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Thread: Longevity To Be Expected Of A BMW Dry Cell Battery?

  1. #1
    RK Ryder
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    Longevity To Be Expected Of A BMW Dry Cell Battery?

    I've read a lot of battery threads about the longevity of aftermarket batteries in Oilheads.

    What I want to know is, how long has your BMW dry cell battery lasted in your Oilhead, taking into account using a battery tender when necessary. It's getting close to replacing my 3 year old beemer dry cell battery and was just curious what luck others have had with the OEM battery.
    Paul
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  2. #2
    Registered User m_stock10506's Avatar
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    It's a guessing game and each individual case is unique. But, if cared for, a BMW/Exide AGM battery should last 5 years.
    Michael Stock, Trinity, NC
    R1100RT, R100, R60/6

  3. #3
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    It's a guessing game and each individual case is unique. But, if cared for, a BMW/Exide AGM battery should last 5 years.
    I just removed the OEM battery from my 2003 CLC a couple of months ago but the problem wasn't the battery. It is still working fine on my brother's generator for his house. I have been amazed.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  4. #4
    Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by m_stock10506 View Post
    It's a guessing game and each individual case is unique. But, if cared for, a BMW/Exide AGM battery should last 5 years.
    mike's right. 3 years is about half-life.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  5. #5
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    My '04 (purchased in '03) went 8 years
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  6. #6
    RK Ryder
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    I should qualify that it is a BMW gel battery, installed mid-September 2009, always kept on a BMW battery tender when not being ridden. Since installing the battery, it has approximately 30,000 miles. The battery tender began last summer to indicate that it's life was becoming shorter, with longer and longer times to bring the battery to full charge. By last September, the blinking of ABS warning lights seemed to be a good indication that it needed replacing this winter. Just disappointed that it had such a short life, which may have been caused by it not being properly charged by the dealer before time of sale. Debating whether to chance a second one or go with aftermarket.
    Paul
    Retired and riding my RTs, the '87 K100 & the '98 R1100 !
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  7. #7
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I've got one in my R80G/S with a 2006 date code.
    Kent Christensen
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  8. #8
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_F View Post
    What I want to know is, how long has your BMW dry cell battery lasted in your Oilhead,
    Not nearly as long as my old-tech flooded lead acid BMW battery in my airhead. I get 8 full years out of those and at least 2 years less out of a VRLA. One of mine lasted a mere 5 years.

    Given the choice, I stay clear of VRLA type batteries (AGM & GEL). They cost more and provide less service.

  9. #9
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Not nearly as long as my old-tech flooded lead acid BMW battery in my airhead. I get 8 full years out of those and at least 2 years less out of a VRLA. One of mine lasted a mere 5 years.

    Given the choice, I stay clear of VRLA type batteries (AGM & GEL). They cost more and provide less service.
    Amen to all of the above. I've bought AGM the last 2 times simply because that's what was the fastest to get, i.e. just brought in my old battery and picked up a new one at my local Batteries Plus. No muss, no fuss, took maybe a half hour out of my day.

    The thing I like most about the old fashioned lead acid batteries is that you can almost always tell when they're starting to lose it so you can take action to replace them without being stranded. AGM's can seem fine one day and be completely gone the next. I guess that means that you simply choose a convenient time as to when you think it should be replaced and take the appropriate action.

    I'm not sure how old the battery is in my oilhead since I bought it last year. My airhead's AGM is going on 4 years now, so it may be close to being replaced.
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  10. #10
    Left Coast Rider
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    We should also keep in mind that batteries do a heckova lot more work these days than they did a few short years ago.

    Then, all they had to do was power a starter and an ignition system and, at night, power a headlight.

    Now they have to power a starter (on motors with more compression), run an ignition system, prime a fuel injection system and fuel pump, power an ABS/servo system, power your GPS/radio/coffee percolator, etc. AND, we face packaging restrictions or want less weight at the same time. The batteries used today are MUCH lighter than the ones which you might find in a /6 or /7.

    In the past I've had lead/acid batteries die unexpectedly when their internal cells shorted. Go for a ride, turn off bike, go to start again and...nothing. These days my typical battery lasts 4-5 years before I begin to think about replacing them. This is the same across a wide selection of motorcycles so I don't believe its brand specific. The AGM in my 1100S lasted 8 years and I think that was exceptional.

  11. #11
    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BC1100S View Post
    We should also keep in mind that batteries do a heckova lot more work these days than they did a few short years ago.
    The requirements you mentioned all take a short burst of power upon start-up, with the starter using the vast majority of it. Once it is running, the alternator does all the supplying of power.

  12. #12
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    The requirements you mentioned all take a short burst of power upon start-up, with the starter using the vast majority of it. Once it is running, the alternator does all the supplying of power.
    Except when one is idling. Might not be you however this would apply to many.

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