Here’s What You Should Know When Selecting a Motorcycle Battery

A well-maintained and well-charged motorcycle battery typically lasts about three years.

Of course, many batteries do last longer. But if yours is more than three years old, you should start considering a new motorcycle battery purchase.

I’m sure you want a battery that will…

  • Start your motorcycle every time
  • Give you long, reliable service
  • Support your bike’s electrical system
  • Reinforce the engine’s performance capabilities

Here are key points to help you select a motorcycle battery that best meets your demands and best suits your motorcycle…

Know the technical specs of your motorcycle’s original battery

The engineers who designed your motorcycle installed a battery that would enable the bike’s engine and electrical system to perform at full capacity.

As a starting point, make sure the technical specs of any new battery you’re considering at least match your original battery’s…

  • Amperage
  • Voltage
  • Reserve capacity.

Actually, when choosing a battery, you want one that will give you the largest reserve capacity. Basically, reserve capacity indicates how long the battery will work without being charged.

Also, does the original battery have any unique characteristics? For example, does it require a vent tube or other attachments?

Even if you’re considering a new battery that’s more technically advanced than the original, use your old battery’s specs and features to guide you toward the best replacement.

Know the original battery’s physical measurements

This is a basic point, but it’s critical.

A motorcycle battery’s physical measurements are at least as important as its technical specs.

That’s because motorcycles give you a very limited and exact-sized compartment where you hook-up and hold the battery.

Maybe you can get away with an appropriately powerful, smaller-sized battery. But if you get one that’s too big, it probably won’t fit in the allotted space and you’ll have to exchange it.

Buying then returning batteries can be time-consuming and expensive.

Consider upgrading to a more technologically advanced battery

Motorcycle batteries are improving all the time. Look into getting an upgraded design that’s more technologically advanced and reliable than your bike’s original.

You have three battery designs to choose from. Each contains an electrolyte — a caustic liquid that enables the battery to store energy.

These are your battery design choices…

  • Flooded Wet Cell Battery

This is the oldest battery design. Many wet cell types are not sealed. So they must remain upright to prevent the caustic liquid inside from spilling. Also, you must continually top-up the electrolyte level.

  • Gel Cell Battery

A gel battery uses a solidifying agent in the electrolyte that improves the battery’s ability to store electricity. It also inhibits the liquid’s movement inside the battery and reduces the possibility of spillage.

  • Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) Motorcycle Battery

An absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery contains fiberglass mats that absorb the electrolyte.

This type of battery was developed for the military. That’s why they’re very tough and reliable, and why they usually cost twice as much as a premium wet cell.

In addition to being very energy-efficient, long-lasting and reliable, they’re totally sealed, maintenance free and leak-proof.

You can install an AGM battery in any position — even on its side or end. It makes no difference.

They’re the battery of choice for many motorcycle riders because, in addition to their toughness, they hold a charge longer than other battery designs.

That’s a big advantage, especially for riders who don’t use their motorcycle every day.

Even after many months without receiving a charge, you can recharge a very weak AGM battery and put it back into action.

For information on the best motorcycle battery click here.