Start 'Em Young
The right care can prolong the life of a battery, but that care begins before you even install a battery in your bike. You might think that, when you buy a battery and the shop fills it with electrolyte, it's ready to go and you can put it in your bike and ride away. You can, but not if you want it to last. A fresh battery full of electrolyte only has about an 80 percent charge, and will never go higher than that without a pre-installation boost charge. Your bike's electrical system can't handle the job, which is why you should either ask the shop where you bought it to charge it for you, or take it home and put it on a charger before installing it. Follow the battery manufacturer's instructions for charging new batteries, or charge it for three to five hours at a rate equal to 1/10th of its rated capacity. That is, if it's rated at 14 amp-hours, charge it at 1.4 amps.