Motorcycle Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
11.21.2021

I'm going to begin a thread here about this nice, clean old bike I found up North when looking for old Mercedes parts .

It only had 7,000 garage kept miles on it and needed very little work done .

I have some tips I knew or have learned and hope many here will chip in with helpful things or stories of their old BMW Airheads ~ I've been riding BMW's since 1979 and wanted once since the early 1960 when there was a Motocycle dispatch rider business in Cambridge, Mass. (college town) that rode the then current /2's .

I have a few pictures too and will be adding them as I go along .

If anyone has a rear rack I'd be very interested, it needn't be perfect, just something I can straighten and re chrome and use .

TIA,

thank you for allowing me to be here and the help I've received already on my other bikes .
 

·
Registered
Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanx Anna ;

This will be a slow blog as I've had the bike a while now and sadly I lost most of the photos I had when my cellphone died .

My most recent thing was to replace the battery and older BMW's are well known to have marginal charging systems at best , this is why the older ones often display the "Cricket" : clattering / chattering sound when you try to use the electric starter .

With this in mind when the battery died on my bike the morning of the annual 'Best Ride By A Dam Site' Notron Club Hanson Dam ride in So. Cal., I researched the battery a bit before buying a new one .

The factory battery is a flooded acid cell wet typ, good reliable technology but not able to put a lot of power or reserve capacity due to the nature of lead / acid batteries .

Like most 1970's > 1908's BMW AirHeads it uses a B.C.I. group # 30 , I studied and discovered the same group size is used in modern Harley-Davidsons and with the newer and better AGM sealed battery technology I was able to find a 500 CCA rated battery P/N 30L-BS . it's the exact sane size and comes with a nifty nylon carrying handle to ease installation .

$120. on Amazon .


I installed it and Lo ! my 46 year old BMW's starter now spins like a new Honda Civic :) This means that on a 40 degree F morning instead of the normal R, R, R, R, before it starts it now makes perhaps two revolutions before springing into life :geek: as a mechanic to me this means longer battery life and less wear on the starter as well as the wimpy alternator has less work to do re charging it 🤗 a win - win all 'round .

The headlight no longer dims at long stoplights .

I'm hoping others here have knowledge on what tires to buy, brand, size and where to purchase .

I'd rather avoid Chinese tires if at all possible and don't need any sort of racing tires, just good solid ones that wo't wear too quickly nor be so thin they're puncture easily ~ I'm far to old and beat up to be patching tubes by the side of the road .

Pictures to follow soon .
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
I always look at batteries with high cranking amps other suggest hoping one might fit my Indian. Like many, this one is around 1.0" too wide and .50" too high. I don't know a thing about the Banshee brand. Is it worth looking at or is it a buyer beware type?
 
  • Like
Reactions: -Nate

·
Registered
Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I don't know ~ what I did was to look at the old battery's part number then jot it down and search various batteries for my application until I knew what the modern part number is then armed with those dimensions I began searching and found this higher capacity battery with the exact same dimensions .


Interestingly, the place I bought it from said "THIS BATTERY WILL NOT FIT YOUR 1975 BMW R60/6" .

You're way ahead looking to make sure it'll fit ~ I missed this when I was looking for AGM 6 volt batteries for my 1968 Honda CL90 and 1970 CT90K2 - now I have spares, I guess they'll serve as testing batteries, glad they weren't very much $ .

I did read the reviews on this red high capacity battery, didn't see any negative ones but as you well know : buying Chinese products is always a **** shoot .

If this one lasts four years I'll be happy .

The days of vehicle batteries lasting 10 + years are long behind us sad to say .
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
If this one lasts four years I'll be happy .
Good luck. I'm on year 2 of my replacement battery now. The OEM barely made it to year 3. So I'm always looking at batteries hoping to find a real winner. My Harley battery lasted 7 years a 3 more as the power source for my entry gate with a solar panel to keep it charged. But that was a Deka battery and have yet to find the perfect fit in that brand. I continue to research.
 
  • Like
Reactions: -Nate

·
Registered
Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well ;

We're both older (? I think) and so I well recall tar top batteries that lasted maybe three years in snow country were I grew up .

I learned in the 1960's that careful tuning meant faster starts and often staring at all in January/February....

Then I realized that sharply tuned engines lasted longer and went better along with the batteries .

Blah blah blah yakkity-woof .

I don't know if these newfangled batteries are any better but they don't leak and for me seem to outlast the old SEARS Die-Hard or nickle-silver remember those ?) batteries .

Typically I'm way the hell and gone in the Desert and my old Mercedes Diesel goes "click" in the early morning when we're on vacation or other foolishness .

I remember when a battery gave you plenty of warning before stranding you .

Now I just get a jump, load my Sweet into the car and begin driving and stopping everywhere that sells batteries until I find what I need .

? Aren't there Indian forums you can ask about batteries on ? .

I'd hate to see you depending on me for advice......
 

·
Registered
Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
O.K., here is the old battery, notice it's 400CCA - as I mostly ride kick start bikes I thought this was a lot .
Automotive exterior Font Gas Bumper Auto part


My old /5's all used a smaller battery, anyone who's ever owned a /5 AirHead knows all about the "cricket" :rolleyes:.

On those I used to find /7 battery boxes, they were a snug fit but allowed a larger battery and after scrapping the factory voltage regulator for one from an Opel Kadet to get the charge rate up I never had starter problems .

Here's the new Amazon 500CCA AGM battery, notice the same number '30' in the part number....

Yes, I have the nifty Nylon installing strap in the wrong place, I was -so- excited I didn't bother to look where else it might fit :rolleyes: .
Gas Motor vehicle Font Automotive exterior Box

This same size yet larger capacity battery is for late model Harleys .

Compare side by side :

Gadget Bumper Audio equipment Gas Office equipment


Fits perfectly and the bike now roars to life like it never did before .

More to come, I'm moving ever slower these days .

Automotive exterior Font Gas Bumper Auto part
Gas Motor vehicle Font Automotive exterior Box
Gadget Bumper Audio equipment Gas Office equipment
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
That's a Deka battery and they are good regardless of what they are rebranded by. You may not need 400cca's but it won't hurt. Does this bike have a lot of accessories? If not it might just be there for those that have and use electric start. But Deka is a very good battery.

Walmart
 
  • Like
Reactions: -Nate

·
Registered
Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanx Hog ;

You're talking about the old battery, it was four years old when it failed suddenly .

The new, red one is 500CCA and no, I prolly don't need that much capacity but being a Journeyman Mechanic taught me you can't ever have too much battery .
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
Thanx Hog ;

You're talking about the old battery, it was four years old when it failed suddenly .

The new, red one is 500CCA and no, I prolly don't need that much capacity but being a Journeyman Mechanic taught me you can't ever have too much battery .
The Deka batteries are the only ones that exceed their ratings by a wide margin. This Deka AGM battery is rated at 310 CCA but measures in excess of 500 CCA! Measured using a load tester and an electronic tester (that measures internal resistance).
That's a quote from a review about Deka batteries. Deka, in any of it's brandings, is my battery of choice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: -Nate

·
Registered
Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Pretty cool, thanx for the info .

How you you know if a particular brand is made by Deka ? .
 

·
American Legion Rider
Joined
·
26,418 Posts
You have to dig for it but basically search for manufacture then based on that look for other brands made by that manufacture. Deka being one of the easiest to research from East Penn. Then backtrack from any store brand. Battery-Marts Big Crank is one such. But Duracell and Diehard are 2 name brand. I've seen Intimidator as well. Everstart and Superstart but I think both of them have to have an EP stamped by the name to be an East Penn battery. I've named several but there are more based on store brands. You just have to investigate.
 
  • Like
Reactions: -Nate

·
Registered
Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ouch ;

I don't think I want to learn how to investigate this....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,235 Posts
If you can fit a lawn tractor battery, those go on sale all the time in loads of big chain stores. usually about 80 bucks for the highest rated ones, but they want an old battery for trade. (& any old lead acid battery is usually accepted)

Note: you might need to adjust the wiring slightly because the terminals might be on the opposite side when switching between OEM BMW battery and lawn tractor battery
 

·
Zip
Joined
·
2,613 Posts
Since we're talking about batteries...

Back in the summer I replaced the gel battery in my Beemer with an el-cheapo AGM I bought from Amazon. It's been performing very well. Until, that is, I left the bike sit for about 10 days without riding it. The gel battery would not have even noticed that, but when I went out to the garage this morning to fire it up for the ride to work, I noticed the AGM had discharged to about 11.0 volts. The bike started, but just barely. I guess I'll start putting the maintainer on the battery from now on.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top