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Thread: I'm gonna beat a dead horse here, but...........

  1. #1
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    I'm gonna beat a dead horse here, but...........

    .............now that its "winterizing" (ew ew, bad word) season, all the shop websites and elsewhere are discussing battery tenders. bmw seems absolutely committed to the idea that you MUST NOT DANGER DANGER charge a gel battery with a conventional battery tender. i say BS, for reasons outlined in the past (search it, i'm gonna be the lazy one here) there is no reason that older style tenders with a cut off voltage of below 14.7V should cause any damage to the battery.

    (steps off soapbox)

  2. #2
    Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft FredRydr's Avatar
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    Bubba, if you say "BS," I say, "Go for it"!

    Fred

    BTW - I'm gettin' a glass mat battery this winter to avoid this BS!

  3. #3
    Rich Pelton Rich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti
    .............now that its "winterizing" (ew ew, bad word) season, all the shop websites and elsewhere are discussing battery tenders. bmw seems absolutely committed to the idea that you MUST NOT DANGER DANGER charge a gel battery with a conventional battery tender. i say BS, for reasons outlined in the past (search it, i'm gonna be the lazy one here) there is no reason that older style tenders with a cut off voltage of below 14.7V should cause any damage to the battery.

    (steps off soapbox)

    Yep, I agree with Fred, go for it. Oh, and let us know how it works out in a couple of months, ok? It's always kind of nice when the experiment is done on someone elses bike.
    Last edited by Rich; 10-29-2005 at 02:49 AM.

  4. #4
    25-MPH NEXT 1OO MILES PacWestGS's Avatar
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    I'm in agreement too. I've been using a BMW Advanced Battery Charging System, 12v 1.25amp "Tender" which I bought for my Lead Acid 'Liquid' Battery. Since they replaced my battery with a new gel type 3-years ago. I checked all the literature and it said don't use this charger, I say BS.

    I checked the charge at full charge, trickle charge and sustainment charge with DCV meter and it fit within the maximum allowable charging voltage and amperage. According to the battery manufacture.

    I think they post this stuff so you spend more money.

    My bike is either pluged in or being ridden, all year long.
    Russ
    "If you took the time to really get to know me...you'd be wasting your time, because I'm exactly who you think I am"

    (Life comes at you pretty fast "Pay it Forward" - Have no regrets when the end happens)

  5. #5
    BUBBAZANETTI
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich
    Yep, I agree with Fed, go for it. Oh, and let us know how it works out in a couple of months, ok? It's always kind of nice when the experiment is done on someone elses bike.

    i've already done it, i brought a dead gel battery back from a complete state of discharge in one night..........with a standard 29 dollar battery tender jr

  6. #6
    Just passin through wanderer's Avatar
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    The alternator will work.

  7. #7
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaZanetti
    i've already done it, i brought a dead gel battery back from a complete state of discharge in one night..........with a standard 29 dollar battery tender jr
    The issue was that the GEL battery made by Exide shouldn't be charged with a voltage higher than 14.2 volts. If it was, the issue is shorter lifetime, not whether it could be charged and for all practical purposed look charged without any shorter lifetime. That would surface later. The BT plus charges at 14.4 volts and what's more has a soak cycle at 14.4V. The soak cycle is the most suspect to not be recommended for the Exide Gel. The BT jr doesn't have the soak cycle so would be the best charger for the Exide GEL if you don't buy the GEL specific charger from Deltran (Battery Tender) or the same charger they market through BMW for the gel ($80).
    BMW makes a GEL (and AGM) charger ($115) which has a desulfating cycle and does not harm the GEL, supposedly, and addresses the most damaging condition for any gel battery where sulfate crystals prevent the layers of cell material from contributing to the battery's capacity by having a desulfating cycle at the beginning of the charging cycle. This charger also keeps the ZFE electronics on so the charger may charge thru the later bike accessory jack. The only thing that bothers me about this charger is that they say it is ok for both GEL and AGM. And, the AGM is ok and would like to be charged with 14.4 volts. It does not have a switch on it so I guess they may use 14.3 or 14.4 and just go with it for the GEL. Kind of like using a BT jr.
    BMW makes a $250 charger now which does it all and seems to address the GEL, AGM differences in that it has a switch on it to select AGM or GEL. It also does other neat stuff like read out charge condition of the battery, etc. It's pretty neato.
    I definitely would not use a standard BT Plus, would use a BT jr or either of the three BMW chargers for the GEL. Preferably the BMW ones that have the desulfating cycles.
    In any case, I don't leave the chargers on the whole winter. I only turn them on with an outlet strip every two weeks or so until they go thru the whole charging cycle, go green or what ever, and then off. I have seen wet batteries go dry during the so called float time. The instructions say to check the fluid periodically. How many of us do that during the storage months? And, I usually ride one bike or the other during the winter, but still charge them if they sit for two weeks or so.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  8. #8
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    "BTW - I'm gettin' a glass mat battery this winter to avoid this BS!"

    What is a "Glass Mat" battery??

    Thanks in advance!

  9. #9
    Rally Rat MarkF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack
    The issue was that the GEL battery made by Exide shouldn't be charged with a voltage higher than 14.2 volts. If it was, the issue is shorter lifetime, not whether it could be charged and for all practical purposed look charged without any shorter lifetime. That would surface later.
    The question is - does the alternator on the bike never get above 14.2v? Because, I don't see any notices not to put a gell cell in an older oilhead.

  10. #10
    Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft FredRydr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eureka
    What is a "Glass Mat" battery??
    I'd rather Jack answer this in depth, because he has the knowledge. A glass mat battery is commonly known as an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery. My lay understanding is it is chemically similar to lead acid batteries, though physically different, having the advantage of not requiring special chargers or tenders; I can use the ones I already own. If I can get reliability, low maintenance and longevity in a battery without buying a bunch of extra equipment for the gel or dry-cell types, then I'll go for it, and my research lead me to the AGM battery.

    Here is the battery I plan to buy: Westco 12V20P

    Here is one of many websites that came up when I "googled" AGM batteries": AGM battery.

    Fred
    '02 R1150R

  11. #11
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    Fred Rydr:

    Thanks for the prompt answer.

  12. #12
    Emperor Norton Xaque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkF
    The question is - does the alternator on the bike never get above 14.2v? Because, I don't see any notices not to put a gell cell in an older oilhead.
    This is what really got me. Before this logic I was like "oh, okay, different tech in the batt, so new charger, blah blah blah, someone smarter than me says... blah blah blah."

    But then someone mentioned putting a newer gell batt in an older bike...

    yeah, wtf? Why do I need a new charger if my alternator is the same?

    -Xaque- (knows nothing about charging batts)
    -Zack

    "If you love your motorcycle, set it free. If it comes back, you probably high-sided."

  13. #13
    K Bikes Complex by Choice cjack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xaque
    This is what really got me. Before this logic I was like "oh, okay, different tech in the batt, so new charger, blah blah blah, someone smarter than me says... blah blah blah."

    But then someone mentioned putting a newer gell batt in an older bike...

    yeah, wtf? Why do I need a new charger if my alternator is the same?

    -Xaque- (knows nothing about charging batts)
    Because the alternator charging system does not put out the higher voltage that the battery charger does in order to completely charge the battery in about 10 to 20 hours. If it did, the battery would be toast in the space of a day's ride. The alternator puts out a voltage which is more or less the float voltage required for the battery...the voltage that the battery tender drops to when the battery is "fully" charged.
    R1200GS LC Rallye
    Jack Hawley MOA and RA #224, KE9UW ("Chuck")

  14. #14
    Emperor Norton Xaque's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjack
    Because the alternator charging system does not put out the higher voltage that the battery charger does in order to completely charge the battery in about 10 to 20 hours. If it did, the battery would be toast in the space of a day's ride. The alternator puts out a voltage which is more or less the float voltage required for the battery...the voltage that the battery tender drops to when the battery is "fully" charged.
    Thank you cjack! I really appreciate your explanation!

    Phew... okay, now I need to find something else to get all worked up over.

    -Xaque-
    -Zack

    "If you love your motorcycle, set it free. If it comes back, you probably high-sided."

  15. #15
    On the Road
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    I'd like to hear from some riders about battery life. How long are AGM, lead acid, sealed or not lasting. Is anybody getting multiple years ,like 3, from proper maintanence and normal use?
    18 months ago I had to buy 3 batteries for 3 bikes I am riding that all died in spring time . One BMW (expensive) one cheapest (Grueber) and One Ducati sealed. They are all still working fine and get periodic charges at 2 amps with a controlled and deduced slow charge as it builds.

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