The open road, the wind in your hair, and the rumble of a powerful engine–every motorcycle owner’s dream. But before you can get that engine firing, you need a battery that can start your vehicle and power the electronics. It’s not the most glamorous job in the world, but it’s one that needs to be done well nonetheless. And that’s why you need to pay close attention when buying a battery for your motorcycle.
Thankfully, there are plenty of battery manufacturers and types from which to choose. But in order to make the right choice, you have to pick the best battery for the motorcycle that you own. Let’s find out how you would go about making that decision.
- How to Choose a Motorcycle Battery
- Top 10 Best Motorcycle Batteries 2023
- 1. Best Overall Motorcycle Battery: Yuasa YTZ10S
- 2. Best Budget Motorcycle Battery: Chrome Battery YTX12-BS
- 3. Best Premium Motorcycle Battery: ThrottleX MX30L
- 4. Chrome Battery YTX30L-BS
- 5. Most Durable Motorcycle Battery: ExpertPower EXP1270
- 6. Best Lithium Battery: Battery Tender BTL09A150CW
- 7. Most Lightweight Motorcycle Battery: Shorai LFX LFX09A2
- 8. Odyssey PC680
- 9. Yuasa YUAM320BS YTX20L-BS
- 10. ZPC ZPC-YTX14-BS
- Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Motorcycle Battery
- Final Thoughts
How to Choose a Motorcycle Battery
The oldest type of batteries are lead-acid batteries. They come in two forms, unsealed and sealed lead-acid batteries. Lithium batteries are a newer invention and can be pricier as a result. The most common type on our list is sealed AGM batteries, which are compact, powerful, and effective enough for most motorcycle users.
Should I Buy a Lead-Acid or Lithium Motorcycle Battery?
We go into much more detail about the types of motorcycle batteries in our full buyer’s guide. For now, let’s focus on the important decision on whether you want a lithium battery or a lead-acid one.
The Case for Lithium Motorcycle Batteries
Lithium batteries are the newer entrant in this category so let’s find out what they do better.
You will notice that lithium batteries like the Shorai LFX LFX09A2 and Battery Tender BTL09A150CW are significantly lighter than their lead-acid counterparts. This is true for most lithium batteries. A lighter battery can lead to zippier performance from your motorcycle. This is especially true if you have a relatively light motorcycle.
Lithium battery aficionados also enjoy the slow rate at which they self-discharge. The Shorai LFX LFX09A2, for example, has a very slow discharge rate. You can leave such batteries unused for months and see that they’ve retained most of their charge. Lead-acid batteries lose charge a lot faster when they sit static. So if you have periods where you don’t use your motorcycle for a long time, a lithium battery may be a good choice.
The Case for Lead-Acid Batteries
Lead-acid batteries are more affordable in general. The average lead-acid battery is usually about 50% cheaper than a lithium battery in the same bracket. There are some exceptions, but if price is an important consideration, you’re likely going to find more lead-acid batteries within budget. Modern AGM batteries are still very good at their job.
Lead-acid batteries also have an important performance advantage over lithium batteries: they handle deep discharges better. Lithium batteries can die if they undergo a deep discharge and lead to what’s known as battery swelling. Lead-acid batteries can handle deep discharges a lot better. There are, however, lithium batteries like the Battery Tender BTL09A150CW, which uses additional technology to prevent deep discharges.
There are several factors to take into account when you buy a new battery for your motorcycle. Battery manufacturers tech specs can be confusing though. In case battery product pages have left you scratching your head with all the different features and figures they mention, here’s a rundown of the important ones to keep in mind.
Important Motorcycle Battery Features
Here are some measurable metrics to keep a tab on when buying a motorcycle battery.
The power rating of your motorcycle battery will depend on its size. Most motorcycles require a 12V battery. However, smaller motorcycles can have a lesser power rating. You can still use a battery with a higher power rating than required, but that may not be the most economical choice for a motorcycle that doesn’t require it.
The capacity of a battery is what you’ll see expressed in the form of amp-hours (Ah) on product pages. This figure tells you how much charge a battery dispenses when a current of 1 ampere is passed for an hour.
Let’s say you come across a battery with a capacity of 16 Ah. That would mean it can generate 16 amperes of current per hour. If the rating is expressed as 18 Ah/10 hours, that means you can get 1.8 amperes of current from the battery for 10 hours.
Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)
CCA is a measure of how many amperes of current a battery can generate for 30 seconds while maintaining a minimum voltage of 7.2 volts at 0°F. Essentially, it tells you how well your battery will perform at low temperatures.
Motorcycle owners know that starting their vehicles in cold weather can be a challenge. A high CCA value (above 200 CCA at least) tells you that your battery will be able to handle low temperatures easily.
Other Factors to Consider When Buying a Motorcycle Battery
Below are some key considerations that may not always be expressed in the form of a number.
The most basic question to ask is if the battery you have your eyes on will fit your motorcycle. Luckily, Amazon does the heavy lifting for you in this department. You can go to any battery’s product page and enter the make of your motorcycle and the site will tell you if that particular product is a fit.
That said, Amazon’s fit widget for motorcycle batteries isn’t perfect, so you can also go about this process in the old-fashioned way. Your motorcycle’s manual will contain information on the dimensions of the battery compartment. Use that as a guide to buying your new battery. You could also measure your old battery and use that to figure out whether a new battery will fit.
A battery that’s too big for your two-wheeler’s battery compartment is a no-go, of course. But one that’s smaller can still do the job. You will have to add shims or spacers to ensure it sits in there snugly.
Different kinds of batteries require different levels of maintenance. There are batteries out there that don’t require a lot of maintenance. So if you’re someone who doesn’t want to keep checking on the battery, look for a maintenance-free sealed battery. If price is an important factor and you don’t mind doing some maintenance, an unsealed battery can do the job.
The durability of a battery depends on several factors. The construction of the battery itself can play a major role in how long it lasts. If a manufacturer tells you that a battery is vibration resistant or has heavy-duty terminals, that’s a good sign that it’s a durable product.
The durability of a battery also comes down to your personal preferences. If you live in a cold climate, a battery with a low CCA rating will not be very durable. So in that case, choose a battery with a high CCA rating. In general, look out for features like heat- and vibration-resistance to get yourself a battery that can hold its own through rough use.
Armed with these basics, let’s show you some great batteries that’ll keep your motorcycle purring for many years to come. In our full guide, we’ll cover the types in more detail and show you how to install it.
|Yuasa YTZ10S||AGM||8.6 Ah||190 CCA||7 pounds||5.91 x 3.43 x 3.66 inches||5|
|Chrome Battery YTX12-BS||AGM||180 CCA||7.51 pounds||5.91 x 3.43 x 5.12 inches||5|
|ThrottleX MX30L||AGM||30 Ah||600 CCA||22.5 lbs||6.62 x 5.19 x 6.87 inches||5|
|Chrome Battery YTX30L-BS||AGM||30 Ah||385 CCA||19.81 pounds||6.54 x 4.96 x 6.89 inches||5|
|ExpertPower EXP1270||AGM||7 Ah||4.3 pounds||6 x 2.5 x 3.7 inches||4.5|
|Battery Tender BTL09A150CW||Lithium||2.5 Ah||150 CCA||1.35 pounds||4.45 x 2.76 x 3.35 inches||4.5|
|Shorai LFX LFX09A2||Lithium||9 Ah||135 CCA||1.27 pounds||6.7 x 5.9 x 3.5 inches||4.5|
|Odyssey PC680||AGM||16 Ah||170 CCA||15.03 pounds||7.15 x 3 x 6.65 inches||4|
|Yuasa YUAM320BS YTX20L-BS||AGM||18 Ah||270 CCA||14.85 pounds||6.87″ x 3.43″ x 6.12″||3.5|
|ZPC ZPC-YTX14-BS||AGM||12 Ah||200 CCA||9.92 pounds||5.8 x 3.26 x 5.71 inches||3.5|
Top 10 Best Motorcycle Batteries 2023
1. Best Overall Motorcycle Battery: Yuasa YTZ10S
At a Glance:
- Type: AGM
- Capacity: 8.6 Ah
- Cold-cranking amps: 190 CCA
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Dimensions: 5.91 x 3.43 x 3.66 inches
The Yuasa YTZ10S is a battery that checks a lot of important boxes for motorcycle owners. It’s clear the manufacturer has put a great deal of thought into making this product easy to use and long-lasting.
To start things off, installing the YTZ10S is a breeze. The nuts come with holders that keep them in place while you attach the wires to the body of the battery. It also comes pre-charged, which is nice for motorcycle owners excited to take it for a spin right away.
You can expect this battery to last a lot longer than the average motorcycle battery and perform just as well through the years. You could leave your motorcycle in storage for as long as two years and still come back to a Yuasa YTZ10S that snapped it back to life with one crank, although it’s not guaranteed. The sealed AGM structure ensures minimal leaks and ease of maintenance.
One thing that may give you pause is that this battery costs more than the average motorcycle battery. However, the ease of use and long shelf life justify the price tag.
If you do decide to go with the Yuasa YTZ10S, make sure to cross-check the battery dimensions with your motorcycle’s battery compartment manually. Amazon’s fit widget can get it wrong with certain motorcycle models. The 2013 Honda CBR500R, 2015 Yamaha FZ-07, and 2016 Yamaha FZ-09 are some of the motorcycles on which the battery fits.
- Long shelf life
- Ease of installation
- Easy to maintain
- Relatively high price
2. Best Budget Motorcycle Battery: Chrome Battery YTX12-BS
At a Glance:
- Type: AGM
- Cold-cranking amps: 180 CCA
- Weight: 7.51 pounds
- Dimensions: 5.91 x 3.43 x 5.12 inches
The first thing that you’ll notice about the Chrome YTX12-BS is that it has a digital screen built into its body. The screen keeps you updated on the alternator’s voltage and lets you know when it’s time for a recharge. Charging it becomes even simpler if you purchase the cable extensions and battery tender that the manufacturer sells as add-ons. The extensions make it easy to connect the charger and the tender ensures optimal charge levels.
The Chrome YTX12-BS makes this list primarily because it is a very affordable motorcycle battery. You’re probably wondering if affordable means compromised performance. Not in the case of this battery. Owners of motorcycles like the Ducati 1098, which has a high-compression twin-engine, report that the battery is more than capable of handling high-performance requirements.
The one problem you may face with the YTX12-BS is during installation. The battery posts of this product are not threaded. You may have to attach the cable extra carefully so that the square nut it uses sits still.
- Very affordable
- Built-in LCD screen
- Can handle high-performance motorcycles
- Un-threaded battery posts
At a Glance:
- Type: AGM
- Capacity: 30 Ah
- Cold-cranking amps: 600 CCA
- Weight: 22.5 lbs
- Dimensions: 6.62 x 5.19 x 6.87 inches
A capacity of 30 amp-hours and 600 cold-cranking amps: two numbers that stand out in the ThrottleX MX30L’s product description page. Those are some big figures but what do they translate to in terms of real-world use?
The high capacity and cold-cranking amperage lead to some very tangible performance benefits. Motorcycle owners with engines like the 103 cubic-inch motor on the Harley Davidson Electra Glide report that the MX30L can spin it with greater ease than other batteries. You could idle a motorcycle with all the lights on and the radio playing and still see a voltage output as high as 14 volts.
The ThrottleX MX30L tends to be popular among Harley Davidson owners. Some Harley Hogs have claimed it works better than the stock battery. So if you own a Harley, this battery is one to consider. It helps that the battery is a maintenance-free AGM model that also comes with a heat-sealed cover. The latter makes it resistant to high temperatures.
Make sure to keep an eye on any electronics you connect to your motorcycle when you use the ThrottleX MX30L, especially through a USB port. It can sometimes continue to power the USB outlets even after the motorcycle has been turned off.
- High capacity and CCA
- Fits well on Harley Davidson motorcycles
- Heat seal for temperature resistance
- Can overcharge electronics even after the motorcycle is turned off
- Heavier than average batteries
At a Glance:
- Type: AGM
- Capacity: 30 Ah
- Cold-cranking amps: 385 CCA
- Weight: 19.81 pounds
- Dimensions: 6.54 x 4.96 x 6.89 inches
The Chrome YTX30L-BS is the second battery on our list by this manufacturer. The first one, the Chrome YTX12-BS, stood out for its affordability. The Chrome YTX30L-BS is pricier but makes the list for its versatility and ease of installation.
Chrome includes two screws and a rectangular nut to help with installing this battery. The battery posts are designed in such a way that you can attach leads to it from different directions depending on the way your battery compartment is constructed. So you can set it up in a top mount or face mount just as easily depending on what works for your motorcycle.
Although the Chrome YTX30L-BS costs more than the Chrome YTX12-BS, it is still a lot more affordable than motorcycle batteries that offer similar performance. The 30 Ah capacity is on the high end for this type of motorcycle battery. The Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide, BMW K75, and 2003 Harley Road King are some of the models this battery fits perfectly.
The manufacturer claims a cold-cranking amperage of 385 CCA but this may not always translate to good cold-weather performance. This means the battery may not always be able to start motorcycles at temperatures under 40 degrees.
- Versatile fit
- High capacity
- Poor cold weather performance
5. Most Durable Motorcycle Battery: ExpertPower EXP1270
At a Glance:
- Type: AGM
- Capacity: 7 Ah
- Weight: 4.3 pounds
- Dimensions: 6 x 2.5 x 3.7 inches
The ExpertPower EXP1270 is often used to power home security systems, solar collectors, lighting equipment, and other such devices. It can also play its part as a motorcycle battery.
The reason such a versatile battery has found its way onto motorcycles is primarily because of its durability. A layer of hardened ABS plastic protects the core of the battery from external elements. It also holds in any leaked liquid. The battery’s AGM technology ensures that it can deliver high currents sustainably.
Motorcycle owners will enjoy how easy the ExpertPower EXP1270 is to install. The product is good to go out of the box; you don’t need to add acid or charge it. At 2.5 inches wide and 3.7 inches in height, it’s one of the more compact batteries out there.
The ExpertPower EXP1270 isn’t the most powerful battery out there. If you want more power in an AGM battery and are willing to spend some extra cash, the ThrottleX MX30L is recommended.
- Very durable
- Easy to install
- Modest capacity
6. Best Lithium Battery: Battery Tender BTL09A150CW
At a Glance:
- Type: Lithium
- Capacity: 2.5 Ah
- Cold-cranking amps: 150 CCA
- Weight: 1.35 pounds
- Dimensions: 4.45 x 2.76 x 3.35 inches
When buying a lithium battery, motorcycle owners worry about whether deep discharges can lead to the battery dying on them. Some lithium batteries have that tendency, but not the Battery Tender BTL09A150CW. This battery uses a smart battery management system that shuts off the battery as soon as the possibility of overcharging is detected.
Another important benefit of choosing the Battery Tender BTL09A150CW is that it is extremely lightweight, much like the Shorai LFX LFX09A2. It weighs just 1.35 pounds out of the box. It’s also got quad terminals, which means you can install it in different positions easily.
The 2.5 Ah and 150 CCA this battery offers may not be sufficient for everyone. It has a tendency to crank slower as temperatures drop.
- Smart battery management system
- Quad terminals for easy installation
- May not perform well at low temperatures
7. Most Lightweight Motorcycle Battery: Shorai LFX LFX09A2
At a Glance:
- Type: Lithium
- Capacity: 9 Ah
- Cold-cranking amps: 135 CCA
- Weight: 1.27 pounds
- Dimensions: 6.7 x 5.9 x 3.5 inches
For those who own lightweight motorcycles, weight is an important consideration when buying a battery. A heavy battery like the ThrottleX MX30L will likely weigh you down more than you would like in that case. At just 1.27 pounds, the Shorai LFX LFX09A2 is a great option for those looking for a lightweight motorcycle battery.
Despite its small size, the battery does its job well. Owners of motorcycles like the Honda XR650L report that the battery can start its engine better than heavier lead-acid units. The manufacturer includes foam pads to use as shims in case the battery is smaller than your motorcycle’s battery compartment. This makes the installation process easy.
Where the Shorai LFX LFX09A2 does lack a little bit is in the way it responds to intensive usage demands. It’s not always able to handle heavy cranking. If you don’t mind a slightly heavier battery and want better performance, the Chrome YTX12-BS is a good choice.
- Foam pads to use as shims
- Easy installation
- May not handle heavy engine cranking well
At a Glance:
- Type: AGM
- Capacity: 16 Ah
- Cold-cranking amps: 170 CCA
- Weight: 15.03 pounds
- Dimensions: 7.15 x 3 x 6.65 inches
We’ve seen that batteries like the Battery Tender BTL09A150CW and Chrome YTX30L-BS don’t always perform well in cold weather conditions. If you’re wondering what battery can handle lower temperatures, the Odyssey PC680 is a good choice.
This battery can do that thanks to its 170 CCA in cold-cranking amperage. This is a great battery in parts of the country that experience harsh winters as it handles these conditions extremely well.
The manufacturers claim a 70% longer cycle life for the Odyssey PC680. That usually means a long shelf life and that’s consistent with customer feedback. The Odyssey PC680 seems capable of lasting as long as eight years on motorcycles like the BMW R1100R. That’s thanks in part to the fact that it’s protected from mechanical vibration and high-impact shock well.
The Odyssey PC680 is a solid cold-weather battery but that comes at a cost. The product is priced higher than the average AGM battery.
- Dependable cold weather performance
- Long shelf life
- Vibration-resistant design
- High price
At a Glance:
- Type: AGM
- Capacity: 18 Ah
- Cold-cranking amps: 270 CCA
- Weight: 14.85 pounds
- Dimensions: 6.87″ x 3.43″ x 6.12″
The Yuasa YTZ10S is an excellent motorcycle battery. However, it is not the easiest on the pocket. If you want to remain within the Yuasa family but not spend as much, the YUAM320BS YTX20L-BS is a good alternative.
This battery is a solid performer with a capacity of 18 Ah and 270 CCA. It’s also about 25% cheaper than its high-end brother. Since it uses an AGM construction, you will never have to deal with spills and don’t need to replenish it with water.
What’s the catch? Some units of the Yuasa YUAM320BS YTX20L-BS may not charge or hold a charge very well out of the box. If that does happen, you can get in touch with the manufacturer for a replacement.
- More affordable than the Yuasa YTZ10S
- High capacity and CCA
- Some units may not hold a charge
10. ZPC ZPC-YTX14-BS
At a Glance:
- Type: AGM
- Capacity: 12 Ah
- Cold-cranking amps: 200 CCA
- Weight: 9.92 pounds
- Dimensions: 5.8 x 3.26 x 5.71 inches
The ZPC ZPC-YTX14-BS is a budget motorcycle battery that performs well above its pay grade. Owners of motorcycles like the Honda Shadow Sabre have used this product and come away being impressed by its performance. It can handle not just firing up the motorcycle, but also auxiliary components like audio systems and LED lights.
This is an AGM battery that’s easy to maintain. It can take as little as 10 minutes to install this in your motorcycle. The 200 CCA cold-cranking amperage means you can still fire your motorcycle up in cold weather.
One thing to watch out for with this battery is that it can have issues holding a charge. It can die if the motorcycle hasn’t been started for as little as 24 hours. Connecting the ZPC ZPC-YTX14-BS to a trickle charger when not using your motorcycle can help prevent that. If the rate of discharge is a problem, lithium batteries like the Battery Tender BTL09A150CW are a good option since they self-discharge very slowly.
- Easy to install
- 200 cold-cranking amps for cold weather use
- May not hold a charge for very long
Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Motorcycle Battery
Now that we know what’s is available on the market, we will figure out how you can go about choosing the right motorcycle battery and get the best out of it. First, here’s a more detailed guide to the types of batteries that are on our list and some which aren’t.
Types of Motorcycle Batteries
Lithium batteries are made of lithium along with elements like iron and phosphorus. This chemistry is considered superior to that of lead-acid batteries. The main reason for that is lithium batteries can hold a charge longer when not in use.
Read more about how to choose between lead-acid and lithium batteries for your motorcycle battery in our guide here.
Unsealed motorcycle batteries are also known as flooded batteries or wet-cell batteries. These are lead-acid batteries, which means that the plates are made of lead and lead oxide. The liquid inside is a mix of water and sulfuric acid.
The reason these are known as flooded batteries is because of the generous volume of liquid they use. But the liquid inside can seep through if the battery isn’t oriented properly or undergoes turbulent movement.
For motorcycle owners, that means unsealed batteries require a lot more maintenance. You have to make sure that the battery sits snugly in its compartment so that the liquid doesn’t seep out.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the water within the battery can evaporate or freeze depending on the temperature. If you own this kind of battery, you have to regularly check the water levels using a battery water level indicator to make sure that the recommended level is maintained.
Now that we know what unsealed batteries are, you probably have an idea of what makes sealed batteries different. As the name suggests, the body of these batteries is sealed. More importantly, there is only enough liquid within the battery to facilitate the flow of electrolytes. That means you don’t need to worry about spills or adding water to the battery often.
Since the design of these batteries prevents spills, sealed batteries are a lot easier to maintain than unsealed batteries. Another advantage is that they don’t use water as part of the battery liquid, so you don’t have to worry about evaporation or freezing if you live in a part of the world that experiences extreme temperatures.
Sealed batteries do, however, have their drawbacks. Given the low volume of liquid within the battery, the amount of charge should always be maintained at optimal levels. Both undercharging and overcharging the battery can have a permanent effect on its shelf life. Sealed batteries can also be costlier than unsealed batteries.
Types of Sealed Motorcycle Batteries
There are two important categories of sealed motorcycle batteries to take note of.
Gel Cell Batteries
Gel cell batteries use a combination of sulfuric acid and fumed silica. So rather than being a liquid, it turns into a more gel-like substance. As a result, there’s no need to worry about things like spillage and evaporation.
What can lead to corrosion in gel cell batteries is high-ampere currents. These can cause scars within the gel and corrode the plates. Use a low voltage setting when charging your gel cell battery to ensure it doesn’t suffer from the effects of overcharging.
Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Batteries
AGM batteries look a lot like gel cell batteries in the way that they are constructed. The difference is that AGM batteries use a kind of glass fiber between the plates rather than a gel. This allows the plates to be placed closer to each other than usual since the movement of the acid is constrained by the glass sponge.
Since the plates can be placed close to each other, AGM batteries can be smaller in size than other kinds. So if compactness is an important consideration, you will want to take a look at AGM batteries.
How to Change Your Motorcycle Battery
Now you’ve decided on a battery, or perhaps you already have it in your hands, we will show you how to swap the battery in your motorcycle for your new purchase.
How to Remove a Motorcycle Battery
Trying a new battery is exciting, but before you can yank out the OEM battery and install a new one, you need to read the service manual that came with your motorcycle. It will give you a lot of important information, but most importantly, it will tell you where the battery is on your motorcycle. Different manufacturers put it in different positions, so this part is important.
Disconnecting the Cables
Once you know where the existing battery is, it’s time to remove it. Start by disconnecting the negative cable, which is usually the black cable (refer to the service manual for the color). Working on the positive cable first creates the possibility of grounding the battery and getting an electric shock as a result.
Once you’ve removed the negative cable, remove the positive cable. This one is usually red in color.
Removing the Battery
After removing both cables, free the battery of things like straps or foam shims holding it in place. Do this part carefully so that the lead nuts that attach the cables to the battery terminals don’t fall into crevices in the motorcycle’s body.
How to Install a Motorcycle Battery
After yoú’ve removed the battery you already have, you can move on to installing the new one.
Prepping the New Battery
Make sure you prep your new battery before installing it. Always fill your battery with acid (if you need to) before you install it. That way you can avoid spilling acid on your motorcycle. Carry out this process carefully in an open area so that the hydrogen gas that’s produced can escape easily. Once again, check your service manual on how to do this correctly for the motorcycle that you own.
Attaching the Cables
Now it’s time to install the battery. Start by placing the lead nuts into the terminal and place the battery in its compartment. Use a wire brush to clean the cables and reattach them to the terminals.
Remember to attach the cables in the reverse order this time. Start with the positive cable and then move on to the negative cable. Ensure that you have the positive cable to the positive terminal and the negative cable to the negative terminal. Check multiple times to ensure you do this right because if you do not, you can end up with damaged electrical components.
Testing the Installation
Check the installation by turning your motorcycle on. If it comes to life immediately and the lights turn on, you’ve done everything correctly. If not, check the battery again to make sure the terminals have been secured properly and are connected to the right cables. You may have to replace a fuse or other electrical components if the battery still doesn’t work. Take your motorcycle down to the nearby repairs center to run diagnostics.
Motorcycle Battery FAQ
When Should I Replace My Motorcycle Battery?
There isn’t a fixed period within which you should replace a motorcycle battery. It depends on how durable your battery is and how you’ve maintained it. You’ll know it’s time for a new battery when the engine doesn’t start easily or crank as well as before.
How Should I Charge My Battery?
The alternator in your motorcycle charges your battery as you ride it. But that’s not always enough to get it back to full charge. Batteries also have a low rate of discharge even when they’re not being used. So it’s important you use a battery charger to replenish it.
When you buy a motorcycle battery charger, make sure that it charges at a rate that is one-tenth of the battery’s capacity. So if your battery has a 10 Ah capacity, it should be charged at no higher than 1 ampere over 10 hours.
Can I Overcharge My Motorcycle Battery?
Yes, batteries can be overcharged. It can happen both if you use a charger that has a higher rate of charge than required or if you overcharge it. This can lead to anything from the electrolyte boiling to the battery blowing up in extreme cases.
The best way to avoid that is by using a trickle charger. These replenish the charge in your battery at a slow, consistent rate. You can see our list of best trickle chargers here.
How Can I Maintain My Motorcycle Battery Well?
If you own a lead-acid battery, you have to make sure the electrolyte (usually water) levels are always optimal. Check your battery once a month to prevent issues that arise from low electrolyte levels.
A few other factors can reduce battery life:
- Heat: Store your motorcycle in a cool space and avoid riding in very hot weather to keep your battery from draining too quickly
- Vibration: Install your motorcycle battery properly so that it doesn’t rattle in the compartment. Use shims if you need to ensure a snug fit.
- Cold: Extreme cold weather can be just as damaging as heat. The best way to keep battery electrolyte from freezing is by keeping it fully charged. A fully charged battery won’t freeze until temperatures drop to about -75° F.
A battery is the kind of component you want to install and not worry about too much for at least two years. You have to do two things correctly to make that happen.
First, choose the right motorcycle battery based on the aforementioned information. Second, maintain your battery well by charging it regularly, topping up on electrolyte, and storing it at moderate temperatures. Do that, and you should have a battery that will power your motorcycle rides for many happy years.
Once the battery is safely out of the way, the road is yours. You may need some other things before you set out though. If you’re looking for accessories for your motorcycle, you can check out our articles on locks, helmets, and glasses and find everything you need for your journey to begin.