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Old 06-10-2007, 05:15 PM   #1
Emoto OP
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R12GS Battery Draining Issue

My R1200GS has been in my hands and on the road for just over 3 years. I had been having problems getting the original battery to hold a charge. (Have the software update from last year) Thought the battery was going south, so I put an Odyssey in there. Seemed to be going ok, but today I went to take it for a spin after sitting untouched for 2 weeks, and had nothing. Just over 5v in the battery. So, I threw the charger on it and took the Jeep wher eI had to go. .

Now, I hadn't left any accessories or lights turned on. I intend to completely disconnect all of the non-stock stuff, which will be easy since it all runs off of a Blue Sea fuse box, just to get that completely out of the loop.

Two questions:

1. Am I the only one whose R12 battery goes flat for no reason?

2. Have you found the culprit?
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:42 PM   #2
Mate
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Had the same issue. In the end it was one of the bikes CPU. My dealer could not clear the fault. When the CPU was replace problem was fixed.
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:49 PM   #3
Mike K.
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After a period of no dead battery issues, my R12GS redeveloped the battery drain issue. Back to the dealer this week.

I love my bike but my old BMWs and newer Ducatis were much more reliable.
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Old 06-10-2007, 06:22 PM   #4
jpalamar
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Batteries Are An Achilles Heel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emoto
My R1200GS has been in my hands and on the road for just over 3 years. I had been having problems getting the original battery to hold a charge. (Have the software update from last year) Thought the battery was going south, so I put an Odyssey in there. Seemed to be going ok, but today I went to take it for a spin after sitting untouched for 2 weeks, and had nothing. Just over 5v in the battery. So, I threw the charger on it and took the Jeep wher eI had to go. .

Now, I hadn't left any accessories or lights turned on. I intend to completely disconnect all of the non-stock stuff, which will be easy since it all runs off of a Blue Sea fuse box, just to get that completely out of the loop.

Two questions:

1. Am I the only one whose R12 battery goes flat for no reason?

2. Have you found the culprit?
The care and feeding of batteries in a cycle, motorhome, golf carts, whatever continues to be a vexing problem. The culprit may be the battery because of some heretofore abuses. Dropping-a battery below 80% of its charge capacity too many times (what's too many and how could that happen you ask) signiicantly affects the battery's ability to hold a future charge, but is not limited to that: incorrect alternator output voltage, etc. can do that as well. You dealer should be able to easily determine the ouput of your alternator but you have to ask, remember, they ain't all gonna volunteer and also put a 'load' test on your battery. Checking the output (voltage) of your battery NOT UNDER LOAD is worthless.

And while most will disagree with me on this, I purchased Deltran's Battery Tender and keep the battery on it whenever I'm not riding (in garage). Don't use one of the el-cheapo trickle chargers or worse yet, a high-amperage charger. If your bike is a CAN-bus model, install a direct to battery pigtail for the Battery Tender. While some may consider this a PITA a dead battery is a bigger one! Proper caring for a battery will truly extend its life and not leave you in the lurch when you most need it. Also, the pigtail, furnished with Deltran's Battery tender terminates with a 'capped' SAE plug and a set of battery clip cables. Throw those battery clip cable (with the SAE plug on the end) in your important stuff to carry. Should you ever need a jump, while not long enough to reach a car battery, you could at least reach someone's jump cable. Also, make sure if you get a jump they turn off their engine.
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Old 06-11-2007, 07:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpalamar
The care and feeding of batteries in a cycle, motorhome, golf carts, whatever continues to be a vexing problem. The culprit may be the battery because of some heretofore abuses. .
I have never had a problem with batteries in my bikes. But the 1200GS seems to eat batteries sometimes.

Good Luck Emoto, let us know what is going on.

I was just thinking, a few months ago I picked up a stranded GS rider with a dead battery. He said everything was fine; he stopped the bike and when he went to restart there was nothing. This was 50 miles from nowhere. We tried pushing it but it was useless.

Damn, I better get and carry cables. SOB
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Old 06-11-2007, 09:26 AM   #6
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I've been carrying jumper cables since kick starters and breaker points went away.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:24 AM   #7
JimVonBaden
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I'm at 32K and the only time my bike wouldn't start is when I hung my helmet by its strap and activated the running lights and killed the battery, even down to 8.

I have seen a few like yours, and have found it to be a drain on the battery from an accessory, even though it wasn't on. One was an autocom system with a short in the wiring, and the other was a Piaa relay gone bad.

Check your battery voltage with the cables connected, everything off, and then disconnect the neg cable and check the battery voltage by connecting the meter to the pos and to the neg directly. If you have a significant difference with the battery disconnected being at least 3-4 tenths of a volt higher, you have a drain.

The above listed Piaa relay drained 1.3 volts. Replacement fixed it.

Jim

PS Then again, it could be a bad computer as listed above, but doubtfull.
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Old 06-12-2007, 07:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the tip, Jim. I will try that. It would certainly be much faster than what I was planning which was to disconnect the wires to the blue sea fusebox and then monitor the rate of voltage loss over a week or two.
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Old 06-29-2007, 01:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpalamar
The care and feeding of batteries in a cycle, motorhome, golf carts, whatever continues to be a vexing problem. The culprit may be the battery because of some heretofore abuses. Dropping-a battery below 80% of its charge capacity too many times (what's too many and how could that happen you ask) signiicantly affects the battery's ability to hold a future charge, but is not limited to that: incorrect alternator output voltage, etc. can do that as well. You dealer should be able to easily determine the ouput of your alternator but you have to ask, remember, they ain't all gonna volunteer and also put a 'load' test on your battery. Checking the output (voltage) of your battery NOT UNDER LOAD is worthless.

And while most will disagree with me on this, I purchased Deltran's Battery Tender and keep the battery on it whenever I'm not riding (in garage). Don't use one of the el-cheapo trickle chargers or worse yet, a high-amperage charger. If your bike is a CAN-bus model, install a direct to battery pigtail for the Battery Tender. While some may consider this a PITA a dead battery is a bigger one! Proper caring for a battery will truly extend its life and not leave you in the lurch when you most need it. Also, the pigtail, furnished with Deltran's Battery tender terminates with a 'capped' SAE plug and a set of battery clip cables. Throw those battery clip cable (with the SAE plug on the end) in your important stuff to carry. Should you ever need a jump, while not long enough to reach a car battery, you could at least reach someone's jump cable. Also, make sure if you get a jump they turn off their engine.
Is the pigtail for convenience (so you don't have to remove the seat), or are you nervous about connecting the Battery Tender to the battery while the battery is still connected to the bike?
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Old 06-13-2007, 11:09 PM   #10
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I just had my GS12 battery tested by the dealer today. It was 100 %, and they have a very sophisticated testing machine.

Apparently what happens in my case is my accessories (55w driving lamps, GPS, etc) , coupled with the servos from the ABS, are draining the battery on shorter hops. The Service Mgr indicated that while the GS has a big alternator, when you run a lot of extras on the bike (and use the brakes a lot) it takes a lot of juice from the battery.

All my bad start issues have been after making short hops of under 5 or 6 miles, then shutting off the bike on errands, then making another short hop. My battery doesn't get fully charged sometimes.
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Old 06-14-2007, 08:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emoto
Two questions:

1. Am I the only one whose R12 battery goes flat for no reason?

2. Have you found the culprit?
One Question

Have you figured out WTF is wrong?

I need to know.
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Old 06-14-2007, 12:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudcat
One Question

Have you figured out WTF is wrong?

I need to know.
Not yet. Haven't had any time. Maybe tomorrow or over the weekend.

I do appreciate all the folks who have replied and measured the draw on their batteries. 30 years of licensed riding and this is the first battery draining problem I have ever had that wasn't charging system related.
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Old 06-15-2007, 04:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emoto
Not yet. Haven't had any time. Maybe tomorrow or over the weekend.

I do appreciate all the folks who have replied and measured the draw on their batteries. 30 years of licensed riding and this is the first battery draining problem I have ever had that wasn't charging system related.
Yes and BMW warns us about this in our Owners Manual. But it has not affected either of us. You never had a problem with your stock battery until the end of its life, right?
I find it inconceivable that you buy a premium battery and all of a sudden the draw of the electrical system is a problem for you.
I know when my battery goes I am not getting anything special; whatever Cycle Gear, Kregans, Wal-Mart, or Sears sells.
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Old 06-15-2007, 09:47 AM   #14
Emoto OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudcat
Yes and BMW warns us about this in our Owners Manual. But it has not affected either of us. You never had a problem with your stock battery until the end of its life, right?
I find it inconceivable that you buy a premium battery and all of a sudden the draw of the electrical system is a problem for you.
I know when my battery goes I am not getting anything special; whatever Cycle Gear, Kregans, Wal-Mart, or Sears sells.
Well... It wasn't really "all of a sudden". The original battery did go dead several times over the course of ownership, but one of the several software flash updates was supposed to have taken care of a known battery discharge problem. I had several conversations with the dealer about how long to expect the original battery to last, and what I got from those is that he didn't really know but he thought that 3 years wasn't terrible. So, I proceeded in the belief that perhaps the stock battery was a bit long in the tooth and was more susceptible to going flat, so I bought an Oddyssey with the thought that it was more robust and offered more cranking power, and would resist going flat better than a 3 year old stock battery. Turns out I was wrong. Now, I have always been very fussy about my batteries, particularly about how they are put into initial service because that tends to affect their service life, so I took great pains to read everything the maker sent about how to get started, and followed that to the letter.
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emoto
I had several conversations with the dealer about how long to expect the original battery to last, and what I got from those is that he didn't really know but he thought that 3 years wasn't terrible. .
My understanding was, if you got 3 years out of it, it did good. The battery only had a 2 year warrantee.
My battery is approaching 3 years now and it has been completely trouble free. The mild climate here has, probably, contributed to that.
Anyway, I am interest in seeing what you find. I can not grasp how the draw of the electrical system affected your new premium battery, apparently, more then it did to your old one.
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