Your Battery is your Lifeline

You’re dependent on your battery. Ensure it is well taken care of and charged by following this advice.

Most batteries these days are dry cell which means there is no water in them and no need to add water.   A quick way to know if you have a dry or wet cell is to try the caps on top of the battery. If the caps unscrew or pull out, it’s a wet cell.

To remove a battery from your motorcycle,  disconnect the cables by always removing the negative cable first, then the positive.  

If you have a wet cell battery you will need to add distilled water to the upper line.  Make sure you add the water before you put the battery on a charger.

It’s good practice to clean the cables with a wire brush or sandpaper.  If you have a lot of corrosion, mix a little water and baking soda to clean them.   You’ll want to check the battery over to make sure there are no cracks or abnormal marks of rubbing.  Be sure you check the top, bottom and sides.

Always remember that acid from the battery is corrosive so you should wear thin rubber gloves when handling it.  If any battery acid gets on the frame or another part of the bike, use baking soda to neutralize it and rinse with water.  

Put the battery on a charger at 2 amp or lower.  Once the battery is fully charge, the voltage should show 12.5 volts on the meter.  With the battery charged and everything cleaned, it’s time to reinstall it. Start by hooking up the positive cable first.  

A properly working charging system will read 13-14 volts with the bike running.   If it’s 12 volts or under, the charging system isn’t working. If it’s 15, 16 or 17 volts, it’s overcharging.    If you have either of these situations, the charging components will need to be checked. A certified mechanic will be able to diagnose the issue.  However, if you have a service manual, then you can probably check this yourself.