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Battery Charging Problems


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I am having a battery charging problem that is bugging me. Here is the story.


I have a 98 R1100RT with an Odyssey PC680 battery which as a ring terminal harness with 2-pin quick disconnect plug connect to it. The battery that is maybe 2-3 years old, but I can’t really remember, but it is not that old. Running 10-50 oil but it not that could here in Silicon Valley so I don’t do super cold starts.


I use to drive about 19 miles to work in 25-30 minutes, which didn’t seem to keep my battery up to full charge because the ABS don’t do off when you started. If I take a long ride, say 2 hours, then no problem for a couple of days.


I bought a charger from Schumacher which worked for a week then failed. Three weeks later I get a different charger from them, which has alligator chips and not the quick disconnect connectors that I wanted. Unpleasantness omitted here to shorten the story.


I took the Tupperware off and connect the charger to the battery using the alligator chips and it charges fine. When I connect thought the quick disconnects I don’t get any connected light. The fuse on the ring terminal harness is fine and I tested with another fuse to be just to be sure. I don’t know what could be wrong with the harness. Could the quick disconnect provide to much resistance? The rings are not the closest connector to the battery, would this cause a problem?


It would have been better to try another ring harness before sending out this post but I was hoping for some feedback to night or tomorrow so I can, hopefully, fix the problem.


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When you say it works fine with the alligator clips, do you mean that the ABS light goes out or just that you get a charge light on the charger? If the ABS light goes out on the ride to work after charging, does it still go out for the ride home or wait until the next morning to screw up?


Off the top of my head, you could have a bad battery or a voltage drain when the bike is turned off. Seems like it should be recharged after one start and a 19 mile ride unless you've got a lot of power suckers running on it like heated gear and extra lights.


First place I'd look is at the battery connections to be sure you've got good contacts with no corrosion. A meter should tell you if the ring terminal harness is okay.


More knowledgeable people will respond in the morning.





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from what I read, your quick disconnect is bad.


I really think you need a little help looking at it.


When its hooked up to the quick disconnect the charger says its not



When hoooked directly to the battery the charger works ok




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Morning rolandj727


First guess is your ring terminal pig tail is hooked to the battery REVERSE polarity.


Use a 12v test light or small 12v light bulb across the plug pins to verify the ring terminal pig tail has continuity. If it does then more than likely it is hooked up to the battery incorrectly. If no continuity then replace the ring terminal pig tail.


The Red or (+), if it's still visible, ring hooks to (+) post on the battery.


Still sounds like you have something else wrong with the battery/charging system as you shouldn't have to hook the thing to a battery charger every night. And, for sure, should charge up OK in a 25-30 minute ride.


As long as you have the tupperware removed you probably should have the battery LOAD TESTED & also check for a excessive parasitic drain on the battery when sitting. You might also check (or have checked) the alternator belt integrity & alternator charging output. (something is not right with your electrical system)


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+1 first guess would be that your SAE connector is hooked up wrong.


The EXPOSED end of the SAE connector should be attached to the negative battery terminal. The positive lead should be the hidden/protected lead. A good smart charger will sense reverse polarity and shut itself off before damage occurs.

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Slightly off topic, but relevant sort-of...


My dad has a schumacher 1.5 amp charger, didnt work properly, sending it back, it boiled a new battery, was about to boil the replacement battery. Never would switch to "maintenance" mode.

Research led me to discover faulty connectors among other problems. The low-cost crap might cost more in the end....


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You've gotten some good advice so far, but I'd like to add something to the discussion.


First of all, as has been mentioned, your bike should be keeping the battery charged considering the length of your ride. But on a different subject, quick disconnects, I'd like to add a bit of info.


The SAE connector mentioned are the type you see pictured. Using these can get a bit confusing.


In this first picture, you see the connector that is on my dual sport and hooked to the battery. In this application the red goes to the positive on the battery. As you probably know, this is done so the terminal inside is insulated and can not touch the chassis of the bike and ground out.






Here is the connector that is on my Battery Tender Junior. In this case the exposed side of the connector is the positive so it will connect correctly with the one on the bike.





In the last picture you see a typical pig tail end of a SAE connector. Sometimes the wires are red and white, but the red will always be the one that has the terminal insulated. If you hook this pigtail connector to your charger the red has to be on the negative wire coming from the charge. The black (or white) would be the positive so it will connect correctly with the connector on your bike. Sorry if I'm giving you information that is already clear to you.






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Thanks for all comments from everyone. I have done some more work and have the following data and clarifications.


I hope this images show up, but if not they can be found at




Bottom line is the charger, quick disconnect to alligator chips charges while charger, quick disconnect to ring connector does not.


Looking at the problem there appear to be four potential problem areas.


1) Charger

a) charger itself

b) charger quick disconnect


2) alligator connector to batter

a) quick disconnect

b) fuse

c) cable

d) ring connector to battery


Now looking at each area


1) Charger

a) charger itself (this works with alligator chips)

b) charger quick disconnect (this works with alligator chips)


2) alligator connector to batter

a) quick disconnect

b) fuse ( not burned through and tried a replacement)

c) cable ( not likely and I tried two different ones)

d) ring connector to battery ( cleaned terminals and placed them first on terminal, and cleaned terminals and connectors)


So, I am stumped. Only thing I can think of is that the quick disconnects are not connector or provide to little connectivity.


Any ideas.

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So, I am stumped. Only thing I can think of is that the quick disconnects are not connector or provide to little connectivity.


Any ideas.


Evening rolandj727


Well you have pretty well pined it down to a bad fuse or a bad ring terminal pig tail.


Sounds like you verified the fuse is good so that leaves the ring terminal pig tail as being bad.


They are cheap at most motorcycle dealers (doesn't have to be a BMW motorcycle dealer). Even available at some auto parts stores or Wally-world type discount stores. (or online)


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I looked at the pictures. Excellent job cleaning every connection. I stick with my internet diagnosis in post 3.


Do you have access to an ohm meter or test light?



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If you don't already have one a digital multi meter is a must have working on electrical problems. Several models have an AMP function and are still priced very low, $50-$75.

I remember buying a used fluke 29 about 20 years ago and cost $110, vs $200 new. Its still works thankfully.

this site is quite helpful as well


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Played around with the connections with the following results listed below. It should be noted that I have several connectors of both alligator and ring-quick types, due owning three battery charges. I have no idea how this happened, but I’ve got them. Cost over run and project waste. Better get on the creative accounting to hide this from the wife.


I don’t have an ohm meter but putting it on the list.



Bottom line is that the problem is the differing quality of the connection links and specifically the resistance in the ring connector and 75 A fuse. Here is what I did.


Base Connection link types.


Type A.

• Quick disconnect, wire line, alligator clip


Type B

• Quick discounter, wire line, fuse, ring connectors


Type C.

• Quick disconnect, wire line, striped wire ends


Type D

• Quick discounter, wire line, fuse, striped wire ends





1. I cut the alligator clips off a Type A connector to make it a Type D. Touched the wire ends to the battery terminal and connection light for charging. This is good.

2. There was no fuse, so I thought I had better get a link to work that had a fuse. I took another Type B connector and made it into a Type D. Touching the battery terminal, no connection. A brief out burst of unpleasant words at this point. Checked the fuse but it was fine.

3. Having an abundance of connection links. I got another Type B and made another Type D. Touched this one to battery.... bang, connection for charging light comes on the charger.

4. Went to the automotive store to get new ring connectors. The large size ring connector had plenty of ring to make connect with the terminal but wire holder was to big for the wire. The correct wire size connector had a rather small ring connector. Decided to go old school, strip the wire and wrap it around the terminal and clap it tightly.



Comments on generator charging


First, I think one problem is the fact that I am running 20-50 oil which I believe is to heavy for the cold mornings. It has been 27- 39 last week or so.


When I start cold the ABS lights flash from one light to another. If I ride for a mile or so letting the engine to get warm, then flip the key off and do a rolling restart, the lights go out.


Once ridden for a while, shutoff and then restarted the ABS light goes off. My plan was to trickle charge so battery would be set for the best cold starts.


I have not driven enough to see what happens now, but over the next week I should know.


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Afternoon rolandj727


You sure that isn't a 7.5 amp fuse? A 75 amp fuse would be the size of a small nail.


On your ring terminal connectors?-- You really should use something like a quality ring terminal as just wrapping the wire around the bolts is sure to fail as it corrodes with age.


You can strip the end or your pig tail a bit longer then double it up then crimp that into the ring terminal with a larger hole (should really be soldered anyhow as just a sloppy crimp allows internal corrosion & eventual resistance issues.


Personally I would visit a motorcycle or snowmobile shop (or shop online) & buy a proper ring terminal pig tail.


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