PB’s kit and garage gadgets rated.
SCARED AND confused by electrics? Don’t worry, it’s the 21st century; no one judges you, and there are devices out there to help you...
This widget from Optimate is useful for anyone who struggles with understanding their charging system, or for bikes where access to the battery and other key connectors for basic diagnosis is a total pain in the John Thomas.
The display shows current battery condition in simple green (good) and red (knackered) terms, and when you start and run the bike, it tells you how the battery performed under starting load, and then the bike’s ability to charge, in terms of voltage, with simple colour coding for the uninitiated to recognise a problem.
It comes with a set of clamps for your battery terminals, but is best used with the quick connection lead that comes with Optimate battery chargers, so you can plug in rapidly and easily.
It came in useful one morning recently when my MV’s battery charging light flicked on. Rather than pulling the seat off and messing around with a multimeter, I just plugged this in and fired the bike up. Sure enough: no charging. Fuse replaced, and it now shows overcharging. Two faults quickly identified. I was very pleased, with this product at least. The bike’s issues are another story...
It’s a bit pricey for a small, simple product, but for bikes where accessing the battery is now the work of hours, or if it saves you a needless trip to a dealer for diagnostics, you might be very grateful for it.