How to Replace your Battery


Step-by-step tutorials on how to maintain and fix your GL1500
  • Sponsored Links
Post Reply
User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 18226
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

How to Replace your Battery

Post by WingAdmin » Tue Mar 28, 2017 10:08 pm



Motorcycle batteries don't last forever: depending on the quality of the battery and your care and feeding of it, they can last anywhere from one year to eight years ore more. A Wal-Mart cheapie that lives in a bike that is rarely ridden might give you a year. A quality AGM battery that is connected to a Battery Tender Jr. when the bike isn't being ridden will last for many, many years.

1. To start, the right-side body panel needs to be removed. It are held in place with posts that seat into rubber grommets. Gently pull the post free at the bottom left and right sides of the rearmost panel. Be careful not to angle the panel too much when removing - you want to pull it more or less straight out of the rubber grommet, to avoid snapping the post off.

Image

2. Gently pull the upper right post free (on this one, the post is on the bike, and the grommet is in the panel, reverse of the other three), then the upper left. Rotate the panel upward slightly to clear the top from the seat, then pull the panel free.

Image

3. Some custom seats, such as the Corbin seat on my GL1500 must be removed in order to access the battery hold-down clamps. Other seats give you enough clearance to do the job with the seat in place. If your seat does not provide clearance, remove the seat from the motorcycle.

Image

4. Before we go any further, we have to speak about safety.

Next to the tank full of explosive gasoline, the battery is the second most dangerous item in your bike. It contains an absolutely astounding amount of energy. If abused, shorted out or damaged, it can explode violently, spraying the motorcycle, you, and the area with highly corrosive sulfuric acid - acid that can blind you in seconds. I can't reiterate enough: always wear eye protection when working with and around batteries!

Also: For obvious reasons (explosive hydrogen being the primary one), no open flames, smoking, or anything of the kind when working on or near your battery. We had a user here on the site who was doing some welding work on his GL1500. One of the sparks went near the bottom of the battery vent tube at the bottom of the bike and ignited the hydrogen inside it and inside the battery. The subsequent explosion blew the battery apart, covering the side of his bike and his garage wall in sulfuric acid! Don't mess around with batteries!

Image

5. Using a 10mm socket, remove the bolt from the hold down clamp at the top of the clamp.

Image

6. Next use the same socket to remove the hold down clamp bolt at the bottom of the clamp. On my bike (in the picture) I have a fastened a ground wire to this bolt, yours will not have this wire.

Image

7. Pull the clamp free from the battery and put it aside.

Image

8. Using a socket if possible, or a screwdriver if the existing battery doesn't have a hex bolt terminal, remove the wire(s) from the negative terminal of the battery. You might have just one wire, or several, as shown here, depending on what electrical aftermarket items may have been added.

IMPORTANT! ALWAYS remove the negative terminal wire FIRST, and tuck the thick black battery cable away afterwards, so that it cannot contact the battery's negative terminal. The reason for this is so that when you remove the positive terminal, you don't accidentally short out the battery by allowing the tool to contact the positive terminal and the frame of the bike at the same time.

Image

9. Once the negative terminal is disconnected, remove the wires from the positive terminal. I have several wires on my battery: The bike's thick battery cable, the large feed wire for my Electrical Connection Power Plate, and the wire for my permanently-installed Battery Tender pigtail.

Image

10. Once the wires are disconnected, you can pull the battery free of the bike.

Image

11. Flooded, non-gel or AGM type batteries will have a battery vent connection. This nipple on the edge of the battery connects to this rubber hose and vents hydrogen and corrosive fumes away from the bike and down to the ground. If you are using an old-style flooded battery, you MUST connect this hose, or else the fumes will cause corrosion in the frame around the battery - and can even collect and explode! The GL1500 really requires an AGM battery, so this shouldn't be an issue - you don't really want to put an old style flooded wet battery in a GL1500.

Image

12. Some batteries like the MotoBatt MBTX24U that I used, have an optional tray used to make them the correct height. Check the height of your new battery against the old one to ensure it is the correct size, so you know whether to use the optional tray (if supplied).

Image

13. Insert the battery into the bike, being careful to not trap any wires behind it, and to not allow the negative battery cable to contact the negative battery terminal. In this picture I am repositioning the EC Power Plate after having installed the battery. Remember to fasten the vent tube to the battery nipple if you are using a flooded wet cell battery.

Image

14. If you have multiple connections to your battery as I do, it is important that the main bike battery cable goes directly against the battery terminal. Do not put anything in between the cable and the battery terminal.

Image

15. Put any additional wires on top of the battery cable, and fasten them in place using the fastener that came with the battery.

Image

16. Once the positive cables are connected, you can connect the negative terminals. Again, make sure the main battery cable is directly against the battery terminal.

Image

17. Reposition the hold-down clamp over the battery and hand-tighten the lower clamp bolt.

Image

18. Install and tighten the upper clamp bolt, then tighten the lower clamp bolt.

Image

19. Replace the side body panel. Turn on the bike ignition and check that the battery operates correctly.

Image

20. Wash your hands! This very important step is often overlooked. Batteries contain lead, and on many batteries, the terminals themselves are made of lead. Chances are you are going to come into contact with it. After working with or touching the battery, wash your hands well.



jonnyqball
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:55 am
Location: South Portland, ME
Motorcycle: 1994 GL1500

Re: How to Replace your Battery

Post by jonnyqball » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:01 am

This is the best step-by-step I have found, thanks! Here's my issue - when I go to secure the terminals, I get a beep from a security system I didn't know was on the bike (I just inherited it). Any guidance on how to disable this in order to install the battery? If it's as simple as pulling a fuse, that would be great but I have no idea what fuse it would be. So frustrated, dying to ride this thing!

User avatar
WingAdmin
Site Admin
Posts: 18226
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 4:16 pm
Location: Strongsville, OH
Motorcycle: 2000 GL1500 SE
1982 GL1100A Aspencade (sold)
1989 PC800 (wife's!)
1998 XV250 Virago (sold)
2007 Aspen Sentry Trailer

Re: How to Replace your Battery

Post by WingAdmin » Thu Jul 27, 2017 6:34 pm

jonnyqball wrote:
Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:01 am
This is the best step-by-step I have found, thanks! Here's my issue - when I go to secure the terminals, I get a beep from a security system I didn't know was on the bike (I just inherited it). Any guidance on how to disable this in order to install the battery? If it's as simple as pulling a fuse, that would be great but I have no idea what fuse it would be. So frustrated, dying to ride this thing!
The bike didn't come with one, so it is aftermarket - so how it is hooked up is anyone's guess. You will have to find the system, then follow its wires to see where it is connected.

Post Reply