Harley-Davidson Advice On Avoiding Battery Abuse

battery1A motorcycle battery never gets a day off. The service experts at Harley-Davidson® point out that even when a motorcycle is parked the battery discharges continuously in small internal loads called “self-discharge.” Self-discharge speeds up drastically as the temperature rises – for example in a hot garage in the summer – and accessories like alarm systems will further increase the rate of discharge.

Which is why a motorcycle, that may often be parked for some time between rides, is especially prone to battery damage from deep self-discharge, even during the riding season. The best way to prevent premature battery death, according to Harley-Davidson, is by keeping a parked motorcycle plugged into a maintenance-type battery charger like a Harley-Davidson Battery Tender. Harley states that unlike a standard battery charger, Harley-Davidson Battery Charger products feature internal circuitry that charges a motorcycle battery at the proper rate and then changes modes to protect the battery from over-charging.

battery2battery3The Harley-Davidson 800m A Waterproof Battery Tender (P/N 66000004, $49.95) features a three-step charging system that constantly monitors battery voltage to bring the battery up to full charge and switches to float mode to maintain the charge over extended periods. Its waterproof case protects the charger from damp floors and outdoor elements, and the charger is reverse-polarity protected and spark-proof, even when the leads touch.

battery4battery5The very compact Harley-Davidson 750mA SuperSmart Battery Tender (P/N 66000038, $39.95) is an ideal take-along for touring riders. Its built-in circuitry cycles the charger to turn itself on and off as needed to prevent overcharging.

Both of these charges are sold with a fused alligator-clip harness that’s handy for charging the battery when it’s removed from the motorcycle for long-term storage, and with a fused ring-terminal harness that can be connected directly to the battery terminals and left on the motorcycle. It’s then easy to plug the charger into the on-bike harness whenever it’s parked. Responding to customer input gathered through Project RUSHMORE, Harley-Davidson has equipped all 2014 Touring-model motorcycles with a factory-installed battery charger wiring harness.

Another option is the Harley-Davidson LED Indicator Battery Charging Harness, (P/N 66000005, $14.95) which features ring terminals and an integrated LED indicator light that glows when battery voltage drops to a level that requires charging. It’s a reminder to “please plug me in!” It’s compatible with all Harley-Davidson battery chargers and tenders.

For more information, visit Harley-Davidson’s website.

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5 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Advice On Avoiding Battery Abuse”


  1. 1 richard May 27th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

    I have a question. I have a battery tender and use it on my Road King and my John Deere riding lawn mower. For years I would switch from the bike to the mower every month, leaving the tender do it’s thing for that month. The first of the month I would change over to the other battery and leave it on for the entire month. this seemed to work well for me over the years…However, last year I discovered that after putting either on the tender, it would only take 1/2 minutes for the indicator light to go from red (charging) to green (charged). II thought if that were the case, I’d only leave each battery for five minutes or so as long as the green light was lit. I thought that it would save electric power and therefore reduce cost. This method also seemed to work well as both batteries cranked the engines over well in the spring. Ant informed thoughts as to which is best???

  2. 2 Tim May 28th, 2014 at 7:03 am

    Richard,
    You are being pennywise and dollar foolish. 1) these are relatively cheap in comparison to the vehicle and battery costs. A good one cost from $35 retail all the way to $99. So it is cheap insurance. 2) a properly maintained (kept at peak voltage (13.5-14.2 volts) will last at least twice as long as an unmaintained battery and with batteries that average about $150 and approaching $200 that is a major savings. 3) these chargers use very little electrical power and are designed to com on when a battery gets to a certain discharge rate (about 13.5 volts) and shuts off when a battery reaches a peak charge (about 14.8 volts). You really get a bang for you buck here. I use them and sell them and believe in them from experience and usage. I have a dual Xtreme charger in my garage that I hook up both my and my wifes bike to. I am very religious about mine and my wife not so much. I go through about I Battery in 6 years my wife gets about 4 years in this southern heat. I have a solar charger on my old pickup and it fires every time on a 6 year old battery. Thanks for your reply I forgot about my Jophn Deere tractor and Gator, looks like i need to order another 2 bank!

  3. 3 Mr Dick May 28th, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Richard, if you are experiencing a quick charge, either your battery is really good or toast. I speak from experience. Batteries have a mind of their own. Just hook up a battery tender over the off season and take your chances.

  4. 4 richard May 28th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Tim, and Mr. Dick…Thanks for your advice. At this time it appears that both batteries are in good condition as they are both performing well this season. However, I see your points and have decided it just makes sense to hook them up in the winter months. Thanks again, appreciate your input. Richard

  5. 5 Badams May 28th, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Antigravity batteries……..check them out

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