhere in the neighborhood of 500-800 milliamps. And contrary to popular opinion, it should not be left connected for much longer than is necessary to bring your battery to full charge. It's helpful, though not necessary, to have a charger that has the option to deliver several amps - then you can use it on your car or tractor or other "adult" batteries.

    A load tester will give you a reasonable idea of the state of health of your battery. If you take it in to Autozone or someplace like that, that's what they'll be testing it with. There are lots brands and types available. I'd recommend something that allows you to test resistance between the battery plates... as that will give you a fair analogue as to the degree of sulfation. Here's one model... https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00IZFNJ6Y/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1. There are plenty others. Test your battery with it a time or two a year and you'll know when it needs replacing before it gives up the ghost.

    Knowing no more than you do, if the battery you're talking about is the original OEM battery then I'd be planning on replacing it.
    #6
  7. AZ Pete

    AZ Pete Been here awhile

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    Only part of the process. Put a load on it (reinstall in bike and try to start said bike), the battery that maintained a charge may well fail this last test....mine did last week.

    For any auto supply house, WalMart etc. to test a battery it should be fully charged when you take it in.
    #7
  8. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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  9. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    Nice battery tester above, but for only $15-20 more OP could buy a brand new GYZ-16ah, high-output AGM from Yuasa.

    Not that tools aren't cool.
    #9
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  10. Lead Wrist

    Lead Wrist More Gelände less Straße

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    1. Battery shouldn't (key operating word) go dead-dead after a month of idling. However, it's important to know what happened prior to that month of idling... Ie. were the bike regularly ridden for longer periods of time where battery can get sufficient charge? Or, was bike not ridden for longer and all the bike saw were short trips with lots of on/off which ultimately drained the battery, even before a month of idling started so the results were to be expected, sadly... I'm still on my OE battery on '16 GSA but the bike is ridden regularly more-or-less and on BT when not...
    2. Can't help there but there were few suggestions to explore by prev. posters;
    3. Battery Tender (BT) for longer time or one of the other Tenders (like Odyssey 6A) that can introduce higher current to "wake" up the battery;
    4. BT Plus 1.25A is universally good w AGM batteries although there are others. If you end up getting Li battery, you may want to get specific charger - the chargers are going hand-in-hand with battery type rather than a bike... There are adequate batteries for GS on Amazon for $60-ish so you may want to explore that too. BT Plus is ~$45-ish or so too...

    GL :thumb
    #10
  11. Deano747

    Deano747 Been here awhile

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    Battery is toast. Toss that & your trickle charger.
    Buy a quality battery (Yuasa AGM - don't go lithium if you live somewhere cold)) and a battery tender (C-Tech or similar).
    Wire the latter direct to the battery and use it full time.
    #11
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  12. Bikerboy108

    Bikerboy108 Pat from Jersey

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    #12
  13. jimmy2020

    jimmy2020 limpiador de ventanas

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    FYI, I have a 2007 GSA and I bought new. I put it on a trickle charger every time I park it in my garage. I'm on my 2nd battery in 12 years. TRICKLE CHARGERS WORK.
    #13
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  14. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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  15. Callisto224

    Callisto224 Long timer Supporter

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    Easiest was to test your battery is with a volt meter. Charge battery fully first.

    Volts should be around 12.8 when the bike is not running. Try starting the bike, volts should not drop below 10.0-10.5. If it drops below 10.0 volts, replace the battery.

    As someone already mentioned, Battery Tender Plus is made for AGM batteries.

    Amazon sells this battery for about $75.
    Yuasa YUAM6RH4H YTX14H-BS Battery

    Good luck!
    #15
  16. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer Supporter

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    For a mere $9 more, the 1200 rider can step up to an AGM Yuasa rated for 16ah.
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  17. Deano747

    Deano747 Been here awhile

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    You are correct. Trickle chargers work just fine on my Harley and other 'old tech' bikes with 'old tech' batteries.
    Electronics & electrics on newer tech bikes require different approach to battery maintenance which is why a specialist battery tender is required.
    The only thing in common between the pre & post WC bikes is the BMW Roundel :-).
    #17
  18. jimmy2020

    jimmy2020 limpiador de ventanas

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    I just purchased a 2016 GSA. What brand or type of trickle charger do you recommend (original Battery)? I was just going to use the same one as I used on my 2007 GSA, but I can see that the changes in the models would require something different.
    #18
  19. ultane

    ultane sqeezin the bag

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    CTEK Smart Chargers awe pretty awesome. They detect the battery type, and apply the required charge profile for that battery. Plug it in and walk away. It will even tell you when the battery is ‘bad’.
    #19
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  20. jimmy2020

    jimmy2020 limpiador de ventanas

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    Thank you!!!! Seems to be lots of choices with CTEK....any suggestions on a model?
    #20