The other week I finally got around to taking Rhino for his MOT (annual road worthiness test). Before I could go I had to charge the battery despite having charged it only a couple of weeks before. There are no parasitic drains on the battery of old bikes like these so I knew that the time had come for replacement. It is worth noting that the old battery was bought in March 2003. I’ve still got the receipt. 14 years ain’t bad. It was a Hawker Odyssey and was much smaller than recommended for an old Guzzi.
The new battery is a Motobatt MBTX30UHD the same as I have fitted to The Fire Bike. This is the correct size at 32Ah but is physically shorter than the original “wet” battery the bike came with.
I had soon extracted the tired old battery and the cage I made to hold it. Next I added two rubber buffers – one each side – to support the new battery. I had bought these during the rebuild but left them off to fit my home made battery cage instead.
I also bought the original style battery straps.
The hook on the longer strap appeared to have been fitted the wrong way up so I changed it. Now it won’t try and “dig in” to the battery.
Having never had these fitted before, I established from a photo in a manual that the longer strap with the hook goes to the back.
the straps locate behind and are then held down by tags. At the rear there is a tag on the frame and the strap is easily snapped in place because it can be pushed past the plastic lower mudguard section.
The front one is more difficult because the plate below the battery, joining the frame to gearbox has to be loosened to get the strap in place. It goes here.
I put a luggage strap around my new battery to make it easier to get in and out.
Then put the battery in place. It is a snug fit between the rubber buffers. Joining the two heavy rubber straps was tough going. I also added a zip tie to the long strap to stop me pulling it apart with my cack-handedness.
According to the parts book there should be a rubber bung in the middle of the long strap but it doesn’t seem necessary.
I ended up using diagonally opposite cable terminals as these just seemed easiest. I like the way these batteries have these connection options. My lifting strap was tightened so that it can’t move about but can be slackened to give me a hand hold if I need to lift the (heavy) battery out.