The BMW motorcycle battery that I paid $227 (battery and labor) for on May 21, 2012 at Bloodworth BMW Motorcycles in Nashville, Tenn., is on its last legs.
I was mildly surprised when I checked just now to see how old it is - I thought it was a bit newer than 5½ years. That's a reasonable expectation for a battery, so it looks like I'll have to bite the bullet and ride down to Memphis and have the dealer there install a new battery.
I noticed it isn't holding a charge a couple of weeks ago when I rode it to the post office and it seemed to strain to start the bike again for the ride home. I put it on a charger and it seemed ok, but three days later it was flat again.
Thinking the battery was newer than 5½ years, I suspected the new starter relay I had installed about a month ago. Could it possibly be draining the battery? It seemed unlikely, but stranger things have happened. Now that I know the true age of the battery, I think I can rule out the starter relay as the problem.