Many people think a battery tender/charger is only of use during the winter months when your motorcycle is hibernating, but I respectively disagree. After any trip, at any time during the year, I’ll plug my bike onto my batter tender. I want to be sure that even if the bike is not used for a few days, that the battery is in perfect working condition. It will not be the first time I roll out one of my motorcycles out of the garage, turn the ignition and all I hear is clicking noises. Dead battery, despite having been on a ride a week ago. It all depends on weather and the state of your battery, so I’m no longer taking any risks.
But, and that’s a big BUT, the most important thing for charging your battery is making sure you’ve got a good, if not great, battery tender. Many people think that by buying a battery tender that trickle charges, your battery is safe. Wrong! A trickle charge keeps sending small amounts of current to the battery, even when it’s fully charged. What happens then, is that the battery starts “cooking”, and that’s the death spell for your battery.
My favorite battery charger/tender is the DelTran 12 V Tender Plus 1.25 Amp. Obviously as the title suggests, it’s a 12V charger, so if you’re using one of those 6 V batteries (your bike must be pretty old), then don’t even think about it (a 6V version does exist). The interesting thing about the DelTran is that it compensates charging depending on the ambient temperature. Temperature strongly affects your battery, the colder it is, the worse your batteries behave (that is why electric motorcycles and cars misbehave in freezing climates). When it’s colder, you just need more juice to ensure a 100% charged battery.
The best part of the DelTran is that it doesn’t trickle charger, it switches from full charge to floating charge mode automatically, meaning that when the battery is fully charged, it will send a low level juice to keep the battery fully charged. This method is much better than trickle charging since your battery will never be cooked, and will always be charged at 100%. You can click here to read more about float charging.
One of the other things I like of my DelTran is that when you hook up the charger you don’t get any sparks (okay, I admit, this happens when I use it on my car). My old charger always did that, and it scared the living daylights out of me.
The Tender Plus comes with normal alligator plugs (like what you’d use for a car) but also with a quick & easy access plug-in (a hard-wire you keep connected to your battery, allowing you just plug in the tender). The quick access plug-in is great for motorcycles. Batteries are usually well hidden and would involve removing lots of pieces of motorcycle (like the fuel tank) to get at the battery. With the DelTran Tender Plus, you only need to do it once. Wire the quick access to the battery, and place the extremity of the wire somewhere you can easily reach on your bike (under your saddle, in your front cowling, handlebars, etc). Then all you need to do is plug-in and charge.
To be honest, I love this product. I’ve currently got 3 bikes, and each one has its own DelTran Tender Plus. I never have a problem starting one of the bikes, even if they haven’t been moved for months.
Here’s a short video explaining a thing or two about the DelTran: