Originally Posted by HillbillieBeemer
My Harley has a AGM in it, I replaced it after 4 years with about 65,000 miles on it. It even went though 2 stators and one regulator. If I don't ride it or if the weather is turning cold I keep it the tender.
If the GT's battery is 2.5 to 3 years old should I get a battery for "just in case"?
Are there any signs for fatigue on the battery or is it just going to go out?
I can't speak for you or the others, here, but it took me almost 30 years of motorcycle battery failures to learn that sometimes a battery will indicate that it is failing, and sometimes not.
The last time my battery failed, there was no advanced warning. I pulled up into a gas station, turned off the engine, and filled up. When I went to start the engine, there was nothing. My wife was not available, and I was on my own. I used AAA to call for a tow home. While I waited, someone stole my laptop from under my eyes. It took several hours to get home, and that doesn't cover the hassles of replacing the laptop and restoring the backup the next day.
I finally learned that it is not worth the hassle to wait for the battery to fail. I have decided that a prophylactic (alright, preemptive) replacement of the battery is so worth it. Batteries will fail. It is inevitable. And I hate being stranded without warning. It always seems to happen at the most inopportune moment.
Let's say that you are wasting 25% of the battery's useful lifetime by replacing it early. For the batteries that we have been discussing here, that comes out to approximately $30. If you replace an ordinary gel battery every two years, it comes out to $15 per year for "Battery failure is not likely to leave me stranded without warning" insurance. It seems like a bargain to me. I realize that batteries can experience premature failure, but I suspect it is rare.
Note that Odyssey batteries will last much longer than two years. Based on the experiences of others, I will consider replacing the Odyssey after four years or so, which brings the "insurance" down to $7.50 per year.
For me, it is as simple as that. I don't understand why I lived with being stranded unexpectedly due to "old battery suddenly fails" for so many years.