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Things to Know about a Motorcycle Battery

Jul 21, 2008
Although they look small in size, motorcycle batteries are nothing less than a compact powerhouse that will keep your bike running, so long as they are properly cared for. Just because they are smaller in size, it doesn't mean that they require less care. The following is a good guideline and knowledge for the care of your motorcycle battery. Here are seven important things to know about a motorcycle battery:

1) A motorcycle battery can lose roughly 1% of its charge every day. This is especially true if they are not being used on a daily basis. Don't expect it to start right up if you have let the bike sit there for three or four months. Chances are, that won't happen. There is the chance that the bike may start after sitting that long. However, there is a greater possibility that it won't.

2) The body of a motorcycle is smoothly rounded and contoured, but on the inside, it's a different animal. When you start your bike, and when it is running, literally every square inch of that bike is vibrating. Those vibrations can eventually have an impact on the performance of the motorcycle, including the battery. When the bike is running, the lead plates inside a motorcycle battery will rattle. Remember that the lead plates are more like a tennis racket covered with a paste-like active ingredient. When the bike vibrates it can shake the active material loose from the plates causing the battery to lose power.

3) A motorcycle battery has more uses than just for motorcycles. Believe it or not, with slight modifications they can be used in boats or as a source of electricity for a house. Just remember that motorcycle batteries like automobile batteries can fail without any warning. Additionally, they are just like human beings --- they may look fine on the outside but that doesn't mean that everything is okay on the inside.

4) A motorcycle battery is usually manufacturer brand specific. In other words, if your bike is a BMW, a battery for Honda probably won't work for it. Batteries will also vary based on the size of the bike's engine.

5) There are a number of ways that you can purchase a motorcycle battery. The more common battery is referred to as "spillable", in that it requires dry shipment --- in other words, no liquid inside the battery. You can always purchase the acid needed to activate the battery from a local auto parts store.

6) Just as there are spillable batteries, there are also non-spillable ones. These batteries are sealed and are ready to install right out of the box. They are oftentimes referred to as "maintenance free" batteries in that you never need to check the fluid level.

7) All motorcycle batteries are a lead-acid type of battery. This means that they are recyclable and should never be thrown out in the regular garbage --- not just because of the recycling issue, but from a common sense and safety standpoint as well.
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