If you’re planning on buying a motorcycle or already own one, you might be concerned about the battery. Motorcycle batteries are notoriously fragile and can degrade quickly over time. But how long does a motorcycle battery last?
The answer is 2 to 4 years. If taken care of, a motorcycle battery can even last for up to 3 years. There are several types of motorcycle batteries. They give different battery life depending on various factors, like maintaining, preserving, installing, etc.
There are many more things to know if you want to extend your motorcycle battery life. To learn about the do’s and don’ts about saving battery life, the following post will help you.
Basics Of Motorcycle Battery
Motorcycle batteries are composed of electrolyte levels, battery acid, and lead plates. To keep the batteries in action, this electrolyte needs to be in a charged position. Keeping them idly or in an uncharged manner can eat up the lifespan of the motorcycle battery.
Depending on the type of motorcycle battery, the life span can vary. In order to assist you in better comprehending the various differences, here are the detailed variations of battery type.
- Wet Cell Battery
These types of acid batteries are made of lead-antimony alloy. Wet batteries with liquid electrolytes are the least expensive motorcycle batteries on the market. Though wet cell motorcycle batteries are more affordable, they need frequent replacements compared to the other types.
- Gel Cell Battery
These types of batteries contain electrolytes in a gelled form. Gel batteries don’t have much splash and can offer more longevity than wet cell batteries. It is, nevertheless, more pricey than wet cell batteries in terms of affordability.
- Dry Cell Battery
These are the most expensive motorcycle batteries out there. AGM motorcycle battery life expectancy is higher than other batteries, which makes them more efficient. It is a type of dry cell motorcycle battery.
Also, a matting of silica glass is used in AGM batteries. This feature helps to take care of the battery easily.
Wet Cell Vs. Dry Cell Motorcycle Battery
Wet cell and dry cell motorcycle batteries can be compared based on their longevity, usability, and accessibility.
Wet cell batteries can be used for longer with just one charge and don’t need frequent recharging. In dry cell motorcycle battery’s case, recharging might be needed two times more frequently than the wet cell variants.
The dry cell batteries of the motorcycle are covered and compact. Therefore, the possibility of chemical spills is less in dry cell batteries than wet cell batteries.
Both of the conventional batteries have pros and cons. However, motorcycles with higher cc engines have dry cell batteries as they provide better support to more powerful machines.
How Long Does A Motorcycle Battery Last
Before investing in a motorcycle battery, or if you have already invested, you should know the factors that affect the battery life. There can be several factors. The critical five are-
5 Factors That Affect Battery Life
- Type of the battery
There are different types of batteries like wet cell batteries, gel cell batteries, AGM batteries. The battery that comes with less maintenance should be the preferable one.
- Weather condition
Weather condition is one of the significant factors that affect battery life.
If the weather is cold or rainy, the battery charge will go down. Even there is a possibility that the battery might not start at all.
- Battery Usage
More usage of motorcycles ensures more use of the battery, which elongates the battery life. If a battery sits ideally for a long time, the charge goes down and reduces the battery life.
- External charge
When the weather is cold, or the motorcycle is not used frequently external charger should be used to charge the battery. This keeps the battery going for a long period.
- Taking care of terminals
The built-ups on the terminal of the batteries can hamper the charge flow. This tempers the battery life.
Taking Care of Motorcycle Battery
How long does the motorcycle battery last if you take care of it? A motorcycle battery has a lifespan of two to four years.
However, you can expand the lithium battery’s life by using a few simple tricks. You won’t have to be concerned about your battery life when driving. Here are a few pointers to help you maintain and take care of the lithium-ion battery.
- Battery Storage
When your bike’s spending most of its time in the shed, unplug the battery and keep it that way until you’re ready to hit the road. However, make sure to charge the battery even when it’s unplugged. You can use a motorcycle battery charger for the job. Otherwise, the cell’s electrolytes will dry up, leaving you hung and dry with a dead motorcycle battery.
- Charging Motorcycle Battery
Just like you wouldn’t last long without food, your motorcycle battery’s the same way. You need to charge your bike’s battery on a regular basis. More so if you don’t ride your bike every day.
You can use a smart battery charger to do the job depending on your battery’s model. But, generally speaking, you need to charge the battery at twelve volts and maintain regular charge cycles.
- Weather condition
One easy trick to maintain the health of your motorcycle’s battery is to regulate the temperature. Extreme fluctuations in the temperature can have detrimental effects on your bike’s battery. You can’t control the cold weather, of course. But what you can do is store your mechanical tiger under the shed.
Or, if it’s in winter or you’re in cold temperatures, park your bike in a heated garage. The climate-controlled garage will prevent any vapor loss and help the battery hold its charge, leading to a longer lifespan.
6 Steps In Taking Care Of Your Motorcycle Battery
Taking care of your motorcycle battery might seem like a matter of hassle. But with the following six steps, you can have a battery with longer life.
- Visually Inspect Your Battery
While people say not to judge a book by its cover, the visual aspect of your bike’s battery is quite essential. So, at least once per month, visually inspect your battery. Regular inspection will give you a rough idea about the condition of the terminals and electrolytes inside the battery.
- Cleaning the Terminals
The importance of keeping your battery’s terminals clean can’t be stressed enough. If the positive or negative terminals aren’t clean, the battery can corrode and lose a significant amount of its usual longevity. So, make sure to clean the terminals properly for a smooth operation.
- Make Sure the Connectors Are Not Loose
It’s annoying when your bike doesn’t want to start. This incidence can occur due to loose connectors or corroded battery terminals. If you’ve ever been in an accident, check your connectors to see if they’re connected.
- Check for Leakage
Water is poison to your bike’s battery. And if there’s any leakage in the battery, water can get in. So, check for any leakages before you hit the road. That is if you don’t want your bike to die on you.
- Check the Water Level
Always make sure that your battery’s water level is sufficient. If necessary, use distilled water to fill the batteries to keep an adequate level of electrolytes.
- Keep It Charged
We can’t stress this point enough. Keep your battery charged if you want it to serve you well for long periods of time time. Otherwise, you may end up with a dead battery sooner than you think.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long should a motorcycle battery last without starting?
If a motorcycle battery is kept idle without starting, it loses longevity. On average, conventional batteries die in 2 to 4 months if they are not active. However, batteries in a new condition can sometimes sustain up to 3 to 5 months without running.
It’s even worse for older batteries. Old motorcycle batteries die even faster if not in use. They can sustain a 1 to 3 month period barely. The more a battery sits idle, the quicker it dies. When a battery is not running, it needs charging. It must be stored and charged correctly in order to keep it alive.
How long do motorcycle batteries last if I ride my bike often?
Your motorcycle battery will live through its average life if you keep it under regular usage. But, contrary to popular belief, keeping the battery idle won’t somehow magically increase its longevity.
The more often you ride your motorcycle, the more the battery sustains. So if you use your bike more often, you won’t have to worry about your battery except for some monthly maintenance.
How long does a Harley Davidson battery last?
A Harley Davidson battery can last up to 4 to 5 years on average. In addition, service experts at Harvey Davidson claim that their battery never goes off. They consider this as the main reason behind the long-life motorcycle battery.
How do I know if my motorcycle battery is bad?
A simple test to know that your battery is bad is to check the brightness of your headlight. If the light is dimmer than the usual brightness, then the battery is in bad condition.
How long will a motorcycle battery last on a trickle charger?
It is anticipated that a battery can last 30 to 60 hours on a trickle charger using 1 amp. Using 2amp will reduce the battery life to half.
What’s the difference between a conventional, gel, AGM, and lithium battery?
The fundamental difference between conventional, gel, AGM, and lithium is in the electrolyte formation.
A conventional battery is formed of lead plates dipped on an acid solution working as an electrolyte. In a gel battery, the electrolytes are in the form of a gel. It works in the same manner as a conventional battery.
In AGM, the chemical is the same as a lead-acid battery, but fiberglass mats hold the electrolyte. It works better than any other form of battery. Lithium battery doesn’t use any liquid chemical instead uses dry lithium as an electrolyte.
How to take care of a Harley Davidson Battery?
According to experts at Harley Davidson, a battery should not be self-discharged. This takes away the lifespan of the battery by a long shot. They say that if their batteries are taken care of properly, they can last a minimum of 5 years. Here are a few maintenance tips for Harley Davidson Battery:
- The battery needs to be charged by a Harley Davidson Battery tender if you are not riding. Keep note that on 2014 and later Touring models, the battery tender leads are unable to operate if the main fuse is pulled.
- The battery must maintain a voltage rating of 12.5 Volts or above.
- Make sure to have a battery charging harness with every vehicle. A charging harness with LED lights can ensure if the battery needs tending. Having this harness is a good step in maintaining the battery life.
- If your motorcycle has a transport mode, keep it on when it is transported via trailer.
- In case of any service-related concern, Harley Davidson has its servicing center. You can also contact their helpline.
You may have a motorcycle out of necessity, or it might be your passion to have a bike. In any case, remember that the battery of the bike is one of the most delicate parts.
In this article, we tried to talk about the maintenance of the motorcycle battery besides answering the question, “how long does a motorcycle battery last?” If you look after your motorcycle battery, it will last a long time. Proper maintenance of the battery can give you a hassle-free experience with your motorcycle.