Winter maintenance – time to throw the battery charger on the RT

Optimate 4 computerized battery charger conveniently plugs into the R1200RT's dash mounted 12v receptacle

Optimate 4 computerized battery charger conveniently plugs into the R1200RT’s dash mounted 12v receptacle

Right now, it’s a frigid -10 degrees Celsius.  Winter doesn’t ‘officially’ arrive until December 21st, but you couldn’t convince any motorcyclist living in Alberta that winter isn’t here now.

I finally got around to organizing my 2-car garage to fit both cars and the BMW R1200RT inside.  The RT hasn’t been run for about 3 weeks now, and it’s time to put the battery charger on it.

My understanding is a fully charged motorcycle battery won’t freeze in extreme cold, so I like to keep the battery charged up.

I use a Tecmate Optimate 4 Dual Program charger.  It’s a “Dual” program charger because it’s designed specifically to be compatible with BMW’s Canbus electrical system, which connects to numerous computers, and the charger can be used for ‘normal’ (non-Canbus) electrical systems.

While some people remove the battery from their bikes for winter storage, I’m too lazy.  Tecmate says the Optimate 4 charger is computerized and the device can be left attached to the bike and plugged into the electrical system continuously during storage; the device will maintain a ‘float’ charge when the battery is fully charged.

If you don’t have such a computerized charger that can be left on the bike during storage, most bike owners attach a charger once a month.

With the Optimate’s ‘intelligent’ charging system, I got into the habit of plugging the charger into the RT every time I parked it.

It makes me wonder if this would theoretically extend the life of the the RT’s battery.


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