Many people are unsure of exactly how long a motorcycle battery lasts. This is a common question for new bikers and those looking to buy a new bike or who are thinking about adding a bike to their garage.
People who own a motorcycle soon realize that they have a responsibility to keep it in good shape to ensure that it doesn’t break down. Otherwise, it becomes an expensive garage decoration. Part of this responsibility is the maintenance of the motorcycle battery.
How long does a motorcycle battery last?
A motorcycle battery can last up to 4 years if you take care of it properly. Maintenance is the key to making the machine last longer. The battery is the lifeblood of your motorcycle. If it fails, you will be left stranded. A properly maintained battery will give you many years of service, even in extreme conditions.
How To Tell If Your Battery Needs Replacing:
How do I know if my motorcycle battery needs replacing?
The easiest way to tell if your battery needs replacing is to check the voltage. If the voltage is low, the battery is at risk of dying. Get the battery checked and, if needed, replace it immediately.
Signs that you need to change your battery
1. You have problems starting the motorcycle. You probably don’t have a battery issue if your engine turns over at the right speed when you twist the key. If it is a cranking issue, the culprit could be a dying battery.
2. Dim Headlight and Low-volume horn – An excellent way to check the health of your motorcycle’s battery is to see whether the headlight beam is bright and steady. Also, if the horn’s volume seems weak and doesn’t make any noise when you tap it, these are other signs that your battery needs to be replaced.
3. Erratic` Multimeter Readings – People use multimeters to figure out what’s wrong with things. They’re easy to use and help you figure out what’s wrong with something. To change the DC voltage to 12 volts, you need to turn the switch. Touch the positive or red lead to the red terminal on the battery, do the same for the black (negative information). Any voltage is reading less than 11 means you need to charge your battery. The ideal voltage should be between 13 and 13.6. If there is an inconsistent reading, then it could mean that your battery needs replacing.
4. Several Electronic Failures – With a flick of a switch, a rider can now turn on the lights, check the odometer, start the ignition, and put the gear in the correct position before hitting the road. More and more modern bikes come with several complex electronic systems that help make riding them safer and more enjoyable. However, if any electronics fail, you will likely need a new battery.
Caring for your motorcycle’s battery
When it comes to motorcycle batteries, it’s essential to take care of them. When a problem occurs in a motorcycle’s battery, it can quickly take its lifespan away.
- Storing your battery – if you won’t be using your motorcycle for a long time, remove the battery and store it in a cool, dry place. Use a maintenance charger to keep it charged. If you’re using a maintenance-free battery, you can leave it inside your motorcycle, but make sure it’s still set regularly.
- Charge only when needed – Although it’s recommended to charge your battery regularly (using your bike or a charger), make sure you don’t overcharge it.
- Improper Charging – Overcharging or charging your battery using the wrong voltage can and will damage your battery.
How do you charge the battery correctly?
As mentioned in the intro, most first-time motorcycle owners have no idea how to charge their battery (especially if this is your first vehicle). So, as part of this article, allow me to share how to properly charge your battery.
Your motorcycle battery has a 12-volt rating. Therefore, use a 12V charger.
Check the amps you are charging with. You need to check the Ah of your battery divide it by 10. The result is the amps you need to charge with battery with. For example, a 12V/14Ah battery needs to be charged using a 12V charger with 1.4 amps.
Types of Battery
AGM batteries are highly recommended compared to conventional batteries. This type of battery is sealed, requires less maintenance, and is highly reliable.
AGM means Absorbed Glass Mat. It uses fiberglass between the plates to help contain the acid, making it safer to use compared to standard batteries. Although this battery type is not spill-proof (compared to gel cells, for example), the battery won’t be damaged even if you tip them over by accident.
Gel Cell Battery. Another highly recommended battery. This type uses a thick, jelly-type acid to store power. They are more expensive than standard or AGM but are more durable and reliable. The only downside with a gel cell battery? They are not advisable in freezing temperatures.
Lithium Motorcycle Battery. This is a lightweight and powerful battery and was chosen by many street bike riders. Lithium batteries are beneficial because they don’t heat up quickly. However, just like the gel cell, they cannot operate in freezing temperatures.
Hopefully, this article was useful to you.
Batteries are an essential part of your motorcycle. They are the power source that allows your bike to work.
Motorcycle batteries have a lifespan, and they need to be maintained regularly. You can do this by charging it, changing the water level, and charging it with the correct voltage.
Thanks for reading and enjoy your ride!