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How to Prepare Your Motorcycle Battery for Spring

April 2nd, 2013 by
Before taking your first ride of the spring, make sure your motorcycle's battery is in good shape.

Before taking your first ride of the spring, make sure your motorcycle battery is in good shape.

Much of the country has yet to thaw out, but spring is upon us. And if you’ve kept your motorcycle inside all winter, like the responsible rider you are, it’s time to get it ready for your springtime rides.

One of the most important areas to check is your motorcycle battery. Without a working battery, your motorcycle is like a kiddie ride outside the grocery store: Fun to sit on, but you won’t be going anywhere.

Our experts at Interstate Batteries® offer these tips:

1. Check the voltage.

If you have a battery tester or voltmeter, check the voltage at the terminals. It should be at least 13 volts with the engine off.

2. Check the connections.

If the terminals are corroded, disconnect the cables and clean using a mixture of baking soda and water. The mixture should have the consistency of toothpaste. Clean off the corrosion, and rinse with water. Dry thoroughly and reattach the cables. Do not overtighten the bolts! You can keep the corrosion from coming back by using a terminal protector spray, available at your local Interstate All Battery Center.

Unlike this ride, your motorcycle should actually take you places.

Unlike this ride, your motorcycle should actually take you places.

3. Check the water level. (For flooded batteries only)

If the water level is below the fill line on the side of the battery, add distilled or deionized water to the appropriate fill level. Do not use plain tap water as the chemicals and minerals in tap water can contaminate the battery. Also, don’t overfill, or you’ll create a big mess while charging. The liquid in the battery will expand during charging. Do not attempt to take the filler caps off a sealed AGM battery — the battery does not require the addition of water.

4. Charge the battery.

Use a low-amperage charger, which will be 2 amps or lower depending on the size of your battery. Charge fully. If you have a sealed, absorbed glass-mat motorcycle battery, note that AGM batteries require chargers designed specifically for them. These chargers will keep you from overcharging and drying the battery out. If you use a high-amperage battery charger, you run the risk of overcharging and damaging your battery.

If your battery isn’t up for another season, find your way to an Interstate Batteries motorcycle or Powersports dealer to buy a new one. Our dealer locator will point the way. Or visit an Interstate All Battery Center near you.

Follow these steps, and you’ll be roaring down the highway once again.

By James Pecht (177 Posts)

James Pecht writes about franchising, battery technology, tips, racing and company culture for Interstate Batteries.


Posted in Maintenance, Motorcycles, Tips

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Interstate Batteries® sells more than 16,000 kinds of batteries—from AA alkalines and automotive batteries to critical power solutions, and everything in between. Combine professional battery services, recycling programs and the largest battery distribution network in North America, and you’ll find Interstate has EVERY BATTERY FOR EVERY NEED®. Learn more about Interstate Batteries or shop online!

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