In order for your bike to run properly you need a strong battery. Inorder to prolong the life and strength of your battery simplefollow these six tips.
Tip #1: Keep the electrolyte levels up. Check the water level in your battery frequently to make sure it is above the plate tops. If the water level is low, fill the reservoir with distilled water. This will prevent plate damage and it will maintain electrolyte levels.
Tip #2: Keep your battery properly charged, even during the off-season. Batteries self-dischargewhen not in use, and will lose on average 10-25% of its charge permonth. To keep up with this loss you will need to charge thebattery 5AH per month during the off-season. This usually onlytakes an overnight charge session for most sized batteries. If yourbattery loses more than this amount you may consider changing it toa lead/calcium alloy to decrease discharge. However, this type ofbattery will increase the chance your battery will freeze slightlyunder water’s freezing point. If you store your battery in a coldclimate, remember to recharge it before use. An important thing toremember when recharging is not to overcharge, as this will damageyour battery as well.
Tip #3: Keep the battery clean. Evaporated electrolytes will leave a film of concentrated sulfuric acid that will be able to conduct a current stream and may encourage discharge of the battery while the bike is at rest. If you notice an oily film on your battery remove it and wash it down with soap and water. Apply a thin layer of terminal coating or Vaseline to the terminals. This will help repel “crud” from forming on the battery and will prolong the time between cleanings.
Tip #4: Check for current leaks often to prevent drain and strain during the off-season. Use an ammeter in series with your bike’s battery while the key is off. If the ammeter reads .005AH or higher, you have a problem that needs to be corrected. Make sure your off-season battery maintenance takes into consideration the charge drain created by your bike’s clock, radio, andalarm.
Tip #5: Check for shorts, defects, or debris that has caused a disruption in the current flow.
Tip #6: Make sure your battery is the right size for the load imposed by the accessories on your bike. In order to determine this, convert the load in Watts to Amps. Thiscan be accomplished by dividing the number of Watts by 12, and thenadd up the Amps used by your bike. Compare AH in to AH out to seeif your battery is the right size.
For example: Suppose you have an 18AH battery. Now suppose your bike uses the following Amps:
Starting – 1AH, Lights – 5 AH, Vest – 1.4 AH, Ignition – 1.5 AH
The total Amps used by your bike is 8.9 AH. This is well within the capabilities of the 18AH battery. But now suppose there was a sale at your bike shop and you added some gadgets toyour bike like a radio 1AH, fog lights 8.3AH, and a suit 4.2AH.This would bring the Amp load to 22.4AH and would be more than issuitable for your 18AH battery. If you tried to run your bike itprobably would be difficult to start if it started at all, andwould drain your battery quickly. You would need to replace the18AH battery with a larger one to increase the battery’susefulness.
These simple tips can help generate the most use and life out of a battery.