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Thread: BMW Canbus Battery Charger - Does the bike's Canbus add anything to the process?

  1. #1
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    BMW Canbus Battery Charger - Does the bike's Canbus add anything to the process?

    I bought one of BMW's special Canbus chargers when I bought my 2005 R1200GS. For several years, I used it as instructed by BMW, by plugging it into the BMW socket. The problem with this is a household power failure will cause the Canbus to lose continuity with the charger and requires me to reset the charging by turning the ignition on and off again. Since I didn't catch an incident of this, the battery went dead one winter.

    A couple of years ago, I added a direct lead to the battery and use that for charging the battery. So far it seems to work fine, but I was recently told that by passing the Canbus can cause problems and overcharge the battery. I'm not sure I believe this and wonder if anyone knows for sure it the CanBus in the bike actually has an active role in charging the battery.

  2. #2
    New2rt
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    The power sockets are controlled by the ZFE (central electronics) on your auto they might call it a BCM (body control module) nothing to do with Canbus.

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    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    To me a battery is a battery is a battery. I use a battery tender hooked directly to the battery. 2006 RT original battery and no problems yet.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

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    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    They way I understand it is the BMW charger has a way to communicate with the canbus to shut down everything on the bike except the power socket which it's connected to.

    I have the same situation as you having a direct connection to the battery, however had the rear power socket located next to the passenger seat wired directly to the battery. ( It was the the easiest of the two sockets on the RT to access and hook up this way). Anyhow my charger now goes directly to the battery bypassing the Canbus and works like a charm. No issues.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RTRandy View Post
    They way I understand it is the BMW charger has a way to communicate with the canbus to shut down everything on the bike except the power socket which it's connected to.
    Minor nit. The charger has to communicate with the ZFE as New2rt wrote. This has zero to do with the can bus.

    [soapbox]
    The ZFE is NOT the CAN bus.
    [/soapbox]

    Quote Originally Posted by anyname
    A couple of years ago, I added a direct lead to the battery and use that for charging the battery. So far it seems to work fine, but I was recently told that by passing the Canbus can cause problems and overcharge the battery.
    Whomever told you that does not know what they are talking about. In the future listen politely to what they have to say then promptly ignore their advice.

  6. #6
    Registered User Anyname's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=marchyman;

    Whomever told you that does not know what they are talking about. In the future listen politely to what they have to say then promptly ignore their advice. [/QUOTE]

    I suspected as much, but if anyone was ever going to over complicate battery charging, we all know who it would be.

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