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Choose, Use, Maintain and repace your Motorcycle Battery

Table of Contents

Choosing the Right Motorcycle Battery

With a selection designed to meet or beat original equipment specifications for cold cranking amps (CCA), reserve capacity (RC) and amp hour (Ah), you get the motorcycle battery you need for your next cruise on the open road. When searching for replacement motorcycle batteries, the best fit depends on your bike model and riding habits.

  • Cold Cranking Amps – The rating that determines a battery’s ability to start an engine in cold temperatures.
  • Reserve Capacity – How long a new fully charged battery can hold its charge.
  • Amp Hour – A measure of how long a battery can provide amperage for one hour.
RTX14L-BS
RTX14L-BS

How to Maintain Your Motorcycle Battery

With a selection designed to meet or beat original equipment specifications for cold cranking amps (CCA), reserve capacity (RC) and amp hour (Ah), you get the motorcycle battery you need for your next cruise on the open road. When searching for replacement motorcycle batteries, the best fit depends on your bike model and riding habits.

1. Keep It Charged – Use a battery charger to maintain your motorcycle battery during the off-season or other long periods of inactivity.

NOTE: Lithium batteries have a low self-discharge rate and may require less charging maintenance during the off-season. Keep your lithium battery at around 50% when storing it for long periods of time.

2. Use the right charger – It’s important that you select one that matches the voltage and chemistry of your motorcycle battery.

Example: 12-volt AGM charger goes with a 12-volt AGM battery.

3. Avoid overcharging – Overcharging your motorcycle battery can shorten its life. Prevent this by using a battery maintainer or a charger with an automatic shut-off.

4. Water your battery – If you have a flooded battery, periodically check and top off the electrolyte inside with distilled or deionized water.

NOTE: Do not attempt to do this with an AGM or lithium battery.

5. Keep terminals free of corrosion – Clean off corrosion on the battery terminal using a battery terminal brush and a mixture of baking soda and water. Protect the terminals with an anti-corrosion spray.

How to Maintain the Motorcycle Battery During the Winter

Colder temperatures mean the end of another riding season. As you begin putting your motorcycle into storage for the winter, let’s take a moment to talk about your battery. Just like with a boat or lawn mower, motorcycle batteries need to be maintained when they sit idle for long periods of time. Letting your battery run down too low can damage it to the point where it can’t be charged back up again. Fortunately, it’s easy to keep your battery going strong by investing in a battery charger or maintainer.

Your basic motorcycle battery charger will deliver amperage to the battery at the set voltage that the charger is rated for (6-volt, 12-volt or 24-volt). Most motorcycles use 12-volt batteries, however, you should check to make sure that the charger you use matches the voltage of your battery.

If you are using a standard charger, it is recommended that you charge your battery at least every 30 days. Motorcycle batteries have a high rate of discharge and can lose 0.5% to 1% of their charge in a single day. One important thing to remember if you’re using a basic charger is that it will need to be monitored and shut off manually to make sure that you don’t overcharge your battery. Overcharging can cook the battery’s interior components, causing permanent damage and drastically reducing its lifespan.

Replace your motorcycle battery

When to do

There are a few reasons why you may need to replace your motorcycle battery:

  1. Your motorcycle’s generator or alternator should charge the battery while you are running the bike, but if the battery isn’t holding a charge properly, your bike may not start the next time you try it.
  2. The engine cranks over slowly or does not crank at all when you try to start it.
  3. Your battery is between two and five years old, and you want to replace it as a preventive measure so you don’t run the risk of being stranded somewhere.

How to do

Your first step is to take out the old battery. Your service manual will be able to tell you exactly where your battery is located,  under the seat, under the fuel tank or under the side covers.

Once you find it, sliding out the battery will allow you access to the battery terminals. It’s important to disconnect the negative cable first when disconnecting the battery cables. After the circuit is broken, you may remove the positive cable. Then carefully remove the old battery and install the new battery.

What to know

When you get a new motorcycle battery, it’s important to ensure you’re charging it correctly the first time. They further recommend that you read the safety information that comes with the battery. If your new battery needs to be filled with acid, be sure you fill it before you put it in the bike so you don’t inadvertently spill acid on your bike. Some batteries don’t come with acid; in that case, it’s best to have the local motorcycle shop fill it for you.

Check the instructions that come with your battery and follow these steps to charge your battery for the first time:

  1. Don’t use an automotive battery charger. A motorcycle needs a lower amperage charger to avoid damaging the battery.
  2. Figure out the amperage to charge your new battery by dividing the Ah rating by 10.
  3. Use crocodile clamps to hook up the battery tender.
  4. Charge until the indicator tells you the battery is completely charged.
  5. Remove the charger immediately to avoid overcharging the battery.

Keep safety in mind

You should wear the proper safety gear for this project: gloves and safety glasses are a must. You should also make sure your ignition key is in the “off” position for this entire procedure. If you go through the steps of replacing your battery and you feel unsafe, you should seek the help of a professional mechanic.

How to extend the life of the battery

If you want to extend the life of your motorcycle battery, try these tips from BRAVA Batteries:

  • Keep the battery charged.
  • Stick to a maintenance schedule where you check for corrosion and electrolyte levels.
  • Regulate the temperature to keep vapor loss at a minimum.
  • Use the proper battery for your motorcycle.
YTX7A-BS motorcycle battery
YTX7A-BS

 


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