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How Long Do Motorcycle Batteries Last?

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One of the most common questions motorcycle owners ask is, “how long do motorcycle batteries last?” A normal acid-battery lasts from two to five years. If you’re using an AGM battery, that will last around three to five years.

But there’s much more to motorcycle batteries lifespans than just numbers. There are many factors such as frequency of their usage, climate, corrosion, batter electrolyte, maintenance, etc., that play its part in determining how long does bike battery last.

Further, the piece of advice is to regularly maintain your motorcycle battery and be vary of the potential signs of battery malfunction so you can replace the battery on time. Let’s help you understand all that here.

How Long Do Motorcycle Batteries Last?

A sealed Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery will endure for about three to five years, while a traditional acid-filled battery lasts two to five years. Similarly, whether it’s a Yuasa motorcycle battery lifespan that you want to determine or a Powersports battery, there are always a few constraints you need to know.

Scientifically speaking, lead-based batteries (such as AGM and lead acid) tend to provide around 1,000 stars, whereas lithium batteries may offer approximately 2,000 stars before reaching chemical depletion. However, these figures can fluctuate based on engine tuning and ignition requirements.

Learn: How to Fix Service Battery Charging System.

How To Replace a Motorcycle Battery?

Replacing your motorcycle battery can be a straightforward task with the right guidance.

  1. First, consult your service manual to locate the battery, commonly found under the seat, fuel tank, or side covers.
  2. Once identified, carefully remove the old battery by sliding it out to access the terminals.

Note: Disconnecting the negative cable first is essential to break the circuit, followed by removing the positive cable.

  • Take precautions to avoid accidental sparking or short circuits. With the old battery removed, it’s time to install the new one.
  • Position the new battery securely in place, ensuring proper alignment with the terminals.
  • Reconnect the positive cable first, followed by the negative cable. Double-check all connections to ensure they are secure.
  • Finally, test the new battery to ensure proper functionality before reassembling any removed components.

Following these steps and adhering to safety precautions will help you efficiently replace your motorcycle battery with confidence. Next, if you’re getting a new battery, here’s what you need to know.

What Do You Need to Know About Getting a New Battery?

When acquiring a new motorcycle battery, it’s crucial to ensure proper charging from the start. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the safety guidelines accompanying the battery.

If your battery requires acid filling, take care to complete this step before installation to prevent accidental spills. For batteries without pre-filled acid, it’s advisable to have a local motorcycle shop handle the filling process.

When filling the battery, exercise caution by working in a well-ventilated area or outdoors. Keep baking soda and water nearby for neutralizing any potential acid spills.

To charge your new battery correctly for the first time, adhere to the following steps:

  1. Avoid using an automotive battery charger to prevent battery damage.
  2. Determine the appropriate charging amperage by dividing the Ah rating by 10.
  3. Utilize crocodile clamps to connect the battery tender.
  4. Charge the battery until the indicator signals complete charging.
  5. Promptly disconnect the charger to prevent overcharging.

Following these steps diligently ensures the optimal performance and longevity of your new motorcycle battery, providing you with reliable power for your rides. Next, let’s look at some of the signs of a bad motorcycle battery.

Also read: Do Gast Stations Sell Batteries?

When to Replace Your Motorcycle Battery (5 Signs You Must Know About)

1. Slow Cranking

If you notice your motorcycle taking longer to start, it could be a sign of a failing battery. Slow cranking indicates that the battery is struggling to provide sufficient power to start the engine efficiently.

This symptom commonly occurs as the battery nears the end of its lifespan, typically after 3 to 5 years for an AGM battery and 2 to 5 years for a conventional one.

2. Chronic Low Voltage

Consistently low voltage levels, as indicated by a voltmeter, signal a deteriorating battery. When the battery cannot maintain a stable voltage, it affects the motorcycle’s electrical systems, leading to issues such as dimmed lights or erratic performance.

3. Dimmed Headlights

Diminished brightness in your motorcycle’s headlights is a clear indicator of battery depletion. As the battery loses its capacity to hold a charge, it struggles to power essential components like headlights effectively.

If you notice a significant decrease in headlight brightness, it’s time to consider battery replacement.

4. Swollen or Leaking Casing

Physical damage to the battery casing, such as swelling or leakage of electrolyte, suggests internal battery problems.

Swollen or bulging areas on the battery indicate potential overheating or chemical reactions, signaling the need for immediate replacement to avoid safety hazards.

5. Corroded Terminals

Corrosion buildup on the battery terminals interferes with proper electrical conductivity, leading to starting issues and electrical malfunctions.

If you observe corrosion on the battery terminals, it’s a clear sign that the battery is deteriorating and requires replacement. Regular inspection and cleaning of terminals can help identify this issue early on.

5 Different Types of Motorcycle Batteries and Their Lifespans

First, let’s understand each motorcycle battery type:

1. Lead-Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries, a classic choice for motorcycles, have been in use for over 150 years. They offer affordability and high startup intensity but are heavy and prone to self-discharge and drying out.

Regular maintenance, including charging and electrolyte top-ups, is necessary. However, they may not be the most economical option due to their limited lifespan and sensitivity to vibrations.

2. AGM Batteries

AGM motorcycle battery, also known as Absorbed Glass Mat battery, boasts spill-proof design and low self-discharge rates. They offer longevity compared to lead-acid batteries and have a gel electrolyte and glass fiber separator.

This construction provides a balance between power and weight, making AGM batteries a popular choice for motorcycles. It’s also considered as the best motorcycle battery on the market.

3. Gel Batteries

Gel batteries feature a gel electrolyte and are spill and leak-proof. They offer better capacity than lead-acid and AGM batteries and have exceptional durability, lasting up to two decades.

Although they come with a higher price tag and longer charging times, gel batteries require minimal maintenance, making them ideal for motorcycle enthusiasts seeking reliability.

4. LiFePO4 Batteries

LiFePO4 batteries, utilizing Lithium Iron Phosphate technology, are considerably lighter and more compact than lead-acid batteries. They offer exceptional durability and efficiency, with a lifespan that may outlast the motorcycle itself.

Unlike traditional batteries, LiFePO4 batteries can be deeply discharged without damage, making them a reliable choice for long-term use.

Pro Tip: Motorcycle battery chargers are vital accessories for everybody who owns a motorcycle. These chargers assist in keeping the battery charged and ready to use at all times. It is essential to choose the appropriate kind of charger for your motorbike battery.

You can also read about Do Lithium Batteries Leak Gas?

Now, let’s take a table’s help to understand the lifespan, shelf life, and efficiency of each battery type:

Battery TypeDescriptionLifespanEfficiencyShelf Life
Lead-Acid BatteriesTraditional type commonly found in motorcycles.2 to 5 yearsModerate efficiency due to maintenance needs6 to 12 months
AGM BatteriesAbsorbed Glass Mat batteries known for their sealed design.3 to 5 yearsHigh efficiency with minimal maintenance1 to 2 years (stored)
Gel BatteriesGel-filled batteries designed for vibration resistance.2 to 5 yearsHigh efficiency with excellent vibration resistance1 to 2 years (stored)
LiFePO4 BatteriesLithium Iron Phosphate batteries known for their lightweight design.5 to 8 yearsVery high efficiency with lightweight design2 to 4 years (stored)

How Can You Extend the Life of Your Motorcycle Battery?

To ensure your motorcycle battery lasts longer, it’s crucial to consider several key factors:

Frequency of Use

So, how long does a motorcycle battery take to charge normally? Regularly riding your motorcycle for more than 15 minutes allows the battery to recharge effectively. This frequent usage prevents the battery from becoming depleted and helps maintain its overall health.

It’s essential to avoid simply idling the motorcycle or revving the engine without actual movement, as this can drain the battery without allowing it to recharge properly. By using the motorcycle regularly, you can ensure that the battery remains charged and ready for use whenever needed.

Regular Battery Checks and Maintenance

Regular maintenance checks are vital to ensuring the longevity of your motorcycle battery. Using a multimeter to test the battery’s voltage and visually inspecting it for any signs of damage, corrosion, or electrolyte level issues can help identify potential problems early on.

Additionally, routine maintenance, such as cleaning the terminals and ensuring proper connections, can help optimize the battery’s performance and extend its lifespan.

Check Voltage

Monitoring the battery voltage is essential for assessing its health and performance. Lead-acid batteries typically have a voltage range of 12.6 to 12.8 volts when fully charged, while AGM batteries may range from 12.8 to 13.0 volts.

By regularly checking the battery voltage, you can determine its state of charge and identify any potential issues that may affect its performance. Maintaining the battery within the optimal voltage range helps ensure that it operates efficiently and prolongs its lifespan.

Refill the Electrolyte

For non-sealed wet cell batteries, maintaining the proper electrolyte level is crucial for optimal performance. Refilling the electrolyte with distilled water to the indicated level helps prevent the battery from becoming depleted and ensures that it can function correctly.

Using distilled water instead of tap water is essential to avoid introducing impurities that may damage the battery. By regularly checking and refilling the electrolyte, you can maintain the battery’s health and extend its lifespan.

Clean Corrosion on Terminals

If you’re curious why do motorcycle batteries die so fast, the corrosion on the battery terminals can hinder electrical conductivity and affect the battery’s performance. Regularly cleaning the terminals using a specialized cleaner or a baking soda solution helps remove corrosion and ensure proper connections.

By keeping the terminals clean and free of corrosion, you can optimize the battery’s electrical conductivity and prevent potential issues that may shorten its lifespan.

Climate

Extreme temperatures can have a significant impact on battery performance and longevity. High temperatures can cause fluid evaporation and lead to sulfation, while cold temperatures can slow down chemical reactions and reduce power output.

Storing the motorcycle and battery in a warm place during winter helps prevent cold-related issues and ensures that the battery remains operational. Additionally, avoiding exposure to extreme heat or cold can help preserve the battery’s health and extend its lifespan.

Age

As batteries age, their capacity and performance gradually decline due to chemical changes. Lithium-ion batteries typically offer longer lifespans, lasting up to 1,000 charging cycles, compared to lead-acid batteries, which may only manage around 500 cycles.

Regular maintenance and proper usage can help mitigate the effects of aging and prolong the battery’s lifespan. By following recommended maintenance practices and avoiding overcharging or deep discharging, you can maximize the battery’s longevity and ensure reliable performance over time.

4 Maintenance Tips for Motorcycle Batteries

To ensure your motorcycle battery remains in optimal condition, follow these four essential maintenance tips:

1. Clean Batteries

Over time, batteries, especially flooded ones, can accumulate corrosion on their terminals. Regular cleaning is essential to prevent corrosion buildup, which can hinder electrical conductivity and affect battery performance.

Use a commercial battery cleaner or a paste made with baking soda and water to clean off any corrosion forming on the terminals. This simple task helps ensure proper electrical connections and extends the lifespan of the battery.

2. Water Flooded Batteries

Flooded batteries require periodic refilling of electrolyte, typically every two weeks to a month. It’s crucial to use distilled water for refilling to maintain the proper electrolyte levels and prevent damage to the battery.

Checking and refilling the electrolyte regularly helps ensure the battery functions correctly and remains in good condition.

3. Charge Batteries

Proper charging is vital for maintaining the lifespan of motorcycle batteries. While riding the bike regularly helps recharge the batteries, it’s essential to use a motorcycle battery charger, preferably one with automatic shut-off if you plan to store the bike for an extended period.

Avoid overcharging the battery, as it can lead to damage and shorten its lifespan. A well-maintained charging routine ensures the battery remains charged and ready for use when needed.

4. Conduct Inspections

Regular inspections are key to identifying potential issues early and preventing battery damage. Check the battery at least once a month for signs of corrosion, low electrolyte levels, or other damage, such as bulging or cracking.

Addressing any issues promptly helps maintain the battery’s health and prolong its lifespan, ensuring reliable performance over time. By incorporating these maintenance tips into your routine, you can ensure your motorcycle battery remains in peak condition and ready for action whenever you hit the road.

How to Store Motorcycle Batteries

To properly store motorcycle batteries and ensure they remain in good condition, follow these steps:

Step 1. Test Your Batteries

Before storing your motorcycle batteries, it’s essential to test them to ensure they are in good working condition. Run the batteries at least once a week during seasons when the bike is not in use to maintain their health and performance.

Step 2. Remove Batteries

Instead of leaving the battery inside the motorcycle, it’s advisable to disconnect it from the vehicle. Connect the battery to an automatic charger to store it for longer periods when the bike isn’t in use. This helps prevent the battery from discharging completely and extends its lifespan.

Step 3. Store Them in a Warm Place

Cold temperatures can negatively impact the lifespan of motorcycle batteries. Store the disconnected battery or the motorcycle with its connected battery in a warm place, such as a climate-controlled garage. This helps prevent vapor loss, a common issue for flooded motorcycle batteries, and ensures the battery remains in optimal condition.

What to Look for in a Motorcycle Battery

When assessing motorcycle batteries, several key factors should be considered to ensure optimal performance.

Cold-Cranking Amps (CCA)

CCA refers to the battery’s ability to start the engine in cold temperatures. For motorcycles, a CCA rating between 200 and 400 is typically sufficient, but colder climates may require higher ratings.

Battery Size

It’s crucial to choose a battery that fits snugly within your motorcycle’s battery compartment. Ensure compatibility by selecting a size appropriate for your bike’s make and model.

Battery Voltage

Most motorcycles operate on a 12-volt electrical system, so a 12-volt battery is generally suitable. However, some models may require different voltages, so consult your motorcycle’s manual for specifications.

Amp Hour (Ah)

Amp-hour rating indicates the battery’s capacity to provide a sustained current over time. For motorcycles, an Ah rating between 6 and 20 Ah is typical, depending on the bike’s power requirements and usage patterns.

Reserve Capacity

Reserve capacity denotes the battery’s ability to deliver power in emergency situations. Aim for a reserve capacity of at least 60 to 120 minutes to ensure reliable performance during extended rides or unforeseen circumstances.

Power Rating

The power rating reflects the battery’s ability to meet the demands of your motorcycle’s electrical system. Choose a battery with a power rating compatible with your bike’s accessories and performance needs, typically ranging from 100 to 500 watts.

Closing Words

We hope you know now how long do motorcycle batteries last. By adhering to routine upkeep practices and implementing maintenance activities such as regular battery checks, cleaning, and proper charging, riders can prolong the lifespan of their batteries.

Additionally, selecting the right battery type, considering factors like cold-cranking amps, battery size, and voltage, is essential for meeting the specific needs of your motorcycle.

Whether opting for lead-acid, AGM, gel, or LiFePO4 batteries, prioritizing safety precautions and following maintenance schedules can enhance reliability and overall satisfaction with your motorcycle’s power source.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should you replace motorcycle battery?

Motorcycle batteries typically need replacement every 3 to 5 years, depending on factors like usage patterns and maintenance practices.

What is the average life of a motorcycle battery?

The average life of a motorcycle battery ranges from 2 to 5 years, with AGM batteries lasting slightly longer than conventional lead-acid ones.

How do I know if my motorcycle battery is bad?

Signs of a bad motorcycle battery include slow cranking, chronic low voltage, dimmed headlights, swollen, or leaking casing, and corroded terminals.

How long should a motorcycle battery hold its charge?

A motorcycle battery should hold its charge for at least several weeks to a few months when not in use, depending on its type and condition.

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