Sunday, May 25, 2008

How to Remove and Charge the Battery on a Honda ST1300A (Pan European)

You know, there are not enough blog posts out there explaining how to do simple practical stuff so here is my attempt to redress the balance.

I am currently troubled by the battery on my bike going flat. I park the bike up and, until recently, if I left it more than a week the battery would be flat. Lately it's been lasting even less time before going flat. This problem started over a year ago and the battery was replaced and it seemed to get better briefly - the battery that was in there before really was knackered - but now the problems have returned. I can't believe this battery is shot after little over a year. Steve the Bike, who does my servicing, says he can't detect a drain while the battery is on the bike. This is the 2002 model which had an uprated alternator fitted in later models (thanks Freddy) so I suspect the charging circuit on this model was questionable but it certainly shouldn't be this bad. The investigation continues.

Anyway, here we go with an illustrated guide to removing the battery on a 2002 Honda St1300A, and putting it on charge.

You will need....a Honda this one, it's mine you know. Park it on the side or centre stand giving yourself a little bit of room to work on the offside (that's the right side if you're sitting on the bike). The nearside is the left hand side; as an aide-memoire, I always remember the nearside is the side nearest the kerb.

You will also need some tools. However expensive your vehicle is, all manufacturers will always economise in one place and that is the toolkit. The most expensive vehicle you can buy will only ever have the most rudimentary and shoddy toolkit - only good in an absolute crisis. Buy your own if you plan to do even the smallest amount of home maintenance. I have this handy little set of JCB tools which include a socket set and allen keys (also known as hexagon keys). I got them in Robert Dyas a few years ago. God bless Robert Dyas - one of those shops you can always kill thirty minutes in looking at loads of useful things like tools, gadgets, novel electrical appliances, bottles of strange chemicals and all sorts of stuff. It has that wonderful, heady aroma of Men Enjoying Themselves.

Now to the process itself. First, using the ignition key, unlock the seat/pannier locks on either side of the rear seat section.

Next, push down on the little brass coloured seat release lever under the offside seat/pannier lock and, keeping it pushed down lift off the rear seat section.

After removing the rear seat section, lift away the forward seat section. This may need a firm tug as it is clipped into position.

Remove the near side rear pannier by grasping the handle and lifting it up and outwards.

Next, using a 5mm allen key, remove the side panel by unscrewing the 3 bolts holding it in place.

The battery terminals are now visible. Using a 10mm socket, undo the right hand battery terminal - that's the negative one. There's a small retaining nut under each bolt, make sure it doesn't fall out (this can happen very easily without you noticing) or you can't reconnect the battery later.

Lift off the relay unit which is snapped into place on top of the battery cover.

Remove the battery cover which is snapped into position at the top rear of the battery.

Using the 10mm socket again, unscrew the battery clamp which is held with a single bolt above the centre of the battery.

Lift off the battery clamp.

Using the 10mm socket again (this is turning out to be a wise purchase), unscrew the positive battery terminal.

Now you can just lift out the battery. It's a sealed battery so can happily be tipped over at an angle of 45 degrees without risk of spilling nasty battery acid over yourself.

Your bike now looks kind of naked but you do feel rather clever because you've done all this dismantling in the space of only three or four minutes. Carefully put to one side all the bits you've removed (I put them in the back of the garage) putting the six bolts in a sensible place where you can find them again. Put the bike back in the garage and take the battery to its designated place of charging - that's my living room. I guess it's a good thing I'm single (woe, woe and thrice woe) as women tend to consider motorcycle parts in the living room a Bad Thing.

Connect your battery to the charger. I have an Optimate III charger which I bought a few years ago. The battery will take between one and 12 hours to charge depending on how flat it is.


Clair said...

Clearly you are a chap who would love

King of Scurf said...

Clair: Thanks for stopping by. There's definitely a market for good, independent, motorcycle writing. I saw a link to bikestormer on your blog a while back and drop in occasionally.

Elana said...

Good post.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, really usful. Ta !!!

Mark Davies said...

This was great. Thanks very much!

Richard Rollins said...

thanks!! Very helpful.

SmarterThanYou said...

Put on a battery tender so you can charge without removing!

Adrian Bell said...

Very helpful. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Thankyou, just spent an hour trying to work out how to remove seat... thanks to you 10 seconds to do it

Meek said...

Charging mine now while on the bike. How many volts are required for the instruments to turn on? I may be up against a fuse issue.

Unknown said...

Thank you for this straightforward explanation. The Honda owner's manual is decidedly unhelpful.

Jim Hall said...

Thank you for this straightforward explanation. The Honda owner's manual is decidedly unhelpful.

Jim Hall said...

Thank you for this straightforward explanation. The Honda owner's manual is decidedly unhelpful.

King of Scurf said...

You're welcome Jim.

David said...

Thanks a million, great instructions made the job a breeze!

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