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It was 25 years ago that TecMate introduced its first OptiMate battery charger, diagnostics and maintenance tool as a response to the more powerful and compact AGM (absorbed glass mat - a sealed valve regulating lead-acid battery) that were being introduced into the powersport industry in the late 80s, early 90s.
AGM batteries are still lead-acid batteries, but with a difference, the acid is absorbed into mats (i.e. sponges) which effectively made it a 'dry' battery that could be turned upside down – no more acid spillage, the bane of the biker at the time. Unfortunately, AGM technology also proved to be more difficult to recharge, and especially to recover it from a low voltage/sulphated state. Motorcycle OEMs, of course, wanted a charger for their riders mainly to ensure that the battery outlasted its warranty - but TecMate took it a few steps further, making those batteries last much longer than intended, some even up to 10 years!
The result? Millions of happy AGM batteries that "have lived longer and performed stronger thanks to OptiMate's unique charging algorithm - one designed for AGM, but that works equally well on any type of lead-acid battery," says CEO and CTO Martin Human. A reliable high-performance battery charger and TecMate's stable multistep reselling strategy, along with the engineering group's design acumen, have become the basis of a successful co-branding and ODM program that continues to gain partners. One of those partners is Drag Specialties, who chose to co-brand OptiMate battery chargers. Drag Specialties OptiMate 1 and 3 sell internationally, and the most recent addition is the OptiMate 5 Power-Charger. "The Drag Specialties OptiMate 5 Power-Charger is specifically designed to help riders out of that 'classic' jam - ready to go ride, but the bike's battery is 'dead'. With 4 amps of constant current on tap, this Power-Charger will bring that battery to 40-50% in an hour or two, enough to crank and start even the most stubborn V-twin engine. "As a rider I need to know when I can start the engine and get on the road, so we added lights to say when." The first light is marked WAIT! (charging) and the second is marked GO RIDE! (and still charging), indicating that it is time to do just that if you are in a hurry to get on the road. "If not, then the third light is the 24-7 OptiMate maintenance mode that lights up once the battery has reached full charge and then keeps it at 100%, so the next time there is no need to wait to be able to get riding." The Drag Specialties OptiMate 5 ships with a swivelling hanging hook so that it does not have to live on the floor and be a tripping hazard, and it keeps those important indication lights in full view. "That's the point of OptiMate battery chargers, they guarantee you can go ride at any time. OptiMate has been trusted by the powersports industry since 1994," says Martin.