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2019 R nine T Pure
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Discussion Starter #1
Although I am in an extreme euphoria after the replacement of my 19 Pure with a 2021 on account of a fatal tech mistake, I am aghast at the lack of information on the trickle charging of the battery on the new model. The 2019 Pure had a socket on the left side to connect the smart charger, in my case the Optima4 on the BMW CAN-bus. The 2021 has a USB charge port instead. The Rider's Manual states on page 124 in the maintenance section : "The motorcycle's onboard electronics know when the battery is fully charged. The ON BOARD SOCKET is switched off when this happens." There is no reference as to the onboard socket, no picture, no nothing. Except that "additional information is available at your authorized BMW Motorrad dealer". But where is the ONBOARD SOCKET? No one knows. I called BMW Customer Service, they don't know, called local BMW service manager, he don't know, called other dealers, they don't know.

Finally, i called the parts guy from the local dealer, he didn't know but later called and said there is no such thing! You have to connect the charger directly to the battery under the tank. Of course you have to remove the tank first! You can't connect the (smart) charger to the jump start post under the seat!? It's the same thing! It's connected to the battery + terminal directly! Why not connect the plus terminal of the charger to the jump start terminal, the negative to the frame? But where is the ON BOARD SOCKET that is monitored by the (on board) computer? Would this be the CAN-bus?
BMW added a USB port which is kind of useless, but removed the CAN-bus port? Why?

It's amazing that the tech writer and everybody else keeps this a secret, especially an important aspect of maintenance which is affecting warranty. He also talks about the battery voltage being 12V (not 12.9, which I measured at the jump start terminal) nominal, not actual voltage. "Don't connect a charger that has more than 12V!" ???

I understand that this is a new model and not all information trickled down to the pilgrims. Is there anybody who knows the answer?

4bikesmatt
 

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2018 BMW R nineT
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336 Posts
That is weird and disconcerting. I guess it's the ages old problem of copy/paste in technical writing (I'm very guilty of this :confused:)

You can connect your charger to the positive post under the front seat and to any good ground point, for example the ground post on the right cylinder.

As to a simple solution such as the pre-2021 bikes, I don't know. Have you checked to see if the USB sockets are a plugin on a standard outlet and they could be pulled out?

Your best bet may be to buy a piggy tail and install it permanently on the battery, thereby having a permanent point of charge to the battery.
 

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2018 BMW R nineT
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336 Posts
I'm going to go with the direct pigtail to battery (post). Cannot go wrong with that.
I guess this can wind up in a "which is the better oil" thread but I prefer the DIN socket with the CANBUS for the day-to-day battery trickle charging. It's how the guys at BMW designed it for a reason and that it is protecting the expensive electronics from defective chargers: a voltage surge, unstable voltage, rippled voltage/current, etc, due to a defective charger or simply household power issues may potentially fry the electronics. CANBUS charging is safer because the voltage specs are monitored and will be shutoff in case of issues.

BMW does also say that if the battery is in need of stronger charging, i.e, from below 9V (I think that's the published limit) then disconnect the battery from the bike and charge the battery independently. Notice the disconnect from the bike thing, i.e., BMW's position is: do not connect a charger to a battery whilst the battery is connected to the electronics of the bike. For this reason, I don't use piggy tails ;) EXCEPT if you have no other choice as the case appears to be for the 2021 bikes which sounds quite strange: I wonder if there's a hidden factory-installed (CANBUS) plug somewhere?
 

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Urban GS 2021
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I guess this can wind up in a "which is the better oil" thread but I prefer the DIN socket with the CANBUS for the day-to-day battery trickle charging. It's how the guys at BMW designed it for a reason and that it is protecting the expensive electronics from defective chargers: a voltage surge, unstable voltage, rippled voltage/current, etc, due to a defective charger or simply household power issues may potentially fry the electronics. CANBUS charging is safer because the voltage specs are monitored and will be shutoff in case of issues.

BMW does also say that if the battery is in need of stronger charging, i.e, from below 9V (I think that's the published limit) then disconnect the battery from the bike and charge the battery independently. Notice the disconnect from the bike thing, i.e., BMW's position is: do not connect a charger to a battery whilst the battery is connected to the electronics of the bike. For this reason, I don't use piggy tails ;) EXCEPT if you have no other choice as the case appears to be for the 2021 bikes which sounds quite strange: I wonder if there's a hidden factory-installed (CANBUS) plug somewhere?
You do make a valid point, that's for sure. Oh well ... back to the drawing board!
 

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2020,R Nine T Racer
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Hopefully Optimate will figure it out and inform us. I use both methods suggested by laakves and so far Optimate did not disappoint. I keep my bike on charger. Will see if I can stretch my battery life. That nine t battery sure is a mission to replace.
 

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2018 BMW R nineT
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The lovely thing would be if the 2021+ bikes could be trickle charged with.... an iPhone charger! Plug it to the USB outlets and there you go! And actually, there's no technical reason for that not to be possible BUT DON'T EXPERIMENT THIS PLEASE!

They could put USB-C sockets on it and specify USB-C cables that are fully bidirectional and are capable of carrying respectable currents and voltages (up to 100W), enough to trickle charge a bike battery and at the the same time, they could also make it a way to communicate with the bike instead of needing a GS911. Pay 250€ to BMW to unlock the capability and supply BMW software (macOS version please!) and they would run GS911 out of business. @BMW, you're leaving money on the table!
 

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2018 BMW R nineT
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Pig tail under the seat. No issues. No worries. Easy.
Sure. The probability of frying the electronics is not zero but is certainly very, very low as long as you use a quality charger. Any Optimate, CTek, etc, will do the job safely. I would only not risk it if there would be a generator involved.

Once in Brazzaville, we were 10 with laptops in a meeting room working. The power cut and the generator kicked in and bang! smoke smell and 10 dead laptop PSUs. Now, the laptops did not suffer because the PSUs have protection circuitry and quality chargers will protect the output as their last wish before dying, like the laptop PSUs. So, to use a piggy tail, use a quality charger....
 

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Sure. The probability of frying the electronics is not zero but is certainly very, very low as long as you use a quality charger. Any Optimate, CTek, etc, will do the job safely. I would only not risk it if there would be a generator involved.

Once in Brazzaville, we were 10 with laptops in a meeting room working. The power cut and the generator kicked in and bang! smoke smell and 10 dead laptop PSUs. Now, the laptops did not suffer because the PSUs have protection circuitry and quality chargers will protect the output as their last wish before dying, like the laptop PSUs. So, to use a piggy tail, use a quality charger....
The risks aren’t any different than pigtailing directly to the battery.
 

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2015 R Nine T Classic
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I bought my bike second hand and it came with this charger and plug (looks like it plugs from cord adapter). Been using it ever since without an issues.
 

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2019 R nine T Pure
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Discussion Starter #13
That is weird and disconcerting. I guess it's the ages old problem of copy/paste in technical writing (I'm very guilty of this :confused:)

You can connect your charger to the positive post under the front seat and to any good ground point, for example the ground post on the right cylinder.

As to a simple solution such as the pre-2021 bikes, I don't know. Have you checked to see if the USB sockets are a plugin on a standard outlet and they could be pulled out?

Your best bet may be to buy a piggy tail and install it permanently on the battery, thereby having a permanent point of charge to the battery.

I guess there is nobody on the forum who has a 2021 Pure and seen/resolved the issue. I called everybody from BMW and am writing emails to customer support but they don't even understand the issue.
We all know about direct connection to the battery with a 'suitable charger' but WHERE IS THE ON BOARD SOCKET that is monitored by the onboard electronics which is switched off when the battery is fully charged? The parts guy said there is no such thing, direct connection to the battery is the only option.
Is the manual lying? Not likely.
I called the sales person I contacted to buy my 2019 Pure in San Jose but they haven't even got their first 2021 R nine T Pure, they are expecting it in a few days. She said she would find out, call her in a week. Will she be able to find out? We'll see.
 

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I have the same question but wonder why you keep referring to the pure. I’ve got a 21 turban, aren’t all 21 models the same in this regard. I’m flummoxed.
 

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2019 R nine T Pure
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Discussion Starter #15
I have the same question but wonder why you keep referring to the pure. I’ve got a 21 turban, aren’t all 21 models the same in this regard. I’m flummoxed.

You mean all BMW models? I am referring to the pure because that's what I got. They all maybe the same in this regard or maybe not. The question is who got the answer, i.e. where is the ON BOARD SOCKET?.
 

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You mean all BMW models? I am referring to the pure because that's what I got. They all maybe the same in this regard or maybe not. The question is who got the answer, i.e. where is the ON BOARD SOCKET?.
All pre-21 models have power socket. Maybe the men in white coats decided to do away with the power socket and forgot to tell marketing. Try sending an email to the factory in Berlin. It is on their website. In the past they always responded to my e-mails.
 

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You mean all BMW models? I am referring to the pure because that's what I got. They all maybe the same in this regard or maybe not. The question is who got the answer, i.e. where is the ON BOARD SOCKET?.
I was under the impression there wasn’t one - been replaced with the usb. I guess this is why Bmw held on for so long to the seemingly antiquated DIN socket. They just didn’t communicate with the guys who write the manual. You can charge your phone, but not the bikes battery.
 

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2019 R nine T Pure
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Discussion Starter #18
All pre-21 models have power socket. Maybe the men in white coats decided to do away with the power socket and forgot to tell marketing. Try sending an email to the factory in Berlin. It is on their website. In the past they always responded to my e-mails.
Will do if I don't get the answer elsewhere. Thanks.
 

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Will do if I don't get the answer elsewhere. Thanks.
I have a week old 2021 R9T Scrambler and I’m waiting for my slightly clueless dealer to get a response from BMW. I’ll post if I get a response while watching this thread. I really hope it’s a simple plug and play because a lot of the above is gobbledygook to this rider.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was under the impression there wasn’t one - been replaced with the usb. I guess this is why Bmw held on for so long to the seemingly antiquated DIN socket. They just didn’t communicate with the guys who write the manual. You can charge your phone, but not the bikes battery.
Funny isn't it?
 
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