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How to Change the Motorcycle Battery

How to Change the Motorcycle Battery

A motorcycle is a machine made for speed and fun. From taking corners with that recognizable lean to the feel of the horsepower when you take the speed up a notch, a motorcycle is meant to feel like a beast when you ride it. If your ride isn't giving you this feeling, there may be an issue with the battery. If you are experiencing battery trouble, the simple fix is to replace the old battery with a new one. Let's take a look at how to change the motorcycle battery so you can get back to riding.

The Signs of Trouble

Before we get into how to change the motorcycle battery, you need to know the signs of trouble. When it comes to the battery, signs of trouble are pretty obvious. For starters, if the bike won't start up, chances are it's a dead battery. If the bike starts but then shudders and shuts down, the battery is the likely culprit. If the bike runs but loses horsepower and the headlights dim, it is a low battery rather than a dead battery, but still a battery issue all the same. You can also test the battery to see where it falls on the suggested amps needed for the bike. Keep in mind that a battery you have to keep recharging to getting it where it should be is a bad way of maintaining a bike. It is better to simply install a new battery.

Installing the Battery

  • Prepare the new battery. You always want to make sure the new battery is fully charged before you install it in the motorcycle. You should also consider if the battery is a non-sealed or SLA battery which will require you to pour electrolyte solution in the chambers prior to installing it.
  • Locate the old battery. In most motorcycles, the battery compartment is found under the seat, but you should check the owner's manual for your specific model if you run into any confusion. You may need to remove the seat in order to get to the battery compartment so make sure you check that in your manual as well.
  • Remove the cables. In order to remove the old battery, you need to remove the cables first. Start by removing the ground or negative cable first. Make sure your hands are completely dry and that you use a tool such as a socket wrench to loosen the cables. You also want to make sure the ground cable is positioned away from the terminals, positive cable, and any metal on the bike frame to avoid sparks. Next, you can remove the positive cable. Again, take care to ensure it doesn't touch the other cable, terminals, or any metal.
  • Remove the old battery. Next, you should remove the old battery. Take care not to touch the battery with bare hands in case of acid leaks. You should also check with your area on how to properly dispose of old batteries as well. Old batteries can be dangerous to animals and humans so its crucial to make sure you follow any and all rules regarding disposal.
  • Inspect the area. Since you have the battery compartment empty and open, this is a good time to inspect for any issues. You should check the compartment for erosion or cracking, as well as the cables for any frays or issues. If you find any such issues, you need to take care to fix these issues before moving forward with the installation of the new battery. You should also use this time to wipe down the inside of the battery compartment with a towel to remove any buildup or debris which may have accumulated over time. Make sure you dry the compartment thoroughly when you are done.
  • Install the new battery. Once you have wiped out the battery compartment, go ahead and place the new battery in the housing. Be careful not to drag the cables under the battery when inserting the battery into the compartment.
  • Attach the cables. You want to attach the positive cable first and take care to tighten it with a socket wrench. Next, you will attach the negative cable in the same manner. If you see a small spark when reattaching the negative cable to the negative terminal, do not be alarmed as this is pretty normal when reconnecting.
  • Close the compartment and reinstall seat/frame parts. Finally, you can close the compartment taking care to ensure it is tightly closed. Next, you will reassemble the seat or frame you had to remove in order to access the battery compartment. This is the final step in the process and now you are ready to ride!