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Discussion Starter #1
I am still using my original battery on my 2001 K1200RS and am experiancing no problems.....even in the cold weather up here in Canada. I make sure it is topped up once per season and keep it on a charger during the winter. Have any of you changed your battery due to age alone so that you do not experiance a sudden failure at an inopertune time?
 

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Most modern batteries do not fail suddenly. You should see some warning signs as your battery is going "soft", like headlight at night dimming at idle/brightening with throttle, or dimming/brightening when the turn signal is on.

You are doing the best for your battery by maintaining the electrolyte level and keeping it topped-off on a maintenance charger. Lead acid batteries hate to be discharged and re-charged. Causes sulfation of the plates, which essentially removes plate surface from exposure to the electrolyte and therefore reduced capacity. Keeping lead acid batteries topped-up at all times reduces deposition of sulfates. Certain chargers (BatteryMinder) actually use a cycle which includes short pulses of "charge reverse" which supposedly restores sulfated plates somewhat. I'm not sure that this really works, but I buy those types of chargers/maintainers anyway, just in case it does.

I don't think that you really need to replace your battery until it starts showing some signs of deterioration.

Tom
 

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I have the original battery in my 1998 Ducati and it is still functioning. Like you, I keep the fluid level topped up and on a battery tender every time it is parked. I did replace the original battery in my 2001 K bike this past summer when it showed signs of failing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies.I guess I will also just wait for any of the sighns of failure and save myself some money.
 

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I HAVE had modern batteries fail suddenly and totally, without warning.

The battery in Island Tony's K12 recently took a dump - I don't know how old it was, it was on a Battery Tender and had zilch when he arrived at my N GA house for DGR (fortunately we had a spare battery ready to go in).

Anything beyond maybe 3 years is borrowed time. $70 or so for peace of mind seems money well spent.

Plus, if the old battery seems to have life left in it, keep it on a trickle charger for emergencies or backup 12v power.
 

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Modern batteries can actually fail suddenly like zilch output with no warning. I think it's because they get the plates as close together as they can to up the cranking current. As posted, allow 3 years then change it. Confidence in your battery is an easier ride than using a breakdown service in bad weather miles from anywhere in the middle of the night.



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I had a battery also fail. Bike started fine,ran maybe 2 miles then dead.
I used to change them every year 20 years ago. I think new batteries are better and been getting about 3 years out of them before I trash them. I ride year round so they stayed charged to.
Question tho, what brands seem to be the better ones these days?
 

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I now use a tender (intelligent charger) and plug it in after every ride, Summer or Winter. Putting some juice in balances the drain from alarms etc and keeps the battery temperature up for cold morning starts. Check the electrolyte levels more often though on lead acid. I ride with lights on so short winter rides can take out more than the alternator can put in.

The ABS lights used to come on soon after taking off on a cold morning start - with the tender they don't anymore. I think you get longer battery life if you regularly crank on a warm charged battery, rather than a cold partially discharged one. I haven't seen any 'fungus' (sometimes signs of a failing battery) around the terminals for ages.

Although it doesn't check for 'sudden death' if you crank over with the lights on and ignition disabled, you shouldn't measure less than about 9.5 to 10 volts across the battery terminals.



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