With winter set in, I thought it a good time to do a write-up on battery tenders and how they can prolong the life of your motorcycle battery. I’m constantly amazed at how many people don’t use a tender. I'm even more amazed at how many seasoned riders don’t use one and don’t know the positive effect a tender will have in keeping the battery working for a longer period of time.
Prolonged life means less expense to replace the battery down the road. It also means you’ll be less likely to hop on your motorcycle to take a nice ride and find the battery dead. Some people don’t know what to do when their battery dies. They will pay to have their motorcycle hauled to the shop, then spend even more to have the shop replace the battery. It seemed a good time to dive into this topic with some information to keep you on the road more with less expense and grief.
Why Do Batteries Discharge More Quickly In The Cold
The electric current generated by a battery is produced when a connection is made between its positive and negative terminals. When the terminals are connected, a chemical reaction is initiated that generates electrons to supply the battery's current. Lowering the temperature causes chemical reactions to proceed more slowly. If a battery is used at a low temperature, less current is produced than at a higher temperature. As the batteries run down, they quickly reach the point where they cannot deliver enough current to meet the demand.
Hot Battery Discharges
Motorcycle batteries release a high burst of current, measured in amperes, and quickly recharged. They are not designed for deep discharge, and a full discharge can reduce the battery’s lifespan. A cold battery discharges faster, which drains the battery, and will cause a deep discharge, thus reducing the battery's life. A hot battery will simply not hold its charge as well. This will also cause a deep discharge, thus reducing the battery's life. A battery tender will keep the battery at full charge during these conditions. Doing so will prolong the battery's life by preventing deep discharge and recharge.
The Effect Of Temperature On Batteries
Cold batteries hold their charge longer than room temperature batteries but will discharge faster when used at cold temperatures. This causes deep discharge and reduces battery life.
Hot batteries don’t hold a charge as well, thus causing deep discharge and reducing battery life.