Keeping Your Bike Charged Up

Here’s what every motorcyclist needs to know about battery maintenance. OK, so that sounds a little boring. But sometimes the important details are buried in the mundane. Your battery really is a critical component of your bike. The amount of maintenance you’ll need to perform will vary depending on how often you ride and what type of battery you have. But a little attention along the way will help you avoid the pain of a “no start” condition when you’re ready to hit the highway.

Why is the battery so important? Well, it starts your bike for one thing. After you get it started, the battery provides power for all of the electrical components of the bike, from safety features like lights and a horn, to fun accessories like an entertainment system. A dead or failing battery means that you are going to be let down in some way. Who wants that?

Batteries come in two major types. Maintenance-free batteries are completely sealed with no way to see what’s inside. The battery acid (the electrolyte) is contained within a system of compartments and plates. Regardless of outside temperature or weather conditions, the plates inside stay covered in electrolyte, which keeps the battery functioning at optimum levels.

You may not be able to find a conventional battery anymore, unless you ride an old or vintage motorcycle. Conventional batteries require constant attention to the water levels inside. Over time, water evaporates naturally. If the water inside doesn’t stay between the minimum and maximum levels, your battery plates will be exposed to air and the battery will begin to fail.

If you only ride your bike occasionally, you should invest in a battery tender or charger. Regular charging will increase the life span of your battery, by keeping it in top condition. Your bike will run better when you do ride it, and you won’t constantly be spending money to replace a dead battery. And the best thing about battery chargers is they are easy to operate. Hook it up, turn it on and walk away. Maintenance is easy when it’s that simple.

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