How Long Does a Motorcycle Battery Last?
The first thing on a rider’s mind when they get a new motorcycle is not the longevity of their motorcycle’s battery life. They are too thrilled about other more exciting things at that time.
However mundane it may be, though, it is crucial for a motorcycle battery to not only be looked after and maintained well enough but for the rider to know when to replace it with a new one.
This article aims to help motorcycle riders determine exactly that. We will take a look at factors that affect the lifespan of a motorcycle battery and also determine the average lifespan of a motorcycle battery.
Types of Motorcycle Batteries
Motorcycle batteries are mainly of three types. These are wet cell batteries (containing liquid electrolytes), gel cell batteries (gel electrolyte), and AGM batteries (absorbed glass mat batteries, also known as dry cell batteries).
Wet Cell Batteries
These are the most affordable kind of motorcycle batteries. They contain an alloy called lead-antimony. Wet cell batteries, though relatively inexpensive, do require more frequent replacement.
Gel Cell Batteries
They contain electrolytes that have been gelled together and do not splash around too much. These batteries can be partially discharged and still not dry out that much. They also do not discharge on their own too quickly but are a more expensive option when it comes to motorcycle batteries.
AGM Motorcycle Batteries
Finally, the AGM motorcycle batteries are perhaps the most expensive type out there. Absorbed glass mat batteries use a matting made of silica glass, which makes them very easy to take care of.
The reason for AGM batteries being so expensive might be because of their higher power and efficiency compared to other batteries. They are also more long-lasting and resist vibration to a higher degree.
How Long Does a Motorcycle’s Battery Last?
The short answer to this question is 2 to 4 years. And the long answer is at least 3 years if the battery is being maintained regularly and properly. Making your motorcycle battery last longer than average will not be a simple task but will be cost-effective and rewarding in the long run.
Keeping that in mind, the following are some tips you can use while maintaining your motorcycle battery so that it stays well and running for a long period of time.
Maintenance of Motorcycle Batteries
Even the best motorcycle battery will need to be maintained with care in order for it to last a long time. If a problem occurs in your motorcycle’s battery and you do not attempt to cure it, it will definitely take time off of your battery’s lifespan.
When not in use for long periods, make sure you remove the battery from your motorcycle and store it indoors. While it is there, keep it charged using a maintenance charger.
Maintenance-free batteries can, of course, be left inside the motorcycle but should still be connected to a maintenance charger.
Charging Your Motorcycle Battery
New batteries need to be fully charged before they can be placed inside the motorcycle and used.
While it is true that you can use a car charger to charge your motorcycle battery (given that both batteries are 12 volts), it is safer to just use a smart motorcycle battery charger that is meant for charging motorcycle batteries. In doing so, you can avoid frying your motorcycle battery.
Resistance to Weather
The maximum capacity of a motorcycle battery gets lower in cold weather, which is why you may find the need to replace it during the winter. It would be best to store your motorcycle in a heated garage during the winter months to avoid having to buy a new one every winter.
How Often You Ride Your Motorcycle
It is a known fact that motorcycles which are used more often (say, a few times a week for an hour or so each time) will have batteries which last longer.
Try to take your vehicle out for impromptu rides so that its lifetime is not shortened. If you cannot do that, then get yourself a battery tender to maintain your motorcycle’s battery. You should also make sure your battery stays well charged, even if it is not being used.
Jump-Starting Your Motorcycle Battery
If your motorcycle is having trouble starting up, you can easily jump start it using a 12V vehicle that uses a negative ground (just like a motorcycle). Even a 12 volts car can be an appropriate motorcycle jump starter in a pinch.
Motorcycle batteries have acquired a reputation for being short-lived. However, what most people fail to realize is that good maintenance contributes a lot to a battery working for a longer time.
Check on your motorcycle battery’s health often and, when in need, resort to the above tips to increase the longevity of your battery's lifespan.