Motorcycle Battery – Buying Guide, Opinions and Analysis
The battery is the powerhouse of your motorcycle. A fundamental element when starting the same but also to circulate safely even in complex conditions, since a power cut en route is a serious problem. That is why it is key to bet on high quality batteries that fit the type of motorcycle and the use you plan to give it. Among the most famous models, we have the Magneti Marelli Motx9-Bs / 395 battery , capable of offering its 3 amp capacity and which is suitable for all types of small and medium power motorcycles. If you prefer a lithium battery you can turn to the BC Lithium Batteries BCTX5L-FP-S model . A product much lighter than its predecessors, which also offers greater durability and a more stable delivery than traditional batteries.
The battery is a basic element for our motorcycle that, if it is not in good condition, can be a source of displeasure. That is why the advice of our guide is necessary to buy the best motorcycle battery, according to your needs and preferences. Because the best way to be calm when starting and rolling with our motorcycle has a lot to do with providing it with a durable and quality source of energy.
Main technical parameters
As with cars, in the case of motorcycles we will have to consider a series of technical parameters when choosing a specific battery. These parameters include the type of motorcycle, the engine displacement or the existing interior space for mounting. All these parameters can be consulted either in the old battery or in the manual of your motorcycle. However, we are going to mention some of the most important ones.
To begin with, we have to know that each motorcycle engine needs a certain starting power. This level is low for scooters and small motorcycles while it is very high for motorcycles with large displacement engines. This starting power also usually goes hand in hand with a high energy storage capacity, since the more advanced the motorcycle is, the more electronics it has and, therefore, the more energy it needs during the break. So check both the amperage and the rest of the product’s parameters before making a decision.
On the other hand, it is necessary to take a look at the size available for the battery as well as the fasteners of the same. It is true that in this last aspect practically all batteries are standardized, so the normal thing is that if the battery meets the parameters of electrical demand, it fits into the available gap. Although it never hurts to check it out, just in case.
We have already talked about the battery in terms of its electrical characteristics. But if you read any comparison of motorcycle batteries you will surely see that there are several options to choose from due to the type of interior construction of the battery. An aspect that influences how much the product costs, what is its maintenance and its useful life.
For starters we have lead or conventional batteries. These batteries are the cheapest and are filled with acid. Something that is perceived in the caps that the battery includes in its housing, through which we will fill it with acid for its activation as well as for its maintenance. Something that is not necessary with the maintenance-free models, also made of acid but that maintain the same level without problems.
As an alternative to acid when looking for a good and cheap motorcycle battery, we have gel batteries. These batteries require no maintenance and are safer than acid batteries, for obvious reasons. Finally we would have modern lithium iron phosphate or LIFEPO4 batteries. They are the most advanced, they increase their useful life up to five times more than a lead model and their maintenance is zero. It is the best way to save in the long term and not have problems in motorcycles with high energy demand.
Other aspects to consider
Once we have the basic elements to buy a motorcycle battery, we will surely have few questions to solve. But to find the most appropriate one, we give you some more information that should be taken into account to adjust the choice as much as possible.
One of these aspects has to do with the temperatures that the battery will withstand. In the case of acid models, for example, they tend to suffer more with extreme temperatures. Something that does not happen with the gel or pure lead models, which lose less energy to changes in temperature. Regarding weight, the heaviest are modern LIFEPO4 batteries, while the rest maintain similar weights. However, there are already batteries of this type with more reasonable weights and in line with conventional batteries.
Regarding durability, measured in charge cycles, lead models have around 500 recharge cycles, which are increased to 1,000 cycles in gel models and 1,500 in pure lead models. However, in this section we have some winners, which are the LIFEPO4 batteries. These batteries are capable of reaching up to 2,000 charge cycles, thus extending their useful life to the maximum.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to install a motorcycle battery?
To install a new motorcycle battery we will start by locating the old battery. It is key that during the process we eliminate all the fasteners that it may have to extract it safely. Once out of the motorcycle, we will remove the electrical cables, always starting with the negative pole cable. We discard the old battery and begin to assemble the new one, following the reverse process. That is, connecting the negative pole first, then the positive pole and finally fixing it in place.
Q2: How to know if a motorcycle battery is damaged?
There are several ways to check if a motorcycle battery is damaged. One of these methods is visual. A battery that is in poor condition will show rust marks on the poles, defects or swelling in the structure or even liquid leaks from the inside. Another way to carry out the verification is by means of a voltmeter or multimeter, using the system that we will indicate later. However, if the bike is having trouble starting and seems to be struggling, it is probably also due to a bad battery.
Q3: How to check a motorcycle battery?
To carry out this check we do not need more than a voltmeter or a multimeter that supports the current generated by the battery. We will carry out the voltage measurement, connecting the rods to the battery poles with the engine stopped and then revving it at 5,000 rpm. In the first case the value should be greater than 12.2 volts while in the second it should be less than 14.7 volts. If these parameters are not close to what is indicated then the battery is bad and must be replaced.
Q4: Do I have to charge a new motorcycle battery?
As with the rest of batteries, when we buy a new motorcycle battery it is delivered perfectly charged and ready to be installed. However, in the models that come with the acid apart, it is advisable to verify that the reaction has generated enough energy and charge the battery a little, either with a charger or riding the motorcycle for about 20 kilometers. Precautions that should also be taken in case it is very old or a long time has passed since the date of manufacture, as time also discharges that battery.
Q5: What battery does my motorcycle carry?
The easiest way to know which battery your motorcycle has is to refer to the user manual, which indicates both its location and its technical characteristics. Another option is to access where the battery is located, open the lid and visually see it on the battery itself. As an alternative, there are various guides and battery finders on the web that tell us which battery our motorcycle has or which one it should carry, although sometimes these data may not coincide with the exact type of battery we carry.
Q6: How to start a motorcycle without a battery?
The methods of starting a motorcycle without a battery do not differ much from those we use to start a car. In the case of motorcycles with electronic starting, it is enough to put the key in the starting position, clutch and ask someone to push us by putting second or third gear afterwards. If it is a model with a mechanical, pedal starter, we must step on that pedal with great force, although taking care not to lose the foot, as it can be very painful. As a third option, we can use a motorcycle starter, which simplifies the process and also does not damage the engine.
Q7: How to charge a motorcycle battery?
The simplest solution today to charge a motorcycle battery is to use one of the chargers that we have on the market. Simple, compact products that recharge like a USB battery and allow the battery to be conveniently charged. Another option is to charge it with another battery already charged using the usual tweezers. Do not forget to connect the negative pole first and always each one in its correct position.
Q8: How to put a battery disconnector on a motorcycle?
The battery disconnector is an interesting complement for many bikers and it is easy to install, as long as you have the necessary space in the area where the battery is housed. To mount it, it is enough to access the battery area and place the device on the negative terminal of the battery, for which the product includes the corresponding fixings. Once in place we just have to turn the disconnector to activate or deactivate the battery connection, as necessary.