Loving to ride your motorcycle does not necessarily mean to love maintaining it. If you are not a mechanic, you might feel that it is easier to give your bike to a motorcycle repair shop, and let them handle the problems that may have occurred. But, maintenance does not mean only solving the problems as they come, but also doing certain things in order to prevent those problems from happening at all. While a non-mechanic might have trouble with maintaining the engine, for example, the maintenance of the motorcycle battery is something that is not as difficult, and should be done properly, in order to avoid having to spend extra money every year for a new battery. This may also save you from having any battery-related trouble on the road.
Motorcycle battery is the thing that provides the power for the ignition system, the lights and the starter motor. If your battery fails, your motorcycle won’t start at all. This might create a serious problem if you are out riding your motorcycle. The average life-span of a motorcycle battery is 3-5 years. It goes without saying that if you do not maintain it properly, a new one will have to be bought every year, somewhere around spring usually.
There are three main points when concerning battery maintenance and those three simple steps are more than enough to give your battery the full life it deserves.
Check and refill the electrolyte solution level
This is the thing that needs to be done most regularly. When driving, the level of the fluid in your battery is dropping, so it needs to be monitored regularly, in order to ensure that your battery is providing maximum power. Most motorcycle manufacturers make the bikes so as to be easy to access your motorcycle battery at any time, and check what is going on. Usually, your battery will be under the seat, or somewhere on the side of the motorcycle.
When you have reached your battery, you should check whether the fluid level is at its maximum. This is done by looking at the side of your battery. There will be markings that will point out where the maximum and where the minimum level of the fluids is. If the fluid level drops beneath the minimum level, then the battery won’t work, and your engine won’t start.
If it is so, then you should add distilled water to your battery. Fill it up with distilled water all the way to the line that says maximum level. It is very important to stress out that you should only add distilled water, not tap water or any other kind of water, and that adding sulfuric acid is not a good idea. Also, because you will be working with a potentially dangerous and harmful acid, it is recommended that you get protective gloves and glasses.
Storing your battery
There are periods of time when you just can’t drive your motorcycle. Bad weather spells and winter will leave your motorcycle deadlocked in your garage. It is during these periods that the batteries get damaged the most, as usual, the drivers do not store them in a proper way. That is why, every spring, local mechanics have much work which deals with batteries (although they sell many batteries then, as well). What is required for your battery is to store it properly, away from the motorcycle. You should avoid storing it in cold places, as the cold can damage your battery. The place where you store your battery should be around 32 degrees Celsius, but generally anything that is not cold will help preserve your battery during the winter.
Also, another thing you should avoid is leaving the battery on the concrete or metal surfaces. Concrete and metal help a lot with the discharging of the battery while it is not used, so it is preferred that you leave the battery on wooden or plastic surfaces as these are good isolators, and will keep your battery charged longer.
Charging the battery
This is also an important thing about motorcycle batteries. When the bike is running, the battery is constantly recharging itself. But when it is not, then the battery is in the process of discharging of the energy. If left uncharged for a long period of time, it may die out, and lose the capability to produce power completely. This is why regularly charging the battery when it is not used is very important, in order to prolong the life of the battery. The easiest way to do this is to find the so called “smart” or “intelligent” motorcycle battery chargers. When you are storing the battery during the winter, you hook it up on one of these, and they will charge the battery to its maximum capacity, and then turn it off, until the battery needs to be charged again. It is recommended not to overcharge your battery, as it will malfunction later.
So, to conclude, it is important to regularly check the level of the fluid in the battery, to store it properly as to avoid damage, and recharge the battery often so that it does not die out. These steps will help you prolong the life of the battery, avoid the expenses of having to buy your battery often and keep the problems from occurring when you are out riding.