- by Bryan Veldboom - updated on 4/28/2022
During these prime motorcycle months, it's important to maintain your battery in order to keep your bike performing properly. Here are a few battery maintenance tips to help you make the most of the riding season.
This may seem obvious, but with so many different types of batteries available, it's easy to pick the wrong one. When selecting a replacement battery, you want to pay attention to four things: size, voltage, CCA (cold cranking amps) and chemistry.
You can find the correct ratings for all of these categories by looking at your old battery, or by consulting your owner's manual or the manufacturer's website.
There are also a number of different battery chemistries available, including flooded lead acid, AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) and lithium iron phosphate. Choose the one that will give you what you want performance-wise. One thing to keep in mind though, if your bike's current battery is an AGM, you should never downgrade to a flooded battery unless your owner's manual says that it's okay. Also, not all bikes are suitable for lithium batteries, so make sure that your model will run a lithium battery prior to purchase. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of each chemistry:
Now that you have the correct battery, keep it healthy by making these battery maintenance tasks a part of your monthly routine.
When you charge a flooded battery, it loses water due to evaporation. In order to maintain the battery's electrolyte, you need to occasionally top off the battery with distilled or deionized water. Keep in mind that this is only for flooded batteries. If you have an AGM or lithium battery in your bike, you can skip this process entirely.
Make sure to wear gloves and protective glasses when filling the battery and work in a well-ventilated area. This kind of maintenance should be done throughout the riding year. The more you ride, the more frequently your battery's fluid levels should be checked.
Corrosion can build up on your battery's terminals, limiting the amount of power that travels from your battery to the engine, while also making it difficult to recharge. To eliminate corrosive buildup, scrub your terminals using a terminal post and clamp brush and a battery cleaner. If you don't have a battery cleaner, you can make one yourself by combining baking soda with water.
Make sure the vent caps are tight to prevent the cleaner from entering the battery's cells. Wipe them off with a wet towel and dry with another towel. Once the terminals have completely dried, you can apply a bit of anti-corrosion spray or place a battery terminal protector washer on the terminals to stop them from corroding in the future.
Be sure to connect your battery to a motorcycle battery charger when it's not being used for longer periods of time. This will help keep it at an optimum level of charge. Usually, you'll do this more during the winter, but a charger can still be used during the riding months when your bike isn't being driven regularly. Learn about the different types of chargers for your motorcycle in our blog.
At Batteries Plus, you'll find everything you need to keep your motorcycle road-ready. Shop our selection of motorcycle batteries, battery chargers and headlight bulbs. If your battery is having a hard time holding a charge, bring it to your nearest Batteries Plus location and we'll test it for you, free of charge. You can also learn more about motorcycle batteries on our blog. Some related topics include "Prepping Your Warm Weather Toys for Another Season" and "X2Power is the Best Battery Brand for Your Powersport Needs."