F800GS Battery

8 replies [Last post]
Trevor Rennison's picture
Joined: 2013/08/26

Points: 0

My F800GS didn't want to start this morning. It cranks and then dies and resets itself. It's done this once or twice recently, after the bike has stood for a day or two. I didn't ride yesterday and I suspect this morning's problem is indicative of impending battery failure. The bike is about 3½ years old and still on the original battery.

Now I have a choice: I can either buy a battery from Donford for R2200 and some change or I can buy what sounds like the same battery from either Trac-mac or Battery Centre for around R700.

These batteries are all dry-stored AGM types and come with an acid pack that you put in, then you charge it overnight on the Optimate and then fit it to the bike.

Either there is something very special about the battery from Donford or I smell a rip-off. Is there any reason why I shouldn't / can't use the cheaper battery in my bike.

At that price difference I can afford to replace the battery every two years on a schedule, and never have to worry about getting stuck with a dead battery again, like I almost did today.

So many mountains, so little time.

zebra's picture
Joined: 2008/03/28

In my (limited) experience, the other batteries will also work, and work well, another good battery place you can try is DELTEC in Paarden Eiland, about 300 meters past KTM Cape Town, direction Milnerton.

The do sell direct to public, and have a good range, and good pricing.

Am keen to hear from the Gurus if maybe the battery from BMW themselves is possibly a better/more durable/higher spec battery?



Trevor Rennison's picture
Joined: 2013/08/26

thanks Chris

I tried Vonde in Maitland but they are closed and I suspect DELTEC might also be closed, but I'm happy to get one from Trac Mac and try it. Would also appreciate comments from the Gurus on this topic. I can't believe that the extra cost of the BMW battery is justified. Maybe they can convince me?

So many mountains, so little time.

Stan's picture
Joined: 2010/03/21

The BMW battery will not necessarily give you more life than the Toplite which TracMac will sell you, but certainly looks the most robust

Although a Deltec will work, if it were my money, I would firstly go for a MotoBatt (Adventure Rider?) or secondly a Toplite.


Joined: 2007/06/25

Yuasa is made in Japan (?) and Topflite in Korea or China also a Yuasa factory, I paid R850-00 for the 1200 Yuasa battery about 12,0 months ago. It does the job well enough to keep me going without drama. 3,5 years is about the expected life for a battery.


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Charles Oertel's picture
Joined: 2007/04/14

They source it from another supplier and rebrand.  When you buy a BMW battery, you know it is exactly right for your bike, and all those good things.

However, you can buy the exact equivalent from the same supplier, or even a suitable battery from another supplier, at a lower cost (because you now need to do the sourcing and confirming that it will fit and has the right specs etc.).

As a result of the internet, knowledge about what batteries are suitable/better/more cost-effective is much easier to get.  So you do not need to rely on the dealer anymore.

Personally, I have used Deltec, Toplite and have settled on Yuasa - which I source from Kingtek in Retreat.  As long as the battery is the same capacity and physical form-factor, it doesn't matter much which one you get.  Typically, the cheapest ones last the shortest - but in an emergency it doesn't matter - just get another one when the opportunity is right.

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Trevor Rennison's picture
Joined: 2013/08/26

So here's what's so special about the BMW battery and why it's so expensive: It's exactly the same shape, size and form and it will be a simple matter of removing the old one and replacing with the new one and everything will fit as it did before. If money is no objec and you don't mind paying two to three times for a battery then by all means....

I used a Motobatt that I got from Trac-mac. Because the Motobatt is about 15mm lower than the stock battery, It comes with a spacer that fits onto the bottom of the battery. This spacer doesn't fit into the battery box, it's too big. If I cut the spacer to make it fit, it still doesn't help, because the stock battery has a groove in the top of it. there is a guide plate that fits over the battery to guide the cables and also provide tension to hold the battery in place vertically. Both batteries are a tight fit in the battery box. so they aren't going anywhere in any other direction, but the Motobatt could move up if you don't use a spacer. The guide plate has a protrusion along the bottom that engages with the groove in the top of the stock battery. No groove on the Motobatt means that the guide plate will not screw down properly and will not work as intended, therefore I had to find a spacer of the required thickness and suitable size to fit between the guide plate and the Motobatt battery. I used a piece of 25x15 Egaduct but this is not ideal as it could move around and possibly work loose. I will look around for a piece of wood that I can cut to the required shape and size and use this in place of the egaduct. For now though, the bike is rideable and at a much lower cost than the BMW battery. Oh yes, one more thing: There is no filling or charging necessary with the Motobatt. Just stick it in, turn the key and go. If you don't mind a bit of fiddling, a 'Pirate' battery can save you a lot of money, but you need patience and some engineering skills.

If only it were as simple as a car battery, but alas, it isn't.

So many mountains, so little time.

Joined: 2007/06/19

Another manner to fill the space is an offcut conveyer belt from one of the belting supply outlets!!!

Joined: 2018/06/17

More info: I also needed a replacement battery (the 2016-10 Koyo YTX14-BS that was in the bike was giving problems). 

I heard good things about Motobatt and saw online that the Motobatt MBTX12U (L:151 x W:87 x H:130) is recommended for my bike (F800 GSA). As mentioned above, the MBTX12U is 15mm too low, so I went for the Motobatt MBYZ16H (L:151 x W:87 x H:145) which has the same dimensions as the Koyo YTX14-BS. I called Trac-Mac up beforehand and they said the MBYZ16H is the upgrade to the MBTX12U but whatever. It also has slightly higher capacity which is nice.

All of that said, the Motobatt MBYZ16H (and the MBTX12U) will NOT fit properly with the BMW bracket due to the shape of the top of the battery. The Koyo has a different "slot" to the Motobatt and the bracket is very much designed for a snug fit on the Koyo (or similar shape). See the attached photo - the green rectangle is where the bracket fits in, and the red shows how it doesn't fit on the Motobatt.

All of that said, I just forced the Motobatt in because I needed to go on a ride and it seems to be OK for now. I'll look around for a different bracket.



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