Inspection and maintenance

4 The battery fitted to ZR550 B1. B2, B3 and B4 models is of the conventional lead/acid type, requiring regular checks of the electrolyte level (see Chapter 1) in addition to those detailed below. The battery fitted to all other models is of the maintenance-free (sealed) type, therefore requiring no regular checking/topping-up of the electrolyte level. However, the following checks should still be regularly performed.

5 Check the battery terminals and leads for tightness and corrosion. If corrosion is evident, unscrew the terminal screws and disconnect the leads from the battery, disconnecting the negative (-) terminal first, and clean the terminals and lead ends with a wire brush or knife and emery paper. Reconnect the leads, connecting the negative (-) terminal last, and apply a thin coat of petroleum jelly to the connections to slow further corrosion.

6 The battery case should be kept clean to prevent current leakage, which can discharge the battery over a period of time (especially when it sits unused). Wash the outside of the case with a solution of baking soda and water. Rinse the battery thoroughly, then dry it.

7 Look for cracks in the case and replace the battery if any are found. If acid has been spilled on the frame or battery holder, neutralise it with a baking soda and water solution, dry it thoroughly, then touch up any damaged paint. On ZR550 B1, B2, B3 and B4 models, make sure that the battery vent hose is routed correctly and is not kinked or pinched.

8 If the motorcycle sits unused for long periods of time, disconnect the cables from the battery terminals, negative (-) terminal first. Refer to Section 4 and charge the battery once every month to six weeks.

9 The condition of the battery can be assessed by measuring the voltage present at the battery terminals. Connect the voltmeter positive (+) probe to the battery positive (+) terminal and the negative (-) probe to the battery negative (-) terminal. When fully charged there should be more than 12.5 volts present. If the voltage falls below 12.0 volts the battery must be removed, disconnecting the negative (-) terminal first, and recharged as described below in Section 4.

Caution: Be extremely careful when handling or working around the battery. The electrolyte is very caustic and an explosive gas (hydrogen) is given off when the battery is charging.

1 Remove the battery (see Section 3). Connect the charger to the battery, making sure that the positive (+) lead on the charger is connected to the positive (+) terminal on the battery, and the negative (-) lead is connected to the negative (-) terminal.

2 On ZR550 B1, B2, B3 and B4 models with a conventional battery, Kawasaki recommend that the battery is charged at a maximum rate of 1.2 amps for 10 hours. A specific gravity check can be made to determine when the battery is fully charged (refer to Fault Finding Equipment in the Reference section for details of specific gravity checks).

3 On all other models equipped with a sealed maintenance-free battery, Kawasaki recommend the battery is charged according to its current state. Use a multimeter set to dc volts to measure the voltage of the battery.

a) If the voltage is 12.6 V or more, the battery does not need charging.

b) If the voltage is between 11.5 and 12.6 V, charge the battery at 1.2 A for between 10 and 5 hours, according to the voltage measured.

c) If the voltage is below 11.5 V, an initial high voltage input of about 25 V will be required for approximately five minutes before the battery will accept any charge. The charging current will drop, and the voltage should then be reduced until the charging current is as recommended. If the current does not drop, a new battery is required.

4 Exceeding the figures can cause the battery to overheat, buckling the plates and rendering it useless. Few owners will have access to an expensive current-controlled charger, so if a normal domestic charger is used check that after a possible initial peak, the charge rate falls to a safe level (see illustration). If the battery becomes hot during charging stop. Further charging will cause damage. On ZR550 B1, B2,

5.1 The junction box is under the seat

DIY Battery Repair

DIY Battery Repair

You can now recondition your old batteries at home and bring them back to 100 percent of their working condition. This guide will enable you to revive All NiCd batteries regardless of brand and battery volt. It will give you the required information on how to re-energize and revive your NiCd batteries through the RVD process, charging method and charging guidelines.

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