MOSTLY ASKED QUESTIONS/CONCERNS ABOUT MOTORCYLE BATTERIES
Q #1. I keep hearing about “old style lead acid batteries,” AGM, maintenance-free, high performance maintenance-free, sealed gel batteries and now there are all sorts of new types of batteries for electric vehicles. What is the difference between those types and which are used for motorcycles with gas engines (non-electric bikes)?
A. There are two types of lead acid batteries, often referred to as Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) batteries: Gel cell batteries and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries.
Unlike “old style lead acid batteries,” which we typically call Conventional AGM or flooded wet-cell batteries, both of these types are sealed and non-spillable, eliminating the need to refill the electrolyte, while avoiding corrosion of the positive terminal and its surrounding area.
AGM batteries represent the latest battery technology, and are becoming more commonplace for motorcycles with gas engines.
Q #2: In terms of service life in normal use, which is the best motorcycle battery to get—leaving aside initial purchase price?
A. AGM batteries. ODYSSEY batteries employ dry cell AGM technology to contain acid, allowing the battery to be installed even on its side. Additionally, the densely packed flat plates – Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) technology – in ODYSSEY batteries avoid the “dead space” between cylinders in a “six pack” design that is typical of gel cell batteries and other AGM designs.
Q #3 Which specifications have a little room for variation from the original specifications without causing any problems—for those times when replacement has to happen, but the exact spec motorcycle battery is not available?
A. There are ways to modify either the location for the battery install or use a hold-down kit to get replacement battery to fit.
Q #4. What does cold cranking amps mean in terms of battery life or performance?
A. Cold cranking amps (CCA) directly correlate with battery performance. The higher the CCA, the better a battery can perform at start-up. CCA is the current that a battery can deliver for 30 seconds at 0°F.