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Amp Up Your Ride – Motorcycle Battery Maintenance Made Easy

Amp Up Your Ride Blog Post

We’ve all been there before, it’s March and the days are not only becoming longer, but also warmer too. There’s no better time to bring your pride and joy out of hibernation, only for you to find that the battery has drained and your bike won’t start! Ensure this doesn’t happen to you, and keep your battery in tip top condition. Your bike should be receiving plenty of TLC from yourself, but we do often neglect our batteries to our own peril!

Charge It

This might seem almost too obvious to even talk about, however your motorcycle is just like you. After a long ride out your battery needs a recharge too. But fortunately for us this really easy to keep on top of. Invest in a quality motorcycle battery charger and ensure that they’re compatible with your motorcycles battery type. If you have a lithium battery, you’ll want to take extra care as the wrong battery charger can effectively ruin your battery and you’ll need a new one!

Regular charging during periods of inactivity can extend your battery life span, and keep the pain of a bike that doesn’t start to be a mere memory. We always recommend a trickle charger, as they allow you to plug your bike while you’re not riding, and can help combat the dreaded winter drain. Solar powered trickle motorbike battery chargers are an excellent choice if you want to avoid plugging into the mains.

Carry Out Regular Maintenance

We’re not all mechanics, and the good news is that you don’t have to be to carry out simple maintenance and help prolong your battery life. A little hygiene goes a long way! Keep those terminals spick and span. Use a mixture of baking soda and water to clean away any corrosion, and apply a thin layer of dielectric grease to protect against future buildup.

Tighten those connections. Regular riding can occasionally loosen your connections, which over time may slow you down to a complete stop. Ensure all terminals are securely fastened to prevent power loss and maintain a steady electrical flow. This also ties in as your motorbike battery doesn’t like excessive vibrations, and it can lead to internal damage. Check that your battery is sat correctly and securely fastened, and consider adding vibration-absorbing padding if needed.

Extreme temperatures can take a toll on your battery. If it’s possible, store your motorcycle in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. Don’t wait until you’re stranded on the side of the road. Invest in a quality battery tester and monitor its health regularly. Early detection of potential issues can save you from a lot of headaches down the road.

Upgrade When Necessary

All good things come to an end, and this includes motorcycle batteries. If you notice a significant drop in performance or that your battery is nearing the end of it’s warranty period, consider investing in a new, high quality replacement. This is even more relevant for those of us fortunate enough to have extra accessories connected to our bike, such as heated grips, GPS units and phone chargers. These will put an extra strain on your battery.

Gel batteries are a great choice for all riders, while Lithium batteries bring an ultra-lightweight body alongside other benefits. We never recommend a conventional lead-acid battery, as there are superior alternatives available, and they provide a better riding experience. Who wouldn’t want that?

Ride Regularly

My favourite advice for anybody out there! While this specifically helps your battery, we all want to ride more and I often find a brief 20 minute ride in the middle of our hectic lives can really help relax my mind and put me back in my happy place! Back to batteries however, they love to be used. Regular use and ride outs help keep it charged and in great shape. If you’re storing your bike for an extended period of time, connecting your battery to a trickle charge is the best alternative.

Conclusion

Your motorcycle battery is the unsung hero of our ride, and it rightly deserves a little love and affection, but is most often neglected. By following these tips, you’ll not only help extend its life, but also ensure your rides are as smooth as they come. So gear up, hit the road and let your battery repay you and put that smile back on your face!

Please find our most popular motorcycle battery charging solutions below:

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Embrace The Chill – Ride Warm Through The Winter

Embrace The Chill Blog Post

Who says winter is the time to hibernate and put away your pride and joy? We see plenty of riders take to the road and track during our cold and sometimes harsh winter months. Strap on your helmet and rev up your engine, because we at BDLA Motorbikes are about to show you how to turn the chilly season into your own personal playground. Get ready for a winter riding experience like never before. We’ve also hand selected a few items within our range that reflect the areas spoken about to tackle the winter comfortably, keep an eye out!

Layer Like A Pro

I always chuckle to myself, but a wise soul once told me that us riders are like onions. We should have many layers to ourselves, and before we get too deep, we are only talking about your riding gear! We always like to talk about a “3-layer system”. Base layer, mid layer and an outer layer. You want to make sure your base layer during the winter is thermal (think Merino Wool). We also advise that you stick to moisture wicking properties too, as we do tend to sweat even in the cold, and it’s not very pleasant to your skin (or in my case my nose too!).

Your mid layer should follow very much the same principles as your base layer, only this should be worn over your regular t-shirt and at most a thin jumper. Motorcycle mid-layers have been designed to keep heat in, and as a result keep you much warmer. They are surprisingly thing, but extremely effective at trapping heat and your natural body warmth. So much so that all of us not only wear them on our bike, but I have started wearing mine round the house to keep the heating bill down.

Finally, we recommend wearing an outer layer when the weather takes a real turn for the worse. Unfortunately, in our wonderful country that can be often. In this case we would recommend a windproof and waterproof outer layer, that is separate from your motorbike jacket and trousers (more on riding jacket and trousers later). This is because when you arrive at your destination, your motorbike clothing will not be wet through apart from your outer layer. This allows you to get back on the road after a small drink break and a breather without too much discomfort.

Gear Up For The Arctic

Fail to plan, plan to fail. That’s what my school teacher always used to tell me, and even I’ll admit they were right in this case. As our winters seem to one up themselves every year, a suitable riding jacket and pair of trousers is almost unavoidable during winter. Luckily for us however, clothing manufacturers are upping their game too. From drop liners to laminates, entry-level to top tier touring, there is going to be a set that will keep you warm, dry and comfortable while riding. Ensure that the clothing comes with a removable thermal liner, that it’s waterproof, and finally that they have a ventilation system too. You’ll be able to wear these through the peak winter, but they also make excellent companions through the spring and autumn seasons.

I’ve added a few favourites of ours below at different prices depending on your budget, which will no doubt keep you on the road in comfort. Matching trousers are also available.

Your Extremities Are Your Worst Enemy

Cold hands and feet are so last season. Insulated gloves and socks offer a toasty alternative to our summer wear. Adding an inner glove to your already thermal lined gloves are a sure-fire way to not feel the cold. You can also go on step further and add in a waterproof and windproof over mitt, which act in the same way that your waterproofs do for the rest of your clothing. Thermal socks are an actual god send, and when you wear a well fitted waterproof motorbike boot. When you tackle both your hands and feet, you will successfully allow your body to use less energy to keep your core warm, and as a result you’ll feel downright toasty compared to when you ride without mitts and thermal socks.

Is Heated Gear Worth It?

Imagine having a personal space heater while you ride. It is worth it. The only downside is to fully equip yourself out in heated gear it can prove to be quite an expensive ordeal. If you have the budget, it’s truly fantastic. We would recommend wearing heated gear which can be plugged into your bike’s battery though, as you could otherwise run into a potential downside of running out of juice on a longer journey.

Balaclavas & Neck Tubes: The Winter Warriors Secret Weapon

It is not just a cool catch phrase. Well, OK it is, but it’s true! A well-made and fit thermal balaclava can make a world of difference. Depending on your riding position, the gap between your helmet and your jacket collar will be exposed from time to time, and to keep Jack Frost from grinning ear to ear, wrap a balaclava around yourself.

Hand guards & Handlebar Muffs: Your Winter BFFs.

Handguard and muffs might not be to everybody’s taste, but they are excellent during winter riding. Riding muffs are a genuine game changer, as most come now equipped with a windproof and waterproof membrane, keeping both windchill and the rain away from your mitts. You will see plenty of delivery riders bring your favourite takeaway to you on a Friday night equipped with these, and now you certainly know why. You can elevate this still when you pair them with a pair of heated grips. We deal with a brand now who even design them to work in tandem and keep your hands dry and in most cases rather toasty.

Pit Stops Are Essential

We do hate spending time away from our bike, however if you are out in the wind, rain and cold, a quick coffee break can make or break your journey. We all need a recharge, no matter how hardened you are as a rider. Besides, who does not love a quick coffee and a bite to eat.

Strike A Pose.

This might sound a little odd when you say it out loud, and it can be bike dependent, but strike a pose! By that, we mean tuck in your elbows and knees. Most riders find comfort by taking a naturally wider riding position, however in the cold that just increases your surface area and invites cold air to your body. Cut through the wind like a pro and keep the warmth locked in.

Weather Wizardry.

I might have over done the wizardry on this one, but simply put keep an eye out for the weather. If you are on a touring trip with 100 miles to your hotel, but you have 7 hours to get there, check the forecast. Chances are the torrential rain or cold will alleviate at some point during the day. Why put yourself through unnecessary hardships? Steer clear of dicey conditions and opt for the clear and cozy route.

To conclude, I could waffle on all day on how to stay warm, and for good reason. We know however that as you start to take on some of the advice above, you will start to enjoy winter riding more and ride with a smile on your face. Is there any more you can realistically ask for? Of course there is, equip yourself in some of the gear below and you’ll tackle the winter months effortlessly.