Types of Motorcycle Batteries

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You’ve got a handful of different options when it comes to your motorcycle battery.

Each come with some pros and cons that typically depend on the type of motorcycle you ride and how much battery maintenance you want to deal with.

In general, the best battery for your motorcycle is the type recommended by the manufacturer in the motorcycle’s service manual.

Otherwise, the main types of motorcycle batteries you can choose from include:

  • Conventional lead-acid batteries.
  • AGM motorcycle batteries.
  • Motorcycle Gel batteries.
  • Lithium motorcycle batteries.

Lead-Acid Motorcycle Battery

Conventional or lead-acid batteries are the original type of motorcycle battery.

These consist of a number of cells, lead plates, electrolyte solution, and distilled water.

Lead-acid batteries have fill lines that you’ll need to top of if the levels in the battery cells get too low.

When you get a new lead-acid battery, you’ll need to follow the instructions to fill and charge it.

If you buy a lead-acid battery online, you’ll typically need to make a run down to your local auto parts store to pick up the battery acid to fill it with.

Since they’re filled with liquid and have a vent hole, lead-acid batteries need to be positioned upright.

Motorcycles that use lead-acid batteries will include a battery box that keeps it secured in place while you ride. If you’re looking for an aftermarket replacement, be sure to measure that it will fit into the battery box and can be secured if its too small.

Lead-acid batteries tend to discharge a little fast than some of their counterparts. If you don’t ride often, be sure to keep the battery charged with an automatic trickle charger.

AGM Motorcycle Battery

AGM stands for absorbed glass mat. AGM batteries are common for modern motorcycles.

AGM batteries are sealed and maintenance free.

Your options for AGM batteries include:

  • Factory activated, which arrive sealed and ready to use.
  • Activate-upon-arrival, which you’ll need to activate and seal yourself.

Once the AGM battery is sealed, it is leak-proof and can be positioned anywhere. There is no need to check fluid levels.

However, it’s still important to keep AGM batteries charged.

AGM batteries tend to be a more affordable maintenance-free option.

Motorcycle Gel Battery

Gel batteries are another popular type of maintenance-free battery than can be mounted anywhere.

These can be considered a maintenance free form of the traditional lead-acid battery. Instead of a water-electrolyte solution, gel batteries feature a sealed gel solution inside the battery.

Gel batteries have a good resistance to heat and cold as well as shock and vibration.

Gel motorcycle batteries are typically a little more expensive than AGM batteries.

Lithium Motorcycle Battery

Lithium batteries are some of the most high-tech and light-weight motorcycle battery options available.

Lithium batteries have the benefit of being light-weight and compact.

Like AGM and Gel batteries, lithium motorcycle batteries won’t leak, spill, or require maintenance.

Lithium batteries are often the most expensive choice, but feature a much slower discharge rate and are great in colder temperatures.

With a lithium battery, it’s important that you keep the voltage above a certain threshold. If it drops below it, you may need to replace the battery. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specifics on keeping it charged.