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Thread: '09 1200 GS Battery fail

  1. #1
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    '09 1200 GS Battery fail

    Hi All -

    Last week the battery on my '09 GS totally failed - total failure, dead, done. This, luckily, happened right when I got the bike to the dealer for an unrelated service issue. Started fine that morning, but totally dead when dealer tried to start it once I arrived.

    The battery was 11 days past the two year warranty and BMW has refused to cover the new battery. I keep the bike on a BMW trickle charger when I am not riding and the only accessory I have (auxiliary lights) are wired in correctly and don't draw from the battery when the bike is off (dealer confirmed this).

    I had my '06 RT for +3 years and never had battery issues. What is the life expectancy of these batteries and can I contact BMW N. America to request a reconsideration for coverage (it's not like the batteries are inexpensive)? I think one can rightly assume if I had ridden the bike 11 days earlier the result would be the same for the battery, except it would have still been in warranty.

    Thanks for any feedback,
    Kharon
    Last edited by khathaway; 06-15-2011 at 06:38 PM. Reason: following the rules.

  2. #2
    Sudden Battery Death. It can happen at any time, on any battery. It happens to phones, laptops, cars, motorcycles, etc. Age of battery doesn't seem to be relevant. If you're unlucky it happens after the warranty period is over. That's why I have a new phone.

    As to how long a battery will last... depends a lot upon the operating environment. Heat can be a killer. In the temperate SF Bay Area I typically get from 5~9 years unless I kill the battery by doing something stupid, first.

  3. #3
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    BMW batteries, about a 5 out of ten scale!

    My GSA did the same at one year out(covered) and I've read sooooo many BMW battery tales of this. Don't buy another BMW battery is my best suggestion. I won't either! If this one goes, I'm shopping for better. Randy

  4. #4
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    Well, dang, I assume the dealer is replacing mine with a BMW battery. So, thoughts on what to go with next time? Heck, at this rate, that will now be in 2 years and 9 days.

    Cheers!

  5. #5
    IMO always replace stock batteries with aftermarket, not OEM. BMW uses the lowest bidder for their batteries & there's a reason there's a 2 yr warranty on them

    Yuasa is a good brand, as is Odyssey. Both will give you good service & long life - as long as you don't let them sit.

    --chiba
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    Your MOA Digital Media Editor since 2015 | Lifetime Member #87301
    '05 R1200GS | '98 K1200RS + Hannigan Classic sidecar | '19 Indian FTR1200S
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  6. #6
    Still plays with trains. tinytrains's Avatar
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    Historically I have to disagree on the quality of BMW batteries. I have run them in my K75 for 21 years and get 5 to 6 years out of them. I tried a Cycle Gear battery once, and it died after 7 months.

    As for the current batteries, I do plan to replace my R1200R battery with a Yuasa soon. While I have only had the bike 21 months, the battery is going on 3 years of age, and they are known for sudden death. It will be interesting to see if the Yuasa is any better. I don't feel like doing the surgery to the Odyssey in, especially while the bike is is under warranty.
    2009 R1200R Roadster

  7. #7
    Rally Rat
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    It may be true for wet cell lead-acid types that with good maintenance they might last longer than the newer gel-types.

    I replaced the original 5 year old battery in my R1100R that was still in good shape but the RT battery was noticably weakened after 4 years. And the 7 year old Odyssey in the R is still in good shape so who knows.

    Time, temperature, maintenance and luck seem to have a way with batteries.

  8. #8
    Registered User r1dinman's Avatar
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    How timely. On "Ride to Work" day I stopped for gas after work and got nothing but a click when I tried to start it. Some friends came to rescue me with jumper cables. Nothing! They towed the bike to the closed dealer, who found the battery very dead the next morning. I sure appreciate having generous friends.

  9. #9
    American Idiot noyooper's Avatar
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    I've had 2 new Yuasa batteries die on me in the past 3 years on one of my bikes. The distributor determines the warranty which was 6 months, I won't buy another. My wife's Westco went 7 years without fail. I replaced the Yuasa with a Westco. My '05 GS BMW battery lasted 5 years and was still going when I traded it last spring. Still not sure what I would use if another fails, but I am leaning toward BMW or Westco.

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