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We just bought a 2011 Polaris Sportsman 500. This is our first quad so we still learning. The dealer told us we needed to purchase a battery charger and we needed to plug the quad in after every use to keep the battery fully charged. Is this true, and if so, does anyone recommend a certain battery charger? Thanks.
 

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um no, that is not true at all. when people plan to let their machine sit for awhile without starting it (especially in colder weather) they sometimes get a battery tender (basically a very low amperage battery charger).

Your dealer is crazy, unless he sold you a machine with a bad stator, which i highly doubt since it is brand new.
 

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First, let me welcome you aboard.

Ha! No...and im not laughing at you, im lauging at what the dealer told you. Let me give you a little info. Unlike a car, because of size constraints, most powersport batteries are just big enough to get the job done, where as a car battery is usually quite oversized. And just like all batteries, they will naturally discharge about 1% of charge a day. So in one month of no use, it is only about 70% charged. Keeping the battery charged is a good idea. It keeps away sulfate from building up on the plates inside and can add years of life to your battery. With that said, if you havent used your machine in 2, 3, or 4 weeks, it would be a good idea to charge it back up. Just starting it and letting it idle though doesnt really do the trick either, because at idle the stator isnt really putting out enough to get a good charge in.

Keep in mind there is a difference between a battery charger, and a battery tender. A charger will usually charge at a higher amp rate, which is good for quick charges, but not as good for the battery (the slower the charge the better) and usually will overcharge the battery if you dont turn it off yourself. Where a battery tender, usually can only do a slow charger, but has the ability to stop charging on its own when the battery is full, and can keep it full, so you can leave it hooked up for months at a time and it wont overcharge the battery.

you can read a lot more info on this in the link below. Batteries are some of the most mis-understood componets on powersports.

http://www.polarisatvforums.com/forums/atv-repair-maintenance/2725-preventative-battery-maintence.html
 

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Welcome to the board!:yahoocool:
 

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Welcome! Only time I have ever charged the battery was when my son left the key on! Enjoy your new ride! Any questions feel free to call the shop and ask for Thor! :friday:
 

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Excellent informed post!!

:)

First, let me welcome you aboard.

Ha! No...and im not laughing at you, im lauging at what the dealer told you. Let me give you a little info. Unlike a car, because of size constraints, most powersport batteries are just big enough to get the job done, where as a car battery is usually quite oversized. And just like all batteries, they will naturally discharge about 1% of charge a day. So in one month of no use, it is only about 70% charged. Keeping the battery charged is a good idea. It keeps away sulfate from building up on the plates inside and can add years of life to your battery. With that said, if you havent used your machine in 2, 3, or 4 weeks, it would be a good idea to charge it back up. Just starting it and letting it idle though doesnt really do the trick either, because at idle the stator isnt really putting out enough to get a good charge in.

Keep in mind there is a difference between a battery charger, and a battery tender. A charger will usually charge at a higher amp rate, which is good for quick charges, but not as good for the battery (the slower the charge the better) and usually will overcharge the battery if you dont turn it off yourself. Where a battery tender, usually can only do a slow charger, but has the ability to stop charging on its own when the battery is full, and can keep it full, so you can leave it hooked up for months at a time and it wont overcharge the battery.

you can read a lot more info on this in the link below. Batteries are some of the most mis-understood componets on powersports.

http://www.polarisatvforums.com/forums/atv-repair-maintenance/2725-preventative-battery-maintence.html
 

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Welcome to the Group,

Congrats on the purchase, right now you will probably be riding more then the battery needs external charging. If parked for awhile, a couple of weeks, a maintainer would be good. Not bad practice to place a maintainer if not going to be used for a few weeks.

Someone wrote batteries lose 1% per day, that is a bit much, its more like 5% per month depending on what battery. I am now using a brand new AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) Battery, just got it and it's loss it supposed to be about 1-3% per month if not charged.

Maintainers are a good investment and won't hurt but if you drive the bike once a week, you should be good. Dealer was on crack or want's to sell you a high priced option is the best explaination. The maintainers available at Walmart are just fine and cheap no need for high priced ones. Expect 30-45 dollars.

Also remeber that the Stator only puts out 20 amps max (250 watts divided by nominal voltage {12}= amps) at 3000 RPM; so if using accessories it really sucks the battery until you really run the bike.
 

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If you plan on using the machine to plow then yes, you while need to re-charge the battery when you are done. The alternator can't keep up with the power draw from the winch. Although if you are just riding it, and not using excessive electrical power, you don't need to re-charge the battery.
I would suggest getting a charger that you can adjust how many amps you charge it at. After I am done plowing my driveway I re-charge at 2 amps and when the charger says its at 100% I take the charger off the battery.
Unless you are going to be storing the machine for lengths longer than a month or two you don't need to worry about it. The next time you ride it, it will top off the battery.

Josh,
 
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