Battery Chargers | Tools 101

By Karel Kramer, Photography by Karel Kramer

Many of the parts on your motorcycle wear out in direct correlation to use. Ride more and your tires, brake pads and chain will deteriorate sooner. Batteries are exactly the opposite: Providing your machine’s charging system is operating correctly, and the terminals and connections are clean, your battery will likely live longer if you ride every day than if you ride every few weeks. Motorcycle designers walk a tightrope between battery capacity, physical size and weight, which means a motorcycle battery doesn’t have as much reserve as an automobile battery. To get the most out of your battery, you’ll need a trickle charger in your garage—ideally with a plug hard-wired to the machine so it can be connected easily and often.

Here are a few tips from the Yuasa website:

» For liquid-electrolyte batteries, never let the fluid level drop below the minimum mark, and only fill the battery with ionized or distilled water. Remove the filler caps while charging. (Never open a sealed, maintenance-free battery.)

» In hot weather charge the battery every two weeks, and at least once a month below 60 degrees. You can leave a smart/float-type charger connected to the battery whenever your bike is parked.

» If the battery gets hot while charging, stop immediately and let it cool before continuing.

» Never use an automotive battery charger on a motorcycle battery. Their amperage is too high.

» Make certain that the battery vent hose isn’t plugged or kinked. Don’t have any source of ignition near the battery while charging. In both cases there is a chance the battery could explode.

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