Workshop Wisdom - Episode 4: Batteries and chargers

Jim Lindsay
By Jim Lindsay
jimlindsaybikes Lifelong bike fan. 12 month a year rider. Does not own a car. Former Editor of Motorcycle News. Fixes computers for a living. Rides a KTM RC8 R, Ducati 996, 1985 Yamaha FZ750. Likes spannering almost as much as riding.
Workshop wisdom
Jim Lindsay looks into battery chargers...

 

What would you like to see Jim cover in a future episode? Tell us in the Facebook comments below…

 

Like every other part of your bike, the battery benefits from regular attention.

If you run a conventional lead acid battery or a more modern sealed lead acid battery, it should hold its charge quite easily between rides even if you don’t use your bike that much.

If you have a big V-Twin though, which requires a lot of cranking power to turn it over, especially from cold, it’s a good idea to connect it to a charger in between rides so your battery is always delivering maximum power.

The same is true if you have an alarm fitted.

If you have a Lithium Ion battery, it should be kept on charge whenever the bike is not being used. Lithium batteries have different charging characteristics and will discharge to a unusable level far quicker than a lead acid battery, particularly if you do a lot of slow riding, if you have an alarm attached or if your bike has a permanently connected ECU. On the other hand, if you leave a Lithium battery fully charged on the shelf, it will hold its charge for ages.

Finally, a note on battery chargers: always use the correct one for your battery and use a good quality charger. Lithium batteries have different charging requirements so use a Lithium specific charger for these.

I use and recommend Optimate. They do a good job and mine have never let me down. They are also good for recovering dead batteries, often succeeding where other chargers fail.

 

Latest News from Bike Social

Latest News

  • Honda developing wishbone front ends for inline fours and scooters
    Gold Wing-style forks for more future Hondas?
  • Growing calls for Euro 5 deadline to be postponed as coronavirus means stocks of Euro 4 models remain unsold
    Bike industry pushes for Euro 5 delay
  • BMW is back in the cruiser game with enormous retro-inspired R18 boxer
    Official: BMW R18 breaks cover
  • Here’s our pick of the current ‘10 bikes with the longest ranges’, with up to 400-miles from tank potentially achievable
    Top 10 motorcycles with the longest range [2020]