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Thread: Whether or not battery tenders are really necessary

  1. #16
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Southwestern Ontario
    I ride one bike daily and the other a couple times a week.

    In the winter they're both on "smart" battery chargers that top off the charge when needed. Even spending from late November to early April on the charger alone, my bike batteries last an average of 6-7 years. That's better than I usually do on a car battery!

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  2. #17
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Chestnut Hill, MA
    My 2008 RT was built in 12/2007. OEM battery still going strong at 44 months. Optimate4 is plugged in except when the bike is moving, or when I'm on a trip where it's ridden each day.

    Wife's 4-wheel 2007 BMW has its own Optimate4, and it gets plugged in when it sits undriven for anything more than two days. Replacing that battery is a major expense because the new battery has to be "registered" to the car electronically. Ouch.
    John Gamel
    2015 Ebony Metallic R1200RT
    BMW CCA 2006 - Present; BMW MOA 2009-Present
    Walt Kelly: "We have met the enemy, and he is us."

  3. #18

    +1 on Optimate 4

    I only have one battery tender- an Optimate 4. I rotate it around on all 3 bikes, the generator, and the '65 Pontiac. I installed pig-tails on all, choosing not to use the Can-Bus option. I'm a believer.
    Gear Up and Ride Safe
    Jim Rogers
    2010 R12GSA aka Heidi
    Yorktown, Va

  4. #19
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Canada and the Alps
    Quote Originally Posted by bobnmona View Post
    I'd appreciate hearing your experiences and opinions!
    One shouldn't need a battery maintainer unless the battery has an issue or there is a more than normal current drain in your electrical system while parked. As for the latter, owners should measure it...its simple enough to do.

    The voltage of R1150 GS Adventure battery will go from 12.9V to 12.8V in a month of non-use. Considering the small drain, that is perfectly normal.

    Batteries will tend to self discharge faster in warmer climates.

    I use CTEK battery charger/maintainers for my motorcycles and car during the off season winter months or during long periods of storage. That is the only time you should need them.

  5. #20
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Canada and the Alps
    Quote Originally Posted by UncleMark View Post
    [I]Only 30% of batteries sold today reach the age of 48 months.
    I guess I'm lucky.

    The original battery in my car is 12 years old next month; the original battery in the previous car was 16 years old when the car was sold.

    My original BMW flooded lead acid battery failed in the 9th year; others used for only a month a year, lasted 7 full years.

    All of them flooded lead acid types. I don't have much use for AGM or Gel batteries.

    You got to know how to treat them.

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