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Thread: Tale of Three Westco batteries-- all Klassic Ks

  1. #1
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    Tale of Three Westco batteries-- all Klassic Ks

    A tale of three Westco batteries. All early Ks

    Our K bikes can use two different batteries. An 18-20 amp/hour and a larger 30 amp/hour. The battery carrier will accommodate either. In 1995 I installed the smaller Westco in my 85K100. In about 2008 I removed it from my bike and installed it in my sons 73 750/5. It was suppose to be a stop gap measure but he was in a frugal time in his life so he would swap it back and forth between his /5 and his Kawasaki Concours. It died a unremarkable death in 2010 about the same time the regulator on the /5 failed.

    Westco battery #2. 2006 I purchased a 1985K100/EML sidecar rig. It has a large Westco of unknown age that is still in it.

    Westco battery #3. 2007 I purchased a salvage K75. It had a large Westco of unknown age. That battery was installed in the K100 and it died an interesting death just last month. It had not been ridden for a couple weeks and when I tried to start it there was the dreaded click and the lights on the dash went out. I turned the key off and measured voltage. 12.4 volts. There must be a starter problem. I turned the key back on and the voltage dropped to 2.X volts. Turned the key off and the voltage went back to 12.X volts. Maybe it just needs charging. The battery tender says it doesn?t need charging. I have heard of battery?s producing volts with no amps but these is the first I have seen.

    Here Is The Punch Line! When my son could finally battery up both his bikes he went to WalMart and bought a battery for his Kawasaki Concours. Now logic says if that battery fits Connie It fits /5 and it is also the small battery for our early K bikes. Well that is almost true. I went to WalMart and of course their book doesn't list for the K bike. I also had trouble finding the correct battery for the Connie but I came home with a WalMart AMG battery ES20LBS for about $85. It comes dry with acid furnished and instructions for filling and charging. It doesn?t quite fit in the pocket in the battery tray for the small battery so I cut paint stir sticks to length and leveled it off. I think it will use the stock battery bolt because I had to shorten the ones I used for the Wesco.

    I need to say that I am very pleased with the longevity of the Westcos but WalMart put me back on the road in a day for about $50 less
    Harold In Kansas
    1985 K100RT Bullit
    1985 K100XX/EML Bemel

  2. #2
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    You bought an AGM battery that you had to fill?
    First time I ever heard of a thing like that. All the AGMs that I have owned over the years were sealed.

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    I had an old-timer recommend to me (for my '78 R100) to purchase a battery like he had from Advance Auto. I did, but only after pricing many others including Westco. Advance was the least expensive (I had a $10 off coupon) which brought the price down to around $79. Worked perfectly. Also, I found out that all three outlets, WalMart, Advance Auto and AutoZone sold their batteries using a code that indicated the battery by group and the location of the negative terminal. Once I knew the code, I could easily compare the three (under different brand labels).

    What sold me wasn't just the price (although that was a pretty huge difference, since I could get 2 to 3 Advance batteries for 1 Wesco) but the fact that I could go pretty much to anywhere in the country and there would be about 1/2 dozen Advance stores in every city in case I needed to get the warranty honored or get a replacement.

    So far, nearly 1 year later, and 9,000 miles and it hasn't failed once!

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    One more thing, I got blasted on here by some of the purists who feel that these BMW's are too good to be putting these cheap batteries in!

    One person told me that they wouldn't put one of those batteries in their lawn tractor!

    Be ready for some criticism!

    I think one shouldn't spend money if one doesn't have to!

  5. #5
    Slipster Slipster's Avatar
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    Speaking of Batteries. Anyone had any experience with a quality Lithium Battery on their K like http://antigravitybatteries.com ?
    Expect The Unexpected

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    Yes EMSimom I have never had an AMG that wasn't sealed either but you can think of it this way. The day I filled and charged it is day ONE and the one off the shelf has some age on it. The other thing is after it is charged you drive the plugs in and it is sealed.

    I guess. Jimmylee, I can say the same about WalMart. You can find a WalMart almost any where to make an adjustment if needed. I would prefer not to have trouble on the road. The lifespan of this battery remains to be seen. I would not be surprised to catch some anti WM comments. I too want to get the best value for my Dollar. That is why I ride BMWs, old BMWs.

    Slipster, I did price the lithium batteries. I have forgotten the price but my thought was I probably will not be riding long enough to amortize that expense.

    Harold in Kansas
    Harold In Kansas
    1985 K100RT Bullit
    1985 K100XX/EML Bemel

  7. #7
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Indeed, the EverStart line of batteries sold by Walmart are AGM batteries that the customer has to fill. There is a pre-measured packet of 6 hooked-together pre-measured acid bottles and a foil strip across the acid bottles. Just beneath where the caps go is a pointed tube in each cell to pierce the foil. Invert, line up, press down hard, and watch air bubbles enter the bottles as the acid flows into the battery cells. Charge the battery and then press the sealing cell cover into/onto the top of the battery.

    The EverStart line is proprietary to Walmart - they used to be made by Yuasa for Walmart, but Walmart changed vendors about a year ago. I don't know who makes them now.

    I happen to have one in Voni's F800S. When your battery fails in a Forest Service campground in Montana on Sunday morning you go (60 miles to Miles City in this case) to the nearest establishment that is open and likely to have a battery that will fit. It's been in there now only a couple of years but I don't have any complains about that $43 battery. They even filled it for me and charged it (with my charger - they didn't have one in the service area) after I bought a small motorcycle smart charger too. Part of bring half as much stuff and twice as much money, I guess.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  8. #8
    Mars needs women! 35634's Avatar
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    I had good luck with a 20 amp Westco in my K75, 6 year then it died without warning. Almost went the cheap route but found a good deal on an Odyssey, Getting 15 years from that first battery is a miracle, that thing ought to be enshrined!
    1987 K75S
    Original litter
    Original owner
    2012 Ural Gear Up

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