ThrottleX Blog

Prepare Your Battery For The Off Season

How to Winterize Your Motorcycle or Powersports Battery          

Unless you live in a climate that’s warm year-round or are such an avid rider that you ride even in winter months, chances are that you face the task of winterizing your motorcycle each year. Or summerizing your snowmobile, if that’s your ride of choice.

Winterizing your motorcycle, ATV or other recreational vehicle is an important task. Without proper preparation for storage, motorcycles and other vehicles quickly develop rust; cooling systems might freeze; chrome will pit, and – invariably – your battery will discharge. A little preparation will save your motorcycle a lot of damage.

There are plenty of other sites and experts who talk about proper techniques for winterizing and storing your motorcycle, so we won’t go into the details of the entire winterizing process. What we’re most concerned about is the proper care and feeding of your ride’s starting power: the battery.

All batteries (even premium AGM batteries) WILL discharge over time. This is the case for powersports batteries as well as automotive batteries. In addition the battery will discharge even faster if it is subjected to high temperatures, parasitic draw from aftermarket accessories, short trips (during which the battery doesn’t have enough time to recharge itself) and, of course, lack of use.

First, make sure the battery bolts and posts are cleaned of all dirt and corrosion. You can use a little grease to coat the terminals to make sure they don’t corrode.

With cleaning out of the way, there are essentially two ways to winterize your motorcycle or powersports battery:

1)  Use a battery tender.   

For winterizing or storing your ride, we strongly recommend investing in a fully automatic, low amperage charger.  We recommend a Battery Tender Junior by Deltran. The Battery Tender Junior unit charges batteries at .75 amps, is fully automatic and is designed specifically for powersports applications.

This automatic battery tender can be directly hard-wired onto your ride’s battery, eliminating the need to hook up and disconnect. Wires can be removed from the tender and tucked away safely while your bike is in use.

The tender’s automatic feature allows it to sense when the battery’s charge is becoming low, and when it has reached a full charge; the tender turns on and off automatically throughout the weeks and months, ensuring your battery’s charge is never too low or too high. The Battery Tender Junior is capable of charging conventional, gel and AGM batteries, using a four step charging program which includes initialization, bulk charge, absorption mode and float mode.

The Battery Tender Junior usually runs about $40.  Currently its offered with any battery purchase for $19.99. Enter code BAT at checkout.

If, for some reason, acquiring an automatic tender is out of the question, you’ll have to make due with the second option for winterizing your motorcycle or powersports ride:

2)  Clean and top off the battery; recharge occasionally throughout the season.

Clean the posts and grease the terminals, as we mentioned earlier, then, if the battery is a conventional style battery, make sure the electrolyte levels are topped off to the proper marks on the case and that the plates are covered with water. You will want to charge it every 4-6 weeks to make sure it stays charged.

Regardless which method you use, remember to take the right safety precautions. Always read the instructions that came with the charger, make sure the charger is turned off or unplugged before connecting the leads, and keep all flammable substances away.

Need more tips for maintaining your powersports battery? Take a look at our battery maintenance resources.

Posted by admin at 1:28 am

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