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Thread: F650CS battery relocation question

  1. #1
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    F650CS battery relocation question

    Have all the bikes on chargers and last rode them about ten days ago before the great global cooling hit. Tried to start the CS today and battery was obviously down and wouldn't start. Took off the seat to test with the multimeter, saw immediately that all of the cells were down a lot.

    Took the battery out after trying to fill in situ. Got battery acid on the bike's insides even with the center stand that I installed. Cleaned everything up with baking soda and am charging the battery in the kitchen.

    My question as anyone who has taken the battery out of a CS, has anyone built a battery cover for the storage compartment and move the battery up top? Seems like the perfect location. I don't think with the relatively short distance that I would have to increase the cable diameter. Recall that distance is a factor in resistance which can be aided by a larger pipeline.

    How about it? Has anyone relocated the battery? It doesn't seem as if there's a gel battery available.

  2. #2
    Rally Rat PAULBACH's Avatar
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    There has to be a gel battery out there someplace. Try measuring the outside dimensions of the battery and go from there. That battery is a PITA to get to.

    The whole electrical system seems to be marginal. That is one reason I traded mine in and got the R1200GS. Got one great deal on a used bike load with about 4k worth of farkle including a GPS, XM radio, autocom and much, much more.

    The motorcycle really doesn't care where the battery is located. With a bit of creativity the spot immediately in front of the driver might be used.

    The 650CS is a great ride but was not designed for much added electrical farkle. I just lost faith in the bike to always get home. I would hook the battery to a battery tender and there was usually a 2 to 3 hour recovery time.

  3. #3
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    When I took my F650CS in to Tag's for storage this winter I told the dealer I wanted a "no maintenance" battery installed. They researched it and said there was no such thing for the CS. The size of the battery needed to fit the bike made it impossible. Ok...I'm going with that but I'm not happy about it!

  4. #4
    Rally Rat PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Wonder if he meant there was no BMW battery available or no battery that size - period.

    There are all kind of non BMW gel battery available. The measurements are critical. Hard to believe the BMW made a battery that fit one bike only.

    The CS placement is a pain and a tight fit. Hated to part with mine but after two battery failure is decided that:

    Fool me once shame on you
    Fool me twice shame on me

    And I was not going to give them a third chance.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    Wonder if he meant there was no BMW battery available or no battery that size - period.
    From what I was told, the battery that fits the CS is not just a BMW but can be from another vendor, at least the one in my bike is not BMW. Since Tag is no longer a BMW dealer, the ordering a new battery was discussed. I was told it wouldn't be a problem because it was a battery by another vendor.

    Are they full of it?...this site says the BMW battery is maintenance free! My bike is an '03, that might be the problem.

    http://www.ascycles.com/detail.aspx?ID=43291
    Last edited by Raevyn; 01-25-2008 at 10:02 PM.

  6. #6
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkasal View Post
    Have all the bikes on chargers and last rode them about ten days ago before the great global cooling hit. Tried to start the CS today and battery was obviously down and wouldn't start. Took off the seat to test with the multimeter, saw immediately that all of the cells were down a lot.

    Took the battery out after trying to fill in situ. Got battery acid on the bike's insides even with the center stand that I installed. Cleaned everything up with baking soda and am charging the battery in the kitchen.

    My question as anyone who has taken the battery out of a CS, has anyone built a battery cover for the storage compartment and move the battery up top? Seems like the perfect location. I don't think with the relatively short distance that I would have to increase the cable diameter. Recall that distance is a factor in resistance which can be aided by a larger pipeline.

    How about it? Has anyone relocated the battery? It doesn't seem as if there's a gel battery available.
    My Opinion Part

    I think it would be a very bad decision to ruin the storage compartment of a CS by moving the battery up into it.

    It is normal for the water in a F650 battery to go down, especially when ridden in hot weather. To fill it up without making a mess use a turkey baster to reach the cells without spilling water everywhere.

    The Part that Helps You

    There is a Maintenance Free AGM battery for the CS. Go to BikeBatts.com and order a YB12AL-A2. It fits perfect. I have been using one in my bike since May of last year.
    Tom
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '09 F650GS '15 Ducati Multistrada

  7. #7
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PAULBACH View Post
    The 650CS is a great ride but was not designed for much added electrical farkle. I just lost faith in the bike to always get home. I would hook the battery to a battery tender and there was usually a 2 to 3 hour recovery time.
    That's completely different from my experience with the CS. It has a 400 watt alternator which is exactly the same size as my K1100LT. I ride the CS to work almost everyday. The ride is 7 miles each way. Even running my Warm and Safe electric jacket and the electric grips I have more than enough electrical power. If I come home and hook the battery tender up it will show a green light (fully charged) usually within 10 seconds.

    The original battery in my bike was replaced after 5 years. Not because it was bad but because I had finally found a Maintenance Free battery that I didn't have to put water into.
    Last edited by Ridealot; 01-26-2008 at 03:03 AM. Reason: spelling
    Tom
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '09 F650GS '15 Ducati Multistrada

  8. #8
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    F650CS Battery Question - Again!

    Ridealot

    There is a Maintenance Free AGM battery for the CS. Go to BikeBatts.com and order a YB12AL-A2. It fits perfect. I have been using one in my bike since May of last year.
    I'm getting conflicting information. I told the dealer storing my bike to look into getting me the maintenance free battery for my 03 CS. He says, no can do. He said they found one (I gave him the BikeBtts information but I'm not sure if that is what he was referring to) but it was alittle too tall and since the spacing was so tight to begin with, it wouldn't be a good idea. Said he talked to people at the Indy show about it, too.

    Now I don't know whether to just order the damn thing and hand it to him and say, put it in....or go with his explanation.

    I'm used to having service people bend over backwards to take care of my requests on mechanical things....I'm beginning to be disappointed in the level of interest by this dealer to get exactly what I want done.

  9. #9
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raevyn View Post
    I'm getting conflicting information. I told the dealer storing my bike to look into getting me the maintenance free battery for my 03 CS. He says, no can do. He said they found one (I gave him the BikeBtts information but I'm not sure if that is what he was referring to) but it was alittle too tall and since the spacing was so tight to begin with, it wouldn't be a good idea. Said he talked to people at the Indy show about it, too.
    If you order the battery I listed above it will absolutely, positively, with out a doubt, FITperfectly. Its the same size as the stock battery.

    So now ya gotta decide. Do you believe your dealer who just wants to sell you whats easiest for him. Or do ya wanna believe someone who has actually bought, installed and used the maintenance free battery in their own CS. Decisions, decisions.
    Tom
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '09 F650GS '15 Ducati Multistrada

  10. #10
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
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    I forgot to add. If you go to the Chain Gang and do a search for Maintenance Free batteries you will find the thread that I got all my info about the battery from.
    Tom
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '09 F650GS '15 Ducati Multistrada

  11. #11
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
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    Here is a picture of the elusive maintenance free battery actually installed in a F650CS.

    Tom
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '09 F650GS '15 Ducati Multistrada

  12. #12
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    I'm off to the dealer this morning and will bring the picture and, again, ask them to put the maintenance free battery in rather than the other. I'm going to push this with them. If I have to order it myself and have it delivered to them, which is what I did with the risers for the handlebars, I'll do that.

    I'm thinking next year I'll be storing the bike with another dealership.

    Thanks so much, Ridealot. I appreciate the help.

    From Bikebatts: "The Xtreme Volts YB12AL-A2 sealed AGM battery is a direct drop in replacement for the F650."

    The dealer assures me that he will get the battery and have the bike ready to go by riding season.

    Thanks for the heads-up about the meetings, sgborgstrom. Something to consider.
    Last edited by Raevyn; 03-01-2008 at 08:24 PM.

  13. #13
    Don't forget your towel
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    I really only use my local dealers as parts suppliers as I've been doing my own maintenance for years... so I will admit to being biased.

    But , I see from your profile you live in the Chicago area, which means your are in close proximity a great resource of BMW knowledge: http://www.crbmw.com/

    It's been 10 years since I left Chicago, but I see that most of the old technical wizards are still active, go to a meeting, they're great folks.
    Steve
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

  14. #14
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    Battery question solved.

    I finally have this all worked out. Bikebatts.com is the Only place to find a maintenance free battery for the F650CS. The good news is there are about 30 openings left out of a 250 order placed by this company. Bikebatts has this battery specifically made for their customers. Can't get it anyplace else. And the nice thing is they don't gouge you for it. $54.

    The bad news is it won't be delivered until the end of April or so. But I'm on the list for one and that is what matters at this point.

    Thank you, All, for your help in getting me to understand and believe it was possible. And for being patient with me.

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