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Charging a gel type battery questions...


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I have a 99 R1100RT-P that sat all winter long (my bad) on a Battery Tender for Gel batteries.

When I attempt to start it, I just hear clicking, which I assume is the battery.

Can I charge the battery with a regular battery charger hooked up to my bike just connecting to the battery terminals?

Are there any precautions I need to be aware of?


If it no longer takes a charge, what are the recommendations for a new battery?

-Westco from BeemerBoneyard?

-New Gel from the Dealer?



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Afternoon James



I guess I have to question the battery as being any good if you have had it on a battery tender all winter and it isn’t charged enough to start your bike.


You CAN use a regular battery charger but keep in mind it is very easy to hurt a Gel battery with a little overcharging as it forms air/gas pockets in the Gel at the plate area and that can never be brought back again.


If you T-R-Y to use a regular battery charger just leave it on long enough to charge it enough to get the bike started.



I would question the integrity of your battery so it might be a good idea to have it load tested to see if it is any good yet.


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Check your battery connections for clean and tight. Then put the tender back on for a day.


Batteries are kind of a commodity. You can order a Panasonic LC-X1220P and drill the holes from Digikey or Newark electronics. Or get a B&B from same sources.


You can get a generic battery from a number of vendors.


You can get a Odyssey battery and make adapters, or some sell with adapters.


You can get BMW gel. You are very likely to have good results with any of them.


My preference in order would be


Odyssey, Panasonic, generic, Yuasa flooded, gel is last because gel is rumored to be picky about charge. I am currently using a Panasonic, at the time it was much less than an odyssey.





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If it no longer takes a charge, what are the recommendations for a new battery?


Try a Sealed no-maintenance battery (SLA). The Universal is available from lots of places, 220 CCA. Needs to have the posts just slightly drilled larger if you're going to use the original nut and cable. I got mine here for about $55 shipped.



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My GEL battery was terrible. It came with the RT when I bought the bike used. According to service records, it was less than a year old. Got the dreaded "ABS flashing lights" from the chronic low voltage condition all the time. Forget GEL.


I went to AGM (actually an Odyssey PC680) type battery. No more issues, with anything. No more ABS light flashing and the b.s. that goes with it. If I had to replace it, I would seriously look at some of the lower cost AGM brands. The darn Odyssey is around $180 (?) now.

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After charging all night on 2 amps, the battery officially dead. I knew it was coming as of last fall, my abs started acting up.

The local motorcycle shop has a WestCo battery at a reasonable price. We'll see how that works out.


Thanks for your advice and comments.

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