As the days get warmer, the urge to twist the throttle gets stronger. Before you get back in the saddle, take time to check your motorcycle battery. Here are some top tips to get powered up and prepped for every twist and turn.
Select the right battery
It may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to pick up the wrong battery. There are variety of motorcycle batteries available and most modern batteries are maintenance-free. Maintenance-free batteries don’t lose water during charging like other batteries do, which makes them more effective and less messy.
These batteries are sealed and the acid is absorbed in the special plates and separators, so there’s no need to worry about acid leaks on valuable vehicle parts and accessories. If your bike battery is sensor-equipped, remember to replace the sensor when you change the battery.
Check fluid levels
Check your battery fluid (electrolytes) at least once a month. Levels should be as indicated by the maximum and minimum fill lines for each cell. Cells can only be filled with distilled water (no tap water). Fill up in a well-ventilated area wearing gloves and protective face gear. This kind of maintenance should be done throughout the year and the more you ride, the more frequently it should be checked.
Clean your battery
Clean off any accumulated dust, grime and small pollutants. To eliminate battery terminal corrosion, scrub and clean them using a clamp brush and battery cleaner. Make sure the vent caps on the battery are tight to prevent some of the cleaner entering the cells. Wipe around the battery with a wet towel and dry with a clean towel. Once the terminals have completely dried, you can apply a little anti-corrosion spray around each terminal to deter future corrosive build-up.
Proper storage is important
Did you know motorcycle batteries should be removed in winter and stored at room temperature? This prevents freezing or cracking. Don’t store it on a concrete or metal surface in a garage, it’ll discharge over time. Rather place it on a wood or another warmer surface.
Charge it up
Before you hit the road, connect your battery to a motorcycle battery charger to keep it optimally charged. Properly connect the charger to the battery. Switch off and unplug the charger before you disconnect the leads. This is more critical for winter maintenance, but is important year-round too.