Keep your Motorcycle Battery Charged with a Solar Powered Trickle Charger.
By Chris Cooke
If your motorcycle sits for a while have you found yourself in a situation where you are unable to start it because the battery is dead? An easy way to avoid that is to hook it up to a solar powered trickle charger. This way there is always juice in the battery for the weekend rides and you don’t have to waste a Saturday morning picking up a new motorcycle battery.
Using a Sunforce solar panel is a maintenance free way to avoid a dead motorcycle battery. Just plug in a small Sunforce solar panel and let the sun take care of trickle charging your battery. It’s that simple!
Sunforce Solar Panel
The Sunforce 50013 1-Watt Motorcycle and Powersports Solar Battery Charger is a weatherproof unit that can be hooked up to your 12V motorcycle battery and then left in the sun to soak up the sun’s rays. The trickle charger comes in handy in places where there is no outlets to plug in a battery tender, such as a shed or if the bike is stored outside under a cover.
The amorphous solar panel comes with a 15′ extension, so it is long enough to place it outside the shed or cover and have it hooked up to the motorcycle inside. A lot of owners simply drill a small hole in the side of their shed, feed the wire through and mount the light solar panel on the outside wall. The solar panel works fine in all daylight conditions, so you do not have to stress about installing the panel in a direct angle to the sun. The 19.4″ x 6″ x 1.6″ unit only weighs 1.5 pounds making it easy to mount on an exterior wall or simply placing it in the garage’s window.
The complete Sunforce solar kit includes:
- 8 ft of wire that is connected to the solar panel
- 8 ft of extra wire with battery clamps
- O-ring connector, fuse
- Quick Connect Technology for an easy installation
Installing the Sunforce Trickle Charger
The solar powered trickle charger is very easy to set up. Just connect the two clips to the battery and then simply use the quick disconnect to plug in and out. One thing I think Sunforce could have added to the unit is an LED display, so you know that it is actually charging, but that is a minor thing as the unit works flawlessly.
Once the charge of the motorcycle battery is complete, the unit switches into a maintenance module, with its overcharge and discharge protection feature. Something to be aware of is that for some weird reason compared to most other battery chargers the positive and negative terminals are reversed on this particular charger, so be mindful of that if you are switching cables or you are integrating it with another charging device.
The Sunforce 50013 1-Watt Motorcycle and Powersports Solar Battery Charger is an inexpensive and maintenance free solution to avoid a dead motorcycle battery. For around $20 you get a weatherproof unit for charging your motorcycle battery that you do not have to worry about leaving outside. It solves the charge problem for motorcycle owners that store their motorcycles in a shed that does not have a power outlet and find it a pain to run extension cords or move the bike to hook it up to a battery tender. The trickle charger’s built-in overcharge and discharge protection feature is ideal for motorcycle owners that want to keep a healthy battery topped up over the winter.