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Thread: 2013 BMW R1200GSA - Charging Issue

  1. #1
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    2013 BMW R1200GSA - Charging Issue

    Just recently (last week) purchased a 2013 GSA.

    While plugging the GSA into the BMW Battery Trickle Charger, the Green Light
    seems to flash at ALL times. When I did the same on my '05 RT, the light
    was flashing during the normal cycle for approx. a couple of hours, but then the light turned into SOLID green, with NO FLASH.
    On the GSA, the green light has been flashing now ever since I plugged her in on Sunday evening, so approx. for 2 days.

    I checked the fuse on the pig tail plug attached to the GSA's Battery, but the fuse is good.

    Is the charger possibly going bad? What could the issue be? Any ideas?

    Many thanks in advance,
    Jochen Woern

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    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    You mention a pigtail, is it a Delran type/that is the two pin connector and you use it to connect the charger to? If so, the Delran/BMW charger should work. That said, I know on my R12R if I have not ridden for a few days/weeks, it takes a day or two for the light to go solid green. One check, put a volt meter on the battery and see what the voltage is. Should be in the 14 volt range when charging (blinking light).

    I stopped using the canbus charger BMW sells recently because it takes so long to top off the battery. Also, some valuable info here. http://www.bmwmoa.org/forum/showthread.php?t=64127

    Wayne

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    Watch This!!! junkjohn's Avatar
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    On my 2008 GSA you have to turn the key to on for a few seconds, or it does not recognize the charger.
    John Simonds
    2008 R 1200 GSA
    1975 850 Norton Roadster
    If it ain"t broke... fix it till it is.

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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Assuming it is like my BMW charger, that charger detects voltage and starts to blink green when it believes the battery is 80% charged and turns solid green when it believes the battery is fully charged.

    So if it blinks green, and just keeps on blinking green instead of turning solid green it doesn't detect sufficient voltage to think the battery is charged.

    That tells me one of two things: either the type of battery installed won't reach the voltage that the charger needs to think it is fully charged; or

    the battery itself is a bit tired and won't reach a voltage sufficient for the charger to think it is fully charged.

    I vote for tired battery.
    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://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Assuming it is like my BMW charger, that charger detects voltage and starts to blink green when it believes the battery is 80% charged and turns solid green when it believes the battery is fully charged.

    So if it blinks green, and just keeps on blinking green instead of turning solid green it doesn't detect sufficient voltage to think the battery is charged.

    That tells me one of two things: either the type of battery installed won't reach the voltage that the charger needs to think it is fully charged; or

    the battery itself is a bit tired and won't reach a voltage sufficient for the charger to think it is fully charged.

    I vote for tired battery.
    Many thanks for everyone's input.

    After talking to the dealer, they as well are starting to believe that the battery is tired. (which I think is a bit disappointing on a brand new motorcycle).

    In regrads to the pigtail, YES, I am using the 2 pin conncetor one that goes to the charger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by junkjohn View Post
    On my 2008 GSA you have to turn the key to on for a few seconds, or it does not recognize the charger.
    So, .............. interestingly enough, the green light on the charger was still blinking last night.
    As suggested by you, I decided to try this as well. I let the bike cycle through the computer with the ignition on, until the bike recognized the battery charger.

    Guess what? Light has been on SOLID GREEN ever since.

    Is this normal?

  7. #7
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    If you are using the BMW canbus charger, maybe, because it has to talk to the computer on the bike. But, you said you are using a pig tail coming off the battery and you describe a blinking green light, this means you are using the Deltran/BMW battery charger, thus it does not mean anything----other than your battery is now fully charged.

    I am beginning to think the BMW batteries are not very strong. My 2012 R12R does much the same as your bike. I have both BMW chargers, the BMW branded Deltran charger, and the BMW canbus charger. Both chargers will show "not quite" full charge for days after a ride.

    I just got home from a 25 mile ride. The bike was on the charger (Deltran/BMW) charger for the past week with a solid green light. When I got home I checked the voltage and found 13.7 volts on the battery, indicating that the bike is charging ok. I put the bike on the Deltran/BMW charger and after three hours, it is still blinking green. When I got the bike 6 months ago it did not do this, it would go solid green in a matter of minutes.

    I also just checked the voltage coming out of the charger to the battery, 14.4 volts. This tells me the charger is working, the battery is just not taking the voltage. From my recent experiences, the battery charger blinks, showing an almost full charge, but not quite, for a few days. Even the BMW canbus charger shows only 75% for days after a ride.

    I am looking at the Shorai battery as a replacement. Getting a new battery from BMW under warranty is not acceptable to me, because I suspect the new battery will go bad in a few months too.

    Funny, our airheads had a hugh battery, about 28AH, the oil head moved to a battery about 1/2 the size(17AH), and the hex head is even smaller. Bigger engine, smaller battery.

    Wayne

    Edit, forgot to mentioned. Even in a 55 degree garage, the bike barely turned over when I tried to start it. After my lunch ride, it still was sluggish on restart.

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    The not exactl vigorous starting punch of BMWs stock batteries has been noted by many. And its worse on a relatively tight new bike.
    You don't need to spring for a Shorai to fix that. It also should be using a different charger, BTW- to balance its cells they make their own. It will charge off other stuff but its not the ideal way to charge a multi-cell lithium if you expect max life from it.

    My own battery preference continues to an Odyssey (an AGM type) where they fit. The PC680 fits many BMW models and spins heck out of the starter on every one of the 4 BMWs in our set that use it. About $100-105 off the web. Used them for years in track cars before ever putting one in the bikes- very abuse resistant BUT if you discharge on way down it may not recharge off many of the common maintenance chargers. There is a list of proper charger chargers for them on their website but basically any modern electronic charger (that is, not the older transformer types)of 3A and above will probably work. I use Xtremes on my bike but there are many others tatwork well.

    I'm not a big fan of any of the cheap Chinese AGM batteries out there. If you get a good one, they're fine, but I've seen a bunch die young (a year or less).

  9. #9
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    I looked on Odyssey website and no mention of a battery for the r1200R. They build great batteries, I have had good luck with them in airheads.

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    Registered User lvermiere's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    Assuming it is like my BMW charger, that charger detects voltage and starts to blink green when it believes the battery is 80% charged and turns solid green when it believes the battery is fully charged.

    So if it blinks green, and just keeps on blinking green instead of turning solid green it doesn't detect sufficient voltage to think the battery is charged.

    That tells me one of two things: either the type of battery installed won't reach the voltage that the charger needs to think it is fully charged; or

    the battery itself is a bit tired and won't reach a voltage sufficient for the charger to think it is fully charged.

    I vote for tired battery.
    +1 one more for Paul

  11. #11
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    Visited Gateway today and asked them about replacing my battery. First, they told me that it is probably sulfated, and may have gotten that way from being in storage. Second, they told me that the BMW/Deltran battery does not have a desulfation mode, but the BMW canbus battery charger does.

    They suggested putting it on that charger for a few days to see if it brings it back to life. Should be easy to tell, since it barely turns over the bike now, even though the BMW/Deltran battery charger shows it is fully charged.

    They also recommended the Odyssey Battery, even over the Shorai battery because of the proven service Odyssey batteries have given them. I told them that I though that Odyssey did not make a battery for my bike, true they told me, but they have one that can be made to fit by filing down the fins on the case a bit.

    Anyway, the battery is back on the BMW canbus charger now and if it does not come back up, I am taking it in to them to test, and possibly replace since it is still under warranty.

    Wayne

  12. #12
    Registered User stkmkt1's Avatar
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    I replaced my stock BMW battery with an Odyssey this summer. It took all of about two minutes to make it fit in my GSA. I took a utility knife to the fins and shaved them off. IT goes right in. Definitely a better battery than the stocker.

    I also installed a Battery bug. Mounted it up front with a direct wire to the battery posts. Now I can ride along and see the output of the alternator and, more importantly, each time I start the bike, the Battery bug tells me how much life my battery has left in it.

    I recommend everyone put some type of battery monitor on their bikes. No fun being caught out somewhere and find you have a dead battery. And if trouble begins while riding, you will know it in advance and hopefully get somewhere safe before the battery bites the dust possibly ending your ride.
    '09 BMW 1200 GSA, 2013 BMW 700GS, 2000 Goldwing SE, '09' V Star 950, '09 Honda Rebel,
    '77 Honda 750A. Holding at six til I get new garage built - need more room for more bikes!

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    Which battery model for the gsa did you use

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