A motorcycle battery is a significant part of a bike because it provides an electric current to start it and it is also essential for the lights and horn. Once a motorcycle starts running, its dynamo charges the battery automatically. Therefore the dynamo must work properly. Otherwise, the battery may get discharged.
It is not possible to revive a dead motorcycle battery. A worn-out battery does not hold a charge no matter how long you try to charge it. A simple visual inspection can let you know that your battery is vulnerable to failure. If the terminals are broken, or they bulge or crack the plastic casing, the battery is getting damaged. Leaking fluids and visible discoloration also indicate a dying battery.
According to Brian, the Rev Corner blogger,
“Changing the battery of a motorcycle is one of the essential maintenance requirements if you tend to use your motorbike for long rides.”
And here is his guide to replacing motorcycle batteries.
Life of a Battery
Each battery has a maximum life. One day or other, it is going to be dead. A battery is a box containing some metal rods, a certain quantity of acid, and distilled water. There are marks on the outside surface of the battery, which show the level of acid and water inside the battery. It consists of a lower and upper mark.
Battery Liquid below the Level
The liquid inside the battery should not be below the lower mark, so that metal rods must be dipped properly inside the liquid. Being the acid and water below the lower mark means the battery liquid is less than its standard quantity. In such a case, some distilled water can be put into the battery to keep up to the upper mark.
The distilled water bottles are available with spare parts shops, but AC outlet water is the b water. You can fill it from any AC outlet pipe in a bottle. However, in cold countries with no ACs, people have to purchase distilled water from shops.
Battery Liquid above the Level
The acid and water of the battery should not be above the upper mark because the liquid may overflow from the battery taps given on top.
Acid Quantity inside the Battery
You can pour distilled water in the battery up to a certain period, for example, one year, after which the proportion of acid with water may not be as per standard. Your motorcycle will give starting trouble in such a case, especially in the morning or in the winter season.
In the above situation, you have to get the battery recharged. The battery is dead attery technician first sets up a proper portion of acid and distilled water in the recharging process and then recharges the battery using electric terminals. Despite the battery recharged several times, if your motorcycle still gives starting trouble, it means that the battery life is over, and you have to change it anyway.
Buying a new Battery
If you are going to purchase a new battery, the seller will take out a sealed flat battery, fill proper acid and distilled water and charge it using electric terminals. Don’t forget to take the warranty card of the battery. Generally, at least three months warranty is available. Buy a battery from a reputable company because many un-branded batteries are sold out in the market whose life expires after the warranty time.
The life of a branded battery is at least two and a half years, and if you take care properly, then perhaps three and a half years. Some of the good names of batteries in the world market are Exide, Yuasa, Sanyo, and Trojan. Also, make sure that before installing a new battery in your motorbike, the electric wiring should be perfect, which can be checked by your motorbike’s electrician. Also, check your motorcycle’s battery terminals, as those should not be rusted. If so, first clean and then apply some grease on those.
How to Identify a Battery Going Bad
Look at your bike’s battery carefully. If there are cracks in the plastic casing or any liquid drifting from the battery, it is not a good battery. Nowadays, battery testers are easily available, which can be used to check your motorcycle’s battery is good, bad, or its life is over.
If your motorbike battery is dead, then it will never be started by ignition, but if it is started by pushup, the battery is dead. However, you should be cautious that starting trouble may also be due to some other defect in the bike, for example, a bad alternator or dynamo problem or any other fault.
One of the symptoms of bad damage or dying is that the headlights of your motorcycle or horn are fading. This means the battery is draining because the electrical system is losing charge.
If the battery terminals of your motorcycle are corroded or damaged, the battery will start malfunctioning. If terminals are corroded, those can be cleaned, the battery has to be replaced if broken.
When a voltmeter tests your bike’s battery, the meter will show zero voltage. A voltmeter reading tells us whether the battery requires recharging, it is flat or completely dead.
Leaking of Battery
If battery acid is leaking, this shows that critical oxidation is taking place in the battery. In this case, it is not safer to drive and recommended to change the battery.
When a chemical gas is build-up inside a motorbike’s battery due to corrosion, its effects can be seen on the surface of the battery. The reason is that the battery is overcharged; either the battery has completed its life, or the charging system of the bike is not working properly.
Precautions for Extending the Life of a Battery
Check your bike’s battery liquid level every month regularly. Examine the body of the battery from time to time, that it is not damaged or leaking. When you turn your motorcycle’s switch off, make sure that headlights are off.
A motorcycle battery provides an electric current that starts a motorbike and provides an electric current to lights and horns. As it is an essential part of your motorcycle, it requires proper care and maintenance. Each battery has a specific life, but its life is reduced if proper attention is not paid.
The battery maintenance and service requires checking the battery fluid level from time to time, get the electric wiring checked, checking the battery terminals, and being careful about headlights being off when the bike is not on the running.