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Thread: Replacement battery for airhead

  1. #1

    Replacement battery for airhead

    Looking for best replacement battery for a 1983 r80rt. So many choices out there.

  2. #2
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I prefer OEM batteries...yes, I have to struggle every 5-6 years to squeeze the battery through the frame, but I don't seem to remember that over time! I think the Odyssey brand comes up the most for recommendations. I would just be sure you understand the terminal options that come with a replacement.

    About 2/3 down the page, Snowbum has a section on "Sources and Models":

    https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/newbattery.htm
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  3. #3
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 30807 View Post
    Looking for best replacement battery for a 1983 r80rt. So many choices out there.
    The 1983 R80RT uses the large battery for Airheads.

    In my two Airheads, I have been using Panasonic AGM Sealed batteries. The LC-X1228-P is the model. They are marginally smaller in dimension than the OEM battery, but they still need to have the rubber bumpers at the rear of the battery box opened so that the tray can be tilted backwards. Once tilted, the battery goes in easily. They have the same terminal style/size as the OEM battery, so the cables should attach without twisting to new positions. My batteries usually stay in place for 5 to 6 years and are replaced just for safety sake. They are still at 12.7-12.8 volts when removed.

    If you search for the battery, you will get lots of Panasonic "replacement" results. Those are cheaper, similar products, but not real Panasonic brand batteries.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  4. #4
    Nutfarm
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    Quote Originally Posted by 30807 View Post
    Looking for best replacement battery for a 1983 r80rt. So many choices out there.
    I have a 75 R75/6 and use a Duracell battery from batteries plus. Itís a AGM battery made by East penn. the last one went 8 years. Also the one in my R12 R is 4 years old and doing fine.

  5. #5
    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    I like the Dekka AGM Battery made in PA.
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    1977 R100RS, (Retired) 1993 R100GS

  6. #6
    I am using the Duracell AGM battery from Batteries Plus in my 1984 R80RT, this one went in in 2018. I used to use WestCo AGM batteries, I got 3 to 4 years life.

  7. #7
    BMWMOA #24809 jhall's Avatar
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    No Wet Battery

    My Airhead came to me with an almost new battery, a wet one. When / if it ever wears out I will NOT be replacing it with another wet one. The 650 amp alternator is percolating the water away too fast for me. Just topped it up again yesterday, of course gotta use distilled water. As others have mentioned here, there's lots of modern, maintenance free batteries available. Also, there's a Batteries Plus near me. Hopefully the OP has one nearby also, they are the go to place for anything battery. IMHO
    BMWMOA #24809

  8. #8
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    jhall -

    The Airhead charging system should not boil water away from the battery. The voltage regulator is supposed to clip the voltage at around 14.2-14.4v. More than that sustained will harm any battery. Have you confirmed that the regulator is working correctly?
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  9. #9
    BMWMOA #24809 jhall's Avatar
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    Not Maintenance Fee

    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    jhall -

    The Airhead charging system should not boil water away from the battery. The voltage regulator is supposed to clip the voltage at around 14.2-14.4v. More than that sustained will harm any battery. Have you confirmed that the regulator is working correctly?
    The volt meter says it charges 14V to 14.4V at road speeds, and 4000-5000 RPM. I recently bought a digital volt meter, that plugs into a cigarette lighter receptacle, will soon be able to compare it with the analog volt meter, to insure it is accurate. However, wet batteries have never been maintenance free. The maintenance required is to check the water level frequently. The water evaporates, over time, so must be monitored and topped off when needed. I have checked mine three times since last October, and it needed water each time, with the level down to the tops of the plates.

    I have been a classic car enthusiast since the mid 1980s, and the old wet batteries' water level had to be monitored on them also, even if using a generator. When maintenance free batteries came out, many years ago, I was done with maintenance required (wet) batteries, in cars and motorcycles. I was somewhat surprised to see a wet battery in this Airhead when I bought it last October. It's the first wet battery I have owned in at least 15 years. Can't wait to get rid of it.
    Last edited by jhall; 04-08-2021 at 03:26 AM.
    BMWMOA #24809

  10. #10
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    Measuring voltage at the fairing or some other location other than at the battery can show the voltage down 0.2-0.5v due to losses (resistance at connections) in the system. So, it's possible your battery voltage could be slightly higher than indicated. IMO it is unusual for a wet-cell battery to boil or even evaporate water as that kind of rate. On my /7, I only occasionally check the water level in my battery...I might add water once every year or so.

    There is an adjustable voltage regulator for the Airhead. It is useful for people who only ride locally and only for short distances. The output is set to the upper end. But if one has that kind of regulator and use the bike for longer rides, hours at a time, that would result in higher charging that could damage the battery.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  11. #11
    Registered User STEVENRANKIN's Avatar
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    wet batteries

    One of the first things I did when my "wet cell" batteries kicked off was to replace them with sealed gel cell batteries, I have never looked back with fondness on the old wet cells. Bloody pain in the butt having to check them all the time as well as the outgassing form charging. Since going to gel cell or sealed, I have never had any corrosion on the cables or anywhere around the battery box.

    I installed a lot of car batteries as a mechanic and I will say, even with a properly working voltage regulator, wet batteries use water, and produce Hydrogen gas, They vent and take the acid out with the gas produced during charging, sort of hitchhiking and the acid does wonders for things made out of metal. In my old wet cell days, I could expect to normally add distilled water to my batteries once a week, now mind you that is riding every day for the week, Someone who rides less will use less water. This adding of water was despite the voltage regulator working properly.

    I don't know how it is the new fangled gel cell batteries work so as to keep the gas off and venting down, don't know, don't care, I just know, I will NEVER put one into any power equipment I own unless I have absolutely no choice. First thing I did on my stand by generator which came with a wet battery was to get rid of it and put in the dry replacement.

    Gee, LOL, does anyone think maybe I hate wet cell batteries? Now I know nothing about Lithium batteries and who knows when it is time to replace the Odyssey batteries I have now, which work VERY well and have lasted the longest of every other battery, I might go to Deka if I can find someone near by who sells them. or I may explore the Lithium systems. St.

  12. #12
    BMWMOA #24809 jhall's Avatar
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    What Steven Said

    Steven my experience and memories of wet batteries is same as yours. HOWEVER, it now appears I have a related issue with the charging system. Gonna open up a new thread, so not to murk the water here.
    Thanks
    BMWMOA #24809

  13. #13
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    I guess that's why they say YMMV! That has not been that experience with batteries in my /7.
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by 20774 View Post
    I guess that's why they say YMMV! That has not been that experience with batteries in my /7.
    I think that battery condition and behavior is directly related to the specific characteristics of the charging system, and to a considerable degree vice versa. That is one key reason that different people with different bikes have different experiences with batteries.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  15. #15
    Liaison 20774's Avatar
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    My completely stock charging system has treated me well! Knock wood!!
    Kurt -- Forum Liaison ---> Resources and Links Thread <---
    '78 R100/7 & '69 R69S & '52 R25/2
    mine-ineye-deatheah-pielayah-jooa-kalayus. oolah-minane-hay-meeriah-kal-oyus-algay-a-thaykin', buddy!

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