R1200 Wethead Battery Change for Dummies (pictorial)

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by JimVonBaden, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    There have been a few people who wanted to see how to change the battery on their R1200 Wethead. This is valid for all Wethead models, and shows every step and tips. It is really simple, and virtually anyone with a T25 Torx and a 10mm or Phillips screwdriver, can do it.

    The start: Locate the cover on the right side of the bike below the seat.
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    Remove the screw and pull out on the top right, then up. You will see the pins that fit in the rubber holder on the frame.
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    Next, use a 10mm or Phillips screwdriver to remove the negative cable. Make sure you pull the cable(s) away from the battery.
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    Once that is off, you need to remove the battery tie-downs. The first is the rubber strap. It has two wings that fit over plastic nubs. Just pull down and they come off.
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    Next is the plastic holder. It has two pins on the sides, and a 90° tab on the bottom. Lift up to disconnect the tabs on the sides, then pull it straight out. If it sticks you can use a flat screwdriver under it to lift it up.
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    The later model battery holder looks a bit different, but comes off the same:


    Then tug out the battery. You will have to lift it up over the lip. I use a flat blade screwdriver.
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    Once you have it out enough to expose the positive cable, take note of the cable(s) orientation before removing it.

    Then remove the positive cable(s) with a 10mm or Phillips screwdriver.
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    Pull out the battery.

    Verify that your new battery is dimensionally the same, and that the posts are the same, positive and negative post on the correct sides.
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    Don't worry if the posts do not look identical, there is enough slack in the cables to account for a slight variation in post types, as in the replacement battery I have.

    For some batteries, like the one I have, the nut that the cable bolts screw into are floating. This is a PITA in that it makes it hard to get the screw started, especially if you have several cables under the bolt. My solution is to use a small length of 1/4" plastic tubing under the nut to hold it up and stable. This keeps it from falling out when installing the battery and installing the bolts for the cables.
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    Installation is the reverse of removal. Place the battery part way in and support it while installing the positive cable. I held the battery with my knee while attaching the positive cable(s).
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    I reused the factory bolts because they were in great shape, and better quality than the new ones. Make sure the cable(s) are in the correct orientation, based on how it was on removal. Take photos. Snug down to 10Nm.


    Then slide the battery all the way in, making sure it passes over the raised lip on the base, and sits flush on the bottom.


    Reinstall the negative cable(s) and snug down to 10Nm.
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    Reinstalling the battery hold-down by sliding the base under the battery and aligning the pins. This will lift the battery slightly. Lift a bit more and make sure the pin on the bottom clears the foam and allows the side pins to lower in their slots.
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    Then reattach the rubber hold-down by stretching it over the pins under the battery.
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    Make sure the negative cable wrap is secured under the tab on the right.
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    Hint, use superglue on the rubber inserts on the frame for the side cover.
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    A drop of oil on each post, or the rubber, helps too.

    Reinstall the cover with the T-25 Torx to 8Nm, or just snug.
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    If you need to charge your battery, and do not have an appropriate plug installed, pull the battery cover and attach the cables like this, positive first.
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    Lastly, batteries that will fit the GS/GSA Wetheads:

    The one I used: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HNXSMR1/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Typically I order from BBY: https://www.beemerboneyard.com/westco12v14bsvr.html

    You tell me your favorite battery.
    #1
  2. Dogslobber

    Dogslobber Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks for the plastic tube under the nut advice!
    #2
  3. t6pilot

    t6pilot Been here awhile

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    For my RT I went with YUASA GYZ16H from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC
    $99 delivered

    Jim
    #3
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  4. Frank smith

    Frank smith R1200GSA, WR250R Supporter

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    Wow that's like a graduate level course on how to change a battery. Thanks Jim.
    #4
  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Yeah, over the top for many. But some people need a little extra! :deal
    #5
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  6. Frank smith

    Frank smith R1200GSA, WR250R Supporter

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    No, it's perfect. Exactly what us finicky folks need. No need to analyze, just follow the instructions.
    #6
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  7. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    #7
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  8. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Mine was the factory battery. 4 and a half years and almost never a tender. I suspect I killed it with my aftermarket volt meter. It did charge up and ran me a few days waiting for my new battery. Might even still be ok.

    Make sure you do not leave this plugged in.
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    #8
  9. Me4speed

    Me4speed Dirt/pavement=Relief

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    Thanks for the tips Jim, guess I have always done it the hard way, not surprising!, I like the super glue on the rubber I’m taking that one, since once again their gone.
    #9
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  10. reg26

    reg26 Been here awhile

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    Jim do you know if the R1200RT battery is the same as the GS and GSA models? I have a 2015 RT model and think I should replace mine soon but looking up replacements online there are no answers. I have owned allot of bikes and alls I had to do to replace a battery is type in the make /model of bike and I received lots of options. Not so much with my 2015RT
    #10
  11. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    They are the same size, and will fit. The RT has a slightly higher Cold Cranking Amps, but that will not matter. You can get most GS batteries with the same CCA.

    https://www.jpcycles.com/product/zz...zSZ92MnG0gNBEX0vM6A4DLR86vLjbAXwJ8aAsyB8P8HAQ
    #11
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  12. wera44

    wera44 Adventurer

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    I'n my opinion anything made by East Penn (Deka) is pretty much the best you can find as far as AGM batteries go. I've been sellling batteries for over 25 years and have seen them all.
    #12
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  13. JR356

    JR356 Long timer

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    See my post #7 above for a good price on a Deka.
    No affiliation with that company,other than a satisfied customer:thumb

    JR356
    #13
  14. tentative_rider

    tentative_rider Wanna Be On Gravel

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    Ya thx 4 the detailed pictures.

    I was having WAY too much trouble trying to get the plastic cover (underneath the rubber strap) back on!
    #14
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  15. sizzlingbadger

    sizzlingbadger Been here awhile

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    A small cable tie works well on the rubber grommets too if you don't have any super glue.
    #15