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How Long Does a Motorcycle Battery last

How long a motorcycle battery lasts can depend on several factors, such as the type and quality of the battery, the conditions under which it is used and how well maintained it is. For example, a sealed maintenance free AGM or Gel battery will typically last for 3-5 years, lead-acid batteries can last for 2-5 years and Lithium-ion batteries can last between 5-10 years. Lifespan of any battery depends on how well you take care of the overall health of your motorcycle.

From usage of the battery to proper maintenance, the overall upkeep is going to determine the life of your motorcycle’s battery. For an extended battery life, it is essential to keep the battery clean and topped up with distilled water. Park the motorcycle in a garage and when you are not driving it for more than a week, cover it with a motorcycle cover. Try to avoid overcharging and discharging and keep checking the electrolyte level.

An average motorcycle battery has a lifespan of around 2 to 5 years. However, the frequency of commute can impact your motorcycle battery’s life.

How Long Does a Motorcycle Battery Lasts: Daily Commute or Weekend Warrior

For the areas with hot to moderately cold climates, an average motorcycle battery with frequent commute will last for 3 – 5 years. If you want to gain maximum battery life, the recommended voltage should be kept at 12.5 to 12.6 only. For a motorcycle that is driven only on weekends, the average battery life is expected to be 3 – 5 years, in case you are taking proper care and doing regular maintenance trips, you can expect it to go as long as 5 – 8 years.

How Long Does the Battery of an Idle Motorcycle Last

A motorcycle has a starter battery, its basic function is to start the engine. Starter batteries do not have a deep discharge available, if the battery of your motorcycle gets discharged completely it will experience irreparable damage.

The Life of a Motorcycle Battery and the Self Discharge Rate

It is often assumed that batteries retain power until used, however, the motorcycle batteries do lose charge while sitting idle. The Self Discharge Rate is the speed at which power is depleted while the battery is not in active use. There are many factors that can impact the self discharge rate, however, one of the biggest variables is simply the battery quality. The higher the quality of the battery is, the slower the discharge rate will be.

How to Keep the Battery of Your Idling Motorcycle Charged

Leaving your motorcycle battery idle for a long time will not only create voltage and crank amp issues, it will most probably make it dead. Keeping your motorcycle idle for more 2-3 months on stretch will no doubt kill the battery. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to top up your battery frequently. There are two ways to keep your battery charged when it is idling.

Regular Riding

This is the simplest solution to the battery problem, turning your motorcycle on means turning your battery on. If neglected and kept silent for too long, your motorcycle’s battery will die within four months. To get the optimal benefit from your motorcycle battery, take it out for regular rides at least once a week. Since motorcycle batteries are starter batteries, each time you start up your motorcycle, its alternator creates a charge that is then stored in the battery. Hence, the problem of battery drainage will be solved.

Manually Charging Motorcycle Battery

Another way of charging your motorcycle battery is through manual charger, most commonly used are trickle battery chargers. The trickle battery chargers convert AC into DC electricity and then pump it into your motorcycle’s battery. They ensure your battery stays at full charge and doesn’t discharge itself. They are great for winter or when you can’t get out to ride as often as you should.

How to Make a Motorcycle Battery Lasts Longer in Extreme Winter

In the winter season, even if you are commuting daily and your battery is getting the ideal voltage, the real deal will be to start the battery after an idle shift. An idly parked motorcycle could be standing in the garage for 12 hours (in case of daily commuters) or for longer periods of time if you take it out on weekends only. Thus, in freezing winter conditions, your battery power drains by 30% – 60%.

A lead acid battery should be left in a fully charged condition. You can achieve the desired result by charging the batter every 30 days, or by getting a smart battery charger to maintain your battery all the time. Take the battery out of the motorcycle or just disconnect the negative cable so that the bike accessories do not keep draining the battery voltage. Keep checking for battery posts and cables for corrosion and if any corrosion is detected clean it with a wire brush, water and baking soda. The process should be repeated even if you have a heated garage and once you have cleaned and recharged the battery, cover your motorcycle with a cover and keep it inside a temperature-moderated garage.

When to Replace Your Motorcycle Battery

All motorcycle batteries come with a shelf life, better care and maintenance might extend the life of a motorcycle battery for a couple of years, there are some conditions in which you will need to replace your battery. Following are given some of the conditions in which you should change the battery of your motorcycle.

  • The battery is 4 -5 years old. In this case, the battery has lived its optimum life. A five years lifespan means you have been careful with your vehicle and now is the time that you should replace it.
  • If your bike does not start it’s time to change the battery. It means that the alternator or generator of your motorcycle is working properly and is charging the battery while the motorbike is running. However, the battery cannot hold that proper charging.
  • The cranking amps of your motorcycle either do not start or they start slowly when you kick the bike. Even though the battery might not display symptoms of malfunction, you should go for a replacement to avoid the risk of getting stranded with a failed battery at an unusual time.

Factors Affecting the Health of a Motorcycle Battery

There are certain factors that can affect the health and shelf life of your motorcycle battery. Let’s have a look at what might be causing that disruption in cranks of your motorcycle’s battery.

Extreme Weather: Extremely hot and extremely cold, both types of weather can affect the shelf life of your battery. Ideal temperature for storing your motorcycle should be around 50 degrees. You should keep the bike stored in a temperature-controlled garage and covered with protective motorcycle covers.

Increase or Decrease in Battery Voltage: The voltage of the battery might go up and down, especially if the battery is older. A general inspection of the battery should be conducted regularly including checking on the voltage. The ideal voltage for your battery should be:

  • 12.8 to 13.0 volts for a 100% charged AGM battery
  • AGM batteries that are 75% to 100% charged will measure 12.5 to 12.8 volts.
  • Conventional batteries have slightly lower open circuit Voltages: 12.6 volts (12.8 volts with Sulfate Stop) for 100% charge and 12.4 for 75% charge.

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