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Thread: Gel battery charger??

  1. #1
    Lovin' my CLC! HERRBAYEMVAY's Avatar
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    Question Gel battery charger??

    Can someone explain the difference in a sealed and a gel battery? My battery in my '84 R65 bit the Big One, and I have to purchase a replacement. The parts people at my local BMW dealer said if I decide to buy a gel battery that I have to buy a gel charger as well. Is this true? I have a battery charger right now and it does the trick, even if it is kind of old. Someone suggested a Panasonic sealed battery that runs about $60 or so. The BMW dealer wants $82 for a regular one you have to add distilled water to, so I don't think I'll go that route again. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Whatever you do don't get another BMW battery. They suck. Period. I've heard lots of good about the Panasonic, as well as about the Sears sealed battery they supply for lawn tractors that is quite compatible with most Airhead battery trays. I don't have the part number for the Sears unit but it shouldn't be too hard to figure out if you write down the old battery's dimensions before you head to Sears. Best part is it was under $50 last time it was discussed over at www.Boxerworks.com
    There's also some discussion of the charger issue on a thread over there.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  3. #3
    Registered User bmwterrien's Avatar
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    Wanna save $$ Take your battery to Walmart and match it up with something they have there. Take the money you save and put it into gasoline and ride--- man---ride !!

    Steve
    Steve Terrien

    BMWMOA #18114

    BMWMOV

  4. #4
    Lovin' my CLC! HERRBAYEMVAY's Avatar
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    Thanks for the idea, Steve, but I already visited the local Wally-World in town, and they don't carry one that fits my bike. I did get a reply from the same question that I posted on the BMW R65 Owner's Site that suggested I look at a sealed 12-volt battery offered at Sears that is for their larger riding mowers that fits my Beemer. The guy that posted the reply said it's priced at about $50 and he's been using it in his R65 for a while now. He added "it seems to work just fine". We'll see....

  5. #5
    bmwmick
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    Beemerlover,
    Go to the Digi-Key web site at http://www.digikey.com On the left side choose 'site map' and click that. Scroll down to 'Ordering' and download the 'Mail/Fax Order Form'. Print this form and fill it out. You'll see in the box for 'handling charges' a confirmation that "We pay all shipping (our choice of method) and insurance to addresses in the USA and Canada when check or money order accompanies order".
    Good deal given the 28 amp battery (#P049-ND)weighs 24 pounds. Include your personal check or money order and mail it to the address shown in the upper left on the form (not the address shown on their website).

    I use both the original BMW charger (with the charge level adjusted to 14V) and a Battery Tender Plus to keep all three of my SLA batteries charged. They tend to last 4+ years in my bikes.

    Mick

    I just bought 2 of the smaller SLA Panasonics for my UPS system. The pair weighed nearly 53 Lbs and shipping was free via UPS.

  6. #6
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Originally posted by The Veg
    Whatever you do don't get another BMW battery. They suck. Period. I've heard lots of good about the Panasonic...
    Well I wouldn't say they "suck", far from it.

    The factory BMW Mareg battery in my GS lasted 9 years with regular off season maintenance.

    Another BMW Mareg battery that I have in my R65 lasted 7 years. Considering that bike gets used one month a year and who knows how it is maintained the other eleven months, not too bad.

    But you are right about Panasonic batteries. The original factory Panasonic battery in my 1990 Toyota Tercel is 13 years and 5 months old. It still cranks and starts the car even when it is -10??F.

    Of course it could have something to do with me???

  7. #7
    1flyer
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    Sorry Beemerlover. I guess you're not going to get an answer to your question in this thread. I'd suggest doing a search on "battery". There have been other discussions on Gel vs. orginal plate design and the answer is out there somewhere.

  8. #8
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Re: Gel battery charger??

    Originally posted by Beemerlover
    Can someone explain the difference in a sealed and a gel battery?
    A sealed battery is just that, sealed. It does not have a vent.

    Some batteries that appear sealed, the ones with a flat strip across the top that is flush with the top of a battery or ones with two flat plates on top of the battery, aren't necessarily sealed. These are in most cases lead acid batteries. The so called Maintenance Free (MF) batteries also look like that. BTW: there is no such thing as a MF battery unless it is sealed.

    Gel batteries are sealed. You found them in aircraft and aerobatic aircraft - aluminium and acid don't mix.

    Originally posted by Beemerlover
    The parts people at my local BMW dealer said if I decide to buy a gel battery that I have to buy a gel charger as well. Is this true?
    Looks like BMW brainwashed the dealers as well. Tell you what, if gel battery charging is sooooo critical, ask your dealer why the newer BMWs that come with a gel battery have the same voltage regulator that the BMWs with lead acid batteries have. See what I am getting at?

    You do need an automatic battery charger; one that either cuts out or goes to float mode. ie: Battery Tender, YUASA Hot Shot, etc.

    This is my take on it. I'm not a battery expert, but I do get them to last an incredible amount of time.

  9. #9
    bmwmick
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    Talking

    Beemer lover,
    I did some searching for you and this seems to be about the best active thread on the Gel vs SLA vs 'slosh' batteries.

    http://tinyurl.com/24xb3

    I still think the Panasonic SLA battery is your best bet. I have the large battery in my R100RS and in my K1100LT. My R1100RT has the smaller 20AH Panasonic.

    Mick

  10. #10
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Try the Odyssey battery. It's a dry-cell, and you can shoot a hole through it and still get home.
    2012 R1200GS

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  11. #11
    bmwmick
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    Damn Veg,
    I've never tried that.

    Mick

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