As we head into the more demanding time of year for our motorcycles, we have a tendency to forget about the health of our battery. As long as it cranks our bike over and we are down the road, all is good. Right? Maybe not… Our batteries still need attention because unbeknownst to us, our charging system may not be 100% or we may have an electrical draw as the bike sits. Whatever the case may be, the next question that usually pops up is, “What can I do to keep my battery from going dead?” The answer is simple, but not enough people are aware just how easy it is. K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) has what is referred to as Smart Battery Tenders. The most popular of them being The Battery Tender Jr produced by Deltran.
When you bring a successful product to market there will be people wanting a piece of you, trying to out do you, or looking to take you down so you are no longer the competition. The complete line of Battery Tender Products has risen to the top, and continues to be the mark by which all others are judged. The reason is Deltran, the maker of Battery Tender Products, has employed “Smart” Technology in the production of its units. The Battery Tender Plus (BT Plus) is a battery charger that has a microprocessor controlled power electronic circuitry which enables it to preform and safely control a number of sophisticated charging functions, well beyond the capability of inexpensive trickle chargers.
With every smart charger there are built in features for you that can’t even see. Once you connect the BT Plus and supply the required AC power, it conducts a number of checks during Initialization Mode to ensure that the battery is functioning normally. Then it will deliver its full charge at a constant rate of 1.25 amperes. This is called the Bulk Charge Mode. The battery voltage will rise and when it reaches a predetermined level the BT Plus will hold the battery charge voltage constant at that level, allowing the charge current amplitude to drop. This is the Absorption Charge Mode. The Absorption Charge Mode is complete when the charge current drops below a very low value, usually below ¼ ampere. Some BT Plus models have timers to limit the duration of the Absorption Charge Mode.
After the current drops or the allotted time expires (typically several hours), the BT Plus automatically switches to a Float / Maintenance Charge Mode. The purpose of the Float / Maintenance Charge Mode is to maintain the battery voltage just slightly (typically between 1/10 and ½ volt) above where it would be if it were fully charged and sitting at rest. This keeps the battery topped off at voltages well below the gassing voltage of a lead acid battery.
Based on price alone, trickle chargers often appear to be a better economic choice for the typical consumer, but trickle chargers do not have the advantage of sophisticated electronic control. Therefore, as they allow the value of charge current to trickle down to what appears to be safe levels, the output voltage of the charger may very well rise to an unacceptably high level, sometimes even going higher than 16 VDC depending on the charger type and the battery that is connected to it. This magnitude of voltage is far above the gassing voltage of a lead acid battery. If the battery remains connected to this high level of voltage for an extended period of time, extreme damage may be done to the battery. Without Battery Tender type electronic safety controls, what appears to be an initial cost savings for the charger may actually cost several times the charger price in replacement batteries.
So you see, there is so much more than you think in these little packages many use to keep their batteries maintained. A Battery Tender just may be the smartest money you spend on your bike. As Ron Popeil used to say, “Set it and Forget it”. With a Battery Tender installed on your ride, you never have to worry about your battery again. Pick yours up today from K and G Cycles (www.kandgcycles.com) and discover the secret others have know for a long time. I did and I went almost 9 years without a battery change.