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Re: Battery longevity?

With about 6 yrs experience and much internet lurking on 
Panasonic/Westco bike type battery discussions:

1. I would NEVER go back to slosh batteries - esp. when they are as 
hidden-away as on an Oilhead. Also, seems crazy to ride around with an 
open tub of acid.

2. Slosh batteries die slowly and the process is palpable. But the 
Panasonics die suddenly, with no warning that I know about, typically 
on a hot day (since there is more riding on warmer days, this may be an 
artefact of observation, but I don't think so). They open (go to zero 
volts) and that is that.

3. As others have posted, mostly false hocus-pocus about charging 
batteries. Maybe there are "tricks" in the advanced course, but just 
thinking of a battery as a juice reservoir works fine. With a 
background in electrical stuff, I'd say certainly not worth thinking 
about. I've had gel-cells on a /2, and various Panasonic-types on /7 
and R1100S without a hiccup.

BTW, I get along just fine with a $10 wall-transformer charger for any 
kind of top-up charging. These units naturally taper off and 
over-charging is not much of an issue. In any case, it is a trivial 
exercise to hook up an ammeter and so be able to SEE what is going on 
for yourself - no less important if you casually place your trust in a 
pricey Battery Tender. I'm doubtful if a wall-transformer is materially 
worse than a pricey unit (and I have several voltage and current 
regulated bench supplies if I wanted to use one in the garage).

 From time to time, I post my battery-ground-strap-as-shunt ammeter 
concept. Being able to eyeball the direction and volume of the juice 
flowing to the battery is 90% of what anybody needs to know 
diagnostically. Works great but be sure to disconnect when cranking.