The battery is one of the crucial components for a motorcycle. Often, battery discharge problems arise from the bike sitting idle for too long. In such cases, you only need to charge up your “iron horse” and hit the road. If things aren’t so rosy you must replace the battery.
How can you tell if your battery is needed to replace? If your motorcycle is off and all issues have been resolved, but the battery doesn’t charge when you connect it to a charger, chances are you need a replacement. This symptom is a good reason to seek out a qualified specialist who can diagnose the issue and, if necessary, recommend a new battery based on your bike’s brand and model.
Popular motorcycle batteries types
Modern motorcycle batteries are so reliable that riders often don’t even think about them until their bike won’t start. Knowing the different types of motorcycle batteries available can help you choose the right one for your bike. Manufacturers offer us a variety of batteries: lithium, lead-acid, gel, and AGM. The latter two types are among the most popular, but we’ll briefly discuss all varieties.
This is one of the oldest models. Its main advantage is its low cost and wide availability in many specialized stores. This type of battery comes with liquid electrolyte, which needs to be replenished, but it’s crucial to add distilled water, not tap or drinking water. A common cause of failure for a lead-acid battery that’s been sitting idle for a long time is the evaporation of the electrolyte. After refilling, it’s important to check the electrolyte level regularly. The battery should be installed vertically. It’s often purchased for “two-legged horses” with low electricity consumption.
AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries
Don’t skimp on a good battery if you own a modern bike filled to the brim with clever electronics. In this case, the right investment is an AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) battery. These products are made using the latest technology, have a long service life, and offer perfect specifications. The insides consist of fiberglass mats located between the positive and negative plates, all of which is sealed in the electrolyte.
A pre-charged battery can be installed on your motorcycle at any angle. There are also AGM batteries on the market that you need to fill yourself. In this case, the deviation should not exceed 45 degrees to prevent electrolyte leakage. The main advantage is that the batteries can withstand even strong impacts and generate high starting currents.
The name of this type of battery does not come from the composition of the electrolyte but from a special additive added to the acid – silica. It allows compact the consistency, and the battery can operate even at a 90-degree angle.
Such a device is resistant to prolonged discharges and operates well even under high loads. They are often chosen for motorcycles with increased energy needs, for the operation of a navigation system, lever heating, and other modern gadgets that require enormous amounts of energy.
Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries
This type of battery is one of the most expensive models. Why? They are very lightweight and suitable for modern motorcycles where every kilogram matters.
On average, lithium-ion batteries are 75-80% lighter than lead-acid batteries. They do not contain acid so they can be installed in any position. Manufacturers promise a long service life and minimal self-discharge. They charge up quickly, but you need to use special (adapted) charging devices for proper charging – this will extend the life of the device.
Maintenance of motorcycle batteries
In addition to choosing the right battery there are a few tricks to ensuring your motorcycle battery performs at its best:
- Remember, all batteries require periodic maintenance! If you neglect your battery, it will need to be periodically recharged with an external charger.
- Long periods of idleness can drain your battery faster, especially if your motorcycle is equipped with extra gadgets. If you know your motorcycle will be idle for an extended period of time, it’s best to disconnect the battery cables and fully charge the battery.
- With short trips, your battery may not fully recharge. In this case it’s necessary to charge the battery additionally.
- You can store your battery in a cold garage but make sure to fully charge it before doing so.
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