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 All Forums
 Motorcycle Safety
 Technical/Maintenance
 Better than a Battery Tender?
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6960 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 11/08/2010 :  3:23 PM                       Like
For years I've been spreading the word that the Battery Tender brand of chargers are the best ones for motorcycles. However, a guy I know from another motorcycle forum who has an electronics background has been buying battery chargers for years now and testing them to see if he can find one that is better than one that he bought about 20 years ago and is no longer available. He would often voice his frustration about how there was nothing available today that did a decent job of topping up a battery.

But a month or two back he found one that does all of the right things and it's available at a very good price. I bought one recently and have been impressed with how it works compared to my Battery Tender.

Here's a link to where you can order one: http://tinyurl.com/2f9dm8x

Surprisingly, it's available at Walmart. My local store didn't have any in stock, but I ordered one from the above link and had it in less than a week. Total price for me was $21.95 to have it delivered to the closest Walmart store.

It even comes with wiring that you can permanently attach to your motorcycle battery, and it's plug compatible with the ones used by Battery Tender, so if you already have your bike wired up, like I do, you just plug it in.

I hooked my Honda up to my Battery Tender and it indicated that the battery was fully charged, but then I hooked it up to this Schumacher battery charger and it charged it some more to a higher voltage level, which should make it both work better and last longer. And it's the type that you can leave hooked up forever if you want (forever meaning all winter) and it will keep the battery topped off but not overcharge it. It even has built in control logic to detect if it's been hooked up backwards or if the battery is getting too hot. It's almost too good to be true.

So I thought I would share this in case any of the rest of you want to get one before they're out of stock again. You can hardly lose at the price it sells for.

Mikeydude
Male Advanced Member
762 Posts
[Mentor]


Ft. Worth, Texas
USA

Harley-Davidson

03 FXD Super Glide

Posted - 11/08/2010 :  4:55 PM
Linky no worky!
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jbooradley
Female New Member
13 Posts


Fort Collins, CO
USA

Honda

Aero 1100 C3

Posted - 11/08/2010 :  5:02 PM
Mine worked! Maybe your security is set to high and won't allow the url to work correctly. The site is Walmart so just go to Walmart.com and do a search.
Good luck
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scottrnelson
Advanced Member
6960 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, ID
USA

Honda

XR650L, 790 Adv R

Posted - 11/08/2010 :  6:02 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Mikeydude

Linky no worky!

Here's the long version of it: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/prod...=Es5Ekr9eEBk
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rayg50
Male Moderator
2083 Posts
[Mentor]


NYC, NY
USA

Honda

Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 11/08/2010 :  6:03 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Mikeydude

Linky no worky!


Here's a link to it on the amazon site. I get free shipping so ...

http://www.amazon.com/Schumacher-SE...60280&sr=8-1

Overall good reviews. I have a tender I am happy with but for the price I can't go wrong. I know one or two people for whom it would make a great holiday gift.


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gymnast
Moderator
4260 Posts
[Mentor]


Meridian, Idaho
USA

Harley-Davidson

Sportster Sport

Posted - 11/08/2010 :  7:45 PM
Bought one of these about 8 months ago. It works great, no complaints. I consider it money well spent as well as money saved by purchasing it over a higher priced alternative. I also have a Battery Tender that I have used for about 10 trouble free years. Were I to have to choose between the two, I would again choose the least expensive of those two choices.
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bachman1961
Male Advanced Member
2273 Posts
[Mentor]


colorado springs, co
USA

Honda

CB750 NightHawk

Posted - 11/09/2010 :  4:54 AM

I purchased one that was an earlier model of same brand with a 6V - 12V switch for my dad who uses it for the snow blower / lawn mower and sports car in their respective off seasons. The newer ones are auto sensing for the voltage.

For my use, I found an on-board maintainer at Harbor Freight a few years ago on sale for $9.99 and picked it up. Chicago Electric I believe.
It's more of a weather proof design so it can be used as a permanent mount under the hood for use with classic/antique cars if one wants to set it up that way. I just liked the price.
Schumacher has that version also but it's $28.

~brian
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Gs82Seca650
Male Advanced Member
1990 Posts
[Mentor]


Southern, PA
USA

Yamaha

1982 XJ 650 R Seca

Posted - 11/10/2010 :  3:08 PM
I have the earlier version of this Scott and it works great. I also have a "black and decker" brand battery maintainer and it too works well.

I rotate them around to all the items I have that have batteries over the winter, tractor plows, lawn tractor, motorcycle, Expedition. They are great to have.
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SAS Mayhem
Male Junior Member
58 Posts


Rocky Mount, NC
USA

Kawasaki

09 Concours

Posted - 11/26/2010 :  8:05 AM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
Thanks for the write up Mr. Nelson. I just got a storage building for my bike and am looking for a charger to keep my battery in peak performance, on the few day I can't ride.

Thanks
Cheers
Ron
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Razzoo
Male Senior Member
317 Posts


Phenix City, Al
USA

Triumph

Sprint & HD XLH1200S

Posted - 11/27/2010 :  11:24 AM
Here is a review that also has comments:

http://www.darkrash.com/schumacher-...-maintainer/

An observation that someone made in the comments section is that this charger is not a true float charger. This charger allows discharge and then shifts to a charging cycle, brings the battery back to a full charge and then goes back to monitoring. Even so, this charger like others should keep your battery charged so the bike will start when you are ready to ride, and the price is right. (I paid almost this much for another connector for my Optimate 3 charger)


Edited by - Razzoo on 11/27/2010 8:36 PM
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louturks
Male Junior Member
75 Posts


Richmond, VA
USA

Yamaha

Virago 250

Posted - 12/10/2010 :  7:22 AM
I think I'll stay with my Battery Tender Plus. No problems.
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SAS Mayhem
Male Junior Member
58 Posts


Rocky Mount, NC
USA

Kawasaki

09 Concours

Posted - 12/10/2010 :  7:18 PM   Join poster on Facebook as Friend  
FYI, I just picked up the Schumacher charger at Tractor Supply for onle 19.99.

So far it's do a good job.
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racer7
Ex-Member

Posted - 01/18/2011 :  2:30 PM
Discussion of chargers without talking about the battery is potentially misleading.

Older type "flooded" batteries to which one can add water don't need to be charged in the same manner as more modern gel or AGM types. Many bikes today come with gel cells that can benefit from being kept fully charged with a pulse charger, PROVIDED that they are not overcharged. The "correct" voltage is temperature dependent. Batteries are more susceptible to overcharge damage in really hot weather. Starting current demands are highest in cold weather when the battery can lose half of potential output due to temp effect on battery reaction chemistry/physics.

Most chargers, including the one noted in this thread make marketing type claims but provide no useful information. What matters for a float or pulse charger is info on the charging cycle re voltages/times and info on temp vs float voltage. For an older style flooded battery, a design that allows some discharge and then recharges to a proper voltage is typically preferable.

Having said that, Schumaker stuff is generally serviceable and competitively priced. I own a use a bunch of them- just not on my current bike that has a gel cell.
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kacinpa
Male Advanced Member
802 Posts
[Mentor]


Lansdale, PA
USA

Triumph

Sprint GT

Posted - 01/18/2011 :  3:57 PM
quote:
Originally posted by racer7

Discussion of chargers without talking about the battery is potentially misleading.

Older type "flooded" batteries to which one can add water don't need to be charged in the same manner as more modern gel or AGM types. Many bikes today come with gel cells that can benefit from being kept fully charged with a pulse charger, PROVIDED that they are not overcharged. The "correct" voltage is temperature dependent. Batteries are more susceptible to overcharge damage in really hot weather. Starting current demands are highest in cold weather when the battery can lose half of potential output due to temp effect on battery reaction chemistry/physics.

Most chargers, including the one noted in this thread make marketing type claims but provide no useful information. What matters for a float or pulse charger is info on the charging cycle re voltages/times and info on temp vs float voltage. For an older style flooded battery, a design that allows some discharge and then recharges to a proper voltage is typically preferable.

Having said that, Schumaker stuff is generally serviceable and competitively priced. I own a use a bunch of them- just not on my current bike that has a gel cell.



The Schumaker model detaield above does indeed charge to a certain level, allow a slight discharge and then recharge to the proper level again.

I purchased one of these unit back in the fall and it has been on the bike in the garage since just after thanksgiving. My bike sat through a week of poor weather at the end of October and a week while I was away on a cruise. Temps at the beginning of November hovered between 35 and 40 and after the two weeks the battery did not have enough juice to start the bike.. After a jump start I rode for an hour or so to charge up the battery, then went out and bought the charger. I attached the quick connect leads to the battery (and discovered some loose connections and corrosion at the time, and hooked up the charger.

I guess I will know if it all worked out once the spring comes along. I am doubtful of several consecutive days with ridable weather until then. I fully expect to have to buy a battery anyway, but at least I should be able to ride it in for my annual inspection and Spring "once over" at the dealer.
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