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Thread: Lifespan of Westco 12V20 / '87 K75s

  1. #1
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Lifespan of Westco 12V20 / '87 K75s

    I installed this battery in September of 2008. Only problem I had was a couple years ago after riding at slower speeds through Glacier NP returning to MN from OR rally - I'd left my heated grips on and did a lot of stops & starts to take pictures. When I'd exited the park and stopped for fuel, battery wasn't dead but bike cranked s l o w but started.

    Planning a trip to CA and battery held charge on a tender throughout the winter. Is there a way to diagnose battery before replacing it? Also, I carry a jumper cable that plugs into my Aux Power socket - how difficult is it to jumper start this bike? I'd hate to have to push it and bump start it.

    Thanks
    Ken Tuvman
    Excelsior, MN
    K75s, R65LS, R60/5

  2. #2
    3 Red Bricks
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    You can have the battery load tested. Any shop and some auto parts stores can do this (usually free).

    I would not try to jump start your bike through the auxiliary power socket. The wiring to that socket is not heavy enough.

    Buy yourself some motorcycle jumper cables with regular clamps on both ends. Put one clamp on the positive terminal of the battery and the other on the bolt that clamps the battery ground lead to the transmission by the shifter.



    LONG MAY YOUR BRICK FLY!

    Ride Safe, Ride Far, Ride Often

    Lee Fulton Forum Moderator
    3 Marakesh Red K75Ss
    Mine, Hers, Spare

  3. #3
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    FWIW, I had the same Westco in my 87 K75s from spring of 06 until spring of 2012, and I used a Accumate charger (Westco sells them) Before it died occasionally the starter spun veeery slow and then started on the 2nd try. Your battery's days are numbered.....
    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by 35634 View Post
    . Your battery's days are numbered.....
    Why? If he had a problem several years ago and the battery has not acted up recently, all should be fine. AGMs usually do not like deep discharges, but if maintained reasonably well, they last a long time.
    I would install pigtails to the terminals for easy access of a charger and a jumper. Make sure the positive end of the pigtail is well covered.

  5. #5
    Old man in the mountains osbornk's Avatar
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    I put a Westco in my 92 K75RT in 1999. I used it in the bike for 2 or 3 years until the battery went bad in my 86 R80RT. I put it in the Airhead where it is still working fine. It started the bike easily today. I put a Battery Tender on it at overnight least monthly when I am not riding the Airhead frequently. The Westco I put in the K75RT when I switched the old one to the Airhead lasted until last year (I sold it to a nearby friend). He didn't use a battery tender and left the bike in an unheated outbuilding. My bikes stay in an insulated garage where it never gets really hot or really cold.
    'You can say what you want about the South, but I almost never hear of anyone wanting to retire to the North.

  6. #6
    Registered User kentuvman's Avatar
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    Glad I asked - pulled battery last night & although battery tender indicated a full charge negative post was covered in white gobblygook - it took PB Blaster & 2 wrenches to remove it! Must have a small leak for post to get caked with corrosion.

    Installed new battery & test rode today - all Is well.

    Using Google to try to find the reason for battery corrosion terminals, it appears that the corrosion is caused by fumes from the battery. Probably this battery is out-gassing and the corrosive atmosphere in the immediate vicinity of the battery is causing the corrosion. Perhaps this may be a sign of a battery in the twilight stages of its life.
    Ken Tuvman
    Excelsior, MN
    K75s, R65LS, R60/5

  7. #7
    Minnesota Nice! braddog's Avatar
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    Good idea on the new battery. I had a Westco in my red airhead for about 4 years when all of a sudden it was dead, completely dead, wouldn't take a charge, wouldn't even light up the idiot lights. This was after riding for 4 days straight, more or less. Thankfully, I was home when this happened.
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    Brad D. - Member #105766
    '77 R100RS - Black Beauty (big pipe, baby!)
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