Do I Need A Trickle Charger? OptiMate 1 Duo – Review
Never in my 20 years of motorcycling life did I think that I would need to get a battery charger. I have ridden a motorcycle every day of my life and would never expect it to go down. March 2020 had other plans. India went into lockdown due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The lockdown went on for almost 100 days. I would ensure that I start my motorcycle at least once a week, so that the battery had some charge left to crank it. I forgot a couple of weeks and finally the inevitable happened. The motorcycle refused to start. I realized that we have no insight of what the days in future hold for us. There was no saying how long this pandemic would continue. I either had an option to give up on the battery and get another one or look for a long-term solution.
This is when I started looking for trickle chargers. Trickle chargers are designed to be left connected to the battery long term, without causing damage, a trickle charge slowly adds and conditions the battery. In many cases these also help revive a dead battery. Now here is the tricky bit, if the battery voltage drops below a level, most available trickle chargers cannot revive the battery. I checked and found that my battery was around 6 volts. Most chargers I read about stated that they can revive batteries only if there is at least 8V left in it. I had almost decided to leave it to the service center to fix it for me.
This is when I found the OptiMate 1 Duo. A quick conversation with Sean from Big Bad Bikes confirmed that this device can revive batteries from as low as 4V. Digging deeper I figured that the OptiMate 1 Duo works on all kinds of 12V batteries. It was suitable for all 12V lead acid and 12.8-13.2V LiFePO4 batteries. The rated capacity was in the range of 2 – 20 Ah. What made this device even better was that apart from reviving almost dead batteries, it would charge, optimize, and once fully charged, maintain it. So essentially you could simply plug in OptiMate 1 Duo, connect the battery, and forget about it. The OptiMate 1 Duo keeps monitoring the health and charge of the battery. When it detects lowering charge, it tops the battery back up to ensure that it is always in perfect condition ready for when you start the motorcycle up again. This was perfect for keeping the battery healthy when you are not using your motorcycle for long durations. I made the order and the product was promptly delivered.
The OptiMate 1 Duo comes with a set of ring loop connectors that can simply be attached to the battery. Plug the unit into the mains, connect the lead to the fitted connectors and it starts charging.
The set also includes a set of crocodile clips which can also be used if you do not want to install the waterproof connector lead. The waterproof connector lead works well. You can always leave it on your motorcycle. You can hide it into a discreet place, that is still easy to access. I routed it under the passenger seat on the Himalayan. It comes with a 6ft lead so it can reach across the garage if you were too tight for space near the plug points. It brought my Himalayan’s battery back to life overnight, in roughly 8/9 hours. After this I ended up helping multiple friends who faced the same dilemma.
The OptiMate 1 Duo comes with everything needed to get connected. It has built in safety features so you can leave it plugged in over long durations and save yourself the trouble of replacing your battery. Instead, buy one of these!