Maintenance - Major Service

10. Check the battery

The battery must be checked regularly, at least every three months. If a quick check is being made, it is only necessary to unlock and raise the seat and to remove both side panels (see Chapter 7 - Frame & Forks). If the terminals are being checked or the cells topped up the storage tray and fuel injection control unit must be removed as well, as described in Chapter 5 - Fuel & Oil. To remove the battery completely, unlock and raise the seat, remove both side panels and withdraw the storage tray and fuel injection control unit. Disconnect the battery terminals (negative terminal first, always) and vent tube, then remove the two long screws securing the battery retaining strap to the battery tray. Withdraw the strap, noting that this will release the coolant expansion tank which must be secured out of harm's way. Tilt the battery backwards and withdraw it upwards and to the rear.

On refitting, insert the battery carefully, with its terminals to the front, and settle it on the rubber pads on the tray. Route the vent tube through the hole at the base of the rear mudguard and check that it is clear, with no blockages or kinks, and that it hangs down well clear of any other component particularly the rear wheel or exhaust system. Position the coolant expansion tank on its mountings and refit the battery retaining strap; tighten the retaining screws securely but do not over tighten them or the battery will be cracked. Check that the terminals are scraped clean and coated with the specified acid-free grease to prevent corrosion, then reconnect the positive (+ve) terminal first, followed by the negative (-ve). Tighten the terminal nuts and bolts securely and refit their covers.

To check the electrolyte level, position the machine so that the battery is level. Where level marks are provided on the battery casing ensure that the electrolyte level is between the marks; if not the level in each cell must be between 5 - 1 0 mm (0.2 - 0.4 in) below the black plastic top. lf topping-up is necessary, remove the battery retaining strap and use a coin or similar to unscrew each cell cover plug. Use only distilled water to top up to the maximum level mark, then refit the cell cover plugs and retaining strap.

Check that the vent tube is clear and that it has no kinks or blockages, also that it hangs well clear of any other component (see above). If the terminals are loose or corroded, disconnect them (negative terminal first, always) and scrape them clean. On refitting, apply a coat of petroleum jelly or acid-free grease to each to prevent corrosion and tighten the retaining nuts end bolts securely.

Always check that the terminals are tight and that the covers are correctly refitted, also that the fuse connections are clean and tight, that the fuses are of the correct rating and in good condition, and that spares are available on the machine should the need arise.

At regular intervals remove the battery and check that there is no pale gray sediment deposited at the bottom of the casing. This is caused by sulphation of the plates as a result of re-charging at too high a rate or as a result of the battery being left discharged for long periods.

A good battery should have little or no sediment visible and its plates should be straight and pale gray or brown in color. lf sediment deposits are deep enough to reach the bottom of the plates, or if the plates are buckled and have whitish deposits on them, the battery is faulty and must be renewed. Remember that a poor battery will give rise to a large number of minor electrical faults.

If the machine is not in regular use, disconnect the battery and give it a refresher charge every month to six weeks, as described in Chapter 10 - Electrical.


Battery (and coolant expansion tank) is retained by a single strap - unscrew securing screws to release


Ensure vent tube is free from blockages or kinks on refitting


Battery terminals must be completely clean and securely fastened at all times


Electrolyte level must be maintained between level lines on battery casing