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Do i need to always charge my battery with a charger? I was looking around at a cycle gear and one guy told me that plug in chargers were on sale and its a good idea to charge my battery often. Is this true?
 

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Its a good idea to keep it on a battery tender if your arent going to be running bike for a couple of weeks.
I bought and use the "Battery Tender Jr.." It charges as it senses the battery's need, and "monitors" the battery when it doesn't "need" any charging.

It wasn't expensive; has a "quick connect" that I put on the battery and let it hang there (so I don't have to take the seat on and off at all, and will extend the life of the battery by "years."

When "Winter" finally hits, full bore, I'll have the bike jacked up on the Lift, and the Battery Tender connected "full time."

Even though a bit unnecessary to use when I ride almost every day, I religiously hook up the Battery Tender Jr. to the bike, at the end of each riding day, BECAUSE of the fact that I know it isn't trying to "charge" the battery constantly.Unlike the old "battery charger" I had years ago, that ONLY "charged." It had no "standby" mode like this one does.

[ame]http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Tender-021-0123-Junior-Charger/dp/B000CITK8S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410941455&sr=8-1&keywords=Battery+Tender+Jr[/ame].


-Soupy
 

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There is a difference between a "charger" and a "maintainer". Don't get the two mistaken. A "charger" left on for days can literally cook your battery. A "maintainer" on the other hand has built in technology to keep your battery fully charged but not cook it. Both types have there place but don't get them mixed up. Although you can leave a maintainer on a fully discharged battery and depending on kind it may or may not re-charge your battery.
 

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It's like a cement-pond, Martha!

Keeping your battery on a "maintainer" or "trickle charger" is a great idea if you don't ride at least 2x a week.



If nothing else, it makes your alternator last longer since it's not working as hard.

When you flatten your battery, if you have a choice, you want to charge it up with a charger and not just by going out riding. That's making your alternator work extra hard powering lights, injectors, while simultaneously charging a flat battery.

What kills batteries (for good) is sitting partially or fully discharged for long periods of time.

The way to THINK about batteries, and how they age, is that they're like a swimming pool of charge.

Over time that swimming pool gets smaller and smaller. It can start to feel crowded, just like this:



Not only that, but the pipes to fill it, or drain it, get clogged with minerals. So it takes longer and longer to charge, and it can't put out nearly as much current quickly when cranking.

In addition, every swimming pool as a few small cracks, tiny leaks. Baby elephants that splash the water out. So they'll self-drain over the winter even if you disconnect one of the battery terminals.

And a discharged battery can freeze, and rupture, unlike a charged one.

A trickle charger/maintainer is a simple inexpensive solution.

If a battery has pop tops, adding water every 6 months will make it last YEARS longer. I usually get 8-10 years out of auto batteries just by checking/adding water ONCE A YEAR. Water evaporates in low humidity environments and from heat (while re-charging the battery after flattening it)

Always charge the battery (or go for a ride!) after adding water. Is distilled water necessary? Preferable, but not required.

The great thing about hardwiring a SAE quick-disconnect onto your battery terminals so you can quickly connect/disconnect your battery tender, is you can ALSO plug one of these USB adaptors into it while you're riding to recharge USB devices:



Can't stop looking at the elephants, can you...
 

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Now a question along the same line. I have two bikes that I will be storing during the colder weather. Can I buy one tender and keep switching it between bikes, or am I better off with two, or do they make one that you can plug multiple bikes (batteries) into? First storage for me this year....
 

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Now a question along the same line. I have two bikes that I will be storing during the colder weather. Can I buy one tender and keep switching it between bikes, or am I better off with two, or do they make one that you can plug multiple bikes (batteries) into? First storage for me this year....
If you're winter storing your bikes in an unheated garage, and especially if you live in a COLD winter climate, I recommend you remove the battery from the bike and bring it indoors where it's warm(er). That is, after you've done all your storage prep on the bike.

I make sure the electrolyte is topped up (if applicable). Then in spring I will give the battery a top-up charge & stick it back in the bike. No need to constantly trickle/maintain charge the battery all winter.. This has been working like a charm for many years
 

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Zip, I'd just swap it over every couple of weeks and you'll be fine.

Batteries actually self-discharge FASTER inside a warm house than out in a cold garage. The advantage of bringing them inside the house is they won't freeze and rupture AFTER they've gone flat.

Sorry Nordic, it's a battery, not a dog.
 

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Even a fully charged battery can freeze/rupture if it gets cold enough :wink: just like your (alive) dog would if you stuck it in a freezer

IMO leaving a battery in the bike during winter storage & trickle charging it there is pointless. I know some people seem to like to go out & "start'er up" every week or 2 so they want to keep the battery in place, but I think that task is pointless too. You're not helping the bike any if you're only starting it up for a few minutes at a time..
 

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Do i need to always charge my battery with a charger? I was looking around at a cycle gear and one guy told me that plug in chargers were on sale and its a good idea to charge my battery often. Is this true?
I believe what he was trying to sell you at CycleGear was a tender. They have been pushing them pretty hard, on sale for like 15 bucks. I bought one. Even though l plan to ride through the Winter, a cold snap can last for two or three weeks here, so l figured l would be wise to get one.
 

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wadenelson said:
Keeping your battery on a "maintainer" or "trickle charger" is a great idea if you don't ride at least 2x a week.
Unless things have changed, and they very well could have, a charger a trickle charger used to be a 2 amp charger without the ability to know if the battery is fully charged and so could and would cook a battery unless it was disconnected. A maintainer is the only safe device to leave unatttened on your battery. Wade, you are the self proclaimed electrical guru, is that still the case or are the two still separate devices? I still have my trickle charger and no way would I leave it connected for any length of time. But it is some 30 years old. Things do change. I would certainly stick with a device that claimed it "maintained" your battery though. Not "trickle charged".
 

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I avoid any question about chargers by running my bike at least once a week in winter. Yes it gets down to around 10F here and yes we get snow, but most weeks have at least a day when temperatures get to 15F or a bit more so I get to ride at least that often. IF I start the bike and ride it for 15+ miles I figure that my battery will be just fine. So far that has served me fine.
 

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Hog, the definitions do seem to be fluid. I agree, 2 amps, unregulated, COULD dry out a MC battery. 1 amp on an auto battery would likely do no harm, even long term.

I did learn, researching "trickle charging" that trickle OR "float" charging should NOT be done on Lithium-ion batteries.

In other words, stick to cheap and simple lead-acid batteries for your bike unless you want to buy an even more expensive maintainer DESIGNED for lithium ion bat-trees...

Here's the $6.99 Harbor Freight float charger...

http://www.harborfreight.com/Automatic-Battery-Float-Charger-69594.html

And the $19.99 deluxe version with SAE quick disconnect, battery terminals, fuse...

http://www.harborfreight.com/12-volt-deluxe-battery-maintainer-and-float-charger-61911.html
 

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Even a fully charged battery can freeze/rupture if it gets cold enough
From a battery mfr's website: At a 40% state of charge, electrolyte will freeze if the temperature drops to approximately -16 degrees F. When a battery is fully charged the electrolyte will not freeze until the temperature drops to approximately -92 degrees F.

Also: At a temperature of 80 degrees F, a lead acid battery will self-discharge at a rate of approximately 4% a week.

Keeping this in mind if a 125 AH battery is stored for four months (16 weeks) winter without being charged, it will lose 80 amps of its 125-amp capacity. [That should be CHARGE, not CAPACITY...wn ] As a result of being undercharged, the battery will also experience sulfation, which causes PERMANENT loss of capacity. [That I strongly agree with...from experience, letting a battery sit around partially charged is worst thing you can do to it)

All this SUGGESTS you should keep your lead-acid battery on a float charger all winter regardless of whether it's indoors OR outdoors....and keep your dog outta the freezer. ;)

 

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Wow wadenelson thanks for the info. I never would have guessed a fully charged battery has a much lower freezing point than a partially charged battery would.

Around here especially last winter the temps dipped below -30C (-22F) more often than I could count. So yeah a partially charged battery may have been at risk outdoors, but a fully charged one would have been OK.

I'm still gonna take the battery out of the bike this winter, but instead of bringing it inside I'll keep it in the garage beside the bike. I have no intention to start the bike periodically during winter storage, and having the battery disconnected will reduce the parasitic drain on its charge.

Cute pup. Looks like a husky? That explains the fridge :D
 

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I keep my bike on trickle charge whenever I'm not riding it. Never seemed to hurt it. Have had batteries last a long time with no issues.
 
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