With the prices of motorcycle parts and accessories getting higher and higher, including the battery, many riders always ask how long does a motorcycle battery last?
More and more riders are opting for the older self-maintenance batteries. Not only does it make financial sense as much cheaper than no maintenance battery, but if you are handy with DIY you can do your own maintenance.
Most manufacturers advise to always change your battery after four to five years, especially the maintenance-free ones, but because of improper care and maintenance for your battery, will lead to your motorcycle battery only lasting half that. But with proper care and maintenance, it will not only let your battery last for the above-mentioned lifespan but can increase the lifespan as well.
So, whether you love a burning rubber trip around a track or long slow cruises on a cruiser or dragging down the highway on your motorcycle, you must always make sure everything is in working order and maintained regularly to achieve peak performance from your motorcycle as well as the ride of your life which can only be achieved on a motorcycle. This goes for not only your mechanical and electrical parts but the battery as well.
The importance of maintaining your battery
As your battery supplies the power for most of your electrical system on the bike, a poor maintenance plan from your side or just plain negligence can not only lead to a shorter life span, leading to have to replace it every year. Sometimes it can lead to very hazardous situations on the road or track.
A quick look at safety, when maintaining your battery
As most batteries contain poisonous lead-acid, it’s always advisable to wear protective clothing, gloves, and goggles.
Even if you have a lithium battery always use safety clothing just to be on the safe side.
Using long-sleeved pants and tops is also advisable because the less your skin is exposed the less damage can be caused if an accident does happen.
Always be cautious when working with the battery as the fumes are flammable and can cause an explosion and always clean any spillage up as soon as possible with normal baking soda.
Also as the acid in your battery is a toxic element, always use well-ventilated areas and keep children and pets away.
Maintenance tips for your motorcycle battery:
For every two thousand five hundred to three thousand miles or once monthly is the correct time to check your battery components.
To prevent that feeling when you start up your bike and all you hear is click instead of that nice rumble of a perfect engine, always remember to do your maintenance and checks timeously.
Once a month always do a visual check:
if you do not have easy access or do not know where exactly your battery sits, check your owner’s manual.
Always remove battery from the bike and work in a well-ventilated area on a level surface.
To prevent that irritating corrosion clean all terminals:
If acid leaks from your battery you will find a white powdery-looking substance on your terminal. By using baking soda or hydrogen peroxide you can dissolve and clean this off quite easily.
Do not forget your gloves and goggles and to remove the terminals/cables first.
By using an old toothbrush or small wire brush on the terminals you can prevent the build-up of dirt, sediments and even some other debris, as this will prevent that build on your terminals and the bike not starting up.
Before replacing the battery on your bike always spray all cables, terminals, and bulkhead with a good anti-corrosion spray which will help with preventing further corrosion build-ups.
Always check your terminals to make sure there are no loose terminals:
This can be done the same time you have the battery out as most battery cables are attached to the battery by means of a screw clamp which always be tight and the wires leading to the connectors are all secure and no loose fitting anywhere.
By doing this you are making sure there is no break or loss of current from the battery to the rest of the wiring as this can cause a bike to not start at all or not recharge when riding.
Inspect for any leaks and make sure your battery is not wet:
Make sure any leaks found are sealed off immediately as if any water gets into the battery casing it may cause rust and corrosion on all metal connectors and this, in turn, can cause damage to your battery and your bike won’t start nor recharge while riding.
Use distilled water to top up the electrolyte cells:
The distilled water helps your battery to last longer as well as preventing it from working too hard to get the current needed.
Always check your levels in a well-ventilated area on a level surface. As the distilled water is purified never to use tap water as the chemical in it will not work well with your battery acid or cells.
Never forget to replace cell caps before you place the battery back into the casing.
If there are long periods between rides remove one of the terminals and do a full recharge before starting up:
This is one of the steps many riders forget. As your bike stands the battery runs down to zero power and you will shorten its lifespan and impact on your bike’s performance. Remember even though a bike can be push-started easier than a car, preventing this occurrence is easier to do as well as improve your battery life.
So to close off, the answer to the question, how long does a motorcycle battery last? always remember, your safety is your first priority and a faulty battery could just be that broken link in the chain of a really excellent ride or not.