Batteries are one of the most important parts of a motorcycle. They provide the power to start the engine and keep it running. However, batteries don’t last forever. There are a number of factors that can affect how long a battery will last.
Choosing a battery for a motorcycle is a challenging matter. Each variety, from lead acid with a liquid electrolyte to lithium-ion, has its pros and cons, and many urban legends are associated with each type.
This article is aimed at readers who want to choose the correct battery that will hold the charge the longest. Well, or you just want to understand batteries for motorcycles.
Factors Affecting Motorcycle Battery Life
As a motorcycle owner, you know that keeping your battery in good shape is important to the longevity of your bike. But what factors affect how long your motorcycle battery will last? Here, we take a look at some of the things that can impact the lifespan of your motorcycle battery.
Also Read: Best Battery for Harley Davidson: Top 10 Picks in 2022
1. Weather Conditions
Extreme temperatures can shorten a motorcycle battery the lifespan. Very cold weather can make it harder for the battery to start the engine, and very hot weather can cause the battery’s chemicals to break down faster.
2. Usage of the Battery
The older a battery is, the shorter its lifespan will be. This is because the chemicals inside the battery break down over time, even if the battery isn’t being used.
If you use your motorcycle frequently, your battery will drain faster and won’t last as long as if you only use it occasionally. This is because starting the engine puts a lot of strain on the battery.
One of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your motorcycle battery is to keep it properly charged. That means using a quality battery charger and not letting the battery get too low before recharging it. Riding with a low battery can actually damage the battery and shorten its lifespan. Try not to discharge the battery completely, especially in cold weather.
Also Read: Motorcycle Battery Not Charging: What to Do?
How you maintain your motorcycle battery can also affect its lifespan. If you keep it clean and free of corrosion, it will last longer. If you let it get dirty and full of corrosion, it will shorten its lifespan.
Experienced motorcyclists know that in the cold states, the motorcycle season ends with the arrival of cold weather. Therefore, you need to store your bike properly until the next season.
If the battery is not used for a long time, for example, in winter, it must be disconnected from the motorcycle. It is better if the battery is stored at a low temperature (but not a minus!), then the chemical processes in it slow down, and self-discharge occurs more slowly.
During the winter, it is necessary to carry out several discharge-charging cycles. Discharge the battery (you can use a bulb from the headlight for this), and then charge with a small current. This will extend the battery life and save you from unpleasant surprises in the spring.
Types of Motorcycle Batteries
A high-quality battery for a motorcycle will provide the necessary power of the starting okay, be resistant to significant temperature changes, and is able to maintain its characteristics for a long time. When choosing such a battery, it is necessary to take into account the type of battery.
If a few decades ago there were exclusively acid batteries for motorcycles on sale, today you can pick up dry gel varieties of batteries that differ in quality and stability of operation, and their operational resource exceeds five years, during which the battery retains all its operational characteristics. Now we will look at all the most popular types of modern batteries.
Wet Cell Batteries
A wet cell battery is a type of lead-acid battery where the electrolyte is a sulfuric acid solution. The term “wet cell” is in contrast to “dry cell” batteries, such as the lead-acid battery, where the electrolyte is solid.
Wet cell batteries are most commonly used in automotive applications and bikes but are also used in other applications such as backup power systems and forklifts.
Lead-acid batteries work by converting chemical energy into electrical energy. The lead-acid battery consists of two lead plates (the anode and cathode) submerged in a sulfuric acid solution (the electrolyte).
When the battery is discharged, the lead plates react with the electrolyte to form lead sulfate. When the battery is charged, a chemical reaction takes place, and the lead sulfate turns back into the lead.
The lead sulfate that is formed during discharge is an insulator, which prevents the flow of current. When the battery is charged, the lead sulfate is converted back into lead and sulfuric acid, which allows the flow of current.
The capacity of a lead-acid battery is measured in amp-hours (Ah). The Ah rating is a measure of the amount of current that a battery can deliver for a given period of time.
Wet cell batteries are typically more expensive than dry cell batteries, but they have a number of advantages. Wet cell batteries are more resistant to vibration, and they can be discharged and recharged more times than dry cell batteries.
Gel Cell Batteries
Gel cell batteries are lead-acid batteries that use a gel instead of a liquid electrolyte. The gel is a mixture of sulfuric acid and silica, which is a thick, viscous substance. Gel cell batteries are often used in applications where weight and vibration are major concerns, such as in aircraft and race cars, and motorcycles.
Gel cell batteries have an advantage over traditional lead-acid batteries. The gel electrolyte is not as prone to leaking as a liquid electrolyte, and the gel is less likely to spill if the battery is damaged. Gel cell batteries are also more resistant to vibration and shock, making them ideal for use in aircraft and race cars.
These batteries typically have a higher discharge rate than traditional lead-acid batteries, making them ideal for applications that require a quick burst of power, such as starting an engine. Gel cell batteries also have a higher tolerance to temperature extremes, making them well-suited for use in hot or cold climates.
The main disadvantage of gel cell batteries is their cost. These batteries are typically more expensive than traditional lead-acid batteries, although the price difference has been narrowing in recent years.
AGM Motorcycle Batteries
AGM motorcycle batteries are a type of lead-acid battery that uses an absorbed glass mat (AGM) to separate the lead and acid. This makes them spill-proof and maintenance-free. AGM batteries are often used in high-performance applications where weight is a factor, such as in racing motorcycles.
AGM batteries have a number of advantages over traditional lead-acid batteries. They are more resistant to vibration and shock, and they can be mounted in any orientation. AGM batteries also have a higher cold cranking amps (CCA) rating, meaning they can provide more power at lower temperatures.
Despite their advantages, AGM batteries are more expensive than traditional lead-acid batteries. They also require a higher level of maintenance, such as regular cleaning and charging. Sufficiently high AGM battery life expectancy.
Lithium-ion batteries are popular in electronic devices because they are lightweight and can hold a charge for a long time. But what are they, and how do they work?
A lithium-ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery. The “ion” in its name comes from the fact that it uses lithium ions to power itself. These lithium ions move back and forth between the battery’s positive and negative electrodes while the battery is in use.
Lithium-ion batteries are different from other types of batteries, like alkaline or lead-acid batteries, because they don’t have a “memory.” This means that you don’t have to worry about them losing their charge if you don’t use them for a while.
One downside of lithium-ion batteries is that they can be dangerous if they’re not used properly. For example, if you try to charge a lithium-ion battery that’s already full, it can overheat and catch fire. That’s why it’s important to read the instructions that come with your electronic device before you use its lithium-ion battery.
Despite the risks, lithium motorcycle batteries are safe to use if you follow the instructions. And they’re a great way to power your electronic devices because they’re lightweight and long-lasting.
Maintenance of Motorcycle Batteries
One of the most important aspects of motorcycle ownership is the maintenance of the battery. Batteries are what provide the electrical power to start the engine and it running it. Without a properly working battery, a motorcycle is nothing more than a very expensive paperweight.
There are a few things that need to be done on a regular basis in order to keep a new motorcycle battery in good working order:
- It is important to keep the battery clean. Any dirt or grime that builds up on the battery terminals can cause a loss of power and eventually lead to a dead battery.
- It is important to check the level of electrolytes in the battery. This can be done by removing the battery cap and looking at the level of the liquid inside. If it is low, simply add distilled water until it reaches the proper level.
- It is also a good idea to check the voltage of the battery on a regular basis. This can be done with a voltmeter or by using the built-in test feature on many motorcycle multimeters. A voltage that is consistently low can indicate a problem with the charging system and should be addressed as soon as possible.
By following these simple steps, you can help ensure that your motorcycle battery will provide years of trouble-free service. This is motorcycle battery maintenance.
How to Charge a Battery
There are a few things to keep in mind when charging a motorcycle battery. First, make sure the battery is compatible with the type of charger you’re using. Second, be sure to read the charger’s instructions carefully before connecting it to the battery. After the charger is connected, the process should start automatically.
If your motorcycle is equipped with an onboard battery charger, it is important to make sure the charger is off and then connect it to the battery. Once the charger is connected, turn it on and follow the instructions provided.
If you’re using a portable charger, it’s important to select the correct setting for the battery type. Most portable chargers have a setting for lead-acid batteries, which is the type used in most motorcycles. Be sure to select the correct setting before connecting the charger to the battery.
Once the charger is connected, the charging process should start automatically. However, if the battery is completely discharged, it may take a few minutes for the charging process to begin.
It’s important to monitor the charging process closely and to disconnect the charger when the battery is fully charged. Leaving the charger connected for too long can damage the battery. If you are wondering how long the motorcycle battery takes to charge, then read our blog.
Jump-Starting Your Motorcycle Battery
If your motorcycle battery is dead, you can jump-start it using a few simple steps:
- Make sure that the battery is disconnected.
- Locate the positive and negative terminals on the battery. Once you have found them, connect the positive terminal of the battery to the positive terminal of the jumper cables, and then connect the negative terminal of the battery to the negative terminal of the jumper cables.
- Start the engine of the motorcycle and let it run for a few minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most popular questions.
How do you know when your motorcycle needs a new battery?
The motorcycle needs a new battery when the engine won’t start, or the lights are dim.
How long do motorcycle batteries last if not used?
The average motorcycle battery lasts between three and five years. However, if a motorcycle battery is not used, it will only last for one to two years.
Will a motorcycle run with a dead battery?
A motorcycle will run with a dead battery if it is jump-started.
Does a motorcycle battery charge while riding?
No, a motorcycle battery does not charge while riding.
How often should a motorcycle battery be replaced?
It is typically recommended that a motorcycle battery be replaced every 3-5 years.
Motorcycle batteries are made to last a long time, but eventually, they will need to be replaced. Depending on how often you ride your motorcycle and how well you maintain your battery, it can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years.
If you ride your motorcycle regularly, you will need to replace your battery more often. However, if you only ride occasionally, your battery may last much longer. The best way to prolong the life of your bike battery is to keep it clean and to check the fluid level regularly.
If you notice that your battery is not holding a charge as well as it used to, it is probably time to replace it. You can take your battery to a local motorcycle shop to have it tested. They can tell you if it is time to replace it or if you just need to give it a good cleaning.
Bruce was born in Atlanta. He started riding motorcycles when he was 10 and has been passionate about them since. Bruce says he feels absolute freedom when he’s on two wheels. He prefers riding his bike slowly and smoothly along a country road and hardly ever enjoys wildly speedy rides. With a strong Ducati Multistrada 1200 in the current stable, Bruce enjoys his super powerful, comfortable and easy rides. Ducati Diavel is the beast he’s currently dreaming about…