Battery Care For Modern ClassicsOptiMate, the battery saving experts, share their top tips for looking after the battery on your modern classic motorcycle.

Retro bikes have become increasingly popular over the past 20 years, because they give us the reliability and convenience of a modern motorcycle, with the aesthetic appeal of a classic bike.The only downside is this can make us a bit complacent about maintenance.

Typically, we never think about a battery, until it goes flat and we can’t start the motorbike. Although modern Gel and AGM batteries don’t require topping up with deionised water, they still need looking after. In between rides, charge is still lost to alarms and immobilisers, on-board computers, and through self-discharge, as the battery uses a little of its own energy to keep itself alive.

One big difference between modern and genuine classics is electric start. However, the resulting absence of a kick start option means that, if the battery is flat, you’re going nowhere.

Battery Care For Modern Classics

OptiMate Silver

Regular use of a battery charger/maintainer will help keep a 12V battery in peak condition, ensuring your bike starts on the button, and your battery lasts significantly longer. With many different brands and models of charger on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you, so OptiMate divide riders into three distinct groups.

  1. People who want to avoid a battery problem. Typically, you own a new, or nearly-new, motorcycle and want to keep it in showroom condition. OptiMate  Bronze Series chargers automatically detect whether the battery is Lead Acid or Lithium, and monitor them, topping up as necessary. No input from you is required – Bronze series chargers will continuously test and maintain the battery, ensuring it is fully charged.
  2. Some owners need something more than basic charging and maintenance, particularly on slightly older machines. OptiMate’s Silver Series chargers can tackle a range of more challenging tasks, such as recovering ‘dead flat’ batteries from as low as 2V.
  3. Gold Series chargers provide professional grade charging, maintenance and repair. The range includes the OptiMate 4 CAN-Bus, which connects directly to the 12V DIN socket on BMW motorcycles, including the R nineT. These chargers are more powerful than standard designs, which means they can charge motorcycle batteries more quickly and also handle the bigger batteries found on cars, vans, motorhomes, etc.
Battery Care For Modern Classics

OptiMate Gold

Long-term Relationships
The majority of modern classics are ridden for leisure, rather than daily transport, which means they are often parked up for weeks, or even months, at a time. Intelligent battery chargers, like those produced by OptiMate, are designed to be connected long-term, switching off when the battery is fully charged, to avoid overheating and associated problems. With replacement batteries typically costing over £100, investing in a smart charger looks like a good bet.

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