It’s definitely winter time here in Middle Tennessee! A far cry from what some other parts of the country are facing, but we are looking at lows in the 20s for the next week and the possibility of snow on Monday. That’s pretty drastic for mid November around here.
I’ve always kept my motorcycles and classic vehicles on battery tenders throughout the year but since I haven’t had the Vette all that long, so far it’s been “tenderless”… if that’s a word! And since it is juiced by an Optima REDTOP battery, it’s always been in the back of my mind that I’d love to have an Optima Digital 400 to maintain it. Well, today I dropped by Tennessee Speed Sport and gave myself an early birthday present.
This thing is way cool. It first analyzes your battery to see where it’s at and checks for proper connection. Then, if necessary, it will do a soft-ramp charge if the battery is deeply discharged. If not it automatically goes into bulk mode or conditioning mode as needed, followed by a float mode. It even has a recondition mode that kicks in every 30 days… though I do not plan to keep my car parked anywhere near that long.
To top it off (no pun intended), it has an easy to use push button menu and a cool “fuel gauge” that let’s you know the charging status at a glance. All this adds up to a pretty high-tech and intelligent tender. Happy birthday to me!
Man… I am totally pumped that the “Dark Months” are about to come to an end and frankly it’s not a minute too soon. I’ve reached my limit. The weather this winter has been worse than usual in Middle Tennessee and because of that I’ve only put in a little over 500 miles since Thanksgiving. More often than not during that time period my bikes have looked like the picture above… tucked away in the garage and under cover. It’s a horrible feeling for a “Certified Bike Nut” like me but it’s all about to change. Very soon I will be greeted with longer days, warm breezes and sunshine… and my 8 month binge of motorcycle madness a.k.a. “riding season” will bring my intermittently sucky attitude back in check.
I am ready and the bikes are ready too… including their ever finicky batteries. Despite the fact that the batteries in these two bikes have been sitting idle much of the time over the past few months, they have remained fully charged and ready to crank. How can this be you may ask? Easy… A few years ago I discovered the Deltran Battery Tender and have been using them since. If you don’t have one, you should get one. They are around $30 and I’ve seen them on sale for as low as $24. Regardless of how much you pay for one, it is well worth it. The Battery Tender constantly monitors the charge in your battery and if needed trickle charges it back to an appropriate level. That means longer battery life. And it couldn’t be easier to use. All you do attach one end to the battery and the other to a wall plug and let it do its thing. The Battery Tender even comes with a quick disconnect plug (see the last picture) that allows you to plug in and start monitoring in about 60 seconds.
I’m not sure how this RANT turned into a Battery Tender commercial but the bottom line is that if you have a vehicle that is not operated on a daily basis (anything from motorcycles to classic cars to riding lawn mowers and more) you should have one. And if anyone from Battery Tender reads this… feel free to send me product in exchange for this glowing review! Ha!