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Thread: 2009 12RT Don't Buy A Shorai Battery

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  1. #1
    oldpilot
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    2009 12RT Don't Buy A Shorai Battery

    Bought a new Shorai battery 1year ago and really liked the lite weight and cranking power. After 1yr. the batt
    will not always start the bike and I have started carrying jumper cables just in case.
    I ride year round with almost no short trips ( normaly 60+ miles all paved roads ).
    The warranty person at Shorai wants the batt returned for evaluation and I maybe be allowed to buy another
    Shorai for $60. The orginal cost me $240 at local BMW dealer. After I send my batt in for evaluation and if they send me another batt my bike will be out of service for 2-3 weeks.
    Never again, I'm buying an Odessey Battery this time and hoping to convince my dealer to stop selling these batteries.

  2. #2
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    Now you know why I prefer not to be a beta tester- but hey I own BMWs anyway...

    Not sure why anyone would mess with lithiums unless they really need to save weight for racing (and maybe if the bike has a backup kick starter)- when a very reliable AGM is available for a lot less. I'l believe they're ready for prime time after I see an OEM pick them for a road bike with similar starting requirements to the BMW boxer- which is no where near as easy to crank as any other bike motor in the garage. If a Japanese maker has issues with them, just imagine how fine all those Chinese versions must be.

  3. #3
    oldpilot
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    Pretty easy to see why anyone would mess with these batteries, they are used every where including my
    cordless tools and of course my Spot GPS locator. It has surprised me how many trips the batteries last in the
    Spot.
    I have them in my flashlites also.
    Point is--- Shorai is making a lousy product and charging a pretty penny.
    And yes, any chance I get to remove weight from a motorcycle sounds good to me, my 12RT is a heavy
    bike in my opinion.

  4. #4
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLDPILOT View Post
    And yes, any chance I get to remove weight from a motorcycle sounds good to me, my 12RT is a heavy
    bike in my opinion.
    Can you explain this statement a bit? Compared to what is your R12RT heavy? It is a fully loaded sport tourer.

    Depending on vintage and configuration:
    R12RT -- 600 lbs
    Kawi conny 14--670 lbs
    ST1300--660 lbs
    Yam FJR --650 pounds
    K16GT---700+ (guessing)
    K13GT --625+??

    What sport tourer is out there that weighs less than an R12RT with similar capabilities?
    Sure, my CBR600RR for track is around 400 pounds but worthless on the street.
    For 200 pounds, you get a very flickable and capable sport tourer in the R12Rt package.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  5. #5
    Registered User chewbacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roborider View Post
    Can you explain this statement a bit? Compared to what is your R12RT heavy? It is a fully loaded sport tourer.

    Depending on vintage and configuration:
    R12RT -- 600 lbs
    Kawi conny 14--670 lbs
    ST1300--660 lbs
    Yam FJR --650 pounds
    K16GT---700+ (guessing)
    K13GT --625+??

    What sport tourer is out there that weighs less than an R12RT with similar capabilities?
    Sure, my CBR600RR for track is around 400 pounds but worthless on the street.
    For 200 pounds, you get a very flickable and capable sport tourer in the R12Rt package.
    Yep, what he said. Ever look what goes in those bags attached to the bike??? After going to a whole bunch of rallies, methinks a whole bunch of riders could shave weight off their touring package by not taking so many trips to the salad bar
    Old But Not Dead
    Semper Fi

  6. #6
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roborider View Post
    Can you explain this statement a bit? Compared to what is your R12RT heavy? It is a fully loaded sport tourer.

    Depending on vintage and configuration:
    R12RT -- 600 lbs
    Kawi conny 14--670 lbs
    ST1300--660 lbs
    Yam FJR --650 pounds
    K16GT---700+ (guessing)
    K13GT --625+??

    What sport tourer is out there that weighs less than an R12RT with similar capabilities?
    Sure, my CBR600RR for track is around 400 pounds but worthless on the street.
    For 200 pounds, you get a very flickable and capable sport tourer in the R12Rt package.
    I had an RT and now have an R and a FJR (627 lbs.). The FJR is to me much easier to ride than the RT . It carries it's weight lower, handles better and is quicker throughout the entire power band. Guess light is relative. My R is more nimble than the FJR or the RT. While it doesn't have the raw power of the FJR, it could out pace either of the other bikes on a very twisty road.
    Kevin Huddy
    Intrepid Incompetent
    Tm Pterodactyl MT Outpost

  7. #7
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    Love the way all jumped on the heavy bike post. He didn't compare it to anything, just said it was a heavy bike. I thought so as well back in '04 and ordered one of the first 12GS's partially due to wanting a lighter bike. I don't miss the 125 lbs I left behind. On my 7th 12GS now and wish they were lighter. Tried the 800GS and didn't like it so sticking with my 12GS.
    Marty Hill
    12 GS black/Boxer Cup Replika

    ride till you can't

  8. #8
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Now you know why I prefer not to be a beta tester- but hey I own BMWs anyway...
    Ok, that comment pisses me off. I own several BMW's, both cars and motorcycles - and am offended that you imply I'm some kind of beta tester after spending the kind of money BMW cost.





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    We all know BMW has no plans to improve the crap that doesn't work.....
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  9. #9
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    We all ride that boat and deal with it in various ways. One of mine is not to buy new models in the first couple years because the bikes behave a lot like the American cages of old. Others rely on warranty and replace regularly. A small number go back to J brands. Got tempted once to buy a first year bike (used in this case) by a good price and am still paying for it- trying to get an 06 K-GT up to proper form a year later so its fit for touring use and not just local runs (after dealing with motor issues and recall updates, it still needs chassis work I haven't gotten to yet).

    A few current model amusements for their owners
    Those great new switches- carry a bottle of ice water for a fix- this was supposed to be the answer to the much less common failures of the older style but instead makes a good (non) running joke. Who else can screw up a switch?
    Water pumps- any good reason not to make a reliable one- what the heck is simpler than a water pump?
    Unshielded radiators- even my antique Transalp has fully protected rads from the factory that operate behind 2 layers of protection and doesn't need $300 of aftermarket parts on a $20K bike to keep them intact. Be interesting to see the wethead RT.
    BMW new designs always seem to have a few failures in the latest ideas and stupid oversights that make one wonder if real engineers ever looked at what was being built (eg the fuel system design on the hexhead/camhead). Remember Germany is a country where every kid with a bachelors degree is called doctor and was once the place where a dueling scar was a status symbol.

    Re those lithiums- there is a big difference between use for a drill and the punch needed to start a bike at low temp. There are a couple versions of the basic chemistry, issues like keeping cells balanced so batteries charge completely (not as simple as it sounds- how did you maintain yours?) and others. I have used various lithiums for a long time in sizes you can't buy in stores here due to shipping restrictions (eg C and D size lithium rechargeables) but that's a long way from picking them for a starter motor. Proportionally lower or controlled current draw for longer periods at good charge density is a strength of lithium types- not a massive instant dump. With all the effort some of the sport bike folks put into weight reduction, they'd jump at the chance to dump some battery weight if they thought the technology was ready for street use on starter motors. Based on my own experiences, I strongly doubt brands other than Shorai will be better.

  10. #10
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    We all ride that boat and deal with it in various ways. One of mine is not to buy new models in the first couple years because the bikes behave a lot like the American cages of old.
    For me, I think it's mostly a - wait and see if I'm willing to deal with the problems kinda thing. Once I know what the problems are - I can make that decision. I can tell you for certain I'm done buying BMW bikes new. Been there enough times I learned there are some surprises that aren't worth the hassle. Maybe I'd think of that differently if there were more dealerships to help take care of these failures but as it stands now - done with that.

    As to the experiments with batteries - I don't get that. I have never gotten less than 3 or more years on any battery in a BMW motorcycle. Considering the low cost and simple maintenance, I simply can't justify experimenting with a battery for road use.
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  11. #11
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Shorai;

    We got one for KLR'08 a year ago. NO issues at all with this battery. Shame they don't switch batteries out real quick for ya! That's bad service, imo. BMW dealer sells the battery, WHY don't they stand by what they sell??? 2-3 weeks down is totally not acceptable. One day is more real. "Cycle Gear" sells these too and does step up with anything they sell. Good luck.

  12. #12
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    A few current model amusements for their owners
    Hey, these are the good old days!

    We could talk about the first K100s that vibrated so bad you couldn't hold on and vibrated their muffler brackets to pieces. Recycled unused fuel past the cylinder head and back to an unshielded metal tank between your legs getting it hot enough to nearly burn you and getting it hot enough to induce vapor lock in certain conditions. There was more but memory seems repressed.

    These things were 100% on BMW and way bigger deals than switch and fuel strip problems, things from suppliers.

    It's a risk buying a BMW car or bike in the USA--within the borders of just my state I can get myself farther from a BMW dealer than one can anywhere within Germany. It's "buy-in" for sure, and I'll buy all save for run-flat tires on cars.

    And, (repeating) you're way more out on a limb with a lithium battery. You can take to the bank car manufacturers want to save weight (see again run-flat tires) and there's as yet no adoption of those batteries by any.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  13. #13
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    With you on those run flats. Dumped them for regulars and a plug kit. (Using Yokos on the SOs 535i)

    i've got a close dealer- only 160 miles or so. Good that its so easy to get parts delivered.

    The only systematic flaw I remember from any of my J brand bikes were a Honda that liked to eat the rectifier/reg- a common issue with them- and Kawa sending me a reinforcing bracket in the mail to keep a fender weld from breaking..But I have to admit the J brand stuff I owned were the typical utilitarian UJM stuff- reliable and OK but nothing to get excited about otherwise.

    Most of my failures with any type of lithium have been individual cells breaking down- there seems to be a fairly high rate of that for typical stuff which is mostly of Chinese manufacture.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    It's a risk buying a BMW car or bike in the USA--within the borders of just my state I can get myself farther from a BMW dealer than one can anywhere within Germany. .
    Well.....The BMW X3 and X5/X6 are made in the US of A. And the motorcycle dealer network In Germany has been thinned out also. From where I used to live, I have to go 60 miles now to reach a BMW motorcycle dealership. The closest one used to be 12 miles away.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by racer7 View Post
    Not sure why anyone would mess with lithiums .
    Because many need to be able to say they have one in their bike. After all, it is the latest and greatest graze...

    And I always though the batteries in cell phones , computers, etc were lithium-cobalt-oxide (LiCoO2) and the motorcycle variant was lithium-iron-phosphate (LiFePO4)

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