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Old 10-31-2012, 11:08 AM   #16
Martian OP
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Okay. It was the battery! I found an exact replacement GSM battery at BATTERIES PLUS for $159. Great place to do business!

Napa had a replacement relay, which I put in, but I'm not sure I needed it. I'll put the old one back in when I return to Kansas just to see if its good.

Thanks to all for the offers of help and the great advise.

We are no longer "dead in Texas"!

In my best Willie Nelson voice, I'll be "On the road again......."
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:13 AM   #17
Airhead Wrangler
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Further proof that "it's always the battery."
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:31 AM   #18
hardwaregrrl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
Further proof that "it's always the battery."
Oh SNAP!

Glad it was an easy one.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:13 PM   #19
Beater
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Keep a volt meter on it! Make sure it's charging!

I'll bet you a beer it's not.
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Old 10-31-2012, 08:18 PM   #20
Martian OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beater View Post
Keep a volt meter on it! Make sure it's charging!

I'll bet you a beer it's not.
You should always keep a cold one on hand just in case I stop by! It is charging.

Since this happened, everybody I talk to has either had a gel battery fail, or has ridden with someone who's gel battery just suddenly quit. My suggestion for anybody who has one is to keep it fresh. If I'm taking off on a long ride and the battery is more than 2 years old, I'm replacing it before I leave. The battery was a Panasonic, BTW. Not that it makes any difference.

I usually carry a meter but had taken it out to use on a shop project. Tomorrow, I'm buying another one strickly for the bike. That will ensure I never need it.

Thanks again for the help. I'm really glad I brought the laptop. That's for sure! Y'all did good.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:14 AM   #21
_cy_
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian View Post
You should always keep a cold one on hand just in case I stop by! It is charging.

Since this happened, everybody I talk to has either had a gel battery fail, or has ridden with someone who's gel battery just suddenly quit. My suggestion for anybody who has one is to keep it fresh. If I'm taking off on a long ride and the battery is more than 2 years old, I'm replacing it before I leave. The battery was a Panasonic, BTW. Not that it makes any difference.

I usually carry a meter but had taken it out to use on a shop project. Tomorrow, I'm buying another one strickly for the bike. That will ensure I never need it.

Thanks again for the help. I'm really glad I brought the laptop. That's for sure! Y'all did good.
a little late, but most Oriellys will stock a good quality AGM motorcycle battery for about $90.

if your charging system is working ... 13.8v-14.2v measured at battery while engine is revved up past idle. yes your charging system can charge intermittently.

resting voltage for gel and AGM cells fully charged is about 12.8v. it's common for dead batteries to charge to 12.5v, then drop to 10.5v under load. battery at 12.5v resting is about 80% charged.

when a new fully charged battery is installed. everything will return back to normal even on a system not charging. your bike will run normally until battery is depleted. which without lights will be about 1-2hours depending on amp hour rating.

folks have been known to strap on a full size car battery. then run completely off battery until bike can be limped home.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:30 AM   #22
Bill Harris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martian View Post
Since this happened, everybody I talk to has either had a gel battery fail, or has ridden with someone who's gel battery just suddenly quit. My suggestion for anybody who has one is to keep it fresh. If I'm taking off on a long ride and the battery is more than 2 years old, I'm replacing it before I leave. The battery was a Panasonic, BTW. Not that it makes any difference.
This is why I'm not a fan of Gel batteries. When they go, they go suddenly. And there is no way to keep a check on the status of individual cells. At least a slosh, lead-acid battery usually gives warning when it it about to expire and the state of each cell can be easily checked with a readily-available hydrometer. Typically when the battery is nearing the end of it's service life one or more cells will start to show less charge than the others.

A good battery and an on-board voltmeter make for confident travelling.

--Bill
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:42 AM   #23
_cy_
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BMW offers Gel batteries as factory replacements. AGM batteries is the way to go vs wet lead acid. besides not worrying about spilling acid if your bike tips over. gel cell batteries have a slightly lower charge threshold. one can damage a gel cell by using the wrong charger.

if taken care of by not letting battery drain too low. I've had AGM batteries last 5+ years.

AGM cell has a very low self discharge (aprox. 3% per month). providing your bike doesn't have a parasitic drain. AGM doesn't need a battery tender over the winter.

LiFePO4 batteries if you've got spare $$$ and wish to drop 10lbs or so.

_cy_ screwed with this post 11-01-2012 at 03:49 AM
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:30 AM   #24
bmwblake
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amen. i had the same thing happen with a battery. all was well until it wasn't. no indication of it being near the end of its life.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
Further proof that "it's always the battery."
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:01 AM   #25
hardwaregrrl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post

folks have been known to strap on a full size car battery. then run completely off battery until bike can be limped home.
Eckhmmmm......

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Old 11-01-2012, 06:31 AM   #26
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Eckhmmmm......

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I guess that's one way to do a valve adjustment without losing any oil.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:29 AM   #27
Bill Harris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
BMW offers Gel batteries as factory replacements. AGM batteries is the way to go vs wet lead acid. besides not worrying about spilling acid if your bike tips over. gel cell batteries have a slightly lower charge threshold. one can damage a gel cell by using the wrong charger.

if taken care of by not letting battery drain too low. I've had AGM batteries last 5+ years.

AGM cell has a very low self discharge (aprox. 3% per month). providing your bike doesn't have a parasitic drain. AGM doesn't need a battery tender over the winter.

LiFePO4 batteries if you've got spare $$$ and wish to drop 10lbs or so.
Still, none of those are compelling reasons to use a Gel battery.

Again, as the next post says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwblake
amen. i had the same thing happen with a battery. all was well until it wasn't. no indication of it being near the end of its life.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:22 AM   #28
ignatz72
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A few posts above make me think clarification is needed here - Gel and AGM batteries are not the same thing. They are similar Valve Regulated Lead-Acid technology, but the electrolytes completely different. They do have similar pros and cons.

You can use a regular Deltran Battery Tender on an AGM, you should not use these on a BMW or other Gel. Etc., etc.

It's like saying a biodiesel wagon and a gas car are both road vehicles, since neither is a train, but you shouldn't swap the fuels around.
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Old 11-01-2012, 03:08 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Airhead Wrangler View Post
Further proof that "it's always the battery."

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Old 11-01-2012, 03:49 PM   #30
Big Bamboo
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I guess that's one way to do a valve adjustment without losing any oil.
Oh.... I thought he was bleedin' the brakes.
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