Just about a week a go the sun shone briefly here in Wales so I decided to give The Fire Bike a wash. The day before, it hadn’t wanted to start because the battery was flat. I put this down to lack of use and charged the battery. On the day in question the bike started in the garage and I ran it back down the driveway ready to begin. I always start the bike first because it’s a tough push back up hill into the garage with a non-starter.
The bike was given a good clean and I dried it off as best I could. It was clouding over so it needed to go back inside but, of course, now it wouldn’t start. There was just that horrible clicking noise. I had to move both the bike and my car so that I could jump start it but, by the time I’d got the side panel off to get to the battery +ve terminal and had set up the leads it was raining. Not just raining but throwing it down in good Welsh fashion.
Once in the garage I ran the bike for a while to dry the engine off and set to drying the rest of the bike. It was at this point that I managed to burn the back of my hand on an exhaust header! I made a decent job of it too. I’m still nursing it although it looks like it is finally healing.
Having run the bike for a good while, it still wouldn’t restart. My CTEK battery charger indicated it was faulty and no longer able to hold a charge.
After doing some research I bought a Motobatt MBTX30UHD battery. The “HD” bit means it’s a black one. They’re usually bright yellow which isn’t a problem on the fire bike where the battery is hidden away but might be if I ever put it to use on Rhino where it would show.
It’s quite a bit smaller than what was fitted before but is just as strong, if not better.
The old battery was held in place by this large frame which is too big for the Motobatt.
As you can see, I have made another attempt at charging the old battery but it’s definitely “had it”.
The Motobatt is unusual in that it has four terminals; 2 +ve and 2 -ve. I decided to use diagonally opposite ones so that my home made battery clamp crosses over the two blanked off ones. It wasn’t absolutely necessary but was very handy. The clamp uses the “J-screws” from the original clamp with a piece of metal between them. The battery stands on an off-cut of the non-slip matting I use in my tool cabinet. It is very secure like this.
The plug hanging down at the front is a connection point for my battery charger. I’ve tied this to the speedo cable to keep it accessible but out of the way.
I used to reach it by taking the left hand panel off but this will be better as the wall socket for the charger is on the right when I park the bike.
All seems to be back to normal now. There are a few jobs to do on The Fire Bike but I’m itching to get Rhino up and running.