Pros:Inexpensive, easy to install, works well.
The Bottom Line: I would highly recommend the Schumacher Battery Companion trickle charger as an inexpensive way to save your batteries while your motorcycle is in storage.
I finally got tired of putting a new battery in my motorcycle every year. At close to a hundred dollars per battery, it was getting expensive. While visiting Wal-Mart to purchase fuel stabilizer for my Excelsior Henderson, I stopped by the Automotive Department to take a look at Trickle Chargers. While browsing through the selection, I found the Schumacher SEM-1562A Slow Charge Battery Companion for under twenty dollars. Knowing a good deal when I see one, I purchased this product with my fuel stabilizer and headed to the house. Twenty dollars to save a hundred every year just sense.
Recommend this product?
This Trickle Charger was very easy to install. There are two ways that you can use this charger. If your battery has already lost it's charge, but is not dead, you can place the jumper cables on the battery, and use the charger to slow charge the battery. I needed to hook this charger up to my bike for the Winter to keep it charged. The kit comes with a set of ring connectors, which attach to the battery posts beneath the screws that fasten the motorcycle screws to the bike. This process was fairly easy to accomplish.
The advantage of using the ring connectors is that you can leave them attached to the bike even when you ride it. Both the connectors and jumper cables have a plug that connects to the actual charger, which is then plugged into an outlet. If you have the ring connectors installed, you can simply unplug the ring connectors from the charger, and take the motorcycle for a spin. When you return from your trip, simply connect the battery back to the trickle charger. NOTE: Walkerpkw noted that it is much safer to disconnect the battery from the bike when it is on the trickle charger. This prevents creating a mess, in the event the charger fails to go into float and boils your battery over onto your bike. I am lazy and take the easy way out, but his advice is excellent advice to consider. If you choose to "take the easy way out" it is advisable to keep an eye on things.
The Shumacher SEM-1562A Slow Charge Battery Companion automatically detects the level of charge in your battery, charging it when it loses power, and going into "float" mode when the battery is fully charged. LED Lights on the front let you know the status of your battery. Because the charger automatically adjusts depending on the level of charge in your battery, you can prevent overcharging.
The Shumacher SEM-1562A Slow Charge Battery Companion is a compact size meaning that it will take up very little space in your garage, and will store easily when not in use. This five pound unit is 10.5 inches long, 7.1 inches tall and 5.9 inches deep. The power cord is several feet long, while the charging connection adds another couple of feet in distance. Based on the overall length of both cords, your battery will need to be within eight to ten feet of your power source (unless you are connected to an extension cord, which I believe is not recommended). The rugged plastic exterior can withstand minor bumping, but would not survive any substantial abuse.
I checked my battery last weekend. I haven't paid it any attention in the last two months, and it was a very cold day. I figured it would be a good day to test how well the charger was working. I disconnected the charger (which was reading fully charged), and the bike immediately turned over. I was very happy when the motorcycle cranked without pausing. If it was not so cold, I probably would have taken her for a spin. But alas, I am not that hard corps. I settled instead for listening to the rumble of pipes for a couple of minutes, before shutting her back down and reconnecting the charger.
I noticed that Amazon.com has this unit priced at $20.52, marked down from $59.80, resulting in a substantial savings. If you look at the lower right hand corner of this review, the current price of this unit may be listed. Based on my experience purchasing this unit from Wal-Mart, I would suggest that there might be a slight savings if you purchase it that way, although I have not checked the price at Wal-Mart recently.
My experience with this product has been very positive. I am happy that I will no longer be buying batteries every March or April when the riding bug bites. The price on this unit puts it at the low end of the spectrum for trickle chargers. It is a very good value, it is convenient, and it is easy to install. If I can install it, anyone can! I would highly recommend this trickle charger, giving it five stars out of a possible five, taking into consideration the price point.
This review is part of Dianapinions Best Best Little Write Off
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