The battery is essentially the heart of your motorcycle, it provides the power needed to kick-start the engine to life and without it, the motorcycle cannot function. Now, if you expect to get the most out of your motorcycle battery, then it is only logical that know you as much about it as you possibly can. Which is why, this site, is dedicated to bring you everything you need to know about motorcycle batteries to help you get the best out of your battery and by extension, your motorcycle.
Not all motorcycle batteries are created equal, and we are not just talking about if they are sealed or unsealed in this case. Batteries are available in a wide range of specifications and if you are looking to get a new battery for your motorcycle, apart from making sure that it is a type designed for the engine of your motorbike, there are other specifications you will need to look out for before making a purchase. There are a range of options available and it can be overwhelming picking out a battery that will deliver satisfactory performance if you do not know what to go for. That said, here are some features you need to look out for that can help you narrow down your search to ensure you get the best motorcycle battery for your motorbike.
The first thing to consider when you are looking to buy a motorcycle battery is the size of the battery and the materials it is made with. It is imperative to ensure that the dimensions of the new battery are similar to those of current battery for it to fit your engine perfectly. A small battery may rattle around, unable to reach the cables while a bigger battery could damage your bike. As such, it goes without saying that finding a battery that is compatible with your motorcycle is of utmost importance. About the construction, look out for materials that are durable and offer resistance to heat, pressure, and vibration as these elements are capable of damaging your battery.
The power rating of a motorcycle battery is represented in volts, this technical detail is a major determinant of the overall performance of your motorcycle battery. Every motorcycle has a voltage requirement for optimal productivity. Using a battery that can not meet your motorcycle's voltage requirement will bring about a reduction in its performance. On the average, a motorcycle battery possesses 12-volts, however, your bike may need something higher or lower depending on its model. Before you complete the purchase, ensure that the voltage of the battery meets the specifications for your motorcycle to avoid damaging it. In cases of doubt, a higher power rating is always recommended.
The Cold Cranking Amps often abbreviated to CCA is the number of amps a lead acid battery is capable of delivering at 32°F (or O°C) for 30 seconds while it maintains a minimum of 1.2 volts per cell. If your bike is still new with just a few miles on it, then you might want to go for a battery with lower amps. However, older models of motorcycles or bikes which have a substantial number of miles on the engine will need batteries with a higher CCA.
Another factor to take into consideration is the performance of the battery, this refers to the power your battery is capable of producing. A battery with low power will require more frequent maintenance and charging compared to those with a higher power. Your riding style will determine the performance of the battery you get. If you tend to ride more frequently, you will need a battery with better than average performance. You do not want to have to charge you battery continually while on a long ride. Because not only is this time wasting, it will definitely decrease the longevity of the battery.
It goes without saying that you should always go for a battery with an extended warranty from the manufacturer. This way, if the battery develops any fault within the period of coverage, you can always return it to the manufacturer for help with it.
Some batteries are maintenance free, hence, they do not require the any sort of special care or attention to keep them running in excellent condition. However, the conventional motorcycle batteries require regular maintenance to ensure that their functionality is not lost through the years.
When it comes to batteries, one thing is certain, they will definitely fail one day, how long it lasts will be dependent on how you treat it while it is still functioning. According to manufacturers, the average life expectancy of a motorcycle battery is between 2 to 5 years.
Nonetheless, if you do not take proper care of your battery, you may find yourself needing a replacement sooner than later.
There are different types of motorcycle batteries currently available on the market today. The main classification of motorcycle batteries is based on if they are sealed, unsealed and rechargeable. Batteries may also be categorized based on their size, shape and amperage ratings. In our site, we are going to focus on the main classification of sealed, unsealed and rechargeable batteries.
Unsealed batteries are the type of batteries that require regular maintenance by recharging. They are known as the “old style lead acid batteries” and are not as common in newer bikes as the sealed and maintenance free types. The wet cell lead acid battery is a type of unsealed battery.
This battery sometimes referred to as the flooded lead-acid battery. It is one of the most used battery types in motorcycles. The distinguishing characteristic of wet lead acid batteries is that they need to be regularly topped off with distilled water to avoid damages to the motorcycle battery. The battery electrolytes is a mix of distilled water and sulphuric acid. Now, this electrolyte needs to be maintained at the appropriate concentration within the battery. However, when the battery is being charged, water is lost from the wet cells through evaporation.
Hence, to maintain the electrolyte concentration, and by extension, the health and longevity of the battery, wet cell batteries need to be topped off with distilled water occasionally. Apart from the need for regular maintenance, a major disadvantage to wet cell batteries is that the maintenance process can be hazardous owing to the presence of the caustic sulphuric acid which can cause burns if it comes in contact with skin and clothing. Thus, extreme caution is recommended when handling this type of batteries.
Sealed motorcycle batteries come ready to use and do not require any sort of maintenance. Basically, when you purchase a sealed battery, you do not have to worry about recharging it or topping off the battery fluids. As these batteries are sealed, they are by function, non-spillable and do not need to be recharged. Hence, there is no point where moisture is lost to evaporation and as such, the electrolytes that keep the battery charged remain at the appropriate concentration and will not need refilling. Today, most new motorcycles make use of the sealed and maintenance free batteries. There are 2 main types of sealed battery namely; the gel cell battery and the AGM battery.
The gel cell battery is a type of sealed motorcycle battery and as the name implies, the battery is filled with silica like gel responsible for suspending the electrolytes in the cell. Because of their sealed functionality, unlike a wet lead acid battery, gel cell batteries do not need maintenance. Even if the battery breaks, there will be no spillage or leaking of electrolytes. Also, they are not prone to corrosion, thanks again to the sealed design.
The Absorbed Glass Mat battery, popularly abbreviated to AGM battery is a type of lead-acid motorcycle battery. This type of battery is so named because it comes with a mat which is designed to absorb the electrolytes in the battery cells, such that the solution does not slop around as it does in flooded cell batteries. AGM batteries are commonly used in motorcycles with gas engines and they are the latest battery technology. Like the gel cell batteries, AGM batteries come sealed and as such do not require any type of maintenance. Although their performance output is somewhat similar to that of gel cell batteries, AGM batteries are not as expensive as their sealed counterpart which would explain why they are more commonly used.
Lasly, make sure that your motorcycle battery is secure.
Start your motorcycle and test out your new motorcycle battery