Best Trickle Chargers

Best Trickle Charger For Motorcycle

The best trickling charger for motorcycles is one which can provide enough power to charge your bike’s battery from empty to full in just a few hours. If you have a smaller capacity battery such as a single cell then it may take longer than two days or even more if you are using larger cells like three or four cells.

You will need to use the best trickling charger for your needs.

If you are planning to ride long distances, then a trickle charger is not going to cut it. A fully charged battery will last much longer than a drained one.

So you need something with a higher charging rate so that your battery doesn’t get too low before you reach your destination.

Another factor is the type of motorcycle you plan to ride. Some bikes require a slower speed while others demand maximum acceleration when starting up the engine.

The faster you go, the greater the amount of energy required to start up the engine.

Finally, some bikes are designed for off-road riding and require a different kind of charger than those used on paved roads. These include electric scooters and even some motorcycles made specifically for dirt biking.

So what do you need?

Well, it depends on your personal needs. In addition, you’ll need to get the right connector for your vehicle and the type of power source you have access to.

The most reliable but also the most expensive way to charge a battery is through an AC source such as from an outlet. The actual cost of this will depend on where you live and how much electricity costs in your region.

The next best thing is a DC source and this can be from your car’s cigarette lighter or from a specialized battery charger. The advantage to using the cigarette lighter is that you can also charge other devices such as your cell phone, which might come in handy at some point.

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When using an automotive battery charger, make sure that the power source is off or your car will not start!

Battery tender can provide all-around charging

Another option is to use a battery tender. This is an automatic charger which can provide an all-around charge to your battery.

This will take the longest amount of time but it’s the safest way to do it without having to monitor the process too much. Just be sure not to leave it on for more than a month or you’ll end up with a fried battery!

Cautions when using automotive chargers

If you use a standard automotive battery charger, be sure to follow the instructions carefully. These things get really hot and can even catch on fire if you use it improperly.

The main reason why people use these is because they are really cheap and readily available at most department stores.

One thing to remember is that these things can also damage your batteries if not used properly. There is a “trickle charge” option as well as a “rapid charge” option.

Do not use the rapid charge unless absolutely necessary since it can damage the battery if done too often.

Trickle Charging

This is the safest way to charge your battery and will take the longest amount of time. The charger will send out a very small amount of current which is just enough to replenish what is being drained.

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This will take at least twice as long but is worth it since you won’t be running the risk of overcharging or overheating the battery which could cause an explosion.

Bulk Charging

This is the second safest way to charge a battery and will still take a while since the charger will only send out half the current necessary for a full charge. This is fine to do periodically in between Trickle charges since it will revitalize the battery without putting that extra strain on it.

Quick Charge

This method is NOT recommended except in emergencies since it will overheat and potentially explode your battery if done too much. It is however the fastest way to charge your battery but it takes the least amount of time if you don’t want to wait around for a trickle charge.

Using Your Car

If you choose to go this route then make sure that your battery stays connected to the vehicle at all times and keep the engine running for no longer than an hour. It’s best to park your car in direct sunlight if possible since this will keep the battery energized as well as the vehicle’s engine.

Make sure to not leave the car running inside a building where there is no direct sunlight. Although unlikely, carbon monoxide can build up and cause you to pass out while operating your vehicle, which could lead to serious injury or death.

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Calcium Chloride

This substance can be purchased at most swimming pool supply stores (even though it’s not for that purpose.) It comes in a plastic container about the size of a large brick and is blue and white in color.

This stuff is dangerous to handle and can even cause frostbite on skin contact! Use gloves when handling this chemical and store it away from any flammable or combustible materials.

The idea here is to drop the calcium chloride directly into your battery cells. This will increase the conductivity between each cell, which in turn will cause the battery to produce more current.

The amount of calcium chloride that you will need to add depends on the size of your battery. The chemical will slowly dissolve into the electrolyte solution.

To avoid any possible explosion risk, adding a pure substance to the battery is preferable to trying to add a concentrated acid like vinegar or soda since this increases the risk of explosion due to increased conductivity.

Remember to only add calcium chloride AFTER charging your battery! It may even be necessary to add more than one packet of it depending on your battery size.

Only do this if you can access the inside of the battery since you won’t want to get this stuff on your skin.

Baking Soda

As strange as it may sound, this is another substance that can be used to increase the conductivity between battery cells. It is safe to add to a battery and is especially good for increasing the lifespan of your battery by neutralizing any excess acid.

You can find this substance at most grocery or convenience stores. You will only need a small amount so a small box of baking soda should be more than enough for your needs.

Using a baking soda solution is different than using the calcium chloride since you will be adding this substance to the electrolyte solution itself. You will need to add water to the battery first, following the directions on the electrolyte container.

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Then stir in about 1/4 or 1/2 of a cup of baking soda and then top off with more water if needed. Don’t overfill!

Baking soda is a base and will react with the excess acid in your battery. The reaction neutralizes the acid and prevents it from damaging or leaking out of the battery cells.

When using this substance, you should find that your battery lasts much longer than before. Obviously, use this substance when charging your battery and do not add it directly to the battery cells like you would with the calcium chloride since it is likely to harm the cells directly.

Lighter Fluid

Lighter fluid may not sound like the safest method to try but hear me out. This substance is actually a mix of several different chemicals, one of which is called naphtha.

Naphtha is also used as an ingredient in some types of spray paint and is flammable while being slightly less toxic than gasoline.

Lighter fluid is used to increase the conductivity between battery cells and increase the current flow. It can be used on its own or in combination with other substances.

You can find a small bottle of it at most convenience stores or order it online if you want a bigger supply.

Spray some lighter fluid directly into your battery cells. Don’t use too much!

Next, wait a few minutes for the fluid to distribute itself evenly and then charge the battery as normal. You may find that your battery doesn’t last as long as it used to but note that this is normal for this type of treatment. It should restore your battery to its original charge time in 5-10 cycles.

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Battery Acid

The final substance on this list is actually the least dangerous of them all since you’ve been using this substance all along. Battery acid is a mix of water and sulfuric acid and can greatly increase the performance of your battery by increasing the number of charge cycles it can go through before needing to be recharged.

You are probably all too familiar with the smell of this substance if you’ve had to add water to your battery in the past. It has a distinctive smell that some find unpleasant.

It’s extremely important that you add the right amount of water to your battery in order to avoid damaging it.

Adding battery acid is a little different than the other substances on this list since it requires you to pour the substance directly into the battery cells. Do not touch the battery terminals with the acid since it can cause a short if you do.

The good thing about battery acid is that it doesn’t have a neutralizing reaction so you don’t need to worry about doing that. Just make sure you’re wearing the appropriate safety equipment when handling it and you should be fine.

Don’t directly expose clothing or anything that might get damaged by the acid to the battery.

As a side note, it’s possible to neutralize battery acid which will make the liquid less corrosive and safer to handle but it will also greatly decrease the capacity of the liquid. I do not advise you to try this since it requires much more baking soda than the other substances listed in this article.

There you have it, four different substances that you can use to help charge your car battery. As I said before, since these are all liquids their reaction with the battery is instantaneous so you won’t need to worry about waiting around for something to happen.

It’s also very easy to tell when the reaction is complete and your car should start with no problems.

Sources & references used in this article:

Solar trickle charger for lead acid batteries by CE Gali – US Patent 4,871,959, 1989 – Google Patents

Solar powered lead acid battery rejuvenator and trickle charger by CE Gali – US Patent 5,084,664, 1992 – Google Patents

Battery charger circuit by J Houser Jr – US Patent 4,712,055, 1987 – Google Patents

Electric vehicles chargers characterization: Load demand and harmonic distortion by JP Trovão, PG Pereirinha, L Trovão… – … on Electrical Power …, 2011 – ieeexplore.ieee.org

Battery charger by AG Hierholzer Jr – US Patent 4,467,265, 1984 – Google Patents

Battery Charger with Alarm Application by RM Akhimullah – 2008 – umpir.ump.edu.my

Battery charger having automatic deep discharge mode by KR Fasen – US Patent 4,609,860, 1986 – Google Patents

Battery charger by JK Nor – US Patent 5,179,335, 1993 – Google Patents