Aaron Dills and the guys at Big Boar sent these top 10 battery tips to share with you for giving your battery a long life
1. Always fully charge any battery before putting it into service. Big Boar batteries are fully charged before being sold, but any battery sitting idle can loose 1/10 volt per day. Putting a battery into service without an adequate initial charge can shorten the overall life of a battery. Big Boar Products highly recommends the use of a battery-conditioning charger such as the Battery Tender.
2. Never use a charger larger than 10 amps on any motorcycle battery, and even then for only a few minutes at most for a quick boost. Only chargers of 2 amps or less should be used on a motorcycle battery for any length of time to avoid boiling it over and burning it up. Big Boar recommends the Deltran Battery Tender, or similar-type chargers, to keep your batteries safely in peak shape.
3. Install batteries in their intended position and make sure that vent tubes, if so equipped, are properly run. If a battery isn't made to be installed on its side, don't it can leak acid. Your bike will surely be damaged and you will likely have a dead battery. A vent tube that vents in front of the wheel can leak acid that will destroy chrome, paint, and anything else that stands in its path as the wheel flings the droplets about.
4. Check below seat pans, especially metal ones, for contact with the top of the battery terminals. Aaron has witnessed more than a few fires started by batteries shorted out by a low-hanging seat pan.
5. Always ground the starter motor directly and use heavy-gauge cable. Some stock bike starters are grounded in a roundabout way through the frame. Making the power run the shortest route possible from the battery to the starter prevents energy lost through heat. Aaron also recommends the use of cable no smaller than #4, and states that the #6-gauge typically used by the factory is too small. Only a true load tester will give any indication of the true state of your battery. A simple voltage check means nothing after a serious load is applied to a marginal battery.
6. Test a questionable battery with a load tester. What looks good on a cheap volt meter after a long charging session may leave you stranded with no way home. A good load tester mimics the instant real-world strain inflicted upon a battery after cranking over your engine for a few seconds for a more accurate test than checking for voltage alone.
7. If you have a big motor and a small battery, make sure you ride your bike long enough after each start to replenish the battery between starts. This can mean as much as 50 miles of riding in some cases. Get to know your bike and its charging characteristics before heading out for a long trip.
8. Disconnect your battery if you plan on storing your bike for more than a month at a time. Some bikes have memory chips on board that sap a few millivolts from your battery, even though the ignition switch may be off. Once a battery is allowed to completely discharge and remain there for any length of time, it can be impossible to revive the battery by charging it.
9. Use only baking soda and water to clean top of battery and terminals. Some degreasing agents and aerosol cleaners can mix with battery acid and destroy paint or eat rubber and plastic items.
10. Don't try to start your bike with a battery charger unless the charger has a high-amp boost setting. Using a charger of 10 amps or less in an attempt to fire up your bike can damage the electrical system. A battery charger is only supposed to restore power to a battery slowly after it is lost and cannot supply the high instantaneous amount of current required to start an engine.
Big Boar Products
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