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Re: Trickle charging revisited..

You want a Float Charger, not a trickle charger. A trickle charger will boil 
a conventional motorcycle battery dry over a long Ohio winter. The BMW Gel 
battery requires a float charger designed for true gel batteries. That means 
the float charger should output ~14.4 vDC. Deltran, maker of the 
BatteryTender, produces one model for BMW, and they produce another one to 
sell under their own brand label that are designed for gel batteries. They 
produce another model that looks identical, packaged in almost identical 
looking packaging that is NOT suited for the true gel battery. (stupid, 
stupid, stupid). If you intend to purchase a Deltran brand float charger, 
check with them for the product number to buy, or play it safe and buy the 
BMW model. I use a BMW branded float charger on my K1200LT's gel battery.

VDC Electronics produces their BatteryMinder costing near 50% less than a 
BatteryTender. It will safely maintain any type motor vehicle battery 
including gel, AGM, and conventional lead-acid or soaked batteries. This 
unit also has a sulphation remover cycle and other bonus features. Call 
their toll-free number for a dealer near you (800) 379-5579. I paid $50 last 
year for my BatteryMinder that I use on the Panasonic/Westco/Rhino brand AGM 
battery found under the skin of my '99 R1100RT.

Finally, Harbor-Freight sells a Float Charger for ~$8 that produces the 
correct 14.4vDC output required to keep the gel battery charged. It will 
maintain the charge of any gel, AGM, and conventional lead-acid battery. It 
has a red LED that, unlike the two chargers described above, indicates 
NOTHING. (That's right, the H-F float charger LED will glow red whether it 
is connected to a 110 vAC wall outlet, or a 12 vDC battery that has even a 
little life left in it, or both.) Ignore the H-F's red LED and check your 
battery with a voltmeter periodically during the winter. If the battery 
being maintained by the H-F float charger is a conventional lead-acid or 
soaked battery, you'll want to check the electrolyte levels every month or 
so just to be sure all is well. Gel and AGM batteries are maintenance-free, 
and this $8 bargain will keep them and any conventional battery topped up. I 
have been using a brace of these H-F float chargers on cars, trucks, 
tractors, motorcycles, and mowers side-by-side with the BatterTender and 
BatteryMinder for several years with equally good results. I prefer the 
BatteryMinder best, then the BatteryTender, for their technical features, 
but I sure like the price of the H-F unit.

- ----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Mike" <virtualm2@xxxxxxxx>
To: <oilheads@xxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2005 1:58 PM
Subject: Trickle charging revisited..

> Hello all,
> I know this topic came up a while ago, but could anyone give me a 
> suggestion for a cheaper alternative to the BMW-branded tender? I  need 
> something for when my bike goes into storage. (I know, I know,  should be 
> riding year-round but I'm in the process of moving!)
> It's got the gel cell, which I've heard both DOES and DOES NOT need a 
> different charger/tender than the lead-acid...?
> any input appreciated,
> Mike