One of the most common problems motorcycle owners face is having a dead battery. There are many reasons why this happens, but the good news is you can easily avoid this issue. Here’s a rundown of bike batteries and how to take care of them.
How Long Should a Bike Battery Last?
Battery life depends on a lot of factors, including your riding habits, how you store your bike, your use of accessories, and how well you take care of the battery. You should be able to get two to four years out of a battery, but it can vary based on the conditions.
Why Do Motorcycle Batteries Die?
Motorcycle batteries slowly run down over time. This is to be expected, but there are some things you might be doing to inadvertently speed up the process.
If you don’t ride your motorcycle year-round, then you’re probably going to have a dead battery when you try to start it up in the spring. Regular riding will help you avoid this problem because the bike’s charging system will keep the battery fully charged for you. You may run into starting problems when you let your bike sit for more than a few weeks. If you tend to ride very short distances, this can also affect your battery life because you’re not giving the charging system enough time to do its job.
Accessories can also run your bike’s battery down faster, so if you want to extend you battery life, then you may want to get by with fewer of them.
How to Take Care of Your Motorcycle Battery
There are some easy things you can do to take care of your motorcycle battery. First, make sure your bike’s alternator and voltage regulator are working properly. Also check to make sure the ground connection is good.
Get in the habit of making sure your battery is clean and dry. Wipe the battery case down with a rag soaked in a mixture of three tablespoons of baking soda mixed into a pint of water. Keep the mix handy and try to clean the case about once every week or two.
Check the terminals to make sure they’re clean and dry, and check that the connections are tight.
Wet cell batteries need to have the cells checked periodically. If necessary, top the battery up with distilled water. It’s important to wear gloves and safety glasses when you do this, and make sure you have baking soda nearby.
Finally, keep your motorcycle hooked up to a battery tender if you don’t ride for periods of a month or more. A battery tender will keep your battery perfectly charged as long as it’s hooked up, and you won’t have to worry about overcharging. The battery tender works automatically, so it won’t keep charging your battery if it doesn’t need it. There’s a part known as a pigtail that attaches to your battery and makes it easy to connect and disconnect the battery tender.
Follow these tips for taking care of your motorcycle battery, and you should get a long life out of it.