Correctly choosing, maintaining, and storing your motorcycle battery is important. It is easy to get confused when deciding which battery type to use. Some motorcycle batteries will be better suited to your needs than others.What are the different types of motorcycle batteries?
The various motorcycle battery options include the following:
- Lead-acid: This was the first rechargeable battery created. Generally reliable and durable, they are also heavy, need proper recycling, and have a relatively short lifespan. Lead-acid batteries are the standard option for many motorcycles.
- Gel: Silica is added to the electrolyte liquid in gel cell batteries. This option performs better in hot weather but is very sensitive to undercharging. Its gel consistency prevents leaks.
- Absorbed glass mat: These have a thin fiberglass mat that absorbs excess acid in the battery. This version has a longer lifespan, holds its charge better, and requires less maintenance. It is a reliable option for long storage periods.
- Lithium: Lithium-ion batteries are lighter and smaller than wet cell batteries. Common in hybrid and electric motorcycles, they are often sold as aftermarket batteries. Lithium batteries have a longer lifespan and better charge hold than wet cell motorcycle batteries.
Be sure to check the hookup, battery size, and terminal type when selecting motorcycle batteries. These three options must match the motorcycle you plan on putting the battery in. Consider buying the highest reserve capacity or amp hour rating available for your specifications. If you ride your motorcycle under harsh conditions, or if there will be long intervals of inactivity, look at getting a lithium, gel cell or absorbed glass mat version. If you want your motorcycle to be lighter and easier to maintain, a lithium battery could be a good option. Whether you ride a Honda, Yamaha, or some other type of bike, your owner's manual will also help you choose the right battery.Can you prolong the life of your motorcycle battery?
Properly maintaining a motorcycle battery will maximize its life. The primary reason motorcycle batteries won't hold a charge is due to improper charging or poor maintenance. It is recommended to disconnect your battery if it will not be used for more than three weeks. The following factors can also affect battery life:
- Exposing the battery to extreme cold or hot weather will increase internal discharge.
- Letting motorcycle batteries sit drained or routinely undercharging your battery will prevent it from holding a charge.
- Using the wrong charger for your motorcycle battery can cause lasting damage.
- Allowing electrolyte levels to become low will cause corrosion. When refilling a battery, use only distilled water.
- Letting the battery become dirty may mean it can short out and drain itself. Wipe the battery down a few times a year with a baking soda and water solution. A clean battery will keep its charge longer.
- Allowing dust and moisture to accumulate. Apply dielectric grease to the terminals to protect them from dust and moisture.