In my 30+ years of riding and owning motorcycle, I have never used a battery tender. I bought one about a month ago to use with my other Honda motorcycle. Today I finally got around to hooking it up. Do I leave it connected all the time? The last guy who owned the bike always had it on a tender, but when I got it I had to put a new battery in and put on a new rectifier. Once this bike is sold, I will use it on the Valkyrie. I don't ride but about once or twice a month at the moment so the bikes really just sit in the garage. But I want to make sure that when i do want to ride, they are ready. Are you guys using one? What are your thoughts on them?
I have one, but I only use it in the winter. It is attached the whole time that it is in storage. Doesn't hurt the battery having it attached. If you don't ride much then it would be good to have it hooked up.
I finally got around to reading my manual cover to cover today. It said not to use a standard car charger as it may burn up the electronics. But all the Battery Tender brand units seem to be universal. Shouldn't they be OK if they're 12 volt? I've been using them on my CTX and both VTX's for years without any problem. And it said never attempt to jump start the bike using a car battery for the same reason. So, how are you supposed to jump it? There's not always another bike around to jump from.
I've been using that brand for several years, and plug in whenever I'm not riding for more than a week or two, more so when the battery is older. I have the long SAE connection wire routed to the handlebars to make it easier to plug in the charging cable or to plug in a 4.8 amp waterproof double USB charger with digital voltmeter.
Perhaps the nature of the automatic trickle mode is why I've heard them recommended so often, but my limited understanding is that would be very bad for a Lithium battery (which develop memory and need to be exercised) for those few riders that go that direction.