Performance Technic Tuesday: Your battery could be stronger than you think
Performance Technic is the new technical facility in Kyalami, run by the same team behind the phenomenally successful Fire It Up and Bike Buyers. Every Tuesday they will be providing some technical knowhow that could make your biking life a better and easier one. Today, we look at how you might make your life easier with the right kind of battery.
The list of monthly maintenance requirements for motorcycle batteries, as listed by experts in such matters, seems somewhat laborious. First it says that you need to visually check your battery for any obvious imperfections, such as bits of battery juice leaking out; this is not an ideal predicament. Terminals need to be cleaned regularly because acid spilling on them will cause corrosion which will impair the connection with the terminals and possibly cause damage to the surrounding components. Terminals need to then be inspected with the aid of a spanner to ensure that they are not loose. A loose terminal could mean your motorcycle cutting out mid-ride. It then says that the cells need to be topped up – this is recommended for every second week. To do that, you have to get hold of distilled water, open the cells and top up to the marked level. Lastly, it says that you need to ensure that your battery remains charged. This seems obvious, but it is more important than you might think.
It is generally believed that motorcycles have smaller batteries than cars because their electrical requirements are less. In fact, this is not the case at all – most large adventure bikes, superbikes and cruisers easily outdo the demands of your average hatchback or even some family cars. The requirements put on the battery to start the motor and run the ever growing compliment of electrical gadgets far outweigh many of their four-wheeled peers.
The reason motorcycles run a diminished battery size is simple – space. A motorcycle does not have the capacity to carry the correct sized battery and thus we are left with the smaller alternative. The drawback of this is that these batteries are far more fragile and run out far quicker than their larger car brethren. And a battery that is not kept at full charge loses battery life and needs to be replaced more regularly.
There are ways around this – you can use your bike more often, because the running of the motor recharges the battery. Owners need to be weary though, because often people will start their bikes regularly but the battery still runs down. The reason for this is because they do not run their motors for long enough to recover the charge lost while starting the bike. It’s recommended that a twenty minute ride is enough to completely recharge any battery.
The alternative is to just leave your battery on trickle charge when not is use. This means unbolting bits of motorcycle – on some models more than others – to reach the battery and connecting it to the charger.
There is a simple way around everything mentioned so far – that is through a company called Motobatt. Firstly, the battery arrives sealed and ready to go. This also means that you don’t have to check the cell levels and mess around getting distilled water. With its design, the charge plate is 30% larger than your typical battery meaning the battery has 30% more capacity, putting it closer to the needs of the motorcycle. Using something called Absorbed Glass Matt technology, not only do you not need to top up the cells, but the battery will not leak onto the terminals, or anywhere else, meaning no corrosion.
As for the constant charge aspect, Motobatt releases their batteries with four terminals – one of each corner. This means that your regular terminals get a pair of their own attachments without any complications, and any other add-ons can be attached to the other two. This includes a fitment for a trickle charger, meaning the attachment for this can be put somewhere convenient with no need to unbolt anything.
Performance Technic are a Motobatt partner and not only sell batteries and other accessories, but will also assist with charging in their dedicated charging bays plus they will recondition any batteries that might require it.
Performance Technic Contacts:
Tel: 010 880 2849