If you’re a new motorcycle owner, then congratulations because having a vehicle like this is fun, cheap, and opens up a world of travel opportunities. You can drive to work, drive somewhere for a day out, and even skip the traffic jams when needed. Asians are ahead of the game in this matter, with 80% of the motorcycles in the world.
As a new owner, the last thing on your mind is motorcycle battery maintenance. However, if you don’t give this subject a little bit of your time, then you will also experience your first motorcycle break down, which always comes as a surprise and is amazingly inconvenient. Don’t get stuck on the side of a busy street or stranded at home because your battery has had it.
In this article, we’re going to walk you through seven tips on motorcycle battery maintenance for new owners. This is the only walking you’ll have to do if you pay attention and keep your battery in good condition.
1. Primary Maintenance Principle
One of the primary principles that underpin good maintenance of nearly all machines is keeping things clean. The roads we drive on are dirty, and the air is often polluted so that your motorcycle can get mucky. Depending on where you live, the weather, and the design of the battery housing, your battery can be affected.
You will need to regularly clean your motorcycle, so when you do, don’t forget to wipe the battery down, removing any debris or dirt. This is a good opportunity to check the terminals are also clean and not corroding.
2. Loose Is No Use
Your battery might be maintenance free, but if the connection is loose, then you will still get an intermittent performance. That can lead to flickering lights and other electric circuits but also inadequate charging of the battery. The connection can come loose if it’s being forced in some way, such as overpacking the seating storage if that’s where your battery is based.
Driving over bad roads and poor quality surfaces can really shake up the motorcycle and affect the battery connection. So make it your routine to regularly check that the connections are firmly connected to their terminals.
3. Leak Equals Weak
Check your battery at least once a month for signs of leaks. If there are signs of fluid leaking from your battery, this is likely the electrolyte within the battery. The chemical reaction that occurs within your battery produces gas, which ideally is allowed to evacuate from the battery through small vents.
If the vents become blocked or the battery is overworked for some reason, the internal pressure may cause some of the internal fluid to break through the battery seals. Another cause of leaking batteries is that the battery wall can crack through excessive vibration from the motorcycle. So make sure the housing for the battery is also in good condition with good vibration insulation using rubber and battery fixing straps.
4. Top Up—Top Performance
The electrolyte in your battery that’s vital to its function consists of an acid combined with water. As the battery goes through its standard charge and discharge cycle, the acid increases in concentration, and the water evaporates. This means the volume of your electrolyte reduces.
The balance between acid and water concentration is important for optimal charging. Therefore, as the water content decreases, you need to top it up. You can do this using distilled water, which is free from any impurities that will negatively affect the metal electrodes within the battery.
5. Go Undercover
One of the great things about motorcycles is that you can park them almost anywhere without too many problems. However, give some thought to the effect that hot weather has on your battery’s health. In hot countries, like many of the Asian countries, the battery life can be reduced as it’s exposed to heat on a regular basis.
Heat accelerates the chemical processes occurring within the battery, which leads to premature aging. Therefore an important maintenance tip is to park your motorcycle out of the heat.
6. Remember DDD
Sometimes there are periods where we do not use our motorcycle. Maybe we are traveling upcountry using the train system or buses etc., or even with friends. When you get back in a few weeks, you may find that your battery is completely flat.
This is because your battery is always discharging its power even when the ignition isn’t on. To prevent this, you need to remember to Disconnect During Disuse. Breaking the battery connection with a circuit will help the battery retain its charge for longer.
7. Charged Up and Ready To Roll
Your battery is not designed to completely discharge. In fact, this is bad for the health and longevity of the battery. That’s why you need to keep your battery well charged as much as possible.
One of the best ways to do this is to connect your battery to a trickle charge about once a week. This is a special charging device that will make sure your battery is not overcharged, as this is also damaging.
Switched-On to Motorcycle Battery Maintenance
Now that you have your own motorcycle, it’s time to flick the switch on maintaining your battery. In this article, you have learned about seven tips for motorcycle battery maintenance. Follow these tips, and your battery will give your bike the electrical kick it needs every time you use it.
Once you understand these basic points about how your battery works and responds in certain conditions, you will see there’s a lot you can do to make sure the battery lasts its full intended lifespan, and even a little bit more. We love battery-related questions, so if you’re wondering about something, don’t hesitate to ask.