4.01. Battery

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4.01.01 Battery

The XS uses a 12 Volt / 6 cell battery. The type is 12N14-3A. Metric size is 130x85 Millimeter and 160 mm high.

The original type is a lead battery with liquid electrolyte. The electrolyte is dilluted sulfuric acid with 1.28 density.


At the left top (photo perspective) you find the outlet to release the pressure if the battery gets hot or the chemical reaction causes gas to escape (combustible!), for example when it gets charged. The original XS has a rubber hose attached (5 mm inside diameter, about 40 Centimeters long). A slim gasoline hose will be a good replacement. The hose ends under and behind the engine block and in front of the axle of the swingarm. Acid can escape from there. Keep it away from rubber and painted parts, acids cause rust on the bikes frame.


It is most important to keep the acid level between the marks. If it goes below the lower mark the lead electrode (board) of the cell gets exposed. If a section of lead gets dry it will not recover even when the cell is filled up again. By oxydation it will be then a partially working cell.

The electrolyte level will get lower by evaporation. It is only the water what evaporates, the amount of acid will be constant. A battery never gets refilled with acid. An exception is if you spill the acid - then it has to be replaced of course.

Refilling requires distilled water. It's sold at the supermarkets for ironing and of course at service stations. Don't use ordinary tap water or bottled water since it contains minerals. Minerals disturb the chemical balance of the electrolyte and weaken or damage the battery. A good idea is to get a syringe from the pharmacy to refill the cells.

The connectors may oxidate - keep them clean and apply some petroleum jelly to keep them protected.

Examine the cables of the battery and the ground connecton to the frame! It is a common source of trouble. Check the insulation - it can be rubbed down to the copper by the vibrations of the XS!

From this perspective you have the negative terminals on the left, positive to the right.



The electrolyte is dilluted sulfuric acid with a density of 1.28. Before you handle the battery be sure to have a water tap or at least a filled bucket nearby!

You have to wear safety goggles if you do anything else except disconnecting the battery or charging it!

A water tap in a workshop should have a piece of rubber hose attached to it. In case of an accident you will be able to flush the eyes or body parts with the hose!

Batteries and bottles with acid must be kept away from children - such things are highly interesting for 'experiments'!

In case of an accident you flush with lots of water. Acid starts its destructive work after some delay - it may not even itch at the first contact! Consult a doctor immediatly in case of an accident.

If acid gets swallowed - dilute it by drinking lots of water, followed by amounts of vegetable oil. Consult a Doctor immediatly!

Charging a battery causes combustible gas to escape! Only in ventilated areas!

If you spill the acid on your clothes quickly put them into water - if you're fast enough they will stay ok.

You have to return your dead battery to the dealer or service station. Keep in mind that it contains a pound of poisonous lead and half a litre of acid - that's definitely a case for professional recycling!

--herbs 18:35, 17 Jun 2005 (CEST)

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