Motorcycle Battery BasicsErika Bultitude
With warmer weather on its way and Spring just around the corner, many motorcycle owners will be dusting off their machines and preparing for the first outing of the year. Often motorcycle batteries suffer reduced lifespans, due in part to neglected battery maintenance during storage, however improper charging & parasitic draw will both have a significant impact on your battery’s life. Electronic motorcycle accessories, even the most basic ones (ECUs, clocks, key sensors) all draw a small current even when the ignition switched off. Often referred to as ‘parasitic draw’. This can and will drain your battery voltage in as quickly as a few days.
- To prevent these draws from destroying your battery, always disconnect when not in use for extended periods of time. Even when there is no load, batteries self-discharge.
- When batteries are left in a discharged state, they quickly become sulphated and will permanently lose the ability to be re-charged. The best practice is to keep your battery on an intelligent charger at all times when not in use.
If your battery has discharged during its winter storage and you decide you need a replacement, it is certainly worth bearing the below safety tips in mind when you remove the old battery from your machine and replace it with the new one.
Changing a Motorcycle Battery – Safety
Below are some basic tips on Battery Safety: –
- Most batteries contain sulphuric acid so always follow the safety instructions.
- Always wear eye protection, rubber gloves, and old clothing when working near them.
Batteries vent hydrogen and oxygen that can explode if sparks or smoking occur nearby.
- Turn the ignition switch off before disconnecting the battery terminals, and detach the negative side first so tools can’t spark if they touch metal.
- Always connect the negative cable of the battery last, attaching it to a clean metal portion of the frame, rather than to the negative battery terminal, so no sparks occur near the battery.
- Only plug in a battery charger after it’s connected.
- Be sure to clean and inspect terminals regularly.
- Electrolyte levels of non-maintenance-free batteries need to be checked monthly, especially in hot weather or when frequently used. If electrolyte levels drop below the top of the internal plates, the battery may be damaged.
Once your new battery is fitted ensure you keep it in good order by using an intelligent battery charger.
The BBL Battery Experts are on hand to offer advice to anyone who is unsure about what is the best replacement battery to suit their particular application. With a vast stockholding of Intelligent Battery Chargers and Motorcycle Batteries from the world’s leading manufacturers BBL can offer Premium Quality at Exceptional Value. BBL also offer speedy Nationwide Delivery.
Call your nearest BBL Branch for further information.