Just have a quick question about a good battery maintainer for my 2000 1150GS. I have a $30 Die Hard battery maintainer/charger but I was told that I would need a special charger/maintainer for gel batteries. Is this correct and does anyone have a good recommendation on a unit. Also I heard that I may be able to get one that plugs right into my power supply outlet, has anyone had luck with those.
You don't mention how often you ride. If you ride regularly, say at least a couple times a week, you may not need a tender. Your current one would probably do. There are special chargers for gel cells that would be a good idea if you're going to leave it on all winter. Gel cells have different voltage requirements, if I remember correctly.
I used a BatteryMinder, which supposedly de-sulfates the battery and works on conventional wet-cell and gel-cell. However, now I have a Shorai LiFePO4 battery and the BatteryMinder can't be used on it.
I've used the power plug, but now have a dual prong cord hard wired to the battery.
Assuming you need / want a battery charger / maintainer, start with what battery you have and intend to buy when it comes time for a replacement. Find a charger that will work with both if they are not the same. Some people refer to AGM batteries as gel, even though the are not. What battery do you have?
I've used a green Battery Tender brand for years on sealed as well as conventional lead acid batteries with excellent results. Have had up to six batteries (M/C, dirt bike, ATV, Golf Cart, rider, rider) on a shelf all winter and move charger from one to another when I think about it. Tried cheap copy once so M/C would have it's own and wouldn't need to take battery out. Charger and battery DOA in the spring. Makes $35 Battery a cheap investment.
Per their ad "Perfect for all lead-acid, flooded or sealed maintenance free batteries (AGM and gel cell)"
I do ride quite often at least a couple of times a week and intend to use the maintainer for winter storage only. I live in Michigan and the bike will be garaged for about 4 months. Right now I have a BMW battery that the previous owner bought at BMW Motorcycles of Detroit I think it is a gel battery and I imagine that I will replace it with the same thing when the time comes.
I have a Battery Tender Junior which, using an adapter bought at my BMW dealer, I plug into the Powerlet socket to keep my gel battery charged.
Been using it for years.
Hope that helps.
I have a Battery Tender Jr. also and have been very happy with it for years. I decided to buy a second unit and have found out that they are now made overseas and the QC is not very good.
I purchased a comparable charger made by Yuasa because of all the positive reviews, and am running it with a AGM battery with good results. It seems to be a well made product. You can find the same charger sold under the Interstate Batteries product line. Price is the same as the BTJr.
I use a Battery Tender Jr. that I bought on sale for $19.95 ( I have 2). I plug them in about once a month in the winter until the light turns green. The Wesco battery in my airhead was bought in 98 or 99 and the OEM battery in my CLC is still working OK. I know I am living on borrowed time but the bikes do live in my garage that never gets really hot or cold.
Thanks for all the great advice I will check out the battery tender jr as well as the unit sold by interstate batteries.
While I have an AGM in my K1200LT I've been using the Battery Tender Jr for a number of years.
Here's a good place to find it at a good price: [url]http://www.jafrum.com/Accessories/Battery/Battery-Tender-Junior-PTBATTEND12JR[/url]
It doesn't come with the powerlet plug if you're looking for it, but plenty of places sell them. I've ordered from them and found good customer service and FAST shipping.
Given your battery of choice, you may want to do a bit more research before buying.
GEL: The Gel Cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell. The electrolyte in a Gel Cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen. The recharge voltage on this type of cell is lower than the other styles of lead acid battery. This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging. Gel Batteries are best used in VERY DEEP cycle application and may last a bit longer in hot weather applications. If the incorrect battery charger is used on a Gel Cell battery poor performance and premature failure is certain.
9. Battery Charging - Remember you must put back the energy you use immediately. If you don't the battery sulfates and that affects performance and longevity. The alternator is a battery charger. It works well if the battery is not deeply discharged. The alternator tends to overcharge batteries that are very low and the overcharge can damage batteries. In fact an engine starting battery on average has only about 10 deep cycles available when recharged by an alternator. Batteries like to be charged in a certain way, especially when they have been deeply discharged. This type of charging is called 3 step regulated charging. Please note that only special SMART CHARGERS using computer technology can perform 3 step charging techniques. You don't find these types of chargers in parts stores and Wal-Marts. The first step is bulk charging where up to 80% of the battery energy capacity is replaced by the charger at the maximum voltage and current amp rating of the charger. When the battery voltage reaches 14.4 volts this begins the absorption charge step. This is where the voltage is held at a constant 14.4 volts and the current (amps) declines until the battery is 98% charged. Next comes the Float Step. This is a regulated voltage of not more than 13.4 volts and usually less than 1 amp of current. This in time will bring the battery to 100% charged or close to it. The float charge will not boil or heat batteries but will maintain the batteries at 100% readiness and prevent cycling during long term inactivity. Some Gel Cell and AGM batteries may require special settings or chargers.
from here: [url]http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles/battery-articles/battery-basics.html#3[/url]
Good Reading from Deltran (Battery Tender):
BMW offers a charger which they claim to work for FLA, AGM & Gel batteries. It looks like a Deltran Battery Tender Plus (maybe Gel) with an add on cord for charging through the power port on pre CAN BUS bikes. [url]http://www.maxbmwmotorcycles.com/fiche/PartsDetails.aspx?source=catalog&vid=51570&diagram=ST_BATTERYCHARGER[/url]
Deltran offers the Battery Tender Plus and Battery Tender Plus Gel models as well as the Junior. The Junior specifically claims to work for FLA, AGM & Gel batteries. The Plus makes no such claim and the Plus Gel claims to be optimized for Gel Batteries. None of their literature states their actual charging voltage in each mode.
Good Luck with your search.
[QUOTE=ARGENT BRICK;824025]I have a Battery Tender Jr. also and have been very happy with it for years. I decided to buy a second unit and have found out that they are now made overseas and the QC is not very good.
I purchased a comparable charger made by Yuasa because of all the positive reviews, and am running it with a AGM battery with good results. It seems to be a well made product. You can find the same charger sold under the Interstate Batteries product line. Price is the same as the BTJr.[/QUOTE]
What leads you to believe that the QC is not very good ?
[QUOTE=Acejones;824359]What leads you to believe that the QC is not very good ?[/QUOTE]
Not being able to find a battery charger I liked locally, I turned to the internet for help. It was there that I started reading product reviews on battery chargers and found that production of the Deltran Battery Tender Jr. had been moved overseas. In many of the reviews, people were complaining about quality control problems
with the units made outside the US. Product lifespan seemed to be the main problem with some complaints of the product being unserviceable right out of the package. Also, some reviewers claimed Deltran difficult to work with on warranty issues because of fees requested to process the claim that were equal to or exceeded the cost of the charger.
The bulk of the reviews were very, very positive about Deltran products, so chances are you will get a good charger if you buy from them. However, I did see a pattern of complaints about quality control and warranty service issues when people reviewed the BTjr. This is the only Deltron charger I saw like this. I know that the charger is made in both 6 and 12 volts, and in all fairness, maybe one has more problems than the other. When you consider the price point of the charger and how many are produced yearly it could be nothing to worry about unless you get a bad one. I own one that is almost ten years old an am well pleased with it.
There were not as many reviews available to read for the Sure Shot 900, Yuasa's equal to the Deltron. It has been a while, but I don't remember seeing any really bad reviews. Also, I could not find ANY reviews with complaints of product support on Yuasa's chargers. It was because of this (and price) that I bought the Yuasa.
As I write this, Amazon.com has about 800 reviews posted right now about the 12 volt Battery Tender Jr with over 670 of them being 5 stars. Personally, if I see a product review that has any one or two star ratings or over 10% of the reviews are less than top notch, it is red flag time. It means that I have to do some more research.
I've been more than happy with my Battery Tender Jr., both old and new. Because of a problem that was no fault of the tender or myself, my old tender gave it up. Let's just say an electrician accidentally screwed up wiring my shed where the bike and tender are. I bought a new one and had it about a week when I clumsily dropped it when I was unplugging it to move it, resulting in a broken case. Tender still worked fine but didn't have the outer case anymore. I emailed Delran to see if I could just purchase the cover and about a week later, a new case and screws showed up in my mailbox. That is good customer service.
I use the tender on a Odyssey PC680P and no problems. YMMV
From the voice of experience: I thought I'd made a real find when a few yrs back the Die Hard was on sale @ Kmart & tried 2. Well they are crap & don't charge properly-dried out my pricey trolling battery as did a cheapo Wally World trickle charger before that.
Battery Tender call them as I did last Friday, r.e. my 9-10 yr old unit. Sales mgr,John says it will be $12-45 for another depending on repair needed. Thats cheaper than a new one & back in warranty too. I also sent him 2 ea. $125 waterproof Tenders that had quit. He said they are non repairable & when I quized him as to why the shorter warranty compared to much longer on the cheaper unit he said it was based on them being non repairable as permanently sealed. Told me to send them back even though out of warranty & I'd get new ones for a $30 per unit warranty exchange fee. Not such hard people to work with.:thumb