Roughing it smoothly
Optimate 4 Battery Charger by tecMate
I just purchased an Optimate 4 battery charger / maintainer / desulfater. I had previously owned an Optimate 3 and was very satisfied with it. I'm still on my original factory battery in my 2004 ST. I needed a second charger as I recently put a car into storage and wanted to keep its battery charged as well. Both these chargers / maintainers say they can be connected to a battery of a 50Ah rating. Honda is one of eight bike manufacturers that recommend Optimate / tecMate.
You can read all about it here I also found a review here
The Optimate 4 charger has many more indicating lights then their previous model. You will need the owners manual near by in order to interpret the various modes it goes through the first week or two. Should anyone be interested in reading the operating instructions / theory of operation in full. Shoot me a PM and I'll be happy to shoot you the owners manual or if you prefer a Flow Chart of operation can be found here.
When I received the unit I had an old UPS battery (agm sealed 7Ah) battery on my work bench. I hooked the unit up and it indicated a desulfate condition. By the next morning the Optimate 4 was indicating a full charge. It appears to have saved the battery. My Optimate 3 could not recover this battery, so perhaps there is something to the TURBO recovery program?
I also like the fact that the Optimate 4 is a sealed unit whereas the Optimate 3 was vented.
One thing that's always bothered me about the Optimate 3 is the open vent design. After several years, my model 3 is covered with dust, cobwebs and the like. Although it hasn't failed me, I wonder if the dust will eventually short something out on the inside. Next time I have the air compressor on I think I'll give it a gentle blast or two to clean it out.
Both units are very well made, carries a two year warranty and comes with fused battery cable connectors and clamps. You can still find Optimate 3's on the internet for $44.95. I paid $54.95 for the newer model 4. The newer unit also has an attached mounting bracket which I used to mount it to the wall. This bracket was about a $10 option on the model 3. Which I didn't own.
Now that I've had it a few weeks and have tried it out on various batteries I have in use. I really appreciate the comprehensive LED display, however at first I thought it was a bit gaggety. I highly recommend the Optimate 4 and it previous model 3. Both units for the money seem to offer a array of features. I'm just hoping the investment pays off in longer battery life.
I found a brief history of Motorcycle Battery Technology which explains the need for higher technology chargers
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Last edited by FL-STRIDER; 05-17-2009 at 10:37 AM.