So whats the catch here? The catch is, that all of these need power. Power that is produced by the alternator on an engine. But what do you do when the engine is off? Where does the power come from? Of course, the battery- one of the most overlooked and ignored components of a motorcycle- till the time is stops functioning and goes flat. Here are top 5 battery maintenance tips to ensure that it never happens to you.
Smart Tip #1- Park your bike in an insulated and covered parking space:
Ok, this is pretty much standard. Not only will this protect your motorcycle and its paintjob, but it will keep your battery tiptop. How, you ask? Ok, for starters, the cover and insulation will prevent the elements from getting through to your battery.
Sure, the battery is protected by panels that ensconce it thoroughly but at times, rubber seals on these panels can corrode and disintegrate thereby exposing your battery to moisture.
In case of those living up in colder climes, rapid decreases in temperature can cause your battery to go flat suddenly, especially if vehicles are parked outdoors. Covered parking spaces will keep your motorcycle and battery well covered and cared for.
Smart Tip #2- Keep battery terminals clean and greased:
Battery terminals can very easily accumulate dirt, grit and muck and eventually oxidise and corrode. Evevtually these can actually reduce the charge to the battery. Ensure that the terminals and battery electrodes are kept well cleaned and greased during every service.
Smart Tip #3- Keep your battery safe and secure:
Motorcycle batteries have a rubber strap holding them in place. Ensure that the strap is in place else your battery will keep moving around in the mounting bracket every time you corner the bike. Loose unsecured batteries are a risk since they runa risk of cracking and spilling out the distilled water and acid mixture. That can cause irreparable damage to your motorcycle bodywork and paintjob. Acid is corrosive in nature and thus will eat away at anything it comes in contact with. Also ensure that the bracket that houses the battery is clean of debris and free from rust and corrosion. Ensure that the battery is seated properly in the bracket and the terminals are firmly connected.
Smart Tip #4 - Top it up if necessary:
Pay close attention to the level of electrolyte in the battery at service intervals. If necessary, top it up with distilled water ONLY.
Never use tap water since tap water has many impurities and metal and mineral traces that can corrode the battery cells or react with the electrolyte. Never add acid to a battery either. After sudden or accidental discharges, ensure that the battery is fully charged and topped up to ensure adequate battery life.
Make sure that you use only manufacturer recommended batteries since these are best suited to your motorcycle.
Smart Tip #5- Let your battery breathe too:
The battery should be well ventilated and the vent holes and venting pipes should always be kept clear and open. As the battery cells react to the electrolyte, they produce hydrogen which is vented through the battery vents. Blocked pipes or vents can lead to a buildup of hydrogen that can be potentially deadly. As you know, hydrogen is highly combustible and explosive in sufficient quantities. A buildup could lead to a battery bursting or exploding. Also ensure that if you are disposing of your battery you do so in line with manufacturer provided recommendations since batteries are highly toxic and capable of damaging the environment.