How to Maximize Motorcycle Battery Lifespan

Motorbikes and Oil Changes
September 15, 2016
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At Southpaw Motorsports, it’s our promise to keep your motorcycle serviced and tuned no matter what. We offer motorcycle oil changes, tune ups and overall maintenance to keep you feeling the wind on your face.

One of the common areas some of our clients have issues with is motorcycle battery life. Motorcycles are tougher on batteries than most cars or trucks, and inexperienced riders can go through them too quickly – especially in a place like Utah where the climate can be extreme during the polar seasons. Let’s look at a few tips for properly maintaining your battery’s lifespan.

Use the Right Battery

Most motorcycles require a specific type of battery, and won’t work properly without it. You can often use the wrong battery for a period of time, but it may not provide the maximum power and it’s almost certain to lose its effectiveness well before you’d expect.

Make sure you’re using the manufacturer guidelines anytime you get a new battery – some even mandate that only the same type of battery can be used as a replacement. If possible, also purchase a battery with an extended lifespan, which might be more expensive but will typically last two or three times as long.

Keep it Charged

A good rule of thumb is to charge the battery anytime it’s below a full charge. Most 12-volt batteries actually measure closer to 12.6 or 13 volts when they’re fully charged – if yours has a max closer to 12, this could be a sign that the battery is coming close to being depleted. Keeping it charged constantly is pretty simple, especially if you ride every day. If you don’t, you may need a trickle charger, which is an item designed to help stimulate battery life.

Maintenance Schedule

Just like your overall bike needs maintenance every now and then, so does your battery. Manufacturers will often provide a monthly maintenance schedule. Be sure to follow the proper directions for cleaning the battery, and checking for corrosion and other issues. Check the electrolyte levels, and add distilled water until plates are completely submerged if there isn’t enough in there. You can use a device called a voltmeter or hydrometer to test the battery’s use.

For more on motorcycle tune ups and maintenance, or to learn about our selection of new and used motorcycles, speak to the technicians at Southpaw Motorsports today.