charge a motorcycle battery
Motorcycles

How Long Does It Take to Charge a Motorcycle Battery: Read and Find Out!

Just like any vehicle, every minute you spend riding your motorcycle means your battery is getting that much older. The battery itself is constantly charging and losing charge if the chemistry is incorrect. If you maintain it, the battery will last until it can no longer take a charge effectively.

The time it takes to charge a motorcycle battery is about 4 to 24 hours. Each battery and charger can influence the time it takes to charge your battery. If you just purchased a new battery there should be instructions on how long to charge it.

Once I purchased a motorcycle and noticed the battery acid levels were low. It needed some distilled water to be added to the fill line and a charge. I left it on the trickle charger and and used it the next day.  

Keeping your battery charged at a healthy level will likely prevent all kinds of potential failures in your motorcycle’s engine. In this post, we will go into more detail about how long it takes to charge a motorcycle battery. When the day comes that you hear the sound of your bike not starting, you will be thankful that you have read this post.

What do you need to know about your motorcycle’s battery?

Wet Battery

Gel Battery

AGM Battery

  • Charges relatively quickly
  • Can be discharged to about 50% before having problems 
  • Overcharging is less likely to damage battery badly
  • Charges slowly
  • Sealed battery - no need to refill over time
  • Good for deep discharging use
  • Does not give off hydrogen gas when charging
  • Takes vibrations well
  • Charges quickly
  • Sealed battery - no need to refill over time
  • Do well in the cold / snowy conditions
  • Does not give off hydrogen gas when charging
  • Takes vibrations well
  • Hold charge well 
  • Over time liquid inside can evaporate
  • Need to check fluid levels and refill if needed
  • Doesn't take vibrations as well
  • Can be higher priced
  • Lose power faster in cold temperatures (32°F)
  • May have shorter life span
  • Overcharging can damage battery
  • Heat sensitive
  • Can only be discharged to 80% before having problems
  • Overcharging can damage battery
  • Heat sensitive
  • Should be stored with full charge

Essentially, all motorcycles use one of the three types of batteries above, and now more are using lithium-ion batteries as well. These batteries are the Lead Acid or wet type, the Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) type, and the Gel-filled type.

Wet batteries will need to be filled with once in a while with distilled water, while the others are sealed batteries and have no need to be filled. All motorcycle batteries require charging if you don't use your vehicle often. Some can go longer periods without recharging like the 

You may also find that some batteries say they are maintenance free. This mean no liquid needs to be added, but all batteries need care. They need to be charged to the proper level without falling too low or damage to cells will start to occur. That why a smart charger is very important to have.

Lithium-ion Battery

Pros                                                      Cons

  • Charges quickly
  • Very light weight
  • Last longer than most batteries
  • Slow discharge - can last longer without being charged when not using motorcycle
  • Hold charge well
  • May need extra time to wake up in cold weather
  • Higher price than other batteries
  • Voltage sensitive - Can't be discharged too much while in use without damage. 
  • Overcharging can damage battery

Maintaining Your Battery

While the lifespan of a regular Lead Acid motorcycle battery is around 3 years, you should also be aware that proper maintenance is required if you want it to last longer. Both gel and AMG batteries can last 6 years or longer with proper care and lithium-ion batteries will also last 6 year or more as well. This applies to high quality batteries.  

When your motorcycle is not in use you can take good care of the battery by using a smart charger to maintain the correct voltage for you battery type.

A smart battery charger needs to say lithium on it to charge lithium type motorcycle batteries and all smart battery chargers should work for the other batteries types, although Gel batteries need to be charged slowly, so read instructions to be sure to meet its charging requirement.

Sometimes it might be OK(?) to use a pigtail adapter, connect it to the battery and then trickle charge your bike by connecting the adapter to the charger. But most of the time you should take out the battery when charging. It depends on the battery type, components that might sensitive to heat near your battery, and the electronics on your bike.

If you ride your motorcycle on the weekends only, you'll want to consider charging your battery each week. Although, each bike is different, electronics and normal discharge can drain the battery while the bike is not in use.

Wet batteries might be able to go 1 week without a need for a charge, AGM and Gel batteries about 2 weeks, and lithium-ion batteries  might be able to go even longer. Although your motorcycle type and battery quality will determine these numbers. Generally, if your not using the motorcycle daily, charging weekly is best

Checking of the voltage output using a multimeter, can give you a better idea of how voltage of the battery is draining. It is recommended that all batteries should be maintained/charged with infrequent motorcycle use, such as riding on the weekend only.  

When using a multimeter, you would want a reading of 12.5 to 13.5 volts on a 12-volt battery. A 6-volt battery should read between 6.5 to 7.5.

Storing Your Battery/Not Riding For a Month

If you are not using your motorcycle for a while, charge and store the battery in a dry cool place.

Always take the battery out of the motorcycle first, and use your smart charger to charge it until it is full. Then most motorcycle batteries will be fine for several months before the needing a charge again. 

Another option is to use a trickle charger and leave it attached to the battery. This will maintain your battery at full capacity the entire time it is not in use and may help remove deposits on your battery cells that may have been deposited during over draining.

Safety is also an issue with any electronic device is left on. Regularly check that your battery and charger are working properly and that there are no issues. Make sure it is a safe environment for the battery and charger to operate. No extreme conditions should be introduced, and have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case. 

Reading the battery and charger instructions will give you more information about whether this is OK for your battery. When you take good care of your motorcycle battery it will offer years of service and reliability. 

How Long Does It Take to Charge a Motorcycle Battery?

How Long Does It Take to Charge a Motorcycle Battery

Via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k20X6qPz7lU

Most batteries that are in good condition and used regularly in a motorcycle will needs about 2-3 hours of charging with a smart charger, but this also depends on lots of factors, like the type of battery, when it was last used, and how fast the charger is.

A smart charger can usual intelligently recharge your battery. It wont overcharge it and can charge quickly if your battery is capable. Older motorcycle chargers may overcharge your battery causing irreparable damage to your battery.

Another great feature of these smart motorcycle chargers is that they can trickle charge for safe charging. 

But if your battery is taking forever to charge, It’s time to check your motorcycle’s battery. When notice your motorcycle is not starting like normal, the battery doesn't seem to hold a charge, or it doesn't charge well, then it's time to investigate. 

You can do this with a physical check: look for cracks, leaks, or corrosion in the terminals. Using a motorcycle smart charger can also help you determine if it is able to hold a charge, and a mutlimeter can show you how many volt are available. 


If you don’t own a smart motorcycle charger, you may opt using an older motorcycle charger instead. Normally, it will take anywhere between 4 to 24 hours to charge a motorcycle battery. Using this type of charger, it’s necessary that you check the voltage every once in a while, to see if the process has completed.

You should also be aware that if the charger does not have a “float mode”, which makes sure that it will not overcharge, it is highly recommended that you charge it at the slowest possible rate, ideally at 1-2 amps. However, if your battery has been damaged, or has gone flat, or is no longer taking any charge, it might be best to replace it with a new one.

You also should consider taking good care of your battery by charging it regularly. It costs less and you will get the most out of your battery’s lifespan.

Is There a Non-Battery Operating Motorcycle?

Is There a Non-Battery Operating Motorcycle

Via: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3CuzpQwH6A

If you don’t want to be troubled with charging a motorcycle battery, you might have wondered if there are other options available. Not that I know of, except for some old and new technology that you may be interested in. 

What am I taking about? Kick start motors and all electric motorcycles.

A kick start engine is found on older motorcycles and offload dirt bikes. These can allow you to run your motorcycle even with little or no battery power.

But most, if not all, use a battery for the electrical components of the bike. If you want to try to get rid of the battery all together, it might be possible with a capacitor, but might also create some electrical problems with your bike. 


What some people are looking forward to is the all electric motorcycle

2020 Livewire

Photo Credit: www.thedrive.com

105 Horsepower

City - 146 miles / HWY - 70 miles

0 to 60 in 3 seconds

Weight - 549 lbs.

Level 2 charge time - 60 min.

Price $29,799

2020 SR/F

Photo Credit: www.zeromotorcycles.com/

110 Horsepower

City - 161 miles / HWY - 99 miles

0 to 60 in about 2 seconds

Weight - 485 lbs.

Level 2 charge time - 60 min.

Price $18,995

(Most of the information was obtained from : https://www.jpcycles.com/)


In fact, Harley Davidson has release the Livewire and Zero Motorcycles has released the Zero SR/F this year (2019). Each model has favorable reviews. With their futuristic look and power, no wonder so many people like them. 

As more and more electric style vehicles are coming out each year we will see how people value battery power. These motorcycles will be part of the test that tells how much battery power may be seen as positive way to power vehicles. 

One thing I liked was finding out about the city miles range of these motorcycles. One rider found they could use their bike around town all week without charging it. 

It is also noteworthy that these electric motorcycle handle the same a normal motorcycles. Their fast acceleration without shifting is what really makes them stand out form the crowd.

Conclusion

Recharging your motorcycle battery should take 2-3 hours, but may take up to 24 hours. Make sure not to overcharge it, or use a smart charger to be sure. I hope that you found this information helpful and interesting. Taking time to take proper care of your battery will pay off, so you can get the most out of your ride.