1901-1953 Indian Motorcycle – Parts – Accessories – Service

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Battery Revival

As time goes by, our batteries in our bikes get weaker & weaker, and seem like they don’t want to keep a charge. This is not a real problem if you have an aftermarket battery. However, if you are lucky enough to own an original battery, or a good reproduction battery that was made several years ago this is a very serious problem, because you don’t want to just throw it away.

If the battery output is weak, or does not work at all, the useful life of it can often be extended by:

1) Dump out all existing fluid.
2) Fill battery about 1\4 full with warm tap water and proceed to shake vigorously ands tap the sides and bottom with the wooden handle of a screwdriver.
3) Dump out the fluid, which should be dark in color. Repeat this 3 or 4 times until the fluid that comes out is relatively clear. Batteries short out because the lead leaves the plates and settles to the open space between the bottom of the plates and the bottom of the case. When these deposits get deep enough, they touch the lower portion of the plates and cause them to short out. What you have done by the flushing was to rinse out these deposits.
4) Fill the battery to 1\4 inch above the plates with DISTILLED WATER and put it on a 2 to 4 amp charger for 24 hours.
5) Dump out the fluid after charging.
6) Fill the battery to 1\4 inch over the plates with NEW battery acid, which is available at most cycle shops or auto garages.

If there is any life left in the battery this procedure will get it to work. The final, and one of the most important, items to check is the condition of the terminals and lugs. Corrosion on them is one of the worst enemies. The terminals and lugs should be scraped clean and them washed with a solution of baking soda in water. The future corrosion can be cut greatly by:

1) Removing terminals from the wire ends that connect to the 2 battery lugs
2) Bare the wire of insulation for about 1\2 inch back
3) Twist the wire strands tightly and form them around a #10 screw

4) Solder the 1\2 inch of bared wire into the shape of a terminal (which you formed by wrapping it around the #10 screw)
5) Attach this solder formed terminal to the battery lug using a brass screw obtainable at most marine supply outlets. Much corrosion occurs because of galvanic action between dissimilar metals (the lead lug and the steel terminal). The solder is lead so you now have a lead terminal onto the lead lug, much less chance of corrosion.

Other people are experiancing problems with leakage from the battery when the bike is on the side stand. This is generally because the fluid level is too high. Automobile batteries are filled clear to the top, but cycle batteries should be kept with the fluid level about 1\4 inch over the top of the plates.
If none of this has solved your battery problems. Starklite sells two different battery options for making your antique Indian look as original as possible.

Option #1 – This battery looks “EXACTLY” like the original Indian Script battery. It consists of a shell made from fiberglass to give you superior strength for years of trouble free service. This shell slips over a modern battery that can be easily replaced after several years of service. We have been using this for 20 years now with no problems. (In fact the sample shell we made in 1980 is still in use in Bob’s personal Chief!, of course it has had several replacement internal batteries) #188002S (Shell Only) or 188002A for shell and new battery, or 188002a12 for 12v internal battery.

Option #2 – This is a reproduction of the “WISCO” battery that was made in the 70’s by Wisco. This battery is not an exact reproduction of the original Indian Script battery. However, it is a real rubber cased battery. Made in India. #188002R

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