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Selecting 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 a Maintenance Free battery for another battery unless the Applications book says it's OK.

- Always fully charge a battery before it's first use to prolong it's life. Using a battery off the shelf without a full charge will usually shorten it's service life and peak output.

- 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.

Coat the battery connections with some type of protectant. I've used everything from terminal coat to wheel bearing grease. Something that works extremely well is the chain lube, particularly the non-foaming O-ring type.
Match the care you give your battery to your riding habits. If you tend to take a lot of short hops (stop and go city riding conditions), the battery tends to become discharged. Each time the engine is started, it takes 10 to 15 minutes of operation at highway speeds to restore the battery's charge. This rarely occurs if most of your riding is in the city. If this profile fits you, invest in a good trickle charger or battery tender to help maintain the battery whenever you're not riding. A little trick many people use is to connect a regular trickle charger to a programmable timer (the kind you can buy for $5.00 at the local K-Mart). Set the timer to charge the battery for an hour or so every few days and you'll add years to your battery life.

Why should you charge your battery once a month?
When not in use, a battery discharges on a daily basis sometimes up to 0.5-1%. This rate of discharge increases when the climate is warm. To make up for this loss from not being used, a boosting charge should be given once a month. Cold weather also depletes the batteries power by up to 50% in some cases.

What is sulfation?
Discoloration of plates with white lead sulfate crystalline deposits may occur when the battery has been left for a considerable time in a discharged condition. It can also occur as a result of the plates being exposed to air due to low electrolyte level, or when a new battery is filled with acid and stored without being charged. This phenomenon is called sulfation. Once plates have been sulfated, the activity of the affected area is permanently impaired, and the battery may not be restored to its original capacity.

Why do the winter months seem to bring more battery problems?
The main reason is that batteries have to work so much harder in cold weather. Engine oil is thick, so engine cranking effort is much higher. Also, a battery's charging efficiency decreases in cold temperatures. In addition, gasoline does not vaporize as readily in the cold, which means that even more battery cranking effort is required.
What is the normal charge rate for a battery?
Naturally, batteries of different capacities require different charge rates. Generally, a battery should be charged at a slow charge rate of 1/10 its given 10 hr. capacity.

How do you determine whether a battery has been charged?
The following characteristics will tell you if a battery has been properly charged:
1. The specific gravity of the acid is over 1.275 (conventional type batteries only).
2. Maximum voltage output across battery terminals can be maintained at constant level for two hours.
3.Open circuit voltage is stabilized @12.7v or higher @ 6.3v or higher for 6 volt batteries.

How should a battery be maintained?
Good battery maintenance should include the following:
1. Always keep the acid level between Lower and upper lines on front side of the container (conventional type batteries).
2. Do not let the battery stand in a discharged condition.
3. Charge battery once a month.
4. When motorcycle is stored over 30 days, plug in a Yuasa automatic battery charger to maintain a proper storage charge.
5. Keep battery top clean, dry and free of dirt.
6. Clean battery terminals to prevent corrosion. Inspect vent tube, ensuring that it is not bent, twisted or clogged.
7. Protect the battery from strong impacts or shocks.