Undoubtedly, the most crucial component of your motorcycle's electrical system is the battery. In addition to helping your motorbike start, a healthy motorcycle battery also helps to guarantee that it runs at peak efficiency at all times. This is especially true for the current generation of big-displacement, high-tech motorbikes that are performance-focused.
Indeed, old habits die hard, and being neglectful about your bike’s battery can lead to premature failure, or worse, cause you to be stranded in the middle of nowhere while out for a ride. As such, it’s important to develop good habits when it comes to caring for your bike’s battery. Indeed, just because a battery is “maintenance-free” doesn’t mean you can neglect it and just keep riding your bike without batting an eye.
Don’t leave your motorcycle’s ignition on
This is something I see among beginner riders way too much. In fact, I’ve seen this cause riders to get stranded with a drained battery while out on a ride multiple times. Simply using the killswitch to turn off your engine is the perfect way to drain your battery much quicker than it was intended. In fact, some motorcycle manufacturers discourage you from turning the engine off via killswitch, as this breeds the bad habit of forgetting to turn the ignition off.
Leaving your ignition in the on position means that your bike’s electronics—the lights, fuel-pump, dashboard, and ECU, are still on, and are relying solely on the battery for power. Without the constant recharging of the stator, your battery will run out of juice much more quickly than you think, especially if your bike is loaded with a lot of fancy electronics.
Tone down on the electronic accessories
Loading your motorcycle with tons and tons of electrical upgrades is a surefire way to ruin your battery, as well as other vital components in your electrical system. Adding multiple sets of lights, a loud horn, blinkers, and even speakers will almost certainly cause an insurmountable load to your bike’s electrical system, rendering its charging system incapable of keeping up with the demands of the accessories. The result of this would be a battery that’s constantly operating at the limit of its capacity, as well as a charging system that’s always struggling to produce power.
Install a trickle charger
If you’re a fair-weather rider, or a motorcyclist who rides for leisure, then your bike may not see regular action. Riding your motorcycle once a week, or worse, a couple of times a month will certainly result in accelerated battery discharge, as it doesn’t run through its charging cycles as much as it would like. This is easily remedied by the use of a trickle charger. There are tons of chargers available in the market, with some better than others. Notable brands to consider include CTEK and NOCO, as these chargers are fitted with fancy tech to optimize charging for a variety of battery types.