Old batteries are great, mines 6 years old and still going fine. Normally I'd say go buy a hydrometer and check the cell gravities after charging, but unfortunately you got a sealed battery. My next new battery will be the same as the last one. Get the hydrometer, re-charge the old battery and test it.
You may be unlucky and have a dud battery. On the other hand your ABS lamps could be just acting like the Ammeter that BMW didn't fit. The ABS lamps latch on if the battery voltage drops too low during a start.
Given you've got smoke under the tank and that's where a lot of high current wiring runs, the ABS lights might just be telling you you've got a fault and a massive current load at startup. Keep getting smoke and you might wipe out your loom, your bike if the tank goes up and yourself if your sitting on it.
Most of the circuits are fused, Headlights and starter aren't - well unless you regard the wires as the fuse. Normally on starting the headlights, grips etc are not powered by the loadshare relay. So that just leaves the starter/solenoid and the big thick wires to the battery
As Stephejl says, if your lucky it's just the battery connections need cleaning and Vaseline and you should do this first. But a faulty starter or its wiring shorting is not healthy. You shouldn't be cranking the bike for long periods - it stuffs the battery, reduces starter life and heats up wiring. Look for other problems. Even cold my bike always starts within 2 seconds.
You should now be checking for any wiring damage. Remove the plastic AND the tank and visually check the loom, battery terminals and the big wires to the battery where they might rub against metal and short. Have your fire extinguisher handy, Hang a voltmeter across the battery and crank the starter for A COUPLE OF SECONDS whilst still looking for smoke. If the voltage drops below about 10-11 volts on a new battery, either the terminals are corroded or there's an excessive current draw from the starter or solenoid, or you bust the new battery with all the cranking. This on load dc cranking voltage, is the only one that gives some meaning to your battery capacity. The actual current draw from a starter can really only be checked with a dc clamp meter. If you are seeing the voltage drop, the starter is turning sluggish and there's smoke then something's up.
My battery stays 24/7 on a tender through the accessory socket and only comes out every 6K to clean around the compartment, check the cell gravities and top up electrolyte levels.
I hope you just got a problem with corroded or dirty battery terminals. Good luck.
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