Motorcycle Battery FAQ

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1. How to select the proper battery ?

It's easier than you think to buy the wrong battery for your vehicle. Unless your current battery is definitely the original equipment, you're taking a chance by not double checking before you purchase the new battery. You can search for a certain battery, but there are a few general rules you should know before you search.
§ >>If the battery for your vehicle is sensor-equipped, remember to replace the sensor at the same time you change the battery.
§ >>Never swap an AGM battery for another battery unless the Applications book says it's OK.
§ >>When given the option of several different batteries for your vehicle, choose the one that will give you what you want performance-wise. It's up to you.
§ Always make sure you have the right battery before you charge and install it. Save yourself the hassle (and money) of having to buy another battery

 

2. How to do Off Season Storage ?

If at all possible, remove the battery from the vehicle. Clean the battery and terminals using a solution of baking soda and water if there is any concern of electrolyte outside of the battery. Make sure that nothing enters the battery during cleaning. You can also use this same solution to clean the battery compartment of the vehicle to help neutralize any electrolyte that may be present. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.

After the battery is cleaned, inspect for any signs of damage or extraordinary wear that may have occurred while in service. If you have any concerns about the condition of your battery, you should seek the advice of a mechanic or a battery specialist.

Upon determining there is no concern of damage, for conventional batteries, check the electrolyte levels. The level of electrolyte must be maintained above the minimum and at or below the maximum level line on the side of the battery. Check only when on a flat level service. If you need to increase the level, carefully add distilled water avoiding any overfill. Once the levels are adjusted, charge the battery referring to the manufacturers instructions.

AGM batteries (also referred to as VLRA or Maintenance Free) do not require you to maintain the electrolyte levels. AGM batteries must never be opened once in service or permanent damage and failure will occur. As with the conventional batteries, once you have cleaned and inspected the battery, charge it per the manufacturers instructions.

With the batteries in a full state of charge, you may wish to store it in a cool dry area away from children and pets. You may also choose to reinstall it in the vehicle. Either way, allow yourself access to the battery so you can periodically check your state of charge, or simply attach a battery charger/ maintainer to it.

Maintaining your battery state of charge during extended periods of storage is essential to insure the maximum service life is delivered.

 

3. How to Perform Monthly Maintenance ?

A battery only requires a little monthly maintenance to perform perfectly. Keep the battery charged to 100%, recharging when the lights dim, the starter sounds weak, or the battery hasn't been used in more than two weeks. Other than that, follow this simple check list every month:
§ *Check the electrolyte level
§ *Keep the top free of grime
§ *Check cables, clamps, and case for obvious damage or loose connections
§ *Clean terminals and connectors as necessary
§ *Check inside for excessive sediment, sulfation or mossing
§ *Make sure the exhaust tube is free of kinks and clogs
§ *Replace caps firmly
Finish up by testing the battery with either a hydrometer or voltmeter. To extend the service life of your battery, make monthly battery maintenance part of your routine.

 

4. How to do Spring Startup ?

When it's time to inspect the leisure use vehicles you've stored during the off-season for spring use, you probably inspect the most obvious items that come to mind such as tires, batteries belts, hoses and fluids. Typically you check tire pressure and condition, making sure that you have the necessary fluids, gas, coolant etc. and a charged battery. The battery inspection is often performed through the most fundamental method; you try to start the vehicle with the ignition. If the vehicle starts, you may feel that you are good to go for the upcoming season, but in many cases you may be headed for trouble. Unless you've maintained the battery during the storage period, it may not be able to deliver its peak performance and service life for the upcoming season. To insure that you get the best performance your battery can deliver, it's recommended that you perform a few simple checks. Remember, before performing any inspection on your battery, insure there are no open flames or possibility of sparks around the battery and absolutely no smoking. Always wear eye protection, protective gloves and clothing.


For a Conventional style battery (those with the liquid electrolyte) you should visually inspect the battery for any apparent problems. These can include dirty or corroded terminal connections, low fluid levels, physical damage such as broken or missing filler caps or dirt and moisture on the battery. If you need to service the battery, it's best to remove it from the vehicle. First insure that the electrolyte levels are properly adjusted. Using distilled water; fill each cell until the level is above the minimum level line on the battery case and at or below the maximum line. Never overfill the battery or leakage will occur. If you discover that the electrolyte levels have fallen below the minimum level lines, there is a possibility that permanent damage may have been done to the internal lead plates in the battery and a new replacement may be required. After adjusting the levels, make sure the filler plugs are secured and the battery is free of dirt and corrosion. If you need to clean the battery, use a mixture of baking soda and water to neutralize any electrolyte that may be on the outside of the battery. Simply brush this on the battery and terminals using an old paintbrush or tooth brush and rinse it off with clean water. Dry the battery using an old soft rag or paper towel and make sure the terminals are clean and free of corrosion. You can clean the terminals with a small wire brush if the corrosion is significant or just brighten them up using a piece of emery cloth.


Now that your battery is clean, it's time to check the state of charge. When using a voltmeter, the battery terminal voltage should read at least 12.6 volts. If your voltage is below this or you've adjusted the electrolyte levels, a boost charge is required. Charge the battery in a well ventilated area away from kids and pets. The variety of chargers you can use to endless but it is recommended that you use an automatic taper type charger specifically designed for Powersports batteries. Don't use a high current or fast charger for the boost charge unless you are familiar with their operation or permanent damage can occur to the battery.


When servicing an AGM style battery, you obviously don't need to inspect the electrolyte levels since the battery is permanently sealed and must never be opened. The cleaning method and charging methods are the same as for the Conventional style batteries. The one feature to note about the AGM battery is the battery terminal voltage. The full charge voltage should read about 12.8 volts. These batteries have a slightly different electrolyte, which influences the terminal voltage.


After you've performed this maintenance, you still may require additional help with your battery. While the battery may exhibit good terminal voltage, it may not be in the best state of health. Deteriorated from corrosion or sulphation, the battery could be seriously short on capacity. To check this condition you may choose to reinstall the battery in your vehicle and perform a very fundamental start test or you could take the battery to a service center and have a capacity test performed. Most battery dealers will perform a simple electronic or electrical resistance test on the battery and be able to tell you the state of health. By knowing the state of health, you can determine the useful life expectancy of you battery. With this information you can decide if you should replace the battery with a new one or reinstall the existing one in the vehicle.


To insure maximum performance and service life for your battery, we recommended that you use either the Yuasa 1.5 Amp or 900mA Automatic Battery Charger for battery maintenance. Both chargers deliver Mistake-Proof Technology to properly charge your battery and both are designed to switch to a float mode once the battery has reached a full state of charge and maintain it there. This feature allows you to attach the charger to your battery for an extended period of time without concern of an overcharged or discharged battery. Also, both chargers are supplied with a Quick-Connect ring terminal harness that can be permanently attached to your battery while installed in the vehicle. This allows you to instantly connect or disconnect the charger from the battery without having to access the battery terminals. This can be a great time saver for those hard to reach battery locations.


It's important to remember, even with the proper care and maintenance of your battery, they will eventually wear out. As with any of the parts on your vehicle, it's usually easier and more convenient to replace them before they fail unexpectedly. With this in mind, you may want to simply replace the battery every few years with a new one.

 

5. Can I upgrade my conventionalor sealed battery for gel?

You probably can, but.........IF YOU VALUE YOUR SANITY, DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We don't recommend 'upgrading' or replacing your original lead acid (starts YB, CB or GB) or maintenance free (starts YTX, CTX or GTX) battery with a gel battery (starts YT, CT or GT).

Gel batteries can be temperamental at the best of times and most of the 'gel replacement' batteries that are currently available have a very high failure rate (which is the main reason we don't sell them!).

Gel filled batteries (unlike conventional and sealed type batteries) are filled with gel acid and sealed when they are made so the battery discharging process starts earlier in the gel batteries.

Sealed type and conventional motorcycle batteries are normally only filled when they are sold so they have a much longer shelf life than there gel filled counterparts.

Alot does depend on how long the manufacturer, importer or shop has had the battery sitting on their shelf before it is sold, the longer a gel battery has sat on a shelf somewhere, the more it has degraded and the greater the chance it will fail fairly shortly after use.

Please bear in mind, this is based on our experience's of gel motorcycle batteries, we are certain someone who sells them will tell you that gel replacement batteries are the best thing since flavored condoms!!!!

 

6. Can I charge the battery by starting the bike ?

Motorbikes are meant to be used (not sat in a shed for months on end!). The best way to maintain a healthy battery is to use the bike regularly.

It is NOT advisable to try and maintain your battery by starting the bike up once a month and letting it tick over for 5-10 mins. This method actually uses more power to start the bike than the charging system will put back in at tickover and will, over time, flatten the battery.

When a bike is ticking over, the charging system is normally only putting a minimum voltage level (around 12 to 12.5 volts) through the system. This isn't enough to charge a motorbike battery.

As the rev's increase (e.g. when the bike is being ridden), the voltage level being put back into the motorcycle battery increases to around 13.5 to 14.5 volts and it's the extra power being produced when the bike is being ridden that charges the battery.

A discharged battery can sometimes be brought back to life by taking the bike out for a long run and really using the gears and the rev range.

 

7. What type of motorcycle battery I have?

Lead Acid Batteries - These batteries are an older style battery and can also be called flooded cell and conventional batteries. They normally have an opaque lower casing (that you can see the acid level through), a black cap and a row of stoppers in the top (3 stoppers for 6 volt batteries and 6 stoppers for 12 volt batteries).
12 Volt lead acid batteries normally start with the battery code YB, CB, DB, GB or 12N (e.g. YB14L-A2 or 12N24-3). 
6 Volt lead acid batteries usually start with the code 6N or B (e.g. 6N4-2A or B39-6).

conventional battery

Sealed Batteries - These batteries can also be called maintenance free batteries and dry cell batteries and are normally only available as 12 volt batteries. Maintenance free batteries normally come with the acid separately and usually have a black, blue or grey outer case and have a stopper sunk into the top.
Once filled, these batteries (which are Hermetically sealed and not refillable) DO NOT need to have the top removed or the acid level checked.
Sealed / maintenance free batteries usually start with the battery code YTX, CTX, DTX or GTX (e.g. YTX9-BS and CTX9-BS etc).
The picture below shows a sealed / maintenance free battery:

sealed battery
Gel Batteries - These batteries can also be called gel acid or gel filled batteries and are normally only available as 12 volt batteries. Gel batteries usually have a black, blue or grey outer casing and top and don't come with any separate acid and don't have any stoppers in the top (mainly because the are factory filled with a gel state acid when they are made).
Gel filled batteries are often used on bikes (like the early Yamaha YZF-R1) where the battery has to lay on it's side or at an angle.
Gel battery numbers usually start with the code YT, CT, DT or GT (e.g. CT12B-4) or YTZ, CTZ, DTZ and GTZ (e.g. YTZ12-S).

 

8. Can I store my batteries on concrete?

Many people have the impression that when batteries sit on concrete, energy “leaks out” or they are ruined. The short answer is that letting modern batteries sit on concrete does not harm or discharge them in any way.

However, this legend is historically based in fact. The first lead-acid batteries consisted of glass cells that were enclosed in tar-lined wooden boxes. A damp concrete floor could cause the wood to swell, breaking the glass inside.

The Edison cell (i.e. the nickel-iron battery) that preceded the rubber-cased battery was encased in steel. Those that weren’t isolated in crates would discharge into concrete quite easily. Later battery cases used primitive hardened rubber, which was somewhat porous and could contain lots of carbon. A moist concrete floor combined with the carbon in the battery cases could create electrical current between the cells, discharging them.

None of this is a problem with modern batteries in their hard plastic shells. In fact, concrete is generally an excellent surface on which to place a battery. The electrolyte in a battery sitting on an extremely cold floor with very hot air around it could stratify, causing damage from sulfation; whereas concrete provides good thermal mass to buffer any temporarily extreme temperatures in the battery compartment.

 

9. What do I do if my batteries were over-discharged ?

Have you ever had a customer state that their batteries will not take a charge even though the charger was plugged in overnight? When you checked their batteries, you found that they both read 9 volts? This is usually due to a light or a brake being left on for an extended period of time, which drains the batteries.

The reason why the charger is not working is that most wheelchair battery chargers need to read at least 21-22 volts in order to begin charging. This is how the polarity protection system of many chargers works. If the user were to hook up the positive and negative backwards, nothing would happen to the charger or the batteries because the batteries never read any voltage so it never started.

The drawback to this polarity protection design is when a user over-discharges their batteries below the 21-22 volt cutoff. Although the charger is connected, it does not receive the signal to begin the charging process so the batteries never get charged.

The best way to solve this problem is to remove the batteries from the wheelchair and charge each battery separately with a 12-volt battery charger. When each battery is fully charged, they can then be reinstalled in the chair and returned to service. Note: It may take the batteries up to 15 cycles to return to their former capacity if they have been severely discharged.

 

10. I've put a new battery on my bike but every time I go to use it the batteries flat?

There are a few reasons why this type of fault can occur. A few of the most common are:
> Faulty alarm systems can flatten a battery in a very short space of time as can motorbikes left for long periods with an alarm armed.
> A faulty regulator/rectifier (or reg/rec) can flatten a battery. The reg/rec regulates the direction of the electrical charge & how much charge is produced from the engine, they do tend to fail occasionally & will flatten a battery if not working properly. A simple test to check if the reg/rec is working properly is to rev the motorbike or scooter with the headlight on, if it's working properly, the light will get brighter as the revs increase, if the light gets dimmer as you rev the engine, the reg/rec is probably faulty & may need replacing.
> A common & often overlooked problem is loose battery terminals which can cause running & starting problems. Check the battery terminal bolts are as tight a possible & recheck them occasionally to ensure they haven't worked loose.

 

11. How do I keep my motorcycle battery from sulphating?

Make sure your motorcycle's electrical & charging systems are functioning properly so that any charge lost during starting or by the running of lights or accessories is replaced. Keep the battery terminals clean & disconnect them if possible when the motorcycle is in storage. Most importantly, charge the battery with a motorcycle battery charger regularly if the motorbike isn't being used regularly to maintain a healthy charge in the battery.

 

12. My motorcycle battery has gone flat, can I recharge it?

Although motorcycle batteries are being constantly recharged while the engine is running, they are only receiving a 'top up charge'. Motorcycle batteries are not rechargeable like mobile phone batteries, which run almost completely flat then can be recharged. Once a motorcycle battery drops below the level required to start a motorbike (usually around 12.4 volts), it means that the battery is starting to fail.

 

13. Do I have to charge a motorcycle battery?

Motorcycle batteries are dry charged to about 80%. If you don't give the battery a top up charge (3-4 hours) the battery will only ever be 80% efficient (which will greatly shorten the life span of the battery)

 

14. How tight should the battery terminal bolts be?

Use a screwdriver or spanner to make sure that the bolts are as tight as they can possibly be. A common problem that occurs with bikes (even brand new ones!) is that the battery terminal bolts are not tight enough (basically, when you think you've tightened the bolts up enough, tighten them a bit more to make sure!). Battery terminal bolts that are not attached securely will work loose & cause erratic & rough running problems as well as starting problems.

 

15. The reasons of Plate of sulfuric acid?

1) . Initial charge inadequate or last Disrupted of charge time.
2) .Lack of long-term rechargeable battery
3) . After the failure to discharge charge
4) . Often excessive charge or Small current deep discharge.
5) . Electrolyte high density or battery temperature is too high.
6) . Battery shelved a long time and do not Regularly charge.
7) . Electrolyte impure and self discharge.
8). Internal short circuit or Battery surface water leakage caused more.
9) . Low Level of internal battery electrolyte takes the plate the exposed part of the plate sulfate .

 

16. What is the difference between Electric vehicles, sealed batteries and UPS sealed lead acid battery

The battery can be divided into deep cycle using and float using , deep cycle is fully charged then charging out of power, then power supplied by the battery; float using refers to the battery has always been connected to the power, the power charge a small battery to supplement the loss of electricity due to self-discharge of the battery and other reasons, once power out, the battery provide power to load. So UPS batteries is float using, and electric vehicles Battery is deep cycle using, they are different in formula and structure, and they can not be mutually interchangeable.

 

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