So it’s winter. And boy is it making itself known at times!
I went out to my Kawasaki ER-5 the other morning, it hadn’t been started in 2 days, ignition on, neutral light on, lights all came on, tested brake lights, all good, indicators, all good, hit the starter… ‘CLICK CLICK CLICK’. That dreaded noise that no-one wants to hear, meaning the battery is flat. Now this is a relatively new battery (less than 6 months old), so as narked as I am I moved the ER-5 out the way, grabbed the keys to my Suzuki, same process, checks, neutral, starter, and she reluctantly kicks into life with what I can only describe as an exasperated sigh.
Now I’ve since recharged the battery and all was fine, until today, when the ER-5 yet again refused to start in Morrison’s car park. This is likely indicative of a few things, but the point here isn’t maintenance, it isn’t electrical faults, it’s about something that belongs in our toolbox as bikers… A decent battery charger/maintainer/conditioner.
I own two, one for each of my bikes, but what was the mistake I made? I left my bike for an amount of time without considering what the cold weather does to the battery. It quite evidently didn’t do it any favours, the result being me having to faff around first thing in the morning before work.
My word of advice? If you’re planning on leaving your bike(s) for any amount of time, connect the battery to a charger, either on the bike in your garage, or removed and in a shed/outhouse or even on the kitchen side if you must! Why? Because you can almost guarantee that it will be dead at the single most inconvenient time possible!
So which chargers should you consider? Honestly? That’s not something I can really help with. I went to County Batteries, and they sold me an Oxford Oximiser (Pictured), I cannot fault this charger, but at the end of the day, as long as it’s designed for motorcycle batteries, it should be perfectly fine, after all, if it charges and maintains, there really isn’t much more it needs to do!