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BEST / Strongest battery available for 98 R11RT


R80RTKen

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Hi folks,

There are a lot of threads mentioning various batteries here, "Odyssey" and Panasonic, and Westco and various others, but the point is always COST savings.

 

I am having a real problem with my ABS lights getting a low voltage fault. I replaced the battery this summer with a BMW Battert from the dealer and it was fine until one day I had a hard time starting the bike, and that beat the battery up so that all summer/fall Ive had to turn the bike off and restart it. I want to buy an "electrically better" battery for this problem. I dont really know what that means technically.. More output? Better quality? Better durability for deep cycling? Can you guys tell me what alternatives to the BMW battery are better on quality?

 

Im looking for brand names / sku's links to websites.. personal experiences..

 

I want to avoid doing this:

 

http://www.ibmwr.org/r-tech/oilheads/ABS-II_low_voltage_modification/index.shtml

 

Thanks!

-Ken

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If you get a good-quality battery (and you named several, particularly the Odyssey) that's about the best you can do... no battery will be significantly better. If your 1100 is prone to the ABS-fault-on-start problem then no battery alone is going to cure it. A new battery will make things better for about six months (or until winter arrives, whichever comes first) and then you will see faults again. Letting the lights flash x times before starting and other voodoo will not help either. The only sure cure is the mod you mentioned.

 

One thing you might want to check is the starter current draw... if that is high it will certainly exacerbate the ABS fault problem. But again, you can chase a lot of gremlins and spend a lot of money on a wild goose chase here. If everything else checks out and the faults are driving you nuts then just bite the bullet and do the mod. Once you do you will never see an ABS fault again.

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The ABS fault mod is really not a big deal to perform. In my experience it will at least double the usable battery life on an 1100, due to ABS faults, of any battery except for the BMW gel (there's no help for that one). If you look at the mod it's about splicing in a relay on the ABS circuit to trigger it to start when the alternator puts out some juice.

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KEN

 

I just installed a PC680, after a couple of weeks cold weather the original battery wouldn't hold a charge, the odyssey cost me €120 delivered I also took the opertunity to fit an aux fuse board but I'm not happy with the positioning of it just yet, btw the battery swap out took about 45 mins and that was outside in the dark, its no big deal.

 

Les

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The ABS fault mod is really not a big deal to perform. In my experience it will at least double the usable battery life on an 1100, due to ABS faults, of any battery except for the BMW gel (there's no help for that one). If you look at the mod it's about splicing in a relay on the ABS circuit to trigger it to start when the alternator puts out some juice.

 

Is the BMW Gel battery particularly bad relative to the other choices?

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KEN

 

I just installed a PC680, after a couple of weeks cold weather the original battery wouldn't hold a charge, the odyssey cost me €120 delivered I also took the opertunity to fit an aux fuse board but I'm not happy with the positioning of it just yet, btw the battery swap out took about 45 mins and that was outside in the dark, its no big deal.

 

Les

 

Does the battery fit / mount like the stocker? I notice from the picture it has different looking connectors.. Ive changed the battery twice on this bike now in 3 years.. Why on earth did they not make the battery accessible from under the seat...

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Is the BMW Gel battery particularly bad relative to the other choices?

 

True gel batteries do not hold up to the rigors of riding on a Motorcycle. AGM's such as the Odyssey, some times mistakenly referred to as a gel battery, do much better and are a good choice in batteries. The BMW gel likes to have a special charger that has a slightly lower voltage output that's unique to gels. AGM's on the other hand can use any charger.

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Ken

 

The oddessy has threaded holes rather than the lead posts of the BMW, however the supplier was able to provide copper L brackets which pretty much replicates the position of the original posts, I wanted to add the BMW extension piece for jump starting the bike but my dealer had none in stock so thats another days work, the odyssey is marginally smaller in height than the BMW gel one and the strap wasn't tight on refitting so it may need to be packed up , all in all it was an easy job.

 

Les

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Others should chime in as to whether a battery in and of itself will cure this 1100's woes, but there is a common misconception on this board to compare Enersys (Odyssey) with the other brands - there is no comparison - you're getting what you pay for.

 

The BMW (Exide brand) gels and common standard VRLA Sealed, Maintenance-Free batteries (Westco, Yuasa, etc.), will last approximately 4-6 years rated at a steady 25 degrees Celius (less in constant high temp, which is exactly where you're placing it in this application). I buy these same standard batteries for about $35 wholesale for our UPS (see PS below).

 

The Enersys Odyssey (or Genesis or any of their other similar batteries) will last 8-12 years in the same environment, in addition to 2 years of shelf life (vs. 3 months for standard VRLA or gel - meaning no more battery charger if you ride once a year), its superior performance in low temperature applications, and a myriad of other better specs including MIL-spec shock and vibration tolerances.

 

One of my coworkers has had an Enersys in his Softail since 1998, and it's still going strong. My wife 1971 R60/5 has one that's goin on 10 years old. Try that with another brand.

 

 

-MKL

 

PS - I work with batteries for a living. My company manufactures UPSs for the military, and for harsh environment applications Enersys is the only game in town (translated: overpriced and way long lead times - but it's still a damn good product).

 

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Man, I was sick and tired of the re-starts for ABS faults so I bit the bullet and did the mod. With the left side plastic off for changing the battery (or just to do the mod), it went much, much easier than I expected. Some short cuts or lessons learned came out of this thread.

 

Since the weather has gotten cold (in the DC area 20f yesterday, routinely around freezing) even with the relay mod I've started to get the fault lights again. Bike stays in a garage at night, slightly heated, but heated, with a Battery Tender. And in the mornings it starts a bit slower than I'd like. Sitting in the cold basement garage at work all day, it again starts more slowly than I'd like. So far it's only a bit slower starting, and the ABS faults. The battery is a 2 year old WestCo (the PO said it was one year old, and I've had the bike just less than a year).

So I'm battery shopping as well.

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+1 on the PC680. No ABS faults at all with the PC680

 

-1 on the BMW Gel. ABS faults on 1/2 my start-ups! (I didn't buy it as it came with the bike)

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You don't need special or different chargers for different battery-- keep in mind your alternator never changes no matter which battery you are using.

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You don't need special or different chargers for different battery-- keep in mind your alternator never changes no matter which battery you are using.

 

You don't need chargers period with an Enersys. Shelf life is 2 years! So ride the thing for 20 miles once every year, and you're set. Yet another plus to using this type.

 

-MKL

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You don't need special or different chargers for different battery-- keep in mind your alternator never changes no matter which battery you are using.

 

Are you sure about that?

The alternator charges out at about 13.8 VDC. Battery chargers go into the 14.2 VDC area. Gel batteries don't like the higher voltages and constant charging at the higher voltages can shorten the life of the battery. Deltran developed a Battery Tender for the Gel with specific algorithms for it.

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HRminneapolis

PC680 Every other month I hook up a Battery Tender Jr to see if it will "top up the charge". We have long winters in Minnesota. The battery tender charging light never stays on for more than 1-2 minutes at most...indicating a very healthy charge remaining in the Odyssey. It probably would go all winter without trickling - and this is far superior to any other cycle battery I've ever tried.

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PC680 Every other month I hook up a Battery Tender Jr to see if it will "top up the charge". We have long winters in Minnesota. The battery tender charging light never stays on for more than 1-2 minutes at most...indicating a very healthy charge remaining in the Odyssey. It probably would go all winter without trickling - and this is far superior to any other cycle battery I've ever tried.

 

It can go 2 years, not just all winter.

 

-MKL

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A lot of nicknames here. Are the PC680, the Odyssey, and the Enersys all the same thing? And if so, does it replace a BMW gel size for size and terminal for terminal?

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All-

 

Enersys = manufacturer

Odyssey = The "Series" of batteries

PC680 = The model within the series made by the manufacturer

 

Sort of like saying a BMW R-Series R1150RT.

 

-MKL

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PC680 is the specific model number of an Odyssey brand battery made by the Enersys company. Size-wize, the PC680 is direct drop in replacement. However, none of the Odyssey's have traditional vertical terminal posts. Various kinds of "terminal adaptors" are usually sold along with the PC680 for BMW applications.

 

 

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"Should be"? That's up to you but I can tell you that I use one in my 04RT and I doubt I'll switch to anything else. It's just too good. I just wish it wasn't so pricey.

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