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Re: Battery longevity?

Hello Bob,

From: "Robert Silas" <robert.silas@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

>>  .Note that you need a different Tender
>>  for lead acid versus gel batteries.
> Steve, this is a commercial myth. It is true only if you want
> a gel battery fully charged. the battery tender cannot do that,
> on the other hand it cannot charge fully an acid battery either.
> Battery tender is able to maintain a certain level of charge,
> mostly just enough to start the bike, from there on your
> alternator takes over.

According to the manufacturer of the Battery Tender, "All Battery Tender 
battery chargers are designed to fully charge and maintain a wide range of 
styles of lead acid batteries in ways that avoid the potential damaging 
effects that can be caused by most trickle chargers" 
(http://batterytender.com/why_batterytender.php). The web site also details 
why Battery Tender does a really good job at maintaining a full charge 
(without risk of boiling off the battery) while a conventional charger or 
trickle charger can't. Again, according to the manufacturer.

> Any regular battery charger is good enough to charge a gel
> battery, but do not over charge, use a timer.

My understanding is that a timer is purely time-sensitive, and it is 100% in 
sensitive to the state of charge, or over-charge. The manufacturer's web 
site provides more details about the differences between various battery 

In my own experience, I have used the Battery Tender since day 1, and have 
excellent results. Being a lazy guy when it comes to maintenance, I just 
plug in the Tender and never worry about it boiling my battery dry. I never 
need to top up the battery between annual services. Annually, when my bike 
is in the shop, my BMW dealer checks my battery, and every year he indicates 
the battery is in great shape, and only occasionally tells me needed to "top 
it up a bit." I am not asserting that this proves the manufacturer's 
statements to be correct, but it appears to me to be more than marketing 

If someone is shopping for a Battery Tender and they want to make sure they 
get a suitable one (gel vs lead acid), consider emailing the manufacturer 
and asking for details. The batterytender.com web site specifically states 
that some models such as the Battery Tender Jr. are suitable for gel 
batteries, while other models do not make that statement, which leads me to 
conclude that they are either not suitable for gel, or they may be suitable 
for gel. The manufacturer should be able to confirm this for prospective 

- -Steve Makohin
 '01 R1100S/ABS
 Oakville, Ontario, Canada