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Maintenance Free Batteries


Mr. Frank

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There is a discussion over on the IBMWR listserv about the reliability of maintenance free batteries including the BMW gel battery. One respected poster is convinced that they are very prone to sudden, no warning failure. Is that a common problem? The BMW gel battery has been around for about three years now. Have there been lots of failures?

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I don't know how you define "lots of" falures, but there seems to be more disatisfaction with the BMW factory gel than some others. It's probably also noteworthy that BMW themselves has quite equiping their new bikes with it.

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My used R1100RT came with a BMW gel battery. I don't know how long it had been in the bike before I got it. I have used it for about 1 1/2 years now with no issues. It is always hooked to a "maintainer" when the bike is parked or stored.

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I recently replaced my original battery with a WestCo model 12V20P ($92). Can't say I was over pleased though...not exactly the same size so had to use a packer piece and had to drill out the posts to to use the same bolts. Seems fine so far and the BMW trickle charger works okay with it. The BMW battery is 7" high x 7.25 long x 3" deep. They are real hard to measure 'in-place'.

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I recently replaced my original battery with a WestCo model 12V20P ($92). Can't say I was over pleased though...not exactly the same size so had to use a packer piece and had to drill out the posts to to use the same bolts. Seems fine so far and the BMW trickle charger works okay with it. The BMW battery is 7" high x 7.25 long x 3" deep. They are real hard to measure 'in-place'.

 

Next time save your $$$ and buy a Panasonic LC-X1220P from DigiKey for under $50 and replace it every 4 years. WestCo just went to a cheaper battery with very thin terminals. Either MK or BB supplies their batteries now.

 

The latest WestCo ad I've seen said "MK Powered" Here is a link to MK

http://www.mkbattery.com/images/MK_HME_rf.pdf

 

Does your 12V20P have an MK label hiding under the Westco label?

 

Mick

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FYI, DigiKey is out of stock of the Panasonic batteries until October. I got one from Amazon for $50 plus $10 S/H. It was a perfect fit for the stock battery, but I did have to drill the holes every so slightly.

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