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  #1  
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Default Winter battery service

Living in the souhwestern USA, all my motorcycles were ridden regularly, year round. There are several options for Forum members in other parts of the country/world who may not have year-round riding (although I rode daily in a New Jersey winter in 1967 and several forum members ride in sub-freezing areas year-round):

1. Park the bike for 3+ months and deal with a discharged battery in Spring, which may take a charge, but not actually fully recover...shortening its life.

2a. Park the bike and use a trickle charger, hopefully a processor controlled "battery maintainer" to prevent an overcharge. However, even the best electronics fail, so best to regularly check the charger.

2b. Park the bike and use a trickle charger one day a month.

3. Remove the battery to a non-freezing environment, check voltage monthly and trickle charge (2 amps or less, slightly more than self-discharge rate) as necessary.

4. If sufficient sunshine or light cloudiness available, connect a low wattage solar panel.

Expecting some flack re this suggestion, with consideration for overcharging, some back ground:

Circa 2001 a 2 watt (0.125 amp at 16 VDC no load output) maintained a size 24 lead-acid battery used for incandesent lighting and water pump about 3 days a month on a travel trailer in northern Arizona. The solar panel lasted more than 10 years. In 2004, the original lead-acid battery out of my 2001 Jeep Wrangler replaced the first lead-acid...only because I put a new battery in the Jeep before giving it to daughter #2.

The 2 watt solar panel was replaced with a 5 watt (0.3125 amp at 16 VDC no load output) with increased load from charging an IPad, IPhone, etc., although lighting load was reduced by full LED lighting conversion. A 5 watt solar panel was used on the second travel trailer and batteries upgraded to AGM circa 2015-2016. Using size 35, they were back-up for my 2003 Jeep Wrangler (ranch is primitave and remote) and are now compatible with my 2016 Nissan Frontier

At 35 degrees latitude, the panels are mounted facing south by southwest, clear of pinion pine shadows. During the summer, the voltage meters may indicate up to 15.0 volts, before any load applied, slightly abive the ideal charging range.

The 5 watt solar panels continue to work well and both AGM are working well, past their 3 year warranty.

For a M/C battery, a 2 watt solar panel should suffice with adequate sunlight.

Whatever is preferred or practical, best to check voltage at least once a month.
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  #2  
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Toejam503 Toejam503 is offline
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Good suggestions although solar panels aren't the best idea here in North Dakota. The sun only shines in the winter about 30%-40% of the time and sunrise is as late as 8:30 AM and sunset as early as 4:30 PM on the shortest days. #3 has always worked best for me. I average 5-6 years on a battery.
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Understood for your latitude, but the flashing LED on each panel goes through dusk. Would not need much, just for maintenance.

I have seen output even with some snow coverage (5400 feet elevation).
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Consumer solar power equipment, of any kind, is very rare in my area. Although the Highway Dept. is attempting to use it on cameras mounted along the interstates and well traveled 2/4 lane highways. Other than that, I've only seen solar panels on a few Gov. type buildings and Colleges. As for a solar charger, they don't seem to sell well enough here for anyone to keep them in stock. It's good to see you on here, again, sportsterdoc. I always look forward to reading your posts.
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I have Optimate 4's connected to my bikes. Their float mode delivers pulsed current and has a 50% duty cycle, on for 1/2 hour, off for 1/2 hour. In maintenance (float) mode power consumption is estimated to be 0.024kWh or less per day.
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I am using SunForce.
Have a spare in each AZ trailer and a third in NV, but no spare needed yet.

https://sunforceproducts.com/product...ickle-charger/

They do work in cloudy conditions
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomcatt View Post
I have Optimate 4's connected to my bikes. Their float mode delivers pulsed current and has a 50% duty cycle, on for 1/2 hour, off for 1/2 hour. In maintenance (float) mode power consumption is estimated to be 0.024kWh or less per day.
Good choice
At 1 amp or 12 watts it cannot overcharge.
1/6 of a penny a day, if 16 cents per KWH or 5 cents a month!
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Consumer solar battery chargers are common now and not too expensive. They are regulated and don't overcharge the battery. Good option if there isn't power nearby. They are quite popular on equipment.

I still use option 2b or 3. Option 1 is a bad deal in the northeast USA.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maxeffort View Post
Consumer solar battery chargers are common now and not too expensive. They are regulated and don't overcharge the battery. Good option if there isn't power nearby. They are quite popular on equipment.
With no power at ranch and even a quiet generator annoying, it is a great option.
Think I paid $80 each, maybe from Pep Boys, but now as cheap as $25

https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...9433_200749433

And despite the one negative review, do NOT discharge at night.
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I have seen some negative solar panel reviews about not working when plugged into cigarette lighter, with the reviewer not considering that there may not be a connection with key off!
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