When you come to think of your motorcycle, one of the most recurrent worries turns out to be the maintenance of the motorcycle battery. Taking care of the motorcycle battery isn’t rocket science, but it isn’t cakewalk either! You would do well to keep the following things in mind, apart from being just committed to making checks to ensure that your battery stays healthy and functional.
Knowing the Fundamentals
To begin with, when you talk about a 12-volt battery, you are essentially using a convenient name to refer to a specific type of battery. In actuality, an isolated 12-volt battery that has rested for some hours after being fully charged will measure 12.v bolts, and if a battery measures below 12.4 and closer to 12 volts under the same conditions, it only means that it has begun to go down on performance.
Before explaining the details of what motorcycle battery maintenance entails, you should know that your battery is often located an easily accessible position, in order to facilitate regular and proper maintenance.
The Maintenance Checklist
Even though there is no rulebook to go by, it could be said that the closest to a thumb-rule is to regularly check the liquid levels in the chambers of you battery. All in all, the basic maintenance which is easy to do on your part can be summarized as the following list:
a) Use only de-ionized or distilled water, thereby avoiding tap water when you are filling up the chambers. Furthermore, while you are examining the electrolyte levels and topping up with water, it’s always safer to do it a well-ventilated or open area and wear gloves.
b) Clean away the grime that might accumulate on the top.
c) Tighten all the loose connections, make sure the terminals and connectors are well in-tact with the cables, properly working clamps, etc.
d) Ensure that there are no kinks clogging the exhaust tube’s airway, see that sediments haven’t deposited and sulfation has taken place.
e) Use a voltmeter to test your battery on your own, and replace the caps that have loosened up.
Go through these steps at-least once every month. Needless to say, your motorcycle battery must always be fully charged, particularly when you have spotted signs like dim lights, which suggest that it’s weakening.
The Forgotten Issue of Storage
Often, storage of the battery isn’t tended to in the right manner. The most common reason that batteries go dead or begin malfunctioning is because of improper storage while they are not in use.
In turn, the reason this happens is that people often don’t know that the motorcycle battery requires a certain temperature range to stay healthy. If you are going on a vacation this winter, make sure you have provided for a temperature warmer than 32 degrees, either by storing the motorcycle in an appropriately warm place, or by taking out the battery and doing the same.
Furthermore, another critical point to remember is that if you have indeed taken out the battery and chosen a place for storage; ensure that the surface on which it would be eventually kept is wood or any other non-conducting material, so that the charge doesn’t drain away during the storage period.
Charging Tips and Points To Remember
Once you have gained access to your battery using the motorcycle manual, you can make use a crescent wrench to pry out the battery. While you do this and disconnect the cable connecting the battery to the rest of the bike, make sure you have your worn your goggles and gloves.
If you find the battery to be too hot, stop the charging and allow some time for your battery to cool down, before you can resume. Once you have filled u up the chambers with distilled water, you can charge the battery with the caps off so as to prevent the gases from being trapped. It is these gases that prove to be dangerous when they explode later under unstable pressures and temperatures. In addition, for the same reason, ensure that the vent tube isn’t kinked.
The two byproducts of motorcycle battery charging are hydrogen and oxygen; so you should heed the caution that flames or any kind of fire is to be kept at bay!
Being regular, committed and safe, you can do your part when it comes to motorcycle battery maintenance and really prolong the life of your battery.