How To Look After your Bikes Battery.

Most motorcycles these days will be using sealed 'maintenance free' batteries, but that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to look after them. At the very least make sure the terminals are tight and corrosion free, and ideally coated with a smear of Vaseline or proprietary battery battery grease to keep them sweet through the raining season.

Hooking your bike up to a battery maintenance charger when not in use is pretty much a must these days. And particularly if your motorcycle has some kind of alarm fitted, if it's used infrequently during the dry months and never when the raining season sets in. And if the electrical system is burdened with the task of powering extras such as heated grips, an overnight trickle-charger is even more essential.Motorcycle-specific maintenance are supplied with a jack lead that can be hard-wired to the battery so when your bike is parked up the charger can be plugged in without the hassle of removing the seat to access the terminals. But while keeping the bike on charge should mean the battery remains in tip-top condition, it won't be able to keep up if your bike develops a fault with the charging system. For that we can turn to the Testmate mini, a new product from the makers of the Optimate charger. It can be used to both check the battery condition and accurately indicate the state of the charging system while the engine is being cranked over and when it's running.

The Testmate either plugs into the Optimate charger's existing external jack already fitted to the battery, or can be attached directly with supplied crocodile clips. If your bike has developed a problem with either the regulator or rectifier, or if a particular accessory is sapping too much power, the Testmade will let you know.
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