As winter approaches, many powersports vehicle owners will need to store their vehicle until the spring. Maintaining the battery state of charge during extended periods of storage is essential to ensure that the maximum service life is delivered. Owners should also note that many newer-model motorcycles have more key-off drains than previous models. This makes off-season charging much more important to ensure that the battery does not drain below acceptable levels.
Yuasa Battery Inc., the worldwide leader in powersports batteries, recommends that owners take the steps below to ensure the battery in their powersports vehicle is fresh and ready for the new season.
(Note: Whenever working around batteries, it is important to use the proper safety equipment, including eye protection and gloves. Avoid having skin or clothes come in contact with electrolyte.)
• If possible, remove the battery from the vehicle. When removing a battery, remember to remove the cable from the negative terminal first, then the positive.
• Clean the battery and terminals using a light paste of baking soda and water, if there is any concern that electrolyte may be on the outside of the battery. Make sure that nothing enters the battery during cleaning.
• This same baking soda and water paste may be used to clean the battery compartment of the vehicle to help neutralize any electrolyte that may be present. Rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.
• After the battery is cleaned, inspect the exterior for any signs of damage or extraordinary wear that may have occurred while in service. If you have any concerns about the condition of your battery, you should seek the advice of a mechanic or a battery specialist.
• Upon determining there is no evidence of damage, check the electrolyte levels if it is a conventional (vented) battery. The level of electrolyte must be maintained above the minimum and at or below the maximum level line on the side of the battery. Check this level only when the battery is on a flat, level surface. If you need to increase the level, carefully add distilled water, avoiding any overfilling.
• If it is an AGM battery (also referred to as VLRA or Maintenance Free) you do not need to maintain the electrolyte levels. AGM batteries must never be opened once in service or permanent damage and failure will occur.
• Charge the battery, referring to the manufacturer’s instructions.
• With the battery in a full state of charge, you can either store it in a cool dry area away from children and pets, or reinstall it in the vehicle. When re-installing the battery, attach the positive terminal cable first, then the negative.
• Either way, allow yourself access to the battery so you can periodically check the state of charge. This also allows you to check the electrolyte level in conventional batteries if you have a battery charger/maintainer attached. Regular battery charger/maintainers can possibly overcharge conventional batteries, leading to drying of the cells, which can damage the battery. Yuasa smart battery chargers/maintainers are designed to avoid overcharging your battery.
For more information about battery maintenance, and the full line of Yuasa batteries, performance products and premium accessories, visit www.yuasabatteries.com.
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