Battery for my K1200GT - K-Bikes.com - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2011, 7:48 pm Thread Starter
KJG
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Battery for my K1200GT

So, I had to have my bike jump started today when I was leaving work. No big deal because sooner or later, every battery fails.

What surprised me was when I called the dealer to inquire about a new one and was told that it's a "gel" battery and the cost is $180.

Now this is my first battery so I don't know what the range is, but that seems a bit steep for a battery.

Am I dreaming or is that about right?

Ken
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2011, 8:51 pm
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Probably a bit high, I'm sure others have ideas, but as a start you could try a local battery store, I'm sure around San Fran they must have a place like Batteries Plus, but I would tell them the bike is supposed to have a gel cell or "AGM" battery (AGM=absorbent glass mat). You shouldn't need to get all techie, just call and tell them "need a battery, 06 BMW, K1200GT, motorcycle, has to be a gel cell or AGM battery........."

Gilly

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2011, 11:54 pm
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All you'll ever need and you can get them for a lot less than $180 bucks. They're light years ahead of the stock batteries.

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Last edited by Meese; Jan 8th, 2011 at 11:31 am. Reason: fixed battery part #
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2011, 8:42 am Thread Starter
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Thanks for the recommendations. There is a Batteries Plus here in SF (who knew?) and I'll be calling them this morning.

Odyssey also has a master distributor here in SF called Battery Systems. I'll be calling them also.

Thanks folks.

Ken
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2011, 9:52 am
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Universal Battery UB12220, available all over the web for around 40 bucks. 22 aH, AGM, fits fine, and I've had great luck with them. Yeah, I know, the Odyssey is better, yada yada, but at 3X the price the value is not there. You can replace a UB12220 three times for the price of a single Odyssey and for the same money which will be more reliable, a six year-old gasping-for-breath Odyssey or a two-year old Universal? That won't even be a close contest.

I'm not trying to slam the Odyssey as I've owned several and they're a great product, but in my experience their life is maybe 20% longer at best than lower cost models. At a slight price premium there might be some value there but the difference isn't slight. At the current difference in pricing between the various alternatives the Odyssey just doesn't make sense to me. YMMV.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2011, 11:09 am
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The BMW battery is pretty weak for the price. My stock made it about a year before it finally began to slow crank. Odyssey has been in it ever since. My old Odyssey was on it's 7th year in the old RT when I got rid of it and was still cranking. Their free-replacement is a lot better under warranty in terms of time as well should you need it.

Yeah, I was told the same thing that the stock BMW battery was $179 at the dealer. A lot for a not-so-hot battery.


Mack
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2011, 11:30 am
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Just go for the Odyssey PC680 or PC680MJ battery and be done with it. The Metal Jacket version isn't strictly necessary, but it was almost the same price so I went with it. And do shop around, as prices vary wildly. I ended up finding a local supplier that was less with tax than it would have been to have one shipped to me.

I've now got 60K miles on that battery in the last year and a half and it's still cranking along just fine . . .

Ken
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2011, 11:37 am
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The Universal Battery UB12220 isn't designed for the high-cranking requirements and deep charge and discharge profiles found in automotive applications. It's designed for UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) applications, where it sits fully charged and idle for months (or years) and then discharges slowly and evenly when the input power goes out.

Yeah, it'll bolt in place on the bike, and it'll turn the starter, but I seriously doubt you'd get the same lifetime out of it. And do you really want to be worried about replacing your battery every year or two, or if this is the day that it's gonna fail on you?

Ken
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'13 Dark Graphite Metallic K16GTLD, 24K miles and counting...
'09 Magnesium Beige Metallic K13GT, 60K miles miles and counting...
'02 Mauve Metallic K12LTC, 106K miles and sold
BMWLT#145, IBA# 366, MOA# 111996, SCMA# 24032

All lower 48 states plus Alaska on the K13GT in two weeks . . .

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2011, 12:25 pm
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The two-year comment was just a hypothetical to relate the pricing difference, not a recommendation or even an opinion that there's really a significant difference in overall service life. With regard to reliability, all I can say is that I've had more no-start issues with older Odysseys than the Universal. There are many factors that contribute to battery reliability but none are more important than age. If reliabilty is the primary concern than nothing, and I mean nothing will help more than halving the time in service and in my mind that pretty much ends any reliability debates. And if one considers the 20 minutes it takes to replace the battery on a K as too burdensome then reliability can't really be that important.

Again, the Odyssey is a great product but for a given cost it just isn't necessarily any more reliable (in fact likely less) than alternative choices and strategies.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2011, 2:12 pm
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Odyssey +1
Don't settle for anything less. They last and last, have more cranking power. Don't be cheapand possibly could be stranded on the road with a no start.

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