Installing a battery charger

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Before reading this article, you may wish to read the FAQ article on buying a battery charger.

ALWAYS, on every battery you ever deal with, disconnect the negative terminal first, and reconnect the negative terminal last. So, for this procedure, disconnect the negative side, then do everything on the positive side, and finally finish up the negative side. This is to prevent arcing (creating sparks - bad things to have right behind your fuel tank/carbs) and for general safety.

Another caution: This is important: If you strip anything on your battery, or lose the terminal nut, the only way you can fix this is by buying a new battery.

Here we go

Most people should have a battery charger for their cycles. Why, you ask? Well, motorcycles have very small batteries (you may have noticed this). They have a much smaller capacity than their automobile counterparts. These batteries can discharge over time if not maintained on a battery charger, especially during the winter months, when the cold results in a more dramatic/quicker discharge. Also, the stator (alternator) on a cycle doesn't recharge the battery as quickly as an automobile one does.

This tutorial will walk you through the steps of installing a battery charger with ring connectors. The model used here is the Yuasa 900 mA battery charger, which costs about $35.00. It's readily available online or locally at Wal-Mart, automotive stores, etc. This (and most other) units come with both a ring (permanent) and clip end. We recommend the ring end, as it's safer and easier to use. If you have additional motorcycles, you can buy additional Yuasa ring ends for about $7.00 each. It's easy to install one on each motorcycle and move the charger between them on a rotating basis.

Umm... our photographer was still working on his macro technique when these photos were taken. We feel that you can figure everything out, anyway.

Yuasa 900mA battery charger (repackaged by Interstate Batteries):

Yuasa 19.jpg

Additional fused ring connector:

Yuasa 01.jpg

Positive lead (RED):

Yuasa 03.jpg

Negative lead (black):

Yuasa 04.jpg

Inline fuse (3 amp):

Yuasa 02.jpg

Quick connector (with cover on):

Yuasa 05.jpg

Quick connector (with cover off):

Yuasa 06.jpg

The first step is to remove the seat on your 250. To do this, insert your key on the left side into the seat lock, which is located just above the helmet lock, as shown here:

Yuasa 07.jpg

Once your seat is removed, this is what you will see. The battery is located to the left, just before the two fuel tank bolts and behind the airbox (those two holes). There is also a black rubber strap that holds the battery in place.

Yuasa 08.jpg

This is what the battery looks like from overhead:

Yuasa 09.jpg

The POSITIVE lead is on the left and is RED. The NEGATIVE lead is on the right and is BLACK. Do not mix these up.

First, remove the bolt from the NEGATIVE lead on the right using a Phillips screwdriver. Leave the NEGATIVE disconnected until you have completed the process for the POSITIVE terminal, as mentioned at the head of this page.

Next, remove the POSITIVE lead from the POSITIVE terminal. Here's what the POSITIVE lead looks like with the bolt removed from the POSITIVE terminal:

Yuasa 14.jpg

Now, remove the side fairings from each side of the cycle that start at the back edge of the tank (one Phillips bolt and then pull free from the one front and two rear grommet stays):

Yuasa 13.jpg

Notice that the positive side has a RED boot/cover? You have two choices for installation of the POSITIVE (RED) ring connector: either on the outside of the red boot, or from within the red boot. If it's warm when you do this you may be able to push the POSITIVE ring connector through the boot sleeve with the other wires. However, if it's cold the rubber boot will be very stiff, and this won't work. So, cut off the ring connector and then feed the charger's POSITIVE wire through the red boot. You'll then need to crimp a new ring connector to the wire. If you want the easy way (not the preferred way), then you can place the bolt through the RED ring outside the red boot and then through the cycle's POSITIVE connector.

Then, insert the bolt into the positive terminal post. You'll find out that the bolt is too short to reach the square nut. The nut falls down when the terminal bolt is loosened.


This is why we removed the side panels, to provide access to the nut from under the frame. Use a flat head screwdriver to 'lift' the nut up high enough to screw the bolt back in all the way. The terminals are made of lead, which is very soft. Don't get carried away with the screwdriver.

Yuasa 10.jpg

Note that this is the negative side. Do the positive side first. We just don't have pictures of the positive side.

Now repeat the process for the right side to raise the nut using a flat head screwdriver, and then screw the bolt back in all the way. Once you are done, it will look like this (negative side again):

Yuasa 12.jpg

Your 250 will now look like this:

Yuasa 15.jpg

Run the quick connector back on the left side, under the tool kit box and under the seat release mechanism:

Yuasa 16.jpg Yuasa 17.jpg

This is how the connector looks with the seat re-installed and the charger plugged into the cycle connector:

Yuasa 18.jpg

An explanation of the charger's three lights:

  • The top light is yellow and indicates that the unit has power.
  • The middle light is orange and indicates that the battery is charging.
  • The bottom light is green and indicates that the battery is fully charged, and is in trickle mode.

Yuasa 19.jpg

This unit, along with most others, will work with all major battery types, including flooded (wet), gelled, and AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat). If in doubt, check the packaging.