rask cycle

            1647 Evans City Rd,    Evans City Pa. 16033

HARLEY - TRIUMPH - BSA      Parts and Full Service

Tech Tip Main Page Rask Cycle


The motorcycle battery is one of those things that is very often forgotten until it is too late. One of the worst things you can do is assume that just because the  motorcycle starts and runs, that it means that the battery is OK.  Often a bike can be started with a marginal battery, but, running it with one can lead to other problems.  It is possible to have a battery lose its  charge very rapidly while in service.  Bad cells, broken plates, and sulphation are all problems that can be very misleading.

It is not a good idea to let a battery get completely discharged for a long period of time, or to let the fluid level drop.
Most bike batteries are good for a couple of years.  Sitting all winter without being charged is very hard on the battery and will lead to early failure.   We sell maintainers/chargers that will help eliminate this problem.
Most battery problems can be diagnosed with a hydrometer.

Some  batteries are "maintenance free" and do not require monitoring the fluid level.  This type of battery will not have any removable fill caps on top.  The older standard type battery will have either 3 caps(6-volt) or 6 caps (12-volt) on top of the battery, which allows the owner to maintain the proper fluid level.

There will be two lines near the top of the battery, usually on the same side of battery as the label, on the standard-type battery (not the maintenance free type), that indicate the proper fluid level.  Each cell is initially filled individually through its cap with battery acid and  should be kept to a level in between the two lines by adding the distilled water.  Failure to do so will cause early battery failure.
Overcharging can also be another cause of premature battery failure.

A hydrometer is a very good inexpensive instrument that will aid in diagnosing a bad battery.  It looks like a small turkey baster with 4 balls inside it.

How to Use a Hydrometer

1. Remove the battery caps,
2.   Place the hydrometer in the battery fluid. Squeeze the bulb on the hydrometer, drawing up enough battery acid to fill the majority of the instrument.
3 Tap hydrometer vigorously against the hole to expel any air bubbles and see how many balls are floating in the liquid.

The number of balls will determine the amount of charge of the battery in question. 
If you check a battery that has just been taken off a charger it may read higher than it would if it had been setting for awhile.
Larger Image

Depicts an old battery, fresh off the charger
that is indicating a partial charge.
Larger Image

Shows the same cell in the same battery being tested  a couple of  hours later and the result is showing a completely DEAD CELL.
Larger Image

Shows the hydrometer test on a fresh new battery, indicating a 100% charge.    .
Larger Image

This is a badly corroded battery terminal. 
 A quick easy fix for this is shown in the next picture.


Larger Image
This is a  corroded cable end being soaked in a mixture of baking soda and water in the lid off a spray can.  This will neutralize the acid and clean the connection.    After the cleaning, all connections should be coated with dielectric grease (which we stock) 


Larger Image
Don't forget to wipe out the battery tray, then flush it with the baking soda/water solution.  This will keep it from rusting out so quick

Another tip that will extend the life of your battery is to always make sure that
a new battery has a 100% full charge before being put into service.

We stock battery chargers and charger/maintainers  if you should need one.
A hydrometer would be a wise, inexpensive addition to your toolbox.


Fool proof, dependable testing.
Accurately tests state of charge within temperature extremes of -40 degree.
Uses less than 1/4oz of acid.  Easy to use and read.

Works on all batteries. Indicates all levels of charge


American Made Interstate Batteries for Triumph  and Harley.

We do NOT ship with the battery acid.
you can get the acid at any auto parts store.



The Battery Tender Plus is a 1.25 amp battery charger designed to fully charge a battery and maintain it at proper storage voltage without the damaging effects caused by trickle chargers.



10-gauge jumper cables.
smaller than normal car cables.
but, heavy enough to jump any bike battery.
Rolls up neat to fit in your saddlebags.


Click below to order any of the above products
Battery Hydrometer Harley  Batteries

Triumph Batteries
Battery Tender Jumper Cables
 Tech Tip Main Page Rask Cycle

Home British
Dynamometer Service Service

Copyright/Trademark:     Rask Cycle/Rask Cycles
Information and Pictures
about our Black Bears and
 many other type animals
Parts and installation
for small and big dish satellites.
Information and background of  Abie Abraham and WW II and Death March.
Ohio Association of Animal  owners.