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Battery Information & Maintenence

Here, I will discuss:

  • Battery Sizes—The three battery sizes available for your KTM.
  • Specifications—Dimensions and capacity of the each size.
  • Charging—Proper charging and maintenance of your batter.

Battery Sizes

KTM has specified the highest performance, maintenence free, battery with the highest cold cranking amps available:

Comparison between YTX4L and YTX5L sized batteries:
Two battery sizes compared

Your bike may not have a Yuasa battery (mine didn't). KTM or your dealer may have installed an equivalent battery from a different manufacturer. Here is a chart of various equivalent batteries. You will note that many manufacturer's numbers are similar.

Competitive Battery Cross-Reference Premium Sealed Maintenance Free Batteries
YuasaGNBDelcoExideInterstateGS-Ztong YeeGS-JSBMotocrossNAPASearsWal-MartYacht
YTX4L-BS4L-BSGT4L-BS4L-BSYTX4L-BSGT4L-BSM62X4B740-186544015ES4LBSCT4L-BS
YTX5L-BS5L-BSGTX5L-BS5L-BSYTX5L-BSGTX5L-BSM32X5B44022
YTX7L-BS7L-BS7L-BSYTX7L-BSGTX7L-BSM327BS44024CTX7L-BS

Battery Specifications

Yuasa Battery comparison
TypeVoltsCapacity
(10 hour rate)
Dimensions
(L x W x H)
WeightAcid VolumeRecommended
Charge Rate
Cold Cranking Amps
YTX4L-BS123 AH4.5x2.8125x3.375 in. (114x71x86 mm)2.9# (1.3 KG)0.18 L0.4 A50
YTX5L-BS124 AH4.5x2.8125x4.1875 in. (114x71x106 mm)3.5# (1.6 KG)0.24 L0.5 A70
YTX7L-BS126 AH4.5x2.8125x5.1875 in. (114x71x131 mm)5.1# (2.3 KG)0.33 L0.6 A85

Yuasa Battery Number Scheme
Example: Yuasa YTX7L-BS
YTYuasa maint. free (VRLA) batteries (YT, YI)
Xhigh performance
7performance level (higher is more performance)
Lindicates positive terminal is at right side
-
Btype of terminal
Ssealed, non-spillable

Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) Battery Features

The specified battery for your bike is a sealed VRLA design. These batteries are maintenance free, meaning it never needs refilling; however, it still needs periodic charging. Here are some features that make VRLA batteries ideal for motorcycles:

  • Spill-proof design—virtually no possibility of leaks
  • Lead-calcium technology—increases cranking power
  • Sulfation retardant—dramatically reduces battery-killing plate sulfation
  • Holds voltage longer and needs less charging in standby or storage
  • Severe vibration resistance in extreme weather conditions
  • Gasoline & Oil resistant

Battery Charging & Maintenance

Keeping a battery strong shouldn't be too tough. A new battery should always be charged before use. And, an in-service battery needs to stay charged.

Keep it charged! You should never use a car charger for a motorcycle battery as it provides too much curreent. The proper charging current is approximately one-tenth of its capacity (see battery specifications chart above), or, about 400 to 600 milliamps for a motorcycle battery.

Use a "floating" charger. Floating chargers shut down when a battery becomes fully charged and re-activate when the charge drops. Battery Tender makes several floating chargers. Many people purchase the Battery Tender Plus, but I recommend the Battery Tender Jr. because it's charging rate (0.75 amps) is much closer to the specified rate for motorcycle batteries.
Charging a battery

Easy Charger Connection. I outfitted one of my bikes with a ¼" phone jack from an electronics store. The original purpose was to connect my Lead Dog Helmet Light. However, outfitting my charger with a similar phone plug allows me to charge my bike without removing my seat or messing with wires and alligator clips! I simply "plug-it-in!"
Click for full-size image

Don't overcharge! A battery should always be charged, but overcharging beyond the battery's natural absorption rate will cause the electrolyte to break down and boil away. If you've ever left your bike on a trickle charger all winter only to find it dead in the spring then you know about this already. Trickle chargers continue to charge despite the battery's condition. Charging also corrodes the plates and connectors, so constant charging will cause premature failure.

Deep discharging will kill a battery as well. If a battery is discharged completely, some of the material inside drops off and falls to the bottom. This leaves less material behind to conduct the chemical reaction, and eventually it will short out your battery when enought material builds up around the bottom of the plates.

Batteries need their exercise. Holding a battery at an unwavering voltage eventually leads to sulfation. Unplug your charger every sixty days or so and let your battery rest for a couple days before plugging it in again. Better yet, start your bike up and take it for a short spin to keep things working.

You can find much more in-depth information at Yuasa's web site, including this article:
Yuasa Battery, Inc.—UNDERSTANDING MOTORCYCLE BATTERIES

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