Battery

The main function of a battery is to supply electric power to start the engine.
The battery provides a steady supply of power by storing electricity generated by the AC generator.

The Feature of Parts

  • Battery Type Matching
  • Engine Starting in Cold Temperatures
  • High Durability = Long Service Life

Maintenance

Periodic Inspections & Maintenance

The single most important thing to maintaining lead-acid batteries is do not let them sit in a discharged state, they must be kept charged.
Batteries should periodically be checked for visible wear-and-tear such as corrosion of the terminals or damage to the battery case.
Batteries should also be routinely checked to determine the state of charge, and 'load tested.' A load test uses a special test equipment to check the ability of the battery to actually deliver the rated electrical power, measured in amperes.

Cleaning the Terminal

When the battery terminals becomes dirty, the dirt acts as an electrical resistance. When cleaning it, check for any rust on the terminal. If it is rusted, remove the rust using a wire-brush or a similar tool. Do not clean it with a dry cloth, which could cause a build up of static electricity, which may cause an explosion.

Inspecting the Remaining Battery Capacity

As batteries age, they lose the ability to provide as much electrical power as new. Part of normal service, is load testing older batteries using a battery tester.
A battery keeps repeating the electric generation and charge processes through its electrolyte chemical reaction. When it is new, the chemical reaction is active, but as it becomes older, the chemical reaction slows down.

Refilling Electrolyte (Conventional Type)

Repeated charge and discharge processes in a conventional type battery cause the water content in its electrolyte to evaporate over time. If the battery continues to be used with reduced electrolyte, the exposed polar plates deteriorate, and the deteriorated portion may cause a spark. For this reason, the electrolyte must be topped off with an electrolyte refill made from distilled water or purified water before the remaining electrolyte goes below the LOWER line.

Auxiliary Charging of a Battery

A battery is recharged during use by the vehicles charging system, unless, it has been excessively discharged due to the engine not starting normally, or if an electrical system is used when the engine is off. (ex., lights, sound system, main switch accidentally left in the ON position, etc.)
In this case the battery must be recharged using an external battery charger.
To prevent battery damage and premature failure, it is critical to charge batteries at a rate equal to 1/10 of its rated capacity. For example, the maximum charge rate for a 10 Amp Hour battery would be 1 amp.
This charge rate is usually printed on the battery case.
Be sure to check the charge rate of an external charger before connecting it to any battery.

Table of Items to Regularly Inspect

Refer to the applicable service manual for the inspection and maintenance procedures.

General Periodic Maintenance
ITEM ROUTINE INITIAL ODOMETER READINGS ANNUAL CHECK
1000km
(600mi)
10000km
(6000mi)
20000km
(12000mi)
30000km
(18000mi)
40000km
(24000mi)
Battery Check electrolyte level and specific gravity.
Make sure that the breather hose is properly routed.
*Since these items require special tools, data and technical skills, a qualified service technician should perform the service.

Problems and Counter-measures

Problems Associated with Low Battery Power

Once the battery power becomes weak, lamps and horns may still work but it will not be able to operate the starter motor.

Frozen Electrolyte

In very cold climates, the electrolyte may freeze if the battery is stored in an area where the temperature drops below the freezing point of water (32°F).
The actual temperature the electrolyte will freeze is directly related to the concentration of the electrolyte's specific gravity - the lower the specific gravity, the more susceptible the electrolyte is to freezing.
When a battery has a low charge, the specific gravity is low, and when the battery is fully charged, the specific gravity is high.
If the electrolyte freezes, it expands and may damage the polar plates and separators inside the battery as well as the battery case.
During the winter time, it is best to store batteries in an area that will remain above the freezing point of water (32°F) and periodically recharged.
If a battery must be stored in a very cold area, it must be checked and recharged at least every month (every 2 weeks is even better), which will keep the specific gravity of the electrolyte high.

Specific gravity of the electrolytes
1.00 Water
1.28 Electrolyte for a conventional type battery (diluted sulfuric acid)
1.32 Electrolyte for a VRLA battery (diluted sulfuric acid)


Frequently Asked Questions

[Questions About Battery]

Q1: Is there a way to make the battery last for a long time?

A1: Proper maintenance and storage is the key to getting a long service life from any lead acid battery.
Once the battery is completely discharged, it significantly loses its capacity to store electricity. Also, if you do not use the battery over a long period of time, it loses the electric power through self discharge. Without periodic charging, all batteries will also lose capacity to store electricity.

Q2: If I am not going to ride my bike for a long time, should I remove the battery terminal?

A2: Disconnecting the battery cable can prevent systems like a clock from draining the battery. But, batteries also 'self-discharge', so even if the battery cables are disconnected, the battery will still lose its charge during storage and must be periodically recharged.
Also keep in mind any anti-theft device, etc. that is powered by the battery that will no longer function if the battery cable is disconnected.
Since the amount of self discharge varies depending on the electrolyte's temperature, it is ideal to store the bike in moderate temperatures to reduce the amount of self discharge.
If the battery if routinely recharged during storage, the battery will be ready to go when the bike is taken out of storage and put back into service.

Q3: If the battery is dead, can I start up the engine using a booster cable like I do with my car?

A3: The single most important thing to maintaining a sealed VRLA battery is don't let it sit discharged: keep it fully charged.
But you can use booster cables to start a unit, IF the rated voltage of the dead battery and the car battery are the same. (i.e. Both are 12 V systems, etc.)

CAUTION
Be sure to use extreme caution when connecting and disconnecting booster cables to reduce the chance of electrical sparks and follow the booster cable manufacturer's recommendations for use.

[Questions About Maintenance]

Q4: Do VRLA battery and conventional type battery require different maintenance?

A4: Maintenance is slightly different; the conventional type battery requires periodic refilling of the electrolyte level using distilled water.
The VRLA battery is sealed when the electrolyte is first added and should never be reopened.
But, both types of batteries require routine checking of the voltage level, and recharging if necessary.
If the operation of the starter motor seems weak (the engine turns slower during starting) or if the battery continually needs recharging, the battery should be tested using a special load tester.

Q5: Once a battery is dead, will it work again if it is recharged?

A5: A completely discharged battery should be checked by a qualified service technician to see if the battery can be properly recharged, or if it requires replacement.
If the battery charge is merely very low, it may be able to be put back into use by simply recharging.
When a battery is in a discharged state, the chemical reaction becomes weak. In this state a phenomenon called sulfation occurs in which inert lead sulfate crystals are formed in the electrolyte which then adhere to the polar plates. Since lead sulfate crystals do not conduct electricity, a battery in which sulfation has occurred cannot provide electrical power, and it cannot be recharged.
In this case, the battery must be replaced with a new one.