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Why only "Yellow"


Taylor 1983

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Taylor 1983

On my new 2015 R1200RT I can only achieve a "Yellow" light on my BMW battery tender? Does this mean my battery is defective?

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Morning Taylor

 

It could be due to a number of things from a battery issue, to poor connections, to a mismatch between the battery tender & the new battery type in your bike, to??????

 

What brand battery tender are you using? -- If a Deltran battery tender then give their tec line a call as they are VERY helpful in helping customers find charging issues with their products.

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The Rocketman

What battery do you have? I just ran into this exact problem last week. I have 3 bikes with Odyssey PC680's and have been using Battery Tender Plus trickle chargers for years. A PC680 less than a year old died on me last month. I sent it back to the distributor for a warranty replacement, and was told they tested it for a few days, running through several charge/discharge cycles and it tested good. Problem was extreme sulfation. Got on the phone with Enersys (manufacturer of Odyssey) and various charger companies. Seems the Odyssey lines of batteries are power hungry and need chargers that go up to 14.7v and perform a de-sulfation cycle. Battery Tender definitely DOES NOT do either one of those, so my PC680's were never actually getting a full charge. It was recommended by Enersys to get the CTECK MUS 4.3 charger or Battery Minder brand which are both approved by Enerysy because of their "snowflake" mode. I bought 2 of them the other day through Amazon for $61.00 each. Hooked them up yesterday, and now everything is all better. The chargers spent quite a while on de-sulfation and absorption mode, even though the Deltran's showed previously full charge. I think everything is all better now.

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Taylor 1983

I have the BMW tender. I used it for 5 years on my 2009 GS, always achieving green. The current battery is a Exide BMW Battery that came with the bike

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Taylor 1983

I have the "Exide" battery that came withe the bike. The tender I have is a BMW tenders I have used on my 2009 GS, always achieving "green". I'd like to figure this out before contacting my dealer. Thanks for your time.

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Afternoon Taylor

 

Slightly different batteries, your 09 had (from factory) a Gel battery & your wethead should have an AGM (Glass Matt) battery.

 

Some chargers will do both & some are specific for the battery designed for. As a rule Gel battery chargers limit the output to a bit lower so it doesn't damage the Gel material by creating voids in the Gel.

 

You might call your BMW dealer with the part number of your present charger to see if the old BMW charger is compatible with your new bike's battery.

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Guest Kakugo

Are you charging through the power outlet or straight from the battery terminals?

My dealer reckons charging at terminals should always be the preferred method of charging, even with the genuine BMW charger. He offered no explanation for this but they always have some bike in the shop charging that way.

 

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Are you charging through the power outlet or straight from the battery terminals?

My dealer reckons charging at terminals should always be the preferred method of charging, even with the genuine BMW charger. He offered no explanation for this but they always have some bike in the shop charging that way.

 

Afternoon Kakugo

 

Lot of dealers charge that way so they don't have to track down the key to initiate the power outlets.

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Look into the Accurate 4 (made for BMW) charger that is compatible with the Can bus system. I have used it on my 14 Rtw with good results.

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What battery do you have? I just ran into this exact problem last week. I have 3 bikes with Odyssey PC680's and have been using Battery Tender Plus trickle chargers for years. A PC680 less than a year old died on me last month. I sent it back to the distributor for a warranty replacement, and was told they tested it for a few days, running through several charge/discharge cycles and it tested good. Problem was extreme sulfation. Got on the phone with Enersys (manufacturer of Odyssey) and various charger companies. Seems the Odyssey lines of batteries are power hungry and need chargers that go up to 14.7v and perform a de-sulfation cycle. Battery Tender definitely DOES NOT do either one of those, so my PC680's were never actually getting a full charge. It was recommended by Enersys to get the CTECK MUS 4.3 charger or Battery Minder brand which are both approved by Enerysy because of their "snowflake" mode. I bought 2 of them the other day through Amazon for $61.00 each. Hooked them up yesterday, and now everything is all better. The chargers spent quite a while on de-sulfation and absorption mode, even though the Deltran's showed previously full charge. I think everything is all better now.

 

Afternoon Rocketman

 

You need to be very careful with any de-sulfation type charger that you use. It might meet the PC 680 specs but does it meet BMW specs???

 

Below is from a BMW battery charging specific service bulletin---- (red highlight added by me)

 

The bulletin is pertaining to Gel batteries (that is what the BMW 1200 came with when bulletin was written) but the >15.5 volts damage is not battery dependent but system electronics dependent.

 

 

"There are commercially available battery chargers that are suitable for charging gel batteries. However, when using a charger acquired commercially it absolutely must be ensured that the gel battery has been removed from the motorcycle or that the battery has been isolated from the vehicles electrical system. The battery must be isolated because gel battery chargers perform a so-called desulfation cycle, in which the charge voltage increases to over 15.5V for a limited time. If the battery is connected to the electrical system during charging this spike could lead to failure of the control units and other electrical/electronic components".

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What battery do you have? I just ran into this exact problem last week. I have 3 bikes with Odyssey PC680's and have been using Battery Tender Plus trickle chargers for years. A PC680 less than a year old died on me last month. I sent it back to the distributor for a warranty replacement, and was told they tested it for a few days, running through several charge/discharge cycles and it tested good. Problem was extreme sulfation. Got on the phone with Enersys (manufacturer of Odyssey) and various charger companies. Seems the Odyssey lines of batteries are power hungry and need chargers that go up to 14.7v and perform a de-sulfation cycle. Battery Tender definitely DOES NOT do either one of those, so my PC680's were never actually getting a full charge. It was recommended by Enersys to get the CTECK MUS 4.3 charger or Battery Minder brand which are both approved by Enerysy because of their "snowflake" mode. I bought 2 of them the other day through Amazon for $61.00 each. Hooked them up yesterday, and now everything is all better. The chargers spent quite a while on de-sulfation and absorption mode, even though the Deltran's showed previously full charge. I think everything is all better now.

 

Please tell use some history with this battery, has it ever gone "dead" or been discharged enough not able to start the bike?

 

Your bike doesn't charge at a 14.7v, if 14.7v or higher is required you have the wrong battery in your bike. I'm an Odyssey fan and had a PC680 in my 02R1150RT with over 6 years of service when I sold the bike. I kept it on a Deltran Battery Tender Plus when not riding, the battery never was drain down, always started without an ABS fault. Just my 2 cents.

 

Jay

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The Rocketman

DR, I respect your opinion but the BMW bulletin is for gel batteries. The PC680's are AGM.

I will check as the CTEK's specs are: Charging voltage 14.4 / 14.7 / 15.8 V I guess depending on the charging mode.

 

I have PC680's in 3 of my BMWs. I have a PC680 that is 7 years old and has lived on a Deltran Battery Tender Plus its whole life, and runs strong as new. Last July I picked up a brand new PC680 to replace it in anticipation of a long trip, just in case. It worked fine, and lived on a tender 24/7 all winter. First or second ride out this Spring, bike stalled at first 2 stop signs within minutes. Very slow, draining re-start. Swapped 7 yr old battery back in, and all is fine. Checked, re-charged and re-checked new battery. What used to take less than 1/2 hour to fully charge, took almost 6 hours. At idle, all bikes and batteries read 14.2v. new one read 12.9v. Couldn't get the new battery over 13.4 if I tried. I thought it had a dead cell. That's when this all started.

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DR, I respect your opinion but the BMW bulletin is for gel batteries. The PC680's are AGM.

I will check as the CTEK's specs are: Charging voltage 14.4 / 14.7 / 15.8 V I guess depending on the charging mode.

 

I have PC680's in 3 of my BMWs. I have a PC680 that is 7 years old and has lived on a Deltran Battery Tender Plus its whole life, and runs strong as new. Last July I picked up a brand new PC680 to replace it in anticipation of a long trip, just in case. It worked fine, and lived on a tender 24/7 all winter. First or second ride out this Spring, bike stalled at first 2 stop signs within minutes. Very slow, draining re-start. Swapped 7 yr old battery back in, and all is fine. Checked, re-charged and re-checked new battery. What used to take less than 1/2 hour to fully charge, took almost 6 hours. At idle, all bikes and batteries read 14.2v. new one read 12.9v. Couldn't get the new battery over 13.4 if I tried. I thought it had a dead cell. That's when this all started.

 

 

Morning Rocketman

 

Yes, it was written during the Gel battery era-- BUT read it again, the high voltage damage isn't to the battery it is to the BIKES ELECTRONICS so battery type is moot, it is the BIKE'S ELECTRONICS that can be damaged by the high voltage de-sulfation cycle.

 

Nothing wrong with using your new chargers, but PER BMW, disconnect the battery from the bike before using anything that goes over 15.5v.

 

Your bike so do what you want, I'm just the messenger here.

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The Rocketman

I get it. Just totally impractical to remove the battery form the bike to charge it. The 2 R12C's are charged through the 12v accessory port, and the RT has a direct SAE pigtail. I'll be speaking to Odyssey, CTEK & BMW about this later today. What a pain....

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Morning Rocketman

 

If you have access to a good quality meter (like a Fluke) set it to trap peak DC voltage then run a charging cycle. See what the max V_ into your bike's system is.

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Guest Kakugo
I get it. Just totally impractical to remove the battery form the bike to charge it. The 2 R12C's are charged through the 12v accessory port, and the RT has a direct SAE pigtail. I'll be speaking to Odyssey, CTEK & BMW about this later today. What a pain....

 

You have nothing to worry about.

 

I use a CTEK MXS 7.0 (European equivalent of the Multi US 7002) battery charger on all my vehicles. I charge the RT's PC680 straight from the battery terminals using gator clamps (the provided pigtail went on the Honda due to nigh on inaccesible battery compartment) and the "snowflake" setting.

Zero issues.

 

According to my dealer only a "highly defective" battery charger could damage the RT electronics and BMW sent out that bulletin to more or less wash their hands in case somebody uses an old and battered battery charger and ends up causing any damages.

I also suspects they do this to drive people to buy their own overpriced bike battery charger (the car charger BMW sells is less than half the price).

 

CTEK are the best battery chargers your money can buy. I used to have two Accumate chargers as well but sold both of them after seeing how good the CTEK is. Charges faster and doesn't give off any heat, differently from the other two, despite an all-eclosed construction.

 

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The Rocketman

I think the same thing. The 15.8v mode is only at the beginning of the charging cycle and is for desulfation purposes. My batteries are never dead. The chargers are primarily in maintenance mode. When I first plugged in the new CTEK chargers, they went right past the desulfation cycle (step 1), right to the absorption cycle (step 4). I'm not quite sure the bike will ever actually see the full 15.8v, which fluctuates in pulses anyway. I think the 14.7 is the most it will ever see. More calls to be made.

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The Rocketman

Just spoke to a Mid-West BMW service manager (who shall remain nameless) who says they use the CTEK MUS4.3 on their showroom floor for all their new bikes, and have had no problems at all.

 

Kakugo,

Your model CTEK charger charges in 14.2/14.7v. My MUS 4.3 has 14.4/14.7/15.8v, but they both have a desulfation mode.

 

I think I am over-thinking this, and will rest now. As in other instances, time will tell. Hoping for the best. And DR, thanks again for your insight. It is appreciated. And I will hook up a meter to see what peak & periodic voltage is, just out of curiosity.

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Guest Kakugo
Just spoke to a Mid-West BMW service manager (who shall remain nameless) who says they use the CTEK MUS4.3 on their showroom floor for all their new bikes, and have had no problems at all.

 

Kakugo,

Your model CTEK charger charges in 14.2/14.7v. My MUS 4.3 has 14.4/14.7/15.8v, but they both have a desulfation mode.

 

I think I am over-thinking this, and will rest now. As in other instances, time will tell. Hoping for the best. And DR, thanks again for your insight. It is appreciated. And I will hook up a meter to see what peak & periodic voltage is, just out of curiosity.

 

CTEK chargers only use the highest voltage (15.8V) in Reconditioning mode (which mine has, guess it's not just a straight model conversion), which is to be used only on non-sealed batteries after they have been taken out of the vehicle and drained of acid. In short it's harcore desulfation mode.

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