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Thread: 2002 K1200 Best Battery?

  1. #16
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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 started a thread on this recently, when I subsequently ended up with the Odyssey.

    Short version, reflecting my priorities; YMMV: Too new, too much uncertainty. I finally just crossed it off the list when I read in another forum that someone had theirs replaced when it was determined that its nonperformance was because it had one of a bad batch of circuit boards. That says to me there's too much unmanaged complexity in there for me, for now. I'm trying to reduce potential sources of unpredictable error, and right now the LI batteries add sources of unpredictable error. For my next battery, or my next bike, maybe that will have settled down a bit more.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    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...
    OK, I was going to go on an off-topic rant here, but I'll just abbreviate it. The problem here isn't that good things can't be made in China. It's that brands go to China looking to meet a price, and adjust the quality spec to hit the price.

    You can also go to China and work on the price until you meet your quality spec. Like, say, Rotax engines for BMW motorcycles. And that may or may not happen at a cheaper price than Japan, Taiwan, or Austria.

    The problem isn't China, it's the manufacturer's quality spec.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesInCA View Post
    OK, I was going to go on an off-topic rant here, but I'll just abbreviate it. The problem here isn't that good things can't be made in China. It's that brands go to China looking to meet a price, and adjust the quality spec to hit the price.

    You can also go to China and work on the price until you meet your quality spec. Like, say, Rotax engines for BMW motorcycles. And that may or may not happen at a cheaper price than Japan, Taiwan, or Austria.

    The problem isn't China, it's the manufacturer's quality spec.
    An excellent point and one that I have come to believe somewhat recently. But it really doesn't change the point of the story. Where is the good Chinese product to be had in this industry? Does it even exist? I get the sinking feeling here we have American companies sourcing in China only in an attempt to increase margins. I am admittedly biased on this subject. The fact remains that I have never seen quality motorcycle product from China. Not that I am aware of anyway.

    I still say let's keep the jobs here.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 98lee View Post
    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.


    Boy, your response is full of mis-information and pure speculation.

    First: Where can you cite FACTS that "cheap lead acid batteries that fail within a few years is FAR greater than the percentage of good AGM batteries" - I would like to see your source data! How do you know that? Also, you are trying to compare "cheap" vs "good" AGM batteries. You are guilty of using language to influence, not facts. Further, NO ONE, NOT ME, said that the Advance/AutoZone battery was a lead acid. In fact, it is an AGM battery.

    Secondly, the folks I cite have had their "cheap" (as you like to call them) batteries for 6 or more years with NO failure!

    Where did I ever say that "cheap Autozone batteries are just as good as an Odyssey" - I never even mentioned Odyssey in any of my comments. But I will tell you this, some of those "cheap" batteries (as you like to call them!) have performed as well as any YOU have mentioned. I merely suggested that an outlet like AutoZone/Advance (which have thousands of outlets across the country and probably a mile or two from where you live) CAN perform as satisfactorily for most buyers (and riders of BMW's) as easily as the expensive ones you SAY (without proof, I might add). It is your opinion.

    There couldn't be that many locations that actually make batteries. As with the case of other goods, often the difference between a "cheap" one and an "expensive" one is the label that they stick on the item at the end of the assembly line. I worked in two nationally known factories (and probably most of you own their products. BOTH factories sold the exact same items under their "brand name" line, and also under a lesser known name with a lower price. Both came off the exact same assembly line - just different brand appliques.

    Finally, I once worked in a research and development department. And I also know a lady who owns a business that is the sole maker of several military spec products. The difference between Mil spec and non-mil spec was the amount of paperwork required by the government. Plus, anything sold to the government was automatically priced higher - simply because they could get it!

    I have seen situations that the only difference between "mil" spec and non-mil spec is the items were pulled from the same line and simply went through extra testing - nothing in the product itself was different, only the fact that there were extra tests done to fill out more paperwork.

    The question is this: is the extra cost (not speculation) justified for something that in 6 years won't matter. Both are likely to perform satisfactorily. But if not, i.e. even if the "cheap" (as you like to call it) battery fails in 5 years, and your expensive one fails in 6 years, the cost differential could be worth changing anyway. I would bet that after 5 years, even those of you buying the "expensive" batteries will still not "take the chance" (especially on a long trip) and will change batteries anyway.

    There is a cost trade-off. Let the buyer make the choice, but don't say you KNOW that the "less expensive" (better and more accurate than your degrading term "cheap") will not perform as good as your Odyssey. YOU DON"T KNOW!!

    It sounds more like you are simply trying to get others to buy what YOU bought. Don't take is so personally and start attacking me because YOU simply can't know.

    State your opinion about your battery - but influence the buyer by FACTS not suppositions.

  5. #20
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    Jimmy,

    Here is the Autozone AGM motorcycle battery list:

    http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...h&viewAll=true

    Could you please point out the $60 AGM battery that is appropriate for an LT. Also could you point out the Autozone AGM battery that has more than a 3 month warranty.


    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    What is optimal for best reliability and life?
    • a charging system in proper working condition "matched" to the type of battery.
    • clean, corrosion free electrical connections.
    • periodic maintenance of the battery.
    • an on-board voltmeter connected directly to the battery.


    I work with batteries in a government lab. My personal batteries have lasted 18 years. The one in my present car is in its 14th year and going strong.

  7. #22
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    Yup, good old AGM batteries. They have their advantages, but none of them important to me as a motorcyclist.

    Here is a depot full of them...your tax dollars hard at work...

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    .............

    I work with batteries in a government lab. My personal batteries have lasted 18 years. The one in my present car is in its 14th year and going strong.
    That's incredible! I ride literally almost every day of the year. My wife has the car, I do not. How do you get that kind of life out of a battery?

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwrider88 View Post
    I DO hope others chime in here, and give me their opinions, tell me what they've had good or bad luck with.
    There are differences in the quality of batteries. For example, the batteries in my cars that have lasted 18 years and now and still going at 14 years are both Panasonic batteries that came with the car as delivered from Japan.

    As for the BMW Mareg battery that came in my 1990 R100 GS when I took delivery in 1991, I replaced it in 2001. Thats 10 years of use. I just replaced it with a YUASA 53030 and will give it a try. At $91, it was cheaper than a OE BMW Mareg. YUASA has a good reputation.

    I have very little use for VRLA (AGM or GEL) as well as Li-Ion batteries for concrete reasons.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by billy walker View Post
    How do you get that kind of life out of a battery?
    • the charging system is spot on and the electrical connections have zero resistance.
    • the battery is removed every two years and cleaned externally (case, posts, clamps, etc).
    • the battery is topped up with distilled water every one to two years.


    Temperature and vibration are killers. The hotter it is, the shorter your battery life.
    Voltage regulators need to regulate based on temperature.

    Oh, and I love battery charger/maintainer advertizing on the packaging...almost as bad as oil additive promises.

  11. #26
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    Your comfort level

    Quote Originally Posted by 98lee View Post
    Jimmy,

    Here is the Autozone AGM motorcycle battery list:

    http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...h&viewAll=true

    Could you please point out the $60 AGM battery that is appropriate for an LT. Also could you point out the Autozone AGM battery that has more than a 3 month warranty.


    The battery I suggested first was at Advance Auto, but the exact same one is also available at AutoZone. I checked both, and both had the battery in stock in volume. I was also saying that I was an Airhead, but an equivalent surely is available for any K bike. By the way the year warranty means immediate replacement, not just for some visible problem.

    You are correct, Autozone will not back theirs any longer than 3 months. However Advance Auto will - the one I priced and will buy before the end of this month is nuumber ETX16L (AGM) or 60N24ALB which is a regular lead acid (the "L" in both stands for Left (has to do with the + or - post position)). their listed price $85 but with current sale going on (ends end of the month) brings the price down to just over $60 or a little more. One thing to keep in mind (as I understand other's comments) is that the charging/re-charging process can make a difference.

    My other choice was from "Batteries Plus" where they were extremely helpful and they have stores all over everywhere, except my hometown. Closest to me is around 30 miles, but pricing was higher but very good warranty (if I remember correctly).

    My last comment: At the end of all of this, is you just need to buy what YOU are comfortable with - your riding style, and your needs and YOUR level of comfort with the possibility of breakdown or failure. I know, on a long trip, I want to have one from somewhere there are a million stores that can help or replace. No matter what level of price you pay, no one can guarantee a flawless performance. Many actually do work fine over their expected life.

    I am just suggesting that there are other alternatives than expensive. and expensive doesn't necessarily mean better.

    If I were going more expensive, however, I had planned on a Panasonic.

    Another commentor suggested buying American made - and he is riding a BMW ??? Maybe he needs to go look at a Harley!!

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMMYLEE View Post
    ................ Maybe he needs to go look at a Harley!!
    To bring you to date Harley is far from American made. I don't know the percentage of US content as I'm not sure you can find that out but US made? Not any more. Harley's quality may have increased substantially over the past few decades. However, IMO Harley's do not meet world quality standards. Although I have never owned a Harley I would be willing to purchase one at this point in time because IMO the quality has gotten "good enough". The chance of someone agreeing with me are probably not real high. But at least I know what I'm getting into.

    I have discussed quality in many of my posts. You will never find me advising anyone to settle for something just because it is made in the United States. The customer has the right to expect quality. What I am saying is we as United States citizens have allowed corporate talking heads to become successful at closing our factories and moving off shore and then selling us junk at what many folks find to be an attractive price. I do say Buy American when possible and keep the jobs here. Of course, the prices will probably be higher. Do you really want our citizens living lifestyles similar to what goes on with some of these factories overseas? To a large degree we seem to be evolving into a 3rd world nation right here in our very own country as we speak.

    Chinese junk is successful for the very same reason Bernie Madoff was successful. Way too many people want something for nothing and fail to use common sense. It may not be true all the time but typically you get what you pay for. Before the defenders of Chinese product get all riled up I have no doubt China has the capability of putting out some good stuff. I'm just telling you I don't see it existing in any kind of depth in my business. Perhaps some day but then I'll use my keep the factories here in America argument.

    Here's a funny (sad?) story. I go out of my way whenever possible to purchase American product. Yesterday I place an order for American-made tire valve stems. The stems cost 32% more than the Chinese equivalent but I'm perfectly fine with that. The stems arrive and the box has a "Made in China" label on it. I call the supplier to discuss. The gentleman on the telephone advises me the stems are American but they are putting them in boxes that are labeled Made in China at my suppliers location as they had no other packaging for the shipment. I'm the first to admit he may be telling the truth. But smart? That's another story. This vendor just lost my business.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMMYLEE View Post
    .................

    I am just suggesting that there are other alternatives than expensive. and expensive doesn't necessarily mean better.

    ................
    100% correct. However, when you find similar products with huge discrepancies in price that is typically a heads-up that the quality MAY be substantially different. Further investigation might be called for. When I hear customers at our store accuse Honda of ripping them off because Honda's not selling an $800 scooter like the Chinese it makes my blood boil. By the way, I do not sell Honda's.

  14. #29
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    Odyssey PC680 battey experience

    My most recent battery was the Odyssey AGM battery for my 2002 GSA. It lasted 2 years 5 months and now is totally dead as far as I can tell. I live in FL (hot) and sometimes can not ride for perhaps 4 months due to traveling (I remove the fuse to the clock during this time and as far as I know there is no other load on the battery when the ignition is Off but I might be wrong in this). During this time I do not have it on a trickle charger as the bike is parked in a parking lot (covered with a Sunbrella custom made cover which stands up to the elements). I should put it on a charger while not riding but because of the hassle factor to remove the battery I do not and had hoped the battery would last longer. Recently, after standing for 3 months I had to remove the battery and tried to charge it with an auto charger but it did not revive the battery. I took it to the supplier who has chargers with a fixed Votage or Amperage charge rate and they managed to get the voltage up over 13.5V and I had hoped it had revived. I did a ride and now 2 weeks later it is again dead, i.e., 10.5V at rest and 6 V when cranking the starter. Being an engineer I like investigating stuff and I know that my charging regime, or lack thereof, is not good for the battery. Also an AGM battery has different charging rates and voltages thus it requires a specific charger. I'm not sure if the standard BMW alternator is also a good match for the battery charging rate (it needs to be at least 6.4A for optimum design cycle life) , but I have not checked that.
    Prior to that I had a BMW Gel battery which lasted maybe 2 years. The Lead acid battery before that lasted as long if not longer.
    So for my type of riding it seems the AGM battery is not much better as I have to remove it any case at some point and I might as well do that with a cheaper alternative.
    None of these batteries ever let me down while out riding and clearly it's the lack of frequent charging that's the problem. Just be aware of the specific different charging regimes required for different battery types and thus optimise their lifespan.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blouou View Post
    Also an AGM battery has different charging rates and voltages thus it requires a specific charger.
    The key there is charge voltage which is based on temperature. Not only does your charger have to adjust for that, but so does the voltage regulator in your alternator. A voltage regulator will be designed for a particular end voltage and will also have a certain -X mV per degree C.

    The following tables are from East Penn's Technical Manual. They clearly show the charge voltages with respect to temperature for an AGM and GEL battery. Both those batteries fall into the Valve Regulated Lead Acid category. The Valve Regulated part of them is a what the internal caps are all about. They are sealed, but will gas (each cap is a valve) when overcharged and that happens when the charge voltage is too high for the ambient temperature. The trouble with a VRLA battery is they cannot/should not be opened and cannot be topped up.

    In hot climates, most batteries are being overcharged which leads to a short life.
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