Inspecting the battery
Well finally most of us are defrosting and starting to see signs of spring, and we all know what that means…. Time to clear a path to our toys in the garage and pull ’em out! The biggest problem you will see with spring time initial start up is the battery. If you were smart and kept your battery connected to a battery tender you should be 100% ready to roll, if not here is some info on battery’s and what to do next!
When you make your way to your battery the top should be clean from dirt and residue. If the cables and terminals have any oxidation or corrosion you will need to clean them with a wire brush or a piece of sandpaper. Check all the fasteners for tightness and any breakage. Look at the battery posts to make sure they haven’t been warped from overheating. Basically look the whole battery over for cracks or warps etc. If your bike won’t start and it seems the battery is dead this is when having a volt meter comes in handy as this is what you’ll use to test the voltage of the battery. More often than not you’ll find that checking the cables for loose terminals, corrosion, frayed ends or worn insulation leading to a short is more than likely the culprit of the dead battery. If you don’t have a volt meter, call your local shop to get your bike in for an appointment and have the shop do a voltage test for you. A great safe and easy way to maintain the life of your battery is with a battery tender. This will charge the battery for you and keep your battery fully charged, prolonging the life of your battery. When you hook the battery charger to the battery, red is for positive and black is for negative. Your tender will tell you when the battery is fully charged. I recommend you take the battery off the bike to charge it, if the battery would happen to overcharge it can overflow and the acid would do things to your bike that won’t be pretty or safe to parts on your bike. (most batteries these days are a sealed type where they can’t overflow, so that might not be an issue for you) If you’re using a motorcycle Battery Tender you won’t have to worry about overcharging. The battery Tender will shut off automatically. Make sure the charger is turned off before you hook the battery up to it. Same thing when disconnecting, Have the charger turned off before removing the connectors. If you do take the battery out of the bike the positive gets disconnected last when removing, and connected first when re-installing. Make sure you refer to your service manual before attempting battery removal. NOTE. Always disconnect the negative cable first when removing, and connect the negative cable last when re-installing. If when testing you find your battery is dead, then it’s time for a new battery. Head over to your local shop and get hooked up.