Why I acquired an Optimate motorcycle battery charger:

Well, we'd been on holiday for two weeks. Having returned home on a Sunday I carried out my normal weekend checks ready for the weeks' commuting:
Tyre pressures - fine.
Fuel level - fine.
Oil level - fine.
Clutch and brake fluid - fine.
Brake pad thickness - fine.

Monday morning arrived and I wheeled the bike out of the garage. Closed and locked the garage. Got onto bike and inserted key into ignition. Pressed the Would you believe it - the battery was flat.

Fortunately I have a fairly long pair of jumper cables, and due to my forethought when I installed the auxiliary fuse box all I had to do was remove the seat. I ran the jumper leads from my wife's Hyundai and successfully started the Pan.

Now the battery should not have gone flat in such a short period of time unless it was being discharged by some electrical equipment which was drawing current. Sure enough, I found the culprit was the GPS live feed. I therefore installed a second auxiliary fuse box which is fed by a switched feed (in other words it only gets power when the ignition is on) and ran the GPS live feed from that.

Prior to this I had been under the impression that the battery needed replacing. However, I then did some research on battery maintenance, and discovered that not only do batteries not last very long if they are allowed to run flat, but sulphation can occur in as little as 24 hours in hot weather or several days in cold weather. This causes a dramatic decrease in battery life; and motorcycle batteries are not cheap!

I therefore acquired an Optimate battery charger. It came with a free 2.5m extension lead, and two sets of connectors; one with clamps for bench charging, and another with an inline fuse, designed to be permanently connected to the motorcycle battery. A waterproof cap seals the external end of the connector when it is not in use.

Since installing this battery tender, I'm pleased to say that the battery has always been fully charged and ready to go. I can highly recommend it!

Optimate 3

P.S. I am fortunate in that I have a garage, so I can leave the battery tender permanently connected. If you park your bike outside, a battery tender may not be much use.

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