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Thread: Battery Charging (for winter months)

  1. #1
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    Battery Charging (for winter months)

    Greetings,

    Just a quick question if I may. There is verbiage in the owners manual about not charging the battery (on board) via the bmw plug without using the BMW special ($170.00) charger. Can I charge the battery on board if I connect a SAE plug directly to the battery and use a smart charger? Or would I be better off removing the battery completely from the GS and charging on the bench?

    thanks

    73516

  2. #2
    Donski
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    I remove mine and charge it once a month with a trickle charge in my basement. Works great for the last 15 years. Battery life very good as well.
    Don

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by 73516 View Post
    Greetings,

    Just a quick question if I may. There is verbiage in the owners manual about not charging the battery (on board) via the bmw plug without using the BMW special ($170.00) charger. Can I charge the battery on board if I connect a SAE plug directly to the battery and use a smart charger? Or would I be better off removing the battery completely from the GS and charging on the bench?

    thanks

    73516
    I have permanent pigtail on battery and plug in with smart charger, have for years.....excellent results. IMHO $170.00 is a "tad" high for a battery charger.
    '14 R1200RT
    MOA #46783

  4. #4
    Registered User RoadRdr's Avatar
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    The dealer had already installed the pigtail plug on the battery of my 2012 GSA. They explained it bypassed (and buy-passed $170) the charging issue. My most recent charger is an Optimate 4 with a special program for BMW but it isn't necessary to use it since the pigtail goes directly to the battery.
    Tom Wright - South Jersey
    2012 BMW R1200 GSA, and a 2nd or 3rd something rideable & 42 assorted training motorcycles.
    RiderCoach

  5. #5
    Registered User toooldtocare's Avatar
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    I have the $170 charger, but seldom use it on My R1200. Instead I have the standard pigtail that I use with a Battery Tender. Both work fine.

  6. #6
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    Curious if all of you with BMW gel batteries use gel specific chargers.

    Also, wondering if all of you with AGM batteries like Odyssey use AGM specific chargers.

    Everybody has opinions...

    Jim
    2008 BMW R1200RT
    2003 BMW K1200RS

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2fast2 View Post
    Curious if all of you with BMW gel batteries use gel specific chargers.

    Also, wondering if all of you with AGM batteries like Odyssey use AGM specific chargers.

    Everybody has opinions...

    Jim
    Hey wait a minute, I don't have an opinion....LOL! Have AGM battery (stock) and use a generic battery tender, that's apparently smart...no problems.
    '14 R1200RT
    MOA #46783

  8. #8
    A bozo on the bus deilenberger's Avatar
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    I also use an Optimate-4. Works fine. Instructions with it are confusing.. but once set to CanBus operation (where it turns the circuit on through the ZFE) all that's required is to plug it into the bike, then plug it into the wall. It can be left connected all winter if you want. After completing a charge, it goes into a battery float/test mode - where it monitors the voltage, then if it drops below a certain point it does a test of the charge-capacity of the battery (if it's holding a charge well) and then decides what mode to switch to - a simple maintenance charge or a desulfate then full charge mode. According to Optimate, it also determines what sort of battery is in use.. so it can set the max charging voltage correctly.

    Quite a bit cheaper than the BMW charger, and I think it does more.. (the BMW charger AFAIK does not have the desulfate function, good for a neglected battery.)

    Oh - one thing. If you have a GPS connected to the BMW GPS outlet under the tank - it will turn on when the Optimate turns the circuit on. The auxiliary circuit and the GPS share the same ZFE output. I just took my Garmin out of it's cradle while charging and eliminated that.
    Don Eilenberger http://www.eilenberger.net
    Spring Lk Heights NJ NJ Shore BMW Riders New Sweden BMW Riders
    '07 R1200R (current ride) and some bimmers.. and a Porsche

  9. #9
    Registered User Atomicman52's Avatar
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    I would recommend having the socket rewired directly to the battery or a fuseblock. This skips the ZFE (Canbus head) and allows you to plug a battery charger like a Deltran Battery Tender (about $40.00) or Deltran makes a BMW branded version that is not the Canbus version) into it without removing the seat and getting at the battery pigtail every-time you want to ride.

    You can also run accessories like heated gear or charge a cell phone without concern for the Canbus system and its draw limitation on that circuit.

    I used a Batter Tender this way for over 4 1/2 years and my original battery is still working handsomely. I can also use a heated jacket and heated socks simultaneously, and still have my rear socket available through the Canbus system for a passenger's heated gear.
    "The Older I Get, the Faster I Was"
    '09 Black Metallic Sapphire "Fully Farkled" RT

  10. #10
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    Battery charging - winter

    Does it make a difference in year? Mine is a 2012?

    73516

  11. #11
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    No

  12. #12
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    SAE pigtail directly to the battery and Battery Tender Jr. I do NOT remove or disconnect the battery. Thanks.

  13. #13
    Registered User ExGMan's Avatar
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    Optimate 4 - SAE Pigtail to Odyssey battery

    I keep the bike/battery connected to the Optimate 4 all the time except when riding or on a trip. Never any problems with it.

    I use a second Optimate 4 on Mrs. ExGMan's 4-wheel BMW 530xi when it sits for more than three days in a row. Expensive lesson learned about that issue.
    John Gamel
    2008 Kalahari Beige R1200RT
    LEOSA Certified

  14. #14
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    R1200rt-2011

    I went round and round with that decision also.( not wanting to spend the $170 for "BMW" charger.
    I did however, simple plug in, no pigtails like my other older bikes, it does turn the GPS on, randomly , and that needs to be turned off periodically, the accessories are all very expensive, but buy the best and you'll won't have any regrets.
    The costs are always way to much, but quality, like tank bag, top case, riding garments etc.

    Reel job
    R1200RT 2011/ Polar Silver

  15. #15
    Registered User vancamp_b's Avatar
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    +1 on the Optimate 4. Plugs into the factory outlet, deals with the CANbus, costs 1/2 of BMW item.

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