Welcome to our complete rider’s guide of battery charging where we will give you the full information about “How to Charge a Motorcycle Battery?” and how you can handle them properly without any outside help. There is a reason why we made this rider’s guide specifically on Battery Charging. Because many motorcyclists don’t aware of the types of batteries which use in motorcycles and how they can charge manually charge a battery in the state of emergency. Although there are alternators of charging a motorcycle battery even while a motorcycle in running. But, sometimes we put ourselves in a position when the motorcycle isn’t starting. The result, we have to go back to the basics. Which is why we are going to provide you the full information about charging motorcycle battery with conventional & modern chargers, car charger, and even without a charger.
If you don’t know a single thing about motorcycle battery or charging a motorcycle battery then this guide will be a big help for you. And after going through the provided information you will be ready to handle this. So, why don’t we skip this introduction and let’s come to the point? After all, we have a lot to discuss.
Looking for Motorcycle Batteries? – Best Motorcycle Battery Reviews 2018
- 1 How to Charge a Motorcycle battery? – A Step-by-Step Guide
- 2 How to Charge Lead-Acid or Wet Cell Motorcycle Battery?
- 3 How to Charge a Gel Motorcycle Battery?
- 4 Charging a Motorcycle Battery with a Car Charger – Is it Possible?
- 5 How to Charge a Dead Motorcycle Battery?
- 6 Conclusion: –
How to Charge a Motorcycle battery? – A Step-by-Step Guide
Before we move any further I would like to inform you that there are different types of motorcycle batteries which have different functions and designs. So, I would highly recommend you to read the battery manual first before planning to make any attempt at charging any kind of battery.
What kind of battery you have?
So, yeah! Do you know what kind of battery do you have?
If you do then it is nice that you are passionate about motorcycles not just riding. But, if you don’t then let me tell you –
There are different kinds of the battery which are being used in different motorcycles like Lead Acid batteries, Valve Regulated Lead Acid Batteries which further divided into two categories: Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) & gel batteries, and Lithium-based batteries.
Learn more: – Different Kinds of Motorcycle Battery – A Complete Rider’s Guide
In general all you need to know is that there are two types of motorcycle batteries – 1. Old Lead Acid Batteries which also called flooded cell batteries & wet cell batteries and, 2. Valve Regulated Lead Acid Batteries which also called Sealed Batteries. This VRLA’s divided into two subcategories: AGM and Gel battery.
I am sure you have got a clear idea. On the internet, you have found different ways of charging a motorcycle battery but none of them paid any attention to “how to charge a Lithium Ion motorcycle battery or lead acid battery?”
Which is why we would give you the unique tips on charging different kinds of batteries. The next step is for charging the lithium-ion motorcycle battery.
We will also discuss the charging procedures of “Classic” lead-acid battery and “Modern” AGM battery.
Lithium-based motorcycle batteries like Lithium Ion, Lithium Phosphate (LiPo), and Lithium Iron (LiFe) are the batteries which use in our day-to-day lives. Lithium-Ion batteries are very common in new generation motorcycles, cars, boat batteries especially cars. Plus, in non-automotive form, it is being used in cameras, laptops, tablets, and cell phones etc. Lithium based batteries are also highly efficient in solar power applications.
I believe that “the advancement of a lithium-based battery is the reason why these batteries need special chargers depending on manufacturers.”
So, let’s see, “How we can charge Lithium Ion Battery with a charger?”
Pick the Right Charger
If you are gonna charge the Lithium battery of your motorcycle then you definitely gonna need one of these chargers –
- Trickle Charger
- Float Charger
- Smart Charger
Sometimes, when a battery is completely dead, a float charger or smart charger may not charge the battery. At this instance, you gonna need an old-fashioned trickle charger to charge and have enough voltage for float charger to see the battery voltage.
Remove your Lithium Battery from Motorcycle
Well, it is not mandatory. And we won’t force you to do it no matter what. But, we would like to tell you why this is important and recommend to take this as a precaution because, In the case of lithium-ion batteries, it is quite normal for a battery to get warm while charging.
That’s because of the exothermic reaction which releases heat!
“If it becomes very hot to even touch the battery while charging then there is something wrong with it and would suggest contacting the provider or professional.”
Plus, when you remove the battery from the motorcycle, it becomes completely off from the electric grid and if the battery of your motorbike has any minor problem like melted wiring harness or a blown fuse then it would be risky to put it on the motorcycle. In doing so, make sure to wear proper safety gear, gloves, and eye protection etc.
Charge the Battery
You must know this “Whenever you put a battery in charge, it gives off hydrogen gas which in fact extremely flammable.”
Most importantly, if you are charging your motorcycle battery with a trickle charger, then keep monitoring it until it not fully finished. As we said above, trickle chargers don’t have automatic sulfation mode.
So, the overheating of a lithium-based battery will produce hydrogen sulfide which is really really bad for you. Which is why every motorcyclist who is going to charge a motorcycle battery must take his/her motorbike outside or in a well-ventilated area instead of some garage or small covered space.
Yeah! One more thing.
When you remove the battery from your motorcycle, it would be wise to check for any physical damage, leakage, or visual deformities. Otherwise, you may damage the charging system.
Do You Know?
Install the Battery
“Are you finished with charging the battery?”
If yes then you are good to go and can simply install the battery back to the motorcycle and secure the hold-downs. After that attach the positive and negative cable one-by-one.
How to Charge Lead-Acid or Wet Cell Motorcycle Battery?
Lead-Acid flooded cell battery or wet cell battery is the most common type of motorcycle battery which highly used in motorcycles, cars, boats, ATV’s, tractors, lawnmowers, trucks, and commercial heavy vehicles etc.
So, basically, lead-acid wet cell batteries are everywhere. Lead-acid batteries mostly come in a 12-volt system which has six cells each developing b/w 2.12 and 2.2 direct current volts. The catalyst used in the wet cell batteries is a mixture of distilled water and sulphuric acid. Charging a lead-acid battery is not so different. Nevertheless, you can check out the important charging tips which are given below:
Charging Tips: –
- The very first thing you have to do is access the battery of the motorcycle by unlocking the seat of the motorcycle.
- Once you finished with that you can unscrew the cables from battery’s negative post followed by positive post.
- Clean the battery with a clean piece of cloth and see if there is any physical damage to the battery or not. Because even if there is any leakage then it can interrupt the charging system.
- After that, you can connect your flooded cell motorcycle battery with the suitable charger and let the charging process begins. It would be highly recommended if you don’t use any charger with over 12-volt. And if you are planning to use a trickle charger then stay with the battery to monitor the charging process. Unlike float chargers, trickle chargers do not have the automatic sulfation mode.
- Once the charging is done, you can remove the positive-negative clips from their respective posts and reinstall the battery in the motorcycle.
“Never store with low voltage and use a battery maintainer when storing the vehicle longer than 2 weeks. This battery maintainer keeps the battery fully charged all times.”
How to Charge a Gel Motorcycle Battery?
A gel motorcycle battery is very rare to see in motorcycles. Maybe because of its common use in high-performance project cars fire trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles. The reason, gel motorcycle battery is very reliable and considered the ultimate power source when you want the vehicle to start every time.
Which is why it first started in high compression motorcycles and then become common like lithium based and lead-acid batteries.
What motorcyclists see the batteries as gel cell batteries are actually AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries which are almost the same as real gel cell batteries.
So, here we would guide you on charging the AGM motorcycle battery which in fact quite easy and won’t take much of your time.
Charging Tips: –
- The very first thing you need to do is unlock the motorcycle’s seat and side frame to access the battery.
- Now you can unscrew the cables from battery’s negative & positive post one-by-one and lift the battery out of a motorcycle.
- Connect the battery to the specifically designed automatic battery charger of AGM battery and connect the black clip on negative and red one on positive.
- Turn the battery charger on and let it do the charging process.
- After the indication of complete charging, you can turn off the charger and remove the clips from the battery posts.
- Finally, you have a fully charged battery which you can reinstall it on the motorcycle in the same reverse procedure.
Charging a Motorcycle Battery with a Car Charger – Is it Possible?
You must be wondering are we stupid or what?
After informing and guiding us a lot of motorcycle charging and motorcycle battery chargers, why we are saying such stupid things?
But, it is not about stupidity. Because, when you are in need of charging the battery of your motorcycle but the only option left is the standard car-type trickle charger.
Deep down, you know that it is not right to charge a motorcycle battery with a car-type trickle charger. It can put your battery and yourself in danger.
I can’t agree more. But, at Motorcyclist Lifestyle, we prepare our motorcycle riders to improvise. Which is why even though it is wrong but we would like to guide you to our best knowledge. Don’t forget, never charge a battery at more than the one-tenth it’s rating in amp hours. Means, a 20-amp battery should only be charged with less than 2-amp charger only over a time period of 10-hours.
Because if you do that then there are chances of overheating, electrolyte boiling or even the battery may blow up. Therefore, it is not a good idea to charge a small motorcycle battery from a large automotive-type battery charger which his specially designed to charge heavy vehicles and cars. But, sometimes, there is the only type of charger available. So, when you put yourself in such situation then apply this trick –
When you need to charge the motorcycle battery but have only car charger then before you take that risk. You can insert a taillight bulb or test lamp (you can even use an amp meter) inline b/w the positive side of the charger and your battery. A brake light bulb or test lamp draws about 2.25 amps. So, if the charger is of 6-amp and battery of 20-amp then you need to put 2 bulbs in the parallel combination. In this way, if there is a slight chance of battery damage or overheating, at least it will damage the bulb instead of a battery.
But, if there is no damage to the bulb then you can charge your motorcycle battery even with a standard car-type trickle charger.
“Remember, you should never use the car charger to charge a motorcycle battery. Car chargers supply too much current which is more than enough for a battery charging process.”
How to Charge a Dead Motorcycle Battery?
When a motorcycle is stored for a long period of time then it is common to have the problem of draining a battery. But, most motorcyclists don’t give this much value until it is out of their hands. The result, they end up buying new motorcycle battery. But, I am telling you that if you pay a little attention to the small details then you can actually save a lot of bucks and being able to save your existing motorcycle battery. Another reason of a dead battery is sulfation, especially in lead-acid batteries. It is caused of sulfur from the battery acid to adhere to the lead plates inside the battery and block the flow of current.
So, how we are going to fix it?
Is there a way?
Well, yes indeed.
Why don’t we go directly to it?
Common Tips on Fixing & Charging a Dead Motorcycle Battery
- First, we make sure to wear gloves, goggles, and other safety gear to not come in contact with extremely toxic sulphuric acid inside a battery. And remove the battery from the motorcycle and keep it at room temperature before working on it.
- After that, we can remove the cell caps and get rid of battery fluid completely.
- Once we finished with that we can prepare a solution of magnesium sulfate (or called Epsom salt) and distilled water in the required amount and fill each cell of the battery with it. After filling the cells, shake the battery to adjust and well distributed the solution throughout all cells.
- Next, we will charge the battery with a slow charge option which doesn’t provide an unnecessarily powerful current which may damage the battery or produce flammable gases. Connect the clips with their respective posts and leave the cell cap off during charging.
- Once the battery is fully charged you can remove the clips and reinstall the battery in the motorcycle with replaced cell caps.
In this way, you can charge a dead motorcycle battery. Just make sure to use float charger otherwise, if you are using a trickle charger then you gonna need to monitor the charging process.
We explained everything about motorcycle battery charging within our knowledge. I hope it will help you in charging any kind of motorcycle battery with the suitable charger of any type. Now, you have learned a lot of motorcycle batteries and charging. So, if you have any query or did we forget something to mention in this rider’s guide then feel free to tell in the comment section below.