Just bought a Battery Bug for my 2003 Dakar.
For those who have not heard of this, it is a battery analyzer. Displays voltage and gives a visual and audible alarm when the battery is discharging rather than charging, and performs a load test every time you start the bike to display the percentage of battery life remaining. This gives you an early warning of a failing battery so you can replace it when it is convenient instead of on a trip.
Has anyone else installed a Battery Bug on an F650GS? Interested in where you decided to place the display. The only place I see at the moment is a flat spot below the instrument cluster on the left or the right.
The early warning on the battery life is a nice feature, but the original idea for a meter like this one is that I ride year round and use a lot of Gerbing gear in the winter (jacket liner, gloves, pants liner). The alarm is a nice feature because I should be able to just dial down the Gerbing controller whenever I hear the alarm, which beats needing to keep watching a volt meter.
Any ideas about where to mount this would be appreciated, the display is about 2 inches square.
BMW MOV Club Director
I do have one for my R1200 C and I can't help you for locating it on your bike. What I did was to have it mounted near the right airbox cover. It is readily seen there, I do not need to see it all of the time while riding, works as stated. I like the alarm feature although it is very light, like a VOM meter alarm. The record of amp drawn for the last start is also a great feature. Very water resistant. will fog up in a bad storm of course but will dissapate.
I wonder how it determines that since it is not a load tester. Sounds like a gimmick.
Originally Posted by gblawler
There are only two ways to truly determine a battery's health...
- a load test usually at half the CCA
- a capacity test
I reckon you could fab a piece of flat strap to attach to a handy fastener somewhere...use RTV silicone to adhere the Battery Bug to the other end, and put it where you can see it, and you should be good to go...That's part of the fun of wrenchin' on yer own machine, you can take a look, figure it out, and build it!
Get to it, and take a picture of how you solved the problem!!! I'd like to know!
If you read the literature on their web site, they claim that it monitors the voltage continuously and infers you are starting the bike when the voltage drops. It then monitors the voltage through the start process and calculates the remaining battery life based on how far the voltage dropped during the start. It then shows the lowest percentage you have encountered since the device was last connected to the battery, as well as the calculated battery life from the most recent start. They suggest that if you get a "replace battery" indication, you should disconnect and reconnect it to clear it's memory and try another start. If you still get the "replace battery" indication, it is fairly certain the battery is near failure. Since I have to remove panels to get to the battery on my Dakar, I am thinking about wiring the Battery Bug with a switch or a weather-proof spade connector so I can disconnect/reconnect it without taking the bike apart.
Originally Posted by GlobalRider
They claim this is a more valid test than a load test because you are measuring the voltage drop while the battery is performing with the load you have the battery for: starting the bike. This makes some sense to me based on my experience with the last battery I had in the bike. When it was about 9 months old it failed while I was riding the bike. No instrument lights when the key was turned on. Took it back to Interstate Battery and they load tested the battery and told me it was fine. I knew better and replaced the battery anyway. So, the load test off the bike was not accurate.
I like your idea about strap. For now, I located it on a relatively flat place below the instrument cluster on the left (see picture). It comes with velcro on the back so you can stick it where you want it and the velcro gives you an easy way to make small position adjustments. Seems to be secure there, and I can see it when riding. It alternates between the percent battery life remaining and the voltage. The voltage agrees exactly with a temporary volt meter I had attached for winter riding with the Gerbing gear.
Originally Posted by Yarddog
The Battery Bug has alarms that eliminate the need to constantly monitor the meter. If the battery is discharging for more than 1 minute, it sounds an alarm and flashes an icon on the screen. This feature is designed for Gerbing gear. This is explained in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ayya5kOMmyY
I snapped this picture when the display was showing the percentage: 33%. This battery is a little less than a year old and the last one failed at 9 months, so 33% is probably a good reading. I checked the water on the battery when I installed this, which I do every 3 months, and all the cells were up except one which was right at the min line. As much trouble as it is to take the battery out of this bike, I am thinking about going with a gel cell (or AGM, if I can't get the gel), so I don't have to worry about the water level in the battery.
If the Battery Bug gives me enough warning to change the battery when it is convenient instead of when I am on a trip, it will have more than paid for itself.