All batteries have a finite life, even if never used. Lead acid batteries last longest if stored at stable room temperature and discharge faster in hot or cold conditions (temperatures above 35°C or below freezing). As batteries discharge, the electrolyte [‘battery acid’] changes from sulphuric acid to lead sulphate and water, a process known as ‘sulphation’. Sulphate crystals attach to the lead plates inside the battery cells and make it resistant to charging.
Keep your battery 100% charged at all times. This not only keeps it in peak condition but also protects it from sulphation. The simplest way to achieve this is by connecting it to a smart charger, such as an OptiMate, whenever it is not in use.
Never use a car charger to maintain your battery or jump leads attached to a car battery to start a bike with a flat battery. Motorcycle batteries have far less resistance than those fitted to cars (just look at the difference in size) and either technique could overheat the battery, accelerating the sulphation process. The OptiMate 3+ for example charges at a rate of 0.6 amps; some car chargers are rated at 20 amps!
Optimate Advice For UKs 500,000 Stored Motorcycles
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