BMW Float Charger - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2009, 1:46 pm Thread Starter
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BMW Float Charger

I've looked at archived threads on this matter, but I still have questions that I hope someone can answer.

I have an '08 K1200GT. I noticed the statement in its manual that "BMW Motorrad has a float charger that can be used to mainatin your battery's charge during long periods of non-use" (or words to that effect). So I bought the thing a couple of weeks ago from the dealership. The parts guy said "just plug it in." No other instructions. The brief "Operating Instructions" that came with the charger leave a lot to be desired. There is no mention of the CanBus system and certainly no mention of the need to turn the ignition on so the system will "recognize" the charger. In fact there is no mention of any required sequence of steps you must go through to get the charger to work.

When I plug the charger in to the bike's accessory outlet and a wall socket, the green power light comes on and, for a second, all of the four coloured lights flash on. Then the yellow 1/3 light comes on. I check the thing periodically over a few days and each time nothing has changed -- the yellow 1/3 light is still on. The other lights (2/3 or 3/3) never seem to come on -- unless they do so at some point when I'm not there to see them.

Am I doing something wrong, or neglecting some step, or is the charger faulty?

Thanks.

- Dave
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2009, 5:32 pm
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Your problem is related to the Canbus electrical management system, that controls the flow of electricity on your bike. It can shut off the power outlet that you are using to charge the battery. Some here have gotten this charger to work with a mysterious, secret sequence of plugging in the charger, turning on ignition, etc....but I found the best way to use this charger is to buy a Powerlet socket and add it to the bike. They sell a kit to add an outlet down by the existing one. Once installed (a ten minute job), you can plug in your charger and walk away, and it will work every time.

As a side benefit you will be able to use electric heated clothing without any power drop.

If you need more info on this let me know. Hope that helps.

2008 K1200GT, Custom Paint, Vivid Black, Aeroflow WS & Aeroguards, Givi E52 Maxia Topcase w/AdMore Lighting, Zumo 660, Suburban Footpeg Lowering, Sargent Seat

2009 R1200GS Adventure, Magnesium Grey/Black, Adventure Cases, Zumo 660, Touratech Unobtanium Accessories

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2009, 5:37 pm
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You could also install an Odyssey battery, run the bike at least once a month for more than 20 minutes and never have to worry about a charger again.....just sayin'.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2009, 5:59 pm
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If it is a true Gel Charger you can connect the pigtail it came with directly to the battery and leave it hang right next to the fork stem. That is the way mine is connected. The BMW book tells you this is an acceptable method of charging the battery without disconnecting it. It also solves the Canbus issue of turning off the accessory socket after 15 minutes.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 2009, 11:11 pm
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Charger..

Hey Road, When I got mine it did the same thing. Until it dawned on me that the Auto Com was still hooked up to the GPS plug on the front of the bars. Disconnect it, and the charger works as advertised. It goes through the light sequence as described as then the one light far right (3/3) comes on, stays on, and maintains the battery.
Contrary to what you hear, the charger works as advertised, just plug and forget it. Just make sure there are no other accessories hooked up.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2009, 9:55 am
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I have used the BMW trickle charger for both of my bikes. Operating instructions are a little rediculous but no modifications are needed for it to work properly:

Start with the charger, not plugged into an electrical outlet.

Plug the charger into your bike's accessory socket,

Turn on the ignition (so the CanBus system can recognize the charger once it's plugged into the electrical outlet),

Plug the charger into a wall electrical outlet,

Turn off the ignition.

Done...

Mike M

Last edited by MikeM; Oct 24th, 2009 at 10:00 am.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2009, 2:54 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM
I have used the BMW trickle charger for both of my bikes. Operating instructions are a little rediculous but no modifications are needed for it to work properly:

Start with the charger, not plugged into an electrical outlet.

Plug the charger into your bike's accessory socket,

Turn on the ignition (so the CanBus system can recognize the charger once it's plugged into the electrical outlet),

Plug the charger into a wall electrical outlet,

Turn off the ignition.

Done...
This is the same procedure I use and works perfectly

Larry
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2009, 11:01 pm Thread Starter
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Quote:
This is the same procedure I use and works perfectly
And does it then go to the yellow light and stay on that 1/3 charging setting for days afterwards? (That seems to be what mine has done under that procedure.)

Or does it eventually move up to the 2/3 setting and then the 3/3 setting and stay there? (And if so, how long does it stay at the 3/3 point?)

Unbelievable that the "Operating Instructions" contain no instructions at all. It all makes me think the Monty Pythion gang had a hand in it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 2009, 8:07 am
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Your bike may not have recognized the charger. Unplug the charger and go through the sequence again.

However, depending on the batteries state of charge, I have seen it go from green back to yellow but then it eventually turns back to green. I believe that is how the charger is designed. Once the battery is at full charge, the charger turns off. Then when it recognizes that the battery is at less than full charge, it turns on again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadSurfer
And does it then go to the yellow light and stay on that 1/3 charging setting for days afterwards? (That seems to be what mine has done under that procedure.)

Or does it eventually move up to the 2/3 setting and then the 3/3 setting and stay there? (And if so, how long does it stay at the 3/3 point?)

Unbelievable that the "Operating Instructions" contain no instructions at all. It all makes me think the Monty Pythion gang had a hand in it.

Mike M
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 2009, 4:42 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks, Mike and Larry. It finally seems to have worked -- or, at least, it's now showing the green 3/3 charged light. I tried it again this morning and got the red light only. After it stayed on for some minutes without any shift to even the yellow 1/3 light, I went through the sequence again, though this time I mistakenly turned off the ignition before plugging the cord into the wall socket, so maybe the sequence of those two steps isn't so important...?

Whatever. It now seems to work.

Still, the whole experience has be as frustrating as hell. Amazing to me that BMW can sell something with so-called instructions that make no mention of these apparently crucial steps.
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