Installing a Replacement Motorcycle Battery

Installing a replacement battery in a motorcycle isn't surgery, but you must be extremely careful to avoid any chance of short circuits and big sparks. Start by locating the old battery. Which is not always easy to do due to advances in technology and fairing (some motorcycles have the battery under the airbox). The increasing complexity of motorcycle electrical systems has made battery replacement more difficult than it looks. Circuitry for electronic fuel injection and engine management systems, anti-lock brakes, security system, and all the other gadgetry found on modern motorcycles are often sensitive like your home computer to the smallest short-circuit, also modern motorcycle designs displace the motorcycle battery to a less accessible location.

In many cases, battery terminals are perilously close to other parts of the motorcycle. If you work on motorcycle batteries on a regular basis, an insulated battery terminal wrench is a good investment. The ratcheting head on a battery terminal wrench makes disconnecting the reconnecting battery cables a bit easier, and the insulated handle reduces the possibility of accidental short-circuiting any sensitive electronics on your motorcycle.
If the battery terminals are uncomfortably close to the frame, use a rubber strip as temporary insulation over the battery terminals. Disconnect the ground cable first, then the positive cable.

One stupid battery installation mistake can burnout your advance motorcycle computerized fuel-injection or your complete engine management system, or other electronics.

When installing the replacement, torque the battery terminal bolt according to the specifications in the manual for your motorcycle. This step is important because if the terminal bolt is too loose, you will have a poor connection, and if it's too tight, you risk damage to the battery. Do the positive terminal first, then the ground cable. Then check the battery voltage, which should be about 13 volts. With the engine running at a fast idle, the voltage should be around 14 volts.
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