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Discussion Starter #1
Purchased bike 4 weeks ago. 2014 and very low kms. I have always thought it turned over slowish but then thought it must be the compression. Rode to the supermarket then wouldn't turn enough to start. After trailering it home, got the 2014 battery tested. The bloke put it on his machine and I was told it was down a bit on volts and nothing else wrong. I was hoping he would say it was ratshit.
What to do now??
 

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Get yourself a good battery charger charger such as an Optimate 4, which can be left connected to the bike when parked in the garage. The Optimate will keep good batteries maintained and can sometimes restore failing batteries. This might help with your existing battery, and it's always good to have to make sure a good (or new) battery stays in top condition for as long as possible.

However there seems to be indirect evidence on the forum that the stock batteries tend to fail at around the 3 year mark. Sometimes the battery tests OK but the minute you ask for serious amps when starting the battery can throw up the white flag. No option but to replace it sometimes I'm afraid...
 
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Purchased bike 4 weeks ago. 2014 and very low kms. I have always thought it turned over slowish but then thought it must be the compression. Rode to the supermarket then wouldn't turn enough to start. After trailering it home, got the 2014 battery tested. The bloke put it on his machine and I was told it was down a bit on volts and nothing else wrong. I was hoping he would say it was ratshit.
What to do now??
I am by no means an expert in these things but here's my advice.

First off, since you said it's sluggish to turn over, I'm assuming that means that you think it sounds labored trying to turn over rather than it's turning over but not catching. As such, how down on volts is the battery? If you're less than 12.5V without load, that's no good. When the bike is on, is your headlight weak? how's the horn sound (does it sound super weak)? If that's the case, the battery is almost certainly your issue. If so, before you try to replace/charge it, make sure the terminals are clean and tight. I know you said it's a low mileage 2014, but you never know, and it only takes 2 seconds.

If all's good there, I'd probably check little stupid things before worrying about stuff like compression. Make sure no fuses are blown and/or that the starter safety in the kickstand is operational. If you have a blown fuse and replace it, but it blows again, you most likely have a short somewhere. Concerning the safety switch in the kickstand, you can bypass that and see if that's the case.

Lastly, I'm assuming since you just purchased the bike you may have washed it recently. Did you get water in the ignition switch, or anywhere else it shouldn't be, that might still be there?

If these things don't sort you out, my last guess would be checking the fuel pump. Does it sound like it's pressurizing when you turn the key for a few seconds?

Apart from that, I'm tapped out. You should get some advice from more experienced mechanics I would assume are on here, or take your baby to a shop. Hopefully though, one of the smaller things above is your issue.

Good luck buddy.
 

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Most motorcycle lead acid battery last about 2 years when not on a trickle charger. Its been fairly cold down in VIC so that does not help the battery either.

I would check for loose battery terminals and ground terminals. Also check for corrosion etc.

Put a multimeter across the battery terminal and see what is the starting and charging voltage when the bike is being cracked over. When starting the battery should not drop below 12.5v and when idling the alternator should be charging the battery at 13.8v-14.5v

If you can stretch your budget go for a lithium replacement battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the reply Dave. Wlth getting to the battery tricky, when you guys trickle charge do you plug the charger into the socket on the side of the bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks Wunderbarchen. It tested 12.1v so too low I'm guessing. Think I will take it to another place tomorrow for a test. Cheers
 

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Does the bike have an alarm (OE or aftermarket)?
These can suck up quite a lot of quiescent current - enough to flatten the battery after a week or so of non use.
Hence I'd echo Dave's suggestion to get a good battery charger and leave it on overnight. Then see if the motor turns over better.
 

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Thanks Wunderbarchen. It tested 12.1v so too low I'm guessing. Think I will take it to another place tomorrow for a test. Cheers
Yeah that's the problem almost for sure. 12.1v is about a 20-25% charged state, which is obviously no good. If you have a voltmeter it takes 2 seconds to check the battery at home. If you don't have a voltmeter, it's quite a handy thing to have around, so it might be worth getting one.

Also, just FYI, a battery can test well without load, but then fail under load. This would obviously give a false positive reading. Checking a motorcycle battery under load is also really easy to do. You basically just hold your voltmeter leads on the correct terminals, and try to start the bike. You don't really care if the bike starts or not, because you're just looking for a voltage reading. I'm not quite sure what the r9T draws, but the battery should hold somewhere between 9.5-10.5v for up to half a minute. If it holds for a few seconds but then steadily starts dropping in voltage, that's no good. If the reading suddenly drops to 0, also no good.

But like I said, as well as all the commenters above, it sounds like it's most likely a battery issue, so don't worry. Easy fix.
 

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Purchased bike 4 weeks ago. 2014 and very low kms. I have always thought it turned over slowish but then thought it must be the compression. Rode to the supermarket then wouldn't turn enough to start. After trailering it home, got the 2014 battery tested. The bloke put it on his machine and I was told it was down a bit on volts and nothing else wrong. I was hoping he would say it was ratshit.
What to do now??
Probably the battery. BMW calls for a 12 Ah Battery but they install a 11.8 and put in a plastic spacer to make up the difference.
Buy a 14Ah battery and put it in. Throw away the spacer. Don't bother with the Yuasa Battery that BMW supplies as original.
While you are in there, add a directly connected charge wire setup with a fuse. Battery Tender makes the assembly for about $7. That way you are not buying BMW's stupid expensive charger to run through the CanBus.

Changing the battery is a lot of fun.:mad2: You will gain an intimate knowledge of Torx bolts of many different sizes.

Make sure the tank is nearly empty and don't remove the back bolt on the tank hinge until you have pulled all the fuel and electrical connections on the bottom of the tank. The hinge will allow the tank to moue vertically enough to accss the lines and cables. This will prevent denting or scratching a very expensive aluminum tank. Work slowly and deliberately. Don't drop any of the fasteners as they will fall to some inaccessible point and they are not magnetic. Make sure to note the routing of any fuel or vent lines.

After pulling the tank hinge the tank can be moved rearward and place it on a blanket to protect it.


As they say reassembly is the reverse procedure.

Good Luck!
 

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Thanks for the reply Dave. Wlth getting to the battery tricky, when you guys trickle charge do you plug the charger into the socket on the side of the bike?
Mine is wired directly to the battery. I use an SAE adapter (because the previous owner had that connection already wired) to plug-in a NOCO Genius G3500 https://no.co/g3500

Have one on my F800GT as well, and seems to be keeping the battery in good shape.

I'm pretty diligent in keeping the battery hooked up when the bike isn't being used.
 

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Thanks for the reply Dave. Wlth getting to the battery tricky, when you guys trickle charge do you plug the charger into the socket on the side of the bike?
If you get an Optimate 4 Canbus edition, it comes with an adaptor that enables you to charge through the accessory socket that you mention.

If you get a different charger without this ability, you can still connect to the positive battery bus bar under the seat (rear of the fuel tank) and then connect the negative connector to a convenient earth on the bike, such as the oversized bolt on the right cylinder head (just to the side of the throttle body).
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Hi guys thanks for the advise. I checked the voltage with the bike running and it was 14.5v so charging wasn't the problem. Purchased a new battery with piece of mind it should last me at least another three years. It is now turning over quicker than it ever did. Did learn that you can tilt the tank enough without disconnecting the hoses to easily get the battery out. Cheers
 

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Nice one! Glad you've fixed it, now go and buy a good charger... ;)


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Mine failed before two years and it wasn't covered by the BMW warranty! They put a new BMW battery in for £$€"Oh My Goodness!" and it now WAS covered by its own 2 year warranty! I have a new 2016 bike now so expecting the battery to fail within this year... When it failed the bike went bananas and it took BMW a whole day to decide it was the battery causing the weirdness.

Rusty
 
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My buddy has a 2012 R1200R Classic (identical motor to the R9 but has more electrical systems) and it's still on it's original 5 year old battery, which is working perfectly.

Ever since new, he always uses an Optimate 4 battery charger when the bike is not in use (as I do)......so maybe there is a lesson/example there to getting good life/service from your battery.
 

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My buddy has a 2012 R1200R Classic (identical motor to the R9 but has more electrical systems) and it's still on it's original 5 year old battery, which is working perfectly.

Ever since new, he always uses an Optimate 4 battery charger when the bike is not in use (as I do)......so maybe there is a lesson/example there to getting good life/service from your battery.
My previous bike was a R1200R, 3 years with the same battery with no need to charge it, now with the 9T the battery is almost dead with just one year of use...or almost no use (3.500kms) and alarm always on.
Optimate 4 can bus on the way !
 

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I wonder - since they changed the Canbus in 2017 if the Optimate 4 Canbus Edition will still work or not? Anyone have a 2017 and know for sure?
 

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Something that I didn't see mentioned here is how often was the bike ridden on journeys longer than 5 to 10 minutes? If your doing very short trips and the bike had been sitting for awhile before you purchased it the battery probably hasn't had a decent charge.The guy who sold it may have had the bike sitting for quite sometime,which would explain the lazy start. if you haven't had a decent ride on it since picking it up and just doing the odd trip to the super market it may actually be draining the battery more than charging it. (start up and lights on) Especially with mandatory headlight being on. This combined with other problems mentioned on here could be another contributing factor of the problem.
 

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My previous bike was a R1200R, 3 years with the same battery with no need to charge it, now with the 9T the battery is almost dead with just one year of use...or almost no use (3.500kms) and alarm always on.

Optimate 4 can bus on the way !


Rookie question here. Why buy the optimate 4 (A$140) to maintain the lead acid battery instead of a lithium battery (~A$150)? As I understand, lithium batteries last about a decade, don't require a battery tender, and are 3-4 kg lighter?

I'm in no rush to replace my battery, but decided not to buy a battery tender and just wait for it to die, then use the same money for a lithium battery.

Am I missing something?


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