This rant is mainly relevant to Australian members given the supplier I am about to name, but the issue may extend further.
This starts in 2017 when I bought my R1150GSA.
Every year in around late June I attend a restorer's club meeting at a small seaside village 200km South of where I live.
On this occasion I carefully prepped the GSA (which I was yet to ride any great distance on at that point) and my Wife's G650GS. It was a lovely afternoon so we went for a brief ride up to Pt Douglas and then filled the bikes ready of the off the next morning.
The following day was a glorious Winter (well for Far North Queensland ) winter day, approximately 18 ~19 degrees.
The GSA wouldn't start and in fact showed all the signs of battery collapse. In something of a bad temper I pulled the battery - made more fun by the 34lt of fuel in the full tank. I then took the old battery to "Super Cheap Auto" 10km away where to my suprise they stocked teh same battery I had just pulled out.
Without thinking I bought one, fitted it and set off for Cardwell. I did think initially that the new battery was a little less than enthusiastic but put that down to it having sat on the shelf for a while.
I did notice when we go home that it seemed to make hard work of starting the GSA and I started to wonder if the starter was faulty.
Roll forward to 2020 and the GSA wouldn't start on a nice crisp winter morning. I measured ther voltage and it said 12.7 volts, so I suspected the starter. I bought a Valeo rebuild kit and a Chinese Valeo copy (on the basis of "what the heck, they are cheap"). Fitted the new starter and the bike started perfectly. It is of some later relevance that this was at around 3 in the afternoon and the temperature had risen to 26 degrees.
Went to set out the next day and the blasted thing would not start. I went into town and bought a Motobatt battery and it started perfectly and has continued to do so.
Last year I needed a new battery for the R65/80 and I bought another Century battery from Supercheap. It struggled to start the 860cc kitted engine which I put down to lack of as yet being run in. I did a couple of brief rides but as I became progressivley sicker with my cancer treatment I laid the bike up.
I did run it a few times and it started readily (relevently wthis was during summer).
So early July rolled around and the delayed restorer's club meeting was on.
Bloody hell, we got up to a bright clear morning at about 17 degrees and the damn thing wouldn't start.
I hooked up jumper leads and jump started it and off we went. When we go to Cardwell I did a couple of test starts and the battery turned the engine over willingly, my multimeter said 12,9 volts about an hour after shutdown.
The next morning the starter was very sluggish, but did start the bike. The following day I rang a different supplier and ordered a Motobatt battery. I fitted the Motobatt and it started willingly. I measured the Century battery and it was at 12.8 volts.
I took the Century into the shop that supplied the Motobatt and they reported that there was absolutely nothing wrong with it, however their comment of "you know that this is not a start rated battery don't you" caused my ears to prick up.
Pennies started to drop. Supercheap are selling batteries intended to be used in UPS and emergancy lighting setups as motorcycle batteries, a task to which they are no suited.
They do work perfectly well (sort of) when new and during warm weather, but slight age related degredation and cold weather causes them problems.
I should point out that at one stage the R65/80 wouldn't start and in disgust I took another bike, yet that afternoon it started happily having simply been left to sit in the sun for the day.
I rang Century and they disclaimed any knowledge of Supercheap selling their batteries as motorcycle batteries and seemed disinterested in doing anything - I guess Supercheap buy lots of batteries from them.
Anyway, here is a picture of the offending item. I can only suggest that before you buy a bettery you confirm with the manufacturer that they are rated and warranted as start batteries.
I have written to Supercheap suggesting they refund me $260 for the two most recent batteries bought from them. I won't hold my breath.