Knowing how to charge a motorcycle battery is imperative if you’d like to maximize your riding time. Most motorcyclists have riding seasons, where one can only ride their motorcycle when the weather cooperates.
As a result of riding seasons, motorcycles have to stay in barns or garages for extended periods of time without being taken out for a ride.
These long durations without a sufficient ride will degrade the battery life until it eventually runs out. When a battery runs out for a motorcycle, the motorcycle won’t turn over and start.
Nobody wants to have to sacrifice their riding time by needing to go out and buy a new motorcycle battery and install it. Keeping your battery charged over the winter will help save you money, time, and won’t make you lose riding time during the new riding season.
Three Different Types of Batteries
There are three different types of motorcycle batteries that are commonly used by different manufacturers. As a result, each battery type will have different charging procedures. Consult your owner’s manual to determine what type of battery you have so that you can charge it effectively.
The first type of battery is the Lead Acid or Conventional Battery. These batteries have a light gray or opaque casing with roughly three to six stoppers at the top.
The second type of battery is Maintenance-free or sealed batteries. These batteries have a black casing, with a black top and foil strip covering the six holes at the top of the battery. These holes are sealed with a plastic strip that shouldn’t need to be removed to add more battery acid.
The third type of battery that a motorcycle manufacturer might use is a Gel Filled Battery. These are becoming more common as they require less maintenance and upkeep, and often have a blue/black/gray casing with a blue/gray/blacktop.
Customers do not have to add additional battery acid with these models, which is why they are becoming so frequently used.
What You Will Need?
- Automatic Bench Style Charger or Automatic Battery Tender – No More Than 2 Amp Charger With Alligator Clips – Charger Must Also Charge To 12.7 volts
- Rubber Gloves
- Eye Protection
- For Lead Acid or Conventional Motorcycle Batteries, You Will Also Need Battery Acid
- For Maintenance Free or Sealed Motorcycle Batteries, You Will Also Need Acid Pack
To follow this guide on how to charge a motorcycle battery, you will need to gather the items above depending upon your motorcycle battery type. Each battery has specific directions to follow to make sure that it gets an effective charge.
To charge the batteries, you can use an automatic bench-style charger or an automatic battery tender. Either one will work well, just as long as they do not charge faster than two amps, come with alligator clamps, and have the ability to exceed a charge of 12.7 volts.
Charge a Lead Acid or Conventional Motorcycle Battery
Step 1- Remove The Yellow Stoppers
Remove the yellow stoppers that are affixed to the top of the motorcycle battery. In addition, remove the cap placed on the breather nipple affixed to the side of the battery.
Step 2- Fill Battery With Battery Acid
Begin to fill each hole at the top of the battery with acid up to the upper-level mark.
Step 3- Charge For Four To Twenty Four Hours
Charge the battery for four to twenty-four hours with a motorcycle battery charger or battery tender of your choice that follows the guidelines we mentioned above.
Step 4- Let The Battery Settle For An Hour After Charge
Once you have charged the battery, remove the battery charger, and let the battery settle for one hour.
Step 5- Recheck Battery Acid Levels, and Top Off If Necessary
After the hour has passed and you let the battery settle, check the battery acid level to make sure that the battery acid level is still above the lower level mark. If the battery acid has dropped below the lower level mark, go ahead add additional battery acid until you reach the upper-level mark.
Step 6- Re-secure Yellow Stoppers and Reconnect Battery
Re-secure the yellow stoppers to the battery on top of the motorcycle battery.
Reconnect the motorcycle battery to your motorcycle or scooter, attaching the positive terminal first.
Charge a Maintenance Free or Sealed Battery
Remove the tin foil strip that is attached to the top of the battery. Remove the battery acid pack from the plastic bag but do not remove the foil that covers the top of the acid pack.
Invert the acid pack into the top of the battery so that the foil cover tops are covering the acid holes at the top of the battery. Press firmly down into the holes of the battery. A set of spikes will pierce the tin foil attached to the battery acid pack and let the acid out slowly.
Tap the battery acid pack occasionally until all of the battery acids have gone into the battery. Depending upon the battery, you might need to use just one or two battery acid packs. Use all of the battery acids that are required for the battery so that you can get a full battery charge.
Let the battery settle for one hour before charging.
Charge the battery for four to twenty-four hours until a full charge is read on the automatic charger.
Disconnect the battery from the battery charge and replace the plastic strips into the holes of the top of the battery, then make sure they are securely in place by pressing firmly until the plastic strip fits flush on top of the battery as before.
Reconnect the battery to the motorcycle or scooter, once again connecting the positive terminal first.
Charge a Gel Filled Motorcycle Battery
Step 1-Remove the battery from its original packaging, or disconnect it from the existing motorcycle or scooter.
Charge the battery for four to twenty-four hours with an automatic motorcycle battery charger or battery tender.
Disconnect the battery from the charger once a full charge has been signaled from the automatic charger.
Reconnect the battery to the motorcycle or scooter and connect the positive terminal first.
As you can see with each different type of battery there are different steps that must be followed to ensure that you get an effective charge for your motorcycle battery. Different batteries require different maintenance and processes to ensure that the charge is long-lasting as well.
As always, your owner’s manual should be consulted before beginning to charge your individual battery as well as additional maintenance that might be required. All batteries are relatively similar and only have a few aspects that will change for each one.
Make sure to take great care when dealing with battery acid and electrical charges, as serious damage might occur to you or your physical property. Knowing how to charge a motorcycle battery will help keep you on the road longer so that you no longer have to spend extra money or time hoping to get on the road.