There is a biker saying that goes like, “Nothing is harder to start than a used motorcycle on display to a prospective buyer.” Well, let me tell you what could be harder; having an unreliable battery on your motorcycle.
One of the most important elements on your bike is the battery. Therefore when choosing one, you should always go for the best. After all, all motorcycle batteries are NOT created equal. Imagine calling in sick at your place of work so you can ride all day only for your battery to die on you.
So, what makes Harley Davidson the go-to batteries for your bike? How reliable are they when it comes to their longevity? In the past, there were only two available options when choosing batteries; the flooded or the wet cell design. The flooded batteries would often leak, leading to the buildup of lead sulfate crystals, causing a decline in performance and efficiency.
Established in 1903, Harley Davidson is associated with cutting edge technology that has made the company remain on the top for more than a century. Over the years, Harley Davidson has improved the technology they use to make their batteries making them the first choice for many motorcycle enthusiasts.
Many factors considered a well maintained Harley Davidson battery would give you a service of not less than five years. Remember, motorcycle batteries do not rest. Even when you park your motorcycle, the battery continues to discharge. If this happens for too long, the battery could end up damaged permanently.
However, you can prevent this from happening by always making sure that you plug your motorcycle into a Harley Davidson Battery Tender. It is a maintenance-type charger that charges the battery at the recommended rate and also prevents over-charging.
If you are riding a Harley, you need a Harley battery. Why? They specifically built and designed to high-end standards that provide superior longevity and durability.
What Factors Affect the Longevity Of Harley Davidson Batteries?
The Choice of Battery
When choosing a battery that is a perfect fit for your motorcycle, you must consider the following; first, how much power does your bike require depending on the add ons and accessories fitted? Secondly, you must consider the size and type and voltage of the battery.
Replacing a battery is something that you can’t avoid, and therefore as a Harry rider, you want to pick the right one for a replacement.
To ensure that your motorcycle is reliable and dependable, you must make sure that you fit it with the appropriate battery to achieve full efficiency. Remember, the battery is the heart of your motorcycle, and that is where all the power comes from.
A good battery will compensate for the required energy when your bike can’t keep up with the demand. Therefore, your bikes charging system and the lights will determine the type of battery your motorcycle requires. If you fit your bike with a low-quality battery, it will die earlier than the expected service life.
Another factor to consider when choosing is quality. Therefore, make your bike happy by going for a genuine Harley Davidson battery. If you want to avoid problems, make sure you are well informed about your bike’s right battery to achieve maximum performance.
How do you know the right battery for your All-Terrain Vehicle or Motorcycle? There are powerful batteries that are best fit for automobiles, Personal Watercraft, and ATVs. Therefore, when choosing a battery, you should read its reviews to pick the strongest and most durable.
Below are the types of Harley batteries
Absorbed Glass Mat Battery
An AGM battery comes in a hardened ABS plastic casing to prevent leaks and spills. It has components protected by Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) technology, making it strong and durable. The lead-acid inside is more stable, making it more vibration resistant. It is a maintenance-free battery made from environmentally friendly technology that will serve you for an extended time worry-free.
Flooded Lead-Acid Battery
These are the traditional batteries that need a lot of care when handling. They are prone to leaks and spillages. Therefore, they require regular maintenance. You will need to refill the battery water regularly to ensure proper charging and functioning. Leakages and frequent maintenance may affect battery life.
These are noticeably smaller and lighter when compared to other batteries. They are more expensive but worth every dollar. Lithium batteries have much longer lives compared to others.
Quality and Cost
Whenever you want a high-quality battery for your bike, be ready to cough more money. In the long run, the extra dollars that you added might end up saving you much more. Remember, “Cheap is expensive,” however cliché it sounds. You might think that you are saving money by buying a lower quality battery, which will end up serving you for only two years when you could have added a few dollars to get a battery that will give you service for more than six years. So, if you want your battery to serve you for a long time, go for the best quality. It will save you money by lasting longer.
According to Dave Naggy, the assistant service manager for Wolverine Harley-Davidson in Michigan, most riders start storing their bikes after Labor Day. In most instances, winter means the end of the riding season. During the long riding break, it is ideal for making sure your battery is stored correctly.
If you partially charge your AGM, flooded or wet cell battery, and then put it into storage, it may have permanent damage. This will happen even when you recharge it before re-installing it. Continued undercharging in flooded batteries will cause them to sulfate excessively, causing the battery to last for a shorter period than expected.
To avoid ‘killing your battery,’ always make sure you charge it fully. Also, always consult the manufacturer to know the correct voltage for your battery. While some batteries get damaged when stored while undercharged, others have discharge management capabilities. Even when you keep them without charging them to capacity, they will not get damaged.
To make sure that your Harley Davidson battery is adequately protected, you can use a battery tender. As I had stated earlier, even when you park your motorcycle, your battery will continuously discharge. Although the load is small, with time, your battery will discharge. The load is even more if you have other fitted accessories like alarms. A battery tender will become your ultimate solution to this problem.
So, how does it work?
It is a device that you plug into an AC power source to provide continuous power to your battery, keeping it working over the long period that you will park your bike. They have an inbuilt smart system that automatically turns itself off or on when needed.
It monitors the battery to maintain full charge over an extended period of inactivity. Sherry Long, a blogger, and a bike enthusiast, attests to the efficiency of a battery tender. After using the battery tender religiously, she changed her original battery after nine years, and nobody could believe it. Therefore, to avoid buying new batteries now and then, keep your battery charged with a tender.
Another factor that determines how long your battery will last is how you store it. You should always make sure you clean your battery’s electrodes before connecting it to a battery tender. Always make sure you keep your battery at the recommended storage temperature. This information will be available in the manufacturer’s manual.
One of the things to take into consideration when looking for a replacement battery is the voltage. Most full-sized motorcycles will use a 12-volt battery when small motorcycles use a 6-volt or 9-volt battery. It would be best if you always looked at your current battery to know the right voltage.
Why is that? If you replace your battery with a lower voltage one, your systems will fail or underperform. Continued use of the wrong voltage will eventually kill your battery even before their expected useful life.
Lifespan and Climate
These are among the critical things to look out for. Batteries are only good for a particular time. They have expiry dates that let you know their expected lifespan. It is always advisable to buy a battery that is not more than six months old.
You will find a battery that is going for a very good price only because it has expired or it is about to. When you fall for such a deal, you will regret it because you will replace it after a very short time, hence ending up spending even more.
Also, when looking for a battery’s lifespan, consider the type of riding you do (short or long) and your area’s climate. Colder temperatures do not discharge the battery faster than high temperatures.
Therefore, if you are a short distance rider, you should choose a battery with a longer lifespan. This is because the alternator will need enough time to recharge the battery, and this will not be possible when you are a short distance rider. This will end up affecting the service life of your battery.