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Motorcycle Batteries 101: Maintenance & Replacement


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A properly charged, healthy battery is an important part of making sure your motorcycle is running right and stays running.

A good, fully charged battery will:

  • Make starting the bike easier.
  • Make the spark stronger.
  • Keep all your electrical components working.
  • Prevent your bike from dying.

How to Charge a Motorcycle Battery

The easiest way to charge your motorcycle’s battery is by regularly riding the bike. That’s right! Your bike is designed to keep the battery charged as it operates.

However, if the bike has been sitting without running for some time, the battery will naturally loose its charge.

The best way to charge the battery is with a smart, automatic trickle charge.

This takes the guess work and fiddling with charge settings out of the equation.

To charge your motorcycle battery:

  • Disconnect the battery.
  • Hook up the charger as per the manufacturer’s instructions (typically red to positive terminal, black to ground).
  • Allow the battery to charge.
  • Check on the battery periodically.
  • Disconnect the charge and reconnect the battery to the bike.

Check out our recommendations for the best motorcycle battery chargers here.

How Long Does it Take to Charge a Motorcycle Battery?

The total time it takes to recharge your battery will depend on:

  • The total capacity.
  • The charger type.
  • How discharged the battery is.
  • The temperature.

A standard, automatic trickle charge is the safest and easiest way to charge your battery.

These are designed to deliver the correct amount of charge for your battery and will shut off to avoid overcharging and damaging it.

If your battery is only moderately discharged, it may take only a couple hours to recharge on a trickle charger.

If it is more depleted, it’ll take longer.

A brand new lead acid battery can take up to 24 hours to charge for the first time.

How Many Volts is a Motorcycle Battery?

Most motorcycle batteries are 12 volts.

Some smaller bikes have 6 volt batteries.

Learn more about how to test your motorcycle battery and charging system here.

How Long Does a Motorcycle Battery Last?

The lifespan of your motorcycle battery will partly depend on what type of battery it is.

On average, conventional lead acid batteries last for about 2-3 years.

Sealed AGM batteries typically last for about 3-5 years.

You can maximize the life of your motorcycle’s battery by keeping it properly maintained and charged.

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