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Thread: 2002 K1200 Best Battery?

  1. #1
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Post 2002 K1200 Best Battery?

    Hope this hasn't already been beaten to death. Oddly, no luck in a search of this forum, using "2002 K1200 battery".

    Looking to replace my 02 K1200 battery.
    Favorite online resource?
    How about cold cranking amps, and other specs on batteries?
    What is optimal for best reliability and life?


    Any suggestions from The Collective?

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by bmwrider88; 04-18-2013 at 02:51 AM.
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    Opinion

    Hope you are independently wealthy! I don't have a K bike, but an older boxer, and when I asked the same question, pondering if just a simple purchase at a local store or auto store like AutoZone, I literally got blasted for even suggesting that One might want to put on such batteries.

    From there, those guys recommended the expensive ones advertized in the MOA mag, some costing over $180.00.

    I finally narrowed it down (for me) after conferring with quite a few in my local BMW club, and I decided on either one from Advance Auto costing around $60 but having a 1-year fully replaceable warranty at any location in the nation, or one from "Batteries Plus" which had a 90-day warranty but costing around $30 to $40 more. Also stores all over the country!

    I decided against any mail order, or even local dealer purchase.

    I can replace the $60 battery 3 times for the cost of one of those expensive batteries and I really don't think the expensive one will be any better or have any longer longevity. One thing for sure, I will have thousands more places across the US to go when and if I do have a problem. What will they do with their mail order source when there is only ONE of them in the country?

    I will go with Advance Auto like many of my local club members have done!

    Don't be intimidated by some self-proclaimed "purist" from some other part of the country who is intent on spending YOUR money and who won't be there when something goes wrong!

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    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Hi Jimmy
    Thanks for your thoughts.
    I'm perfectly willing to spend a few bucks on a better-than-just-good battery. I mean, if the alternative is going to the BMW dealer for one.... Well you do the math there.

    I DO hope others chime in here, and give me their opinions, tell me what they've had good or bad luck with... I wouldn't have asked, if I wasn't open to hearing what folks recommend. For me, this is the whole point of a forum- having a wide resource base for opinions and expertise, among other things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMMYLEE View Post
    ......................

    I can replace the $60 battery 3 times for the cost of one of those expensive batteries and I really don't think the expensive one will be any better or have any longer longevity. One thing for sure, I will have thousands more places across the US to go when and if I do have a problem. What will they do with their mail order source when there is only ONE of them in the country?

    I will go with Advance Auto like many of my local club members have done!...................
    I tend to be extremely biased with batteries and really can't tell whether it is justifiable or not. We sell a lot of batteries and maybe half of what gets turned in for disposal are from auto parts stores. But there are a number of variables and it's tough to decide if my bias is justifiable.

    The bigger problem with battery issues is really the fact that they are subject to sudden failure. Even with a lot of stores around I would prefer not to have to go through the sudden failure experience if I can avoid it. Because it seldom seems to happen while you're in your own garage.

    You mention going with Advance Auto like a lot of local club members have done. But in another sentence you're saying you "really don't think the expensive one will be any better or have any longer longevity." Are you not able to determine with certainty from a long term point of view whether the automotive product will hold up as well as the Yuasa and Exide product?

    Thank you for bringing up a good subject that affects many. Your thoughts would be appreciated by many I'm sure.

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    You can't go wrong with an Odyssey battery. WAY better than standard lead acid.

    The one in my bike is six years old. It gets ridden all the time. The one in my wife's bike is six years old and gets ridden primarily during the summer. Never needs to be on a tender even when sitting for 5 months.

    http://www.directcycleparts.com/elec...680-p-270.html

    http://www.odysseybattery.com/batteries.html



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    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Editing original post

    I'm going to edit my original post to add a question about cold cranking amps. Anyone who is in the know on this, or on any other things we need to know, please chime in with knowledge, perspective, experience, etc.
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    Jimmy's response

    There was a thread similar to this one on the airhead section, and opinions ran the range. However those claiming to have those expensive ones already mentioned seemed to get no longer life than those who bought the cheaper ones. It seemed to me that $60 dollars for 6 years seems better than $180 over the same period of time. What will you do when your expensive mail order battery goes bad and you are stranded? What better warranty do they have - I think less, 90 days or so.

    All of the "glass" types of batteries are subject to going bad all of a sudden! The initial cost doesn't seem to avoid this. Some have no better cranking amps, than the cheaper ones.

    I think those drawn to the expensive do so more than because of performance

    It seems that BMW motorcycles seem to draw owners to buy expensive.

    Hmmmmm?

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    The percentage of cheap lead acid batteries that fail within a few years is FAR greater than the percentage of good AGM batteries that fail after twice the time.

    The Odyssey batteries are Mil Spec rated. There is no way a wet cell battery would meet those stringent specifications.

    Sometimes extra cost DOES buy extra better technology. You don't buy the cheapest tires that are round and hold air and expect the same handleing characteristics do you?

    Because Odysseys must comply with the rigid MilSpec vibration requirements, the likelyhood of instantanious failure common with lead acid batteries is very low.

    Lead acid batteries have high self discharge rates and suffer from sulfation when left sitting for long periods. AGM batteries do not have those issues.

    Buy what makes you happy, but telling someone that cheap Autozone batteries are just as good as an Odyssey is simply not true. It might meet your needs, but you have low expectations.



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    Also, the popular Odyssey PC680 is available at Amazon for under $120 - not that much more than a Yuasa OEM equivalent. I know the OP prefers an in-person purchase, but Amazon is reliable for returns, and it's probably hard to beat that price.

    One of the problems with batteries is that the differences are almost entirely internal, and invisible to anyone not an expert. So we're left looking for other quality signals, which include price, certifications, manufacturer reputation, and anecdotal experiences. So, put all that together and buy what makes sense for you. But definitely don't assume that because two batteries look the same and weigh the same, that they are the same, especially if one is half the price of the other.

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    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesInCA View Post
    Also, the popular Odyssey PC680 is available at Amazon for under $120 - not that much more than a Yuasa OEM equivalent. I know the OP prefers an in-person purchase, but Amazon is reliable for returns, and it's probably hard to beat that price.

    One of the problems with batteries is that the differences are almost entirely internal, and invisible to anyone not an expert. So we're left looking for other quality signals, which include price, certifications, manufacturer reputation, and anecdotal experiences. So, put all that together and buy what makes sense for you. But definitely don't assume that because two batteries look the same and weigh the same, that they are the same, especially if one is half the price of the other.
    Hey no man. I'm actually asking if anyone has a fave online resource. I live near Harrisburg, PA- a small capitol city area which falls far short of larger city retail markets. I buy so much from Amazon, I actually pay annually to be a "Prime" member for faster shipping. Amazon's customer service is second to none! I much prefer to support locally owned businesses- but some things I simply cannot buy here. Amazon is my number one go-to online source for many things.

    I believe I have an Odyssey battery in my 88 K100- It has been several years since I bought it... I keep my bikes on trickle chargers when they are not in use, so I usually get good life out of my batteries.

    There's another thread here asking about lithium-ion batteries. Not sure I'm ready to pay that kind of money. The Odyssey sounds good, and around 100.00 has been the price point I've paid for other batteries for my "big" bikes. Nice also, to know that Odyssey is built to Mil-Spec. That sure is THE highest standard for durability in anything.

    SO... what about cold cranking amps, and other specs on batteries? Anyone care to explain these? Here's the specs on the Odyssey PC680 for example:

    12 Volt, 16 Ah
    170 CCA, 280 MCA, 350 HCA
    520 Cranking Amps for 5 Seconds
    24 Minute Reserve Capacity
    Cycle life @ 77? F 400 at 100% DOD
    -40? F to 140? F Temperature Range

    Here are the Odyssey Spec Sheet pages:
    http://www.batterymart.com/pdf_files/odyssey_guide.pdf

    One measure of the quality on any product is online reviews. If an item has been bought by hundreds, and they give it over all high ratings, it's a safe bet it's a good quality product. Amazon is good for this.

    UPDATE:
    Looking on Amazon at Odyssey PC680, I found (for 134.28 V 115.97) the PC680MJ, the upgraded mil-spec(?) version of the PC680P? The Amazon community had one negative point about Odyssey- if the battery fails due to the battery dying, it is NOT covered in the warranty- apparently the warranty covers physical aspects of the battery's life- NOT its capability to hold its charge. I suspect these guys A: don't ride every day, and B: don't keep their bikes on trickle charge when not riding... of course they don't say this, they just complain. The PC680MJ says "FULL 2 YEAR WARRANTY"

    PC 680MJ Specs:

    680 cranking amps for 5 seconds
    595 cranking amps for 10 seconds
    525 cranking amps for 20 seconds
    Short circuit current over 1800A
    17 amp hours
    25 minute reserve capacity with 25amp load
    Female brass terminal w/M6 SS bolt
    With metal jacket
    Length 7 1/4"
    Width 3 1/8"
    Height 6 5/8"
    Weight 15.4 lb

    Odyssey design:

    2 year full warranty
    Rugged Drycell sealed design
    Military grade
    Vibration resistant
    60% more starting power
    Deep discharge reserve power
    2 year storage life
    8-12 year design life
    Can be mounted flat or upright
    Last edited by bmwrider88; 04-18-2013 at 01:36 PM.
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    I love my Prime membership! It's great to have a heavy item like that battery show up in two days, free shipping. And the included Netflix-like video service is great. Totally worth it.

    On to the battery. Those two sets of specs are confusing, as they're mostly not specs for the same attributes between the two, so it's hard to compare them. My impression was that the only difference with the MJ was the metal jacket (hence the moniker), which according to one post I read, makes it hard (or impossible?) to fit in the standard battery tray, at least for my K75. My feeling was that if my bike ends up in a situation where the metal jacket on the battery makes a difference, there's enough else going on that that'll be the least of my concerns. But some of those specs are different, so maybe the battery inside is as well.

  12. #12
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    The PC680 and the PC680MJ differ only in the metal jacket:

    http://www.odysseybatteries.com/battery/pc680series.htm

    The LT does not require the metal jacket. The jacket increases the size of the battery so that it will not fit correctly in several applications that specify the standard PC680. This includes the early Kbikes.

    $104.95 + free shipping:
    http://www.directcycleparts.com/elec...680-p-270.html



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    No one has really mentioned the newer battery tech. The Shorai that matches up for the bike does run 180 bucks, delivers more power (measured in different ways) and is in a smaller, much lighter package. Is this the direction of future batteries? Has anyone had experience or is also considering one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by NCStephen View Post
    No one has really mentioned the newer battery tech. The Shorai that matches up for the bike does run 180 bucks, delivers more power (measured in different ways) and is in a smaller, much lighter package. Is this the direction of future batteries? Has anyone had experience or is also considering one?

    NCS
    I have never seen these new style batteries selling for less than traditional glass OEM batteries. Quality product sells for substantially more, so much more we haven't begun to stock them because I don't feel confident people will buy them. After seeing your price I suspected Chinese product so I called Shorai. Shorai's are manufactured in China.

    I can't tell you how sick I am of Chinese product. The vast majority of Chinese product that I see within our industry is junk from the word go. Yet, because people don't apparently stop to think why there are such big price differences so many folks end up believing everything else is over priced. Excellent example: we have a Chinese store a few blocks away from us that sells nothing but Chinese scooters. The best sellers seem to retail for somewhere around $700 or $800 dollars. Honda equivalents end up in the low to mid $2k bracket. I hear all the time how overpriced Honda is. Until these people actually buy their Chinese scooter.

    After working on them for maybe a year or two we actually stopped working on ALL of them. Unless you were in this business you wouldn't begin to believe the stuff that breaks on them just by twisting wrenches on them. Truly incredible! Absolute junk! Crankshafts that bend, wiring that melts and plastic that breaks just by looking at it. It's comical because we will actually end up with a few of them stopping by within minutes of each other to see if we can fix them and they all arrive broken down. Their like bugs in the parking lot. How the he** do the Chinese get to determine the worth of something in our country and our fellow American citizens actually believe the American stuff is overpriced. Doesn't something have to be comparable in order to state one of those items is overpriced?

    Yuasa makes some of their larger batteries here in the USA. Most come from Taiwan sad to say. However, Yuasa is a quality product. We buy American if at all possible despite the cost difference. I'm sick of Americans losing their jobs to Chinese factories so we do the best we can. I wish the rest of America would do the same.

    By the way... I know where you can get some Chinese sheetrock at a heck of a deal...

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    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCStephen View Post
    No one has really mentioned the newer battery tech. The Shorai that matches up for the bike does run 180 bucks, delivers more power (measured in different ways) and is in a smaller, much lighter package. Is this the direction of future batteries? Has anyone had experience or is also considering one?

    NCS
    There is a lithium ion battery thread somewhere on the MOA forum. I began this thread in K Bikes, to see what folks are using in their K1200s. I personally do not intend to buy a L.I. battery. Tho the L.I. batteries have been around for other purposes, they are relatively new for motorcycles. IF the price drops to compare with other types of batteries, I might consider the option. The weight IMO isn"t a factor, but the smaller size is definitely an issue, as far as I'm concerned. Why buy something that costs maybe twice as much, then have to sort some way to accommodate it's smaller size? Is the extra power really so needed?
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