Even though all vehicle batteries are built for longevity, over time they will slow down and eventually wear out. We would explain why this happens, but it involves chemistry and strange words and frankly we’re just not up for it at the moment. Just know that it will happen and although you can delay the demise of your battery, you cannot stop it entirely.
In order to choose the right size motorcycle battery, you’ll need to know the cold cranking amps (CCA) of your bike.
Cold Cranking Amps is a rating used in the battery industry to define a battery’s ability to start an engine in cold temperatures. The rating is the number of amps a new, fully charged battery can deliver at 0° Farenheit for 30 seconds, while maintaining a voltage of at least 7.2 volts, for a 12 volt battery. The higher the CCA rating, the greater the starting power of the battery. . Once you determine the required CCA, you’ll need to measure the length, width, and height of the cavity to ensure a correct fit. Nothing is more irritating than buying a new battery and realizing there is no possible way of fitting it onto your bike without using duck tape and fishing twine (long story).
Removal and Installation Basics
When the time comes to replace your battery, never remove the battery while the engine is running, or heaven forbid, while you are driving it (we knew a guy). If the battery does not have a charge, always remove the negative cable before the positive. When installing the new battery, reverse the order and connect the positive cable first before connecting the negative. Take extra caution to identify the positive and negative terminals before attaching the cables. Accidentally reversing the polarity can cause the battery to explode or inflict a great deal of damage to your bike’s electrical system. In other words, your battery will become a junior nuclear device, so pay attention.
If the battery won’t start or seems dull (like a lecture on plate tectonics orated by Ben Stein), you may just need to recharge it. Be sure to check the voltage of your motorcycle battery before recharging and never charge your battery at an amperage greater than 1/6 the rated capacity of your battery. For example, it you have a 7 amp-hour battery, do not charge it at an amperage of more than 1 amps. If you have an 18 amp-hour battery, you can charge it at a maximum of 3 amps. Therefore, most battery tenders offer charging amperage of from 1/2 amp up to 2 amps. NOTE: NEVER USE AN AUTOMOBILE BATTERY CHARGER ON YOUR POWERSPORT SEALED BATTERY. Although recharging seems like a simple process, as a general rule of thumb always wear protective eye wear (sunglasses don’t count) and refrain from smoking, since you are working with explosive gasses; otherwise, your entire body could end up smoking.
You’ll also want to ensure that there is no electrolyte covering the plates before adding water or recharging. Once you add the water, make sure that the vent caps are reinstalled before charging. Never recharge a motorcycle battery or any type of vehicle battery with the vent caps open. When you’ve finished charging, turn off the charger before removing the charger cables from the motorcycle battery.
And if you find that you have to recharge your battery on a regularly basis, that’s a sure sign that you need a new one.
Activating Your New Battery:
If you recently bought a conventional battery, you might need to activate it. Activating a non-sealed battery is the process of adding acid and charging the battery to the point of optimum functionality. To do this, remove the sealing tube and filling plugs, fill the battery with electrolyte, let the battery chill for about 30 minutes, then charge the battery for 3 to 5 hours at approximately 1/6 of the rated capacity. Sealed motorcycle batteries require much less maintenance and never require additional electrolyte, which by now you probably have guessed is not Gatorade.
We hope you have found this article useful or, at the very least, diverting.
– The Lamin-x Team