Battery maintenance is crucial to any rider who wishes to have longer battery performance. But you might have been experiencing problems with your battery. Perhaps you have already gone over several types of batteries you need over dead batteries. So? Now you are looking for an option to extend the life of your motorcycle battery.
Well, this article will assist you with motorcycle battery maintenance guidance. But before digging down, note that most performance-based motorbike batteries have a lifespan of three to four years.
Motorcycle Battery Maintenance – 6 Quick Tips
- Check the electrolyte levels; if lower, top-up distilled water for the battery.
- Clean the battery regularly.
- Test your motorcycle battery power with a battery tester.
- Check for leaks & clean the terminals.
- Regulate the temperature.
- Use proper charger and charge to full.
Later, we discussed all those quick tips as a whole. But first, look at common motorcycle battery-draining causes.
Why do motorcycle batteries die so fast?
Mainly, motorcycle battery drains so fast while there has a charging problem and when servicing is not done periodically. It can also happen for several reasons. Like, such as the bad ground connection, poor voltage regulator or rectifier, the effect of extra vibration on heat transfer, rusty battery terminal, and more.
Below, here are more descriptive to clarify.
Higher temperatures increase the evaporation rate of your motorcycle’s battery. This evaporation reduces the capacity of your battery, resulting in it dying. The heat also favours the corrosion of the battery’s inside parts. The effect of this corrosion is less power, especially when starting the motorcycle.
Road roughness and collisions affect the mechanical and electrical capabilities of the battery. Vibration increases fatigue of the electrical systems, which lowers power production. The results are delay during ignition and unreliability.
It accounts for most of the early battery failures. Sulphation is the formation of lead sulphate chemicals that coat the lead plates. The effect of this is the halting of the electrolysis process. Electrolysis is the chemical process that generates electricity. This problem is most evident to urban drivers rather than long-distance travellers.
Cold temperatures lower the bike’s ability to provide ignition and running power. The water in the battery freezes and expands, causing irreparable damage to the cells. The effect caused depends on the amount of charge in the battery. The higher the charge, the safe the bike’s battery is.
Motorcycle Battery Maintenance Tips
In this part, we have discussed how to maintain a motorcycle battery. Besides this, you will also find safety issues for maintenance.
1. Check the electrolyte levels
If you use a conventional battery, ensure you check the electrolyte levels. It is advisable to do a monthly check-up or as regularly as possible. If the electrolyte levels are lower, you should ensure you top up and avoid overspilling. Overspilling the acid may erode your motorcycle components. Also, it can damage your body if it spills on it. Top up to the marked level on the battery casing. Why do conventional batteries require topping up? The distilled water and sulphuric acid mixture often evaporate due to chemical reactions. Topping up maintains its levels.
2. Clean the Battery Regularly
Regularly check the battery to ensure it’s clean and in a good state. Like any other bike component, they will attract dust over time as they self-discharge and go flat. Cleaning the battery top ensures the tops are openable when needed. Also, it helps your bike to look decent when you decide to take a ride. For cleaning your battery mostly you will need a battery cleaner and a battery terminal cleaning brush.
3. Clean the Terminals
The battery terminals often have an accumulation of acid and a sulfate compound. The two components can corrode your terminals and reduce the contact area. Reduction of the contact area may affect the charging patterns and supply of current. Also, it can cause overheating and electrical resistance when starting the bike. Experts suggest that riders should often use a stiff brush to clean the terminals. Rinsing with water and smearing Vaseline cleans and keeps away the corrosion. They, however, warn that disconnecting the terminals in computerized bikes leads to memory loss. It is therefore advisable to visit a motorcycle mechanic to handle the case.
4. Check for Leaks
Leaks in your battery can be the most misfortunate thing happening to your bike. Leaks in conventional batteries can be harmful, especially the content of the battery. The acid-water contents can corrode your body, wear, or any bike component. It is therefore advisable to constantly check your battery if there are any leaks. You should ensure you replace the battery. If you really keen on how to check for battery drain with a multimeter, see the video.
Conventional batteries have a charging memory. Charging memory is when a battery fails to accept a charge less than the highest one used on it. Experts recommend the use of a smart charger to help maintain the charge at its full state. When the bike partially discharges, it cannot withstand the current take-out during ignition. This is why the best motorcycle battery maintenance charger is mandatory. Because the effect of this is self-discharge and memory loss of the cells. Improper charging also causes sulphation. Sulphation kills your battery with no means of restoring it. Experts warn that the trickle chargers are not ideal for modern batteries. They may cause the shedding of the battery plates.
6. Regulate the temperature
Temperature is one of the dreadful killers of your motorcycle battery. In conventional batteries, they cause fast vapour loss, making them not hold the charge. Vapour loss in a typical instance is a consistent but slow process that takes time. If you live in hot places, buy a more life-extended battery that will serve you a standard lifetime. Ensure that you don’t expose the bike’s battery to heat or direct sunlight by storing it in a garage when not in use. Particularly, storing batteries in a climate-controlled garage keeps them stable.
Finally, Use the Proper Motorcycle Battery
Batteries are not universal as motorcycles aren’t. Using a battery whose design fits your specific motorcycle enhances its performance. Finding the right battery for your bike has proven not to be a walk in the park. That is why we have a guide to help you stay informed on what to look for when choosing. There are many reputable brands out there that can fit your motorcycle. Nowadays, Motorcycle battery maintenance free is more popular than the traditional one.
When maintaining your bike, it is often important to ensure you observe a few safety measures. The safety wears below will keep you safe in case the unexpected happens.
Goggles cover your eyes and protect them from a possible splash of chemicals. It is possible that when checking the level of the electrolyte, some may splash. Goggles ensure that the first place they land on is not the eyes.
Wear Face Shield
Just like the goggles, they protect you from the unpredictable. When topping up, some vapour may come out or the acid splash. The face shield is the first place they land on. Wearing a face shield protects your face skin from getting damaged by chemicals.
You will be topping up using sulphuric acid, which can spill and land on your hands. Wearing gloves keeps you on the safe side in case this happens. Sulphuric acid is one of the most corrosive acids. Also, ensure you wipe out any leaked chemicals.
You may also read:
- AGM vs. Lead Acid: Which Motorcycle Battery is Right for You?
- How to Choose a Motorcycle Battery- Best Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
What should a healthy motorcycle battery read?
A healthy 12 volts motorcycle battery should range between 9.5 and 10.5 volts. It should read this under load for about 30 seconds; however, if it reads and begins to drop to 0 volts, then it is an open cell.
What is the average life of a motorcycle battery?
3-5 years. Manufacturers have come to a consensus that a battery should last at least 48 months. However, most have premature death due to poor maintenance.
Can a dead motorcycle battery be recharged?
Well, you can jump-start your motorcycle with another bike. Once jumpstarted, ride it for some time so that it can fully recharge again. Also, you can recharge using a battery charger.
Maintaining your bike’s battery is key to having a quick and enjoyable ride. Battery maintenance can be the missing mark that has been causing disrupted rides. Also, maintaining your battery saves you from trouble. Some common problems include premature death of the battery and delayed ignition. This guide will help you stay safe and rely on your motorcycle.