Faulty batteries are the number one cause of vehicle breakdowns in the UK* but jump-starting a motorcycle with a flat lithium battery can do more harm than good and should not be attempted under any circumstances. That’s the stark warning from OptiMate, the battery-saving experts.
Manufacturers are increasingly fitting new motorcycles with lithium (LiFePO4) batteries, because they take up less space than the regular lead-acid equivalent. However, they tend to be smaller capacity (a lower Ah rating) and so discharge more quickly. A deeply discharged lithium battery needs to be recharged very carefully, but a high-voltage shock, like you get with a jump start, could cause severe damage, and even make it explode or catch fire.
Recovering the battery using a lithium-specific charger – such as the OptiMate Lithium 0.8A – is the safest way to bring a ‘dead’ battery back to life. It starts off charging slowly, to avoid overheating, balancing the four 3.2V cells inside the battery in the process, ensuring it is returned to peak condition.
The OptiMate Lithium 0.8A retails for £64.99 – considerably less than a replacement lithium battery.
Of course, prevention is better is better than cure – connecting a bike to a smart charger when not in use will keep it fully charged. Prices start at £42.99 for the OptiMate 1 Duo, which will charge both lead-acid and lithium batteries thanks to its microprocessor controlled software.
For further information and to view the range, visit www.optimate1.com