Time to replace the original battery? - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    I have a 2017 F800GT with the original battery. Due to the age of the battery I was considering replacing it before it has the chance to let me down. Any recommendations for a replace battery?

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  3. #2
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    A good battery will last for years. Make sure your charging system is working well and everything should be ok (if you don't let the battery discharge to low levels).

    If you do replace the battery, remember to get the equivalent CCA rating or slightly higher.
    BMW F800ST, 2010, Black, Fuzeblock, Sat Nav, BMW Tank Bag, Givi Touring Screen, Spotlights, 50K Miles 

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    I bought a used Honda 2002 ST1100 in 2015. The previous owner used a battery tender and I have no problems with the battery although I felt that it was getting a little weak it never failed to start the engine. One day in 2017 after I stopped for fuel the the engine would not start......the battery would not even light up the neutral light. I got a jump and the bike started up, and after riding for 40 minutes I got home. The 40 minute ride did nothing to charge the battery - and even a charger could not bring any life back to the battery. When I took the battery out and went to the dealer to get a new one - I saw the battery was a Yuasa battery with the Honda script in it, and the dealer said it was the original batter for the bike - it was 15 years old! The dealer said I would not get anywhere near that life from the replacement battery.

    I had to replace the battery in my 2016 F800GT this year, as the OEM battery was getting noticeably weaker and it was spinning the engine over pretty slowly when I hit the starter button. I bought the bike used and I have no idea how the previous owner cared for the battery - it came from Virginia and I suspect that there is a winter period where the bike was not ridden.

    I have noticed the battery in my 2016 R1200RT is sounding a bit weak......I will likely pull it out and use it to power my new electric gate opener - and then get a new battery for the R1200RT.

    So......my experience is that batteries last anywhere from 4 to 15 years!

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    In my experience, motorcycle batteries are one of those items that "you get what you pay for" really applies. If you store or don't ride for longer periods, (one month or more) you should probably consider a smart battery tender, it helps with battery life by not letting it continuously drain for long periods. YUSA or Interstate have generally worked well for me, but if the OEM battery seemed to last around 5 years, then consider buying the same OEM battery. It's tempting when you see $59 vs $100 for supposedly the same CCA AGM battery, but I've not had much luck choosing the cheaper route.

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    I’ve had quite the opposite experience. I buy inexpensive no-name batteries from Amazon and find they last 7-8 years as long as I keep the bike on a battery tender when not ridden.
    2013 BMW F800GT | 2015 BMW R1200RT | 2012 BMW R1200R Classic 

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    I have a 2013 GT and still with the original battery. Working fine still, no plans to replace it. I keep the battery on a battery tender, when parked in the garage and during non-riding seasons.

    2013 F800GT Valencia Orange 

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    I have mentioned this before, but the BMW-brand German-manufactured Exide AGM battery that was the original battery that came in my 2009 F650GS, failed without warning within only 6 months of buying the bike and left me stranded by the side of the road. After being towed to my dealer, they replaced the battery with another BMW-brand battery. That one lasted three years before I replaced it with a gel battery, which went for a year before it started struggling to start my bike when cold. I finally replaced it with an expensive lithium battery and that spins the starter with authority each morning. So for me the lithium battery was worth the expense. Plus, it sure is light and considering the location of the battery high under the fake tank that is a good thing.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    BMW has a history of issues with its OEM AGM batteries; the battery in my 2014 F700GS was replaced under warranty in less than 2 years.

    That said, take the battery to an auto parts shop, and have them do a load test. They should be able to determine its health. Loosen, clean, and reseat the terminals.

    I don't know if they have a model that fits the F800GT, but Odyssey has a legendary reputation. I put an Odyssey PC680 in my old R1100RT in May 2009; it's still working fine. I always kept it on a battery tender.

    On the other hand, I have had batteries fail without any warning. It depends on your situation. When I planned a ride to Alaska I replaced the battery a month before I hit the road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    ....That one lasted three years before I replaced it with a gel battery, which went for a year before it started struggling to start my bike when cold. I finally replaced it with an expensive lithium battery and that spins the starter with authority each morning. So for me the lithium battery was worth the expense. Plus, it sure is light and considering the location of the battery high under the fake tank that is a good thing.
    Have you had any cold weather issues with the lithium battery? They are notorious for being finicky when the temperature falls. What brand did you buy? Shorai has a good reputation for use in BMWs. I have a Battery Tender lithium battery in my F700GS for much the same reasons that you mention. When parked in my garage, the battery is always hooked to a Battery Tender charger specifically designed for lithium batteries, which have different charging requirements from lead-acid. The same battery was in my R1100RT for about 3 years, but its starting ability with the larger motor was marginal in cold weather.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selden View Post
    When parked in my garage, the battery is always hooked to a Battery Tender charger specifically designed for lithium batteries, which have different charging requirements from lead-acid. T.
    I am currently still on my 2015 bike's original AGM battery. I currently hook mine up to a CBE battery trickle charger the night before I ride. Occurred to me that the cost of changing to lithium is the cost of a battery plus cost of charger.
    Out of curiosity wondering what the differences are between AGM and lithium chargers?
    "The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.” Robert M. Pirsig 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Selden View Post
    Have you had any cold weather issues with the lithium battery? They are notorious for being finicky when the temperature falls. What brand did you buy? Shorai has a good reputation for use in BMWs. I have a Battery Tender lithium battery in my F700GS for much the same reasons that you mention. When parked in my garage, the battery is always hooked to a Battery Tender charger specifically designed for lithium batteries, which have different charging requirements from lead-acid. The same battery was in my R1100RT for about 3 years, but its starting ability with the larger motor was marginal in cold weather.
    This is the battery that I bought for my F650GS. I bought the best one that I could. It has no problem starting my bike when it is cold. But cold here means 40 degrees F and it is typically 60 degrees in my garage overnight during the winter. https://www.batterystuff.com/batteri...x12-hd-rs.html
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert 1970 View Post
    I have a 2017 F800GT with the original battery. Due to the age of the battery I was considering replacing it before it has the chance to let me down. Any recommendations for a replace battery?
    I purchased a “battery tender” lithium ion battery with tender. Pricey, but it is light compared with lead acid. I don’t ride as much as I used to; reassuring to see the green light on the tender...my 2012 fs650gs fires right up!

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    This is the battery that I bought for my F650GS. I bought the best one that I could.
    Thanks for the info.. I'm planning to go with lithium on my Buell when its battery starts to go again. So much lighter and now with technology improvements it's worth the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by petespace1 View Post
    I am currently still on my 2015 bike's original AGM battery. I currently hook mine up to a CBE battery trickle charger the night before I ride. Occurred to me that the cost of changing to lithium is the cost of a battery plus cost of charger.
    Out of curiosity wondering what the differences are between AGM and lithium chargers?
    Adding my own question. (leaving aside a seriously discharged battery)
    An AGM trickle charger it seems, will not work with (properly charge) a lithium battery- that seems to be the consensus thinking yeah?

    Given this can your bike's charging system automatically realize it is a lithium battery instead of an AGM battery? and charge it as you ride ??

    Or is your bike's charging system killing your shiny new lithium battery?
    Hmm
    "The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed.” Robert M. Pirsig 

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    Quote Originally Posted by petespace1 View Post
    Adding my own question. (leaving aside a seriously discharged battery)
    An AGM trickle charger it seems, will not work with (properly charge) a lithium battery- that seems to be the consensus thinking yeah?

    Given this can your bike's charging system automatically realize it is a lithium battery instead of an AGM battery? and charge it as you ride ??

    Or is your bike's charging system killing your shiny new lithium battery?
    Hmm
    My F650GS charging system keeps my lithium battery fully charged and there is no indication that the battery is not charging properly. However, I invested in a small solid state Deltran lithium battery maintainer that I plug in after every ride just to be safe. After a ride the it charges for about 10 minutes before showing a full charge.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  20. #16
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    Battery in my 2016 F800GT was fine when I traded it in a few months ago. Bought it used 2 and a half years ago. Think it sat for a while at the dealer before I bought it. Typically I ride frequently but the bike did sit for 2 to 3 weeks at a time. Never had any trouble with the battery and did not use a maintainer or charger on it. Last year I had it it was primarily ridden on long trips and in between would not be ridden very often. Over the years have not had any battery failures on my motorcycles but typically rode several time a week and the bikes were kept in a garage so not too hot or cold. Have had to replace a couple of scooter batteries but they tend to sit for most of the winter.

    3 or 4 years ago my wife's Smart car wouldn't start. I got the battery charger out and charged it up and then went and bought a new battery at BatteriesPlus. Car was starting fine so didn't put it in immediately - not an easy task. Battery got put on a shelf and forgotten about! A year ago or so it wouldn't start, I was about to buy a new battery when I remembered the "new" one I had! Dusted it off and topped it off ad put it in the car. It has been working perfectly for over a year.

    Heat is tough on batteries but the F800GT location didn't seem to be a hot spot. I have looked at Lithium batteries a number of times particularly for my sport bikes. My only concern for a Lithium battery is cold temperatures. Cold weather does affect their performance and there are stories of folks having difficulties starting when the temperatures are in the low 20s or below. I don't plan on riding in those temperatures but have been caught a couple of times on a long trip with much colder than expected temperatures. Next time I need a new battery will certainly consider one.

  21. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert 1970 View Post
    I have a 2017 F800GT with the original battery. Due to the age of the battery I was considering replacing it before it has the chance to let me down. Any recommendations for a replace battery?
    If you can find a Shorai-type battery to fit, go for it. Never trusted a battery so much as that one. Unfortunately they don't make a large number of various fitments.

  22. #18
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    No data to back this up - but a 70 year old motorcycle mechanic friend suggested that when I buy a battery I should get one that is made in the US or Japan. His experience is that the ones made in China are not consistently reliable.....some are good and some are not. I believe his professional opinion is based on installing far more batteries in customer bikes than any of us will have when we replace a battery every 4 or 5 years in our bikes.

    And......if you ride or commute locally a battery failure may not be all that inconvenient - but if you are someone that rides a long way from home it may be wise to buy a premier battery and/or replace more often and not try to get the last 6 months of life out of your battery.

    Most of my battery replacements occur after I notice the battery is beginning to spin the starter a bit sluggish. The 15 year old original equipment Yuasa battery in my ST1100 worked just fine and never gave me a hint of trouble - then one day I was riding and I stopped for fuel and when I turned the key back on the battery would not even power the neutral light......it died instantly.

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    Good point on battery source. Most goods from China can vary significantly in quality if the manufacturer is not forced to maintain high quality all the time. I do long trips and a battery failure in a remote spot when stopping to take a cool photo miles from anything not so good. I bought a Yashua mail order a number of years ago. Battery was shipped dry with a container of battery acid to put in. Interesting process to fill it, then had to charge it and there is a procedure for the first charge that supposedly makes a difference in the life of the battery. Shorai makes great batteries as well.

  25. #20
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    As a matter of course I replace the battery on my F800GT and '16 RTW every 3 years regardless of condition. I don't bother w/ a battery tender as I ride the bike regularly enough. I don't care if the battery will last another 3y to me it's not worth the risk of getting stranded somewhere. I do my own fluids and filter changes and leave the rest of the 12K service to the local dealer. If it's close to 3y when service is due I just add that to the service request, using a standard OEM battery.

  26. #21
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    I just ordered a new battery for the RT1200. I did a search for a Yuasa battery, and Summit Racing has the best price and it was in stock and shipped the next day....and the battery was over $100 so I got free shipping. I believe my F800 battery that I bought last summer came from them as well.
    https://www.summitracing.com/?gclid=...BoCA58QAvD_BwE

    The Yuasa battery that they listed is made in the USA.

  27. #22
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    Amazon appears to have the same battery for substantially less money than Summit Racing. Just ordered a battery from Amazon for my '14 F800GT. The Yuasa stock number is YUAM6RH4H YTX14H-BS. This is the same battery listed on the Yuasa website for the 1200 RT. My cost was $73.19 with free shipping (I am a Prime member). The battery from Summit is $84.99 plus $10.99 shipping unless the order exceeds $100.00.

    Depending on where one lives, there could be sales tax. Because Amazon has a facility in Nevada, I paid $5.54 in sales tax. There is a downside, delivery is estimated between Feb. 3 and Feb. 8. For me, this is not an issue. My battery is still working; I am just being proactive because it is three+ years old and a little weak. Getting stuck anywhere with a dead battery, except maybe in the garage, is not a pleasant experience. Better to change it now rather than to try squeezing another six months out of the existing battery.

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
    In the garage: 1972 BMW R60/5 - 1983 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim - 2014 F800 GT
     

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