How to Charge a Motorcycle Battery?
The thing about owning a motorcycle is that there are a number of problems you are going to encounter and you have to deal with them head on.
A good example is when your bike has a dead battery, most likely because you have not taken the bike out for a ride in a while.
This is a great inconvenience for you as a motorcycle rider. You can prevent it by charging the battery regularly. Read on to find out what you should do when you have to charge your motorcycle’s battery.
1. Figure Out What Type of Battery You Have
There is a variety of motorcycle battery types, and in different sizes and shapes.
If you do not know what kind of battery your motorcycle has, you can look up the information in the manual. You can also find the information printed on the battery’s side.
2. Use Trickle, Float, or Smart Charge for Majority of Battery Types
Trickle, float, or smarter chargers are great for absorbed glass mat, gel, or lead acid batteries.
Note, however, that you should never use these chargers with lithium batteries.
Battery tenders, or “trickle chargers” are very easy to use (the easiest). They convert AC power into DC. You must turn the charger off, or else it will continue pumping energy into the battery.
Float chargers are a common charger type too. These provide a current that is constant and gentle.
Smart chargers are able to monitor the progress of battery charge. They also minimize the amount of damage made to the battery – that is because they cease charging when the battery is full. They do not work well with lithium batteries.
3. Use a Specialized Charger for Lithium Batteries
Lithium batteries include lith phosphate, lith-iron, and lith ion.
They need special chargers, depending on the manufacturer.
Confirm in the manual what charger you require for your lithium battery.
4. Remove Battery from the Motorcycle
Do not leave the battery inside the motorcycle when you are charging it. Doing so could end up damaging other components.
If you want to remove the battery, you will have to first disconnect the negative cable, followed by the positive cable.
After you have done that, release the battery from anything that connects it to the motorcycle body and lift the battery out of the motorbike.
Removing a battery from the motorcycle is quite tricky. Ensure you read the manual before you try anything.
The manual should reveal the battery’s location, the best method of accessing it, and how to disconnect it.
Furthermore, since every motorbike is different, reading your bike’s manual is absolutely necessary.
5. Connecting the Battery Charger
Attach the charger to the terminals of the battery in no specific order,
Ensure the terminals are correctly connected to the charger.
The best place (and safest) for you to charge your bike’s battery is outdoors or in an areas that is well-ventilated.
Note that the charging process generates hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is a highly flammable substance. Furthermore, overcharging creates hydrogen sulfide, a gas that is highly poisonous, corrosive, and flammable.
If you are using a non-smart charger, you will have to monitor it constantly to ensure it does not overcharge the battery.
6. Confirm that the Battery is Charged
If you are using a smart charger, it will inform you when the battery is fully charged.
With other batteries, however, you must perform a voltage test.
Start by disconnecting the battery terminals from the charger. After that, plug the battery leads into a DVOM (which is also called a multimeter).
The black lead should go into the COM slot and the red lead should go into the V slot.
Next, turn the multimeter onto the scale’s 20V DC section. While the bike is completely off, connect the black lead to the battery’s negative post and the red lead to the positive post. Record the voltage.
If the voltage is at 12.73 volts or higher, it means your battery is charged and ready for use. If the voltage is between 12.06 and 12.61volts, it means you have to keep charging the battery for a bit longer. Lower than 12.06 volts could be an indicator that your battery is ruined, but you can try charging it some more.
7. Installing the Battery
After the battery has completed charging, unplug the charger from the battery.
Use the manual to figure out the correct procedure of putting back the battery.
First you attach the positive cable and then you attach the negative.
The batter should work properly now.
Battery Maintenance Tips
Ensure to always charge your motorcycle battery if a long period of time is passing between rides.
The thing is: letting a battery exhaust all the way can shorten its lifespan. It can also have an impact n your bike’s performance.
You see, every time you operate the bike, the battery gets charged.
On the other hand, just letting it sit in the garage causes the battery to lose juice. Sure, you can jump-start your motorcycle just as you would a car, but this is something you can avoid,
The following are some things you can do to ensure the battery is always in good condition:
- Inspect the cables, case, and clamps for any damage or loose connections.
- Make sure the exhaust tube does not have any kinks or clogs.
- Inspect the inside for any accumulation of sediment, mossing, or sulfation.
- Use a voltmeter or hydrometer to test the battery’s performance.
When you want to test the battery’s performance, you can use a pulse charger. It will tell you when the battery is fully charged. If you do not have a pulse charger, a voltmeter or hydrometer will do.
Voltmeters are not difficult to use. A voltmeter reads the DC voltage of a component.
The hydrometer measures each electrolyte’s gravity, and that indicates the charge level of the battery.
We should add that it is not advisable to use a car battery charger for your bike’s battery. You see, car chargers supply more current than an ordinary motorcycle battery can handle and can ruin your battery.
Something else we should add is that it is advisable to wear protective gloves and goggles when you are handling the battery, since the battery fluids are acidic and toxic.