Battery

A number of different shaped and sized batteries have been fitted to all the machines although these have 'stabilized' for the mid to late Twins and all the Triples. In each case the battery is large and normally well up to the task in hand. Batteries used until mid-1978 are now considered to be old-fashioned in construction in that they are of the old convention 'black tar' variety. Modern 'plastic' versions are now used. Each battery type is designed and constructed specifically for the machine in question making the search for a direct proprietary replacement particularly difficult.

The battery is located in the centre of the machine behind the side panels. The Twin battery sits in the central battery tray behind the air filter, or above it on the early machines. On the battery tray base is a piece of foam and there is another strip on the rearmost support too. The battery is held down onto the tray by a rubber strap which clips into two clamps via two pegs. To remove the battery remove the side panels and/or lift the seat, disconnect the earth strap and then the live feed on the opposite side. Extra earth and feed wires accompany the large connectors. Pull back the rubber strap and unclip it, allowing it to remain loose. Now loosen the battery top on later models, juggle it over the filler plugs and carefully withdraw it from the righthand side. (An alternate method is to use a slim screwdriver to lift battery plugs and cover as one).

Now lift the battery carefully up and out on early machines and juggle it out of the righthand side on later ones. Watch for the overflow pipe which might snag. That may need clearing from its place down the left 'inside' edge of the machine. You don't have much room to move and the battery is heavy. It's replaced in a reverse sequence. Make sure all is square, tight but cushioned, and that the overflow is properly stowed away and clear of the exhaust system — if it isn't, then acid will hit both the exhaust and frame! The SFC runs a battery which sits in a rubber mounted tray (the rubber mounts are similar to those used to mount its fairing and exhaust). Its removal and replacement is a similar procedure.

The Twin's battery tray is removable, simply being bolted to the frame, to the filter in two places and to the rear mudguard.

The battery's backrest is the 'outside" of the tool tray, above and to the rear of it. Both battery tray and tool tray are easily removed once the battery is removed.

The Triple's battery sits on a weided-m battery tray again with foam strips to cushion its base. It too is held down by a rubber strap but this time it runs across the machine instead of down it as on the Twins. Although it's a bigger battery it is easier to get at because the frame does not all

The Twin's famous Fiamm horns. The Triple's 'flat' Voxbell are ¡ust as loud

An early Twin's fuse box with cover removed

enclose it. Proceed on removal as has just been described for the Twin.

Battery maintenance has been covered in the Maintenance section. Apart from charging information to come next) little more can be said about the battery suffice it to reinforce the notion that it is normally a reliable and powerful enough unit. Given adequate care it should last a long time. Apart from plate care perhaps the next most important caution point is post security. Never - - ihten the connections — a good strong finger tightness should suffice provided the contacts are o.ean. Once a post becomes loose in the casing, or the casing cracks, little will eventually save - he battery. Put Vaseline and not grease over the connections, make sure the earth is strong and fit the connection caps provided.

It is not possible to damage the charging systems of either the Twins or Triples if you charge the battery with it still connected to the machine. However be SURE that you connect the Positive + ) lead to the Positive ( + ) terminal, and the Negative ( - ) lead to the Negative ( - ) terminal.

Do not allow the charging current to exceed about l/10th of the battery capacity in amp-hours. This means the initial charging rate should not exceed 2.5 to 3.5 amps, and never for more than 5 and 10 hours according to model. The maximum voltage per cell is 2.6 for a new battery although this will fall as wear takes place — DO NOT allow the battery to suffer a complete discharge, do not overcharge, and do not allow the electrolyte to overheat, with a maximum of 45°C, when charging.

If a battery has not been used for some time, go through the necessary checks and then recharge it, and do this periodically if the machine continues to go unused. The battery will need recharging when the specific gravity falls below 1.2 per cell at 20°C/68°F. This can be read with a vertical hydrometer taking a reading at the top of the meniscus. Unused and discharged batteries tend to sulphate leaving a grey deposit on the plates and at the bottom of the case. If this gois bad the battery is 'dead'.

Corrosion at the battery terminals can be readily cleaned with a suede shoe brush and knife blade. It's been known for this corrosion to inhibit proper contact.

Remember if the machine falls over or the battery is otherwise emptied it is necessary to refill the battery case with sulphuric acid of a specific gravity of between 1.26 and 1.28. General topping-up, of course, needs distilled water.

NOTE: If the battery needs constant topping-up you perhaps suspect over-charging which can only be diagnosed by a specialist auto-electrician.

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