People generally have a feeling that a “maintenance-free battery” would need no care and they will simply put it in their bike, and forget it. But the fact is that all motorcycle batteries, including the “maintenance free” ones, require some care and attention from time to time.
You should note that some motorcycle batteries are available dry from manufacturers. They require filling with acid and need to be put on a charger for some time before you can use them. Although the best and top quality maintenance-free batteries come filled as well as charged at the factory prior to shipping. You should check a manufacturer to find one which charges as well as discharges battery, to completely saturate the glass mat with the battery acid. Such motorcycle batteries would hold a charge for a longer period throughout their lifetime.
When these batteries are in a bike, you will have to follow some things. You should be careful as all the motorcycle batteries get self-discharged if they’re not used. You would hardly notice it incase you ride a bike regularly. But if you ride a bike less like may be in winter, or park the bike till good weather conditions come back, there are chances that your battery would lose much of its charge and make starting a slight hit and miss. You could keep the charge up in a battery by making use of a battery charger in case you will not ride your bike for some time.
After you take care of charging situation there are some other things left to ensure that a maintenance-free motorcycle battery remains for a long time. These are –
* You should always keep your battery tidy and clean.
Any type of foreign matter could be kicked up in the battery area of some models to coat the battery terminals, terminal hardware and case. The excessive moisture could cause the corrosion of nuts and bolts at terminal, and may be even the cables of battery.
* You should regularly check the battery clamp or strap, cables and case against damage. In case the hold-down strap is about to break, or the bolt that holds battery clamp is getting loose, the battery may shake to damage it after some time. The vibration could also loosen the bolts at terminal, and even rub the holes present in cable insulation. A short could blow a fuse and in worst case, it can cause a fire.
* You should always clean the battery posts and terminals regularly. A good connection found between the two is a must if a battery has to give maximum starting voltage. The hard starting in certain cases could be created by corroded or dirty connectors.
* If you want to store the battery for some lay up period, then disconnect the cables of it or take out the battery from bike. For making sure it would be ready to use when you want, hook it to a battery charger and take good care of it.
You should be very careful about your motorcycle or scooter batteries to make them survive a long time. Use these tips to ensure a maintenance-free motorcycle battery remains trouble free in the long run.