One thing that sucks as a motorcycle owner is not riding during the icy and snowy winter months. Most unheated and uninsulated garages have long periods where the temperatures drop well below freezing. When spring rolls around and everything thaws out, you find your small motorcycle battery has died and you have to go buy a new one.

Lead acid batteries need to be used. Removing them and having them sit on a shelf may extend them a season but to really get the most out of them you should purchase a trickle charger, sometimes called a battery maintainer.

These small devices plug into the mains of your house and send a small current to keep your battery charged. Good ones will also occasionally partially drain and recharge the battery to keep the lead plates from shorting out with built-up crud.

I have two of them. One is in my garage hooked up to my riding lawn mower battery and the other I have in my house. I have three motorcycle batteries that I swap out every few weeks to keep them in good shape so I don't have to buy new ones annually. The trickle chargers cost me eleven bucks a few years ago, a fraction of the $280 it would cost to replace all three motorcycle batteries plus the one in the mower.

One thing about having them in your house: charging batteries may vent a bit of hydrogen gas. Don't leave them plugged in next to your gas water heater or your furnace due to hydrogen's ability to reproduce the Hindenburg disaster. If you have a vehicle that uses a lead acid battery I'd recommend you pick up a battery maintainer or trickle charger. This is especially useful for folks that have an expensive or exotic car that they only drive occasionally. Large batteries like the Optima brand can get into the $300 range.

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