If you’re worried about how long your motorcycle battery will last. In that case, you’ll be interested to know many factors can affect its lifespan. I’ll mention the signs that it needs replacing and tips for extending it. I’ve also mentioned different battery options to help you decide which would suit you based on longevity and other factors you should consider.
A regular (wet cell and flooded) motorcycle battery normally lasts 2 to 4 years but will be shorter if you don’t use it frequently. An AGM battery may last between 3 and 5 years before it has to be replaced, although it can last up to 8 years if well maintained. Gel batteries usually last 3-6 years but can deteriorate rapidly if poorly maintained, and lithium batteries can last more than five years.
But if you take good care of it, you can potentially make it last longer (up to 8 years for AGM), so continue reading.
The Lifetime of Motorcycle Batteries
How Long Do Motorcycle Batteries Last?
A regular motorcycle battery normally lasts between 2 and 4 years.
Its lifespan can be extended up to 5 years, but only if well maintained. An AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) battery usually offers a longer lifetime. It may last between 3 and 5 years before it has to be replaced. If well maintained, its lifespan can be extended up to 8 years.
A gel battery is a less often used alternative that offers a 3-6 year lifespan, and a lithium battery can last longer than five years by allowing more charge-discharge cycles. Both types, however, are very expensive.
|Battery Type||Flooded/Wet Cell||AGM||Gel||Lithium|
|Lifespan (in years)||2-4||3-5||3-6||5+|
|Note||Only 1-2 if used occasionally; up to 5 if well maintained||Up to 8 if well maintained||Can deteriorate rapidly if not well maintained||–|
Factors that Affect a Motorcycle Battery’s Lifespan
Certain factors can make a motorcycle battery expire sooner or last longer.
Like other batteries, motorcycle batteries are especially affected by the following:
- Type of battery – See under Motorcycle Batteries. Generally, the more expensive and sophisticated the type of battery, the longer it is designed to last.
- Age – The newer the battery, the more likely it is to operate optimally; the older it is, the more likely it will show signs of deteriorating performance.
- Usage – Leaving a battery unused for long periods can make it expire sooner, so turn over the engine regularly. It should not be left unused for more than 3-4 months.
- Ambient temperature – Extreme temperatures deteriorate battery performance. Run the motorcycle’s engine at least once a week in freezing winters.
Knowing when a Motorcycle Battery Needs Replacing
A motorcycle battery must be replaced when it’s no longer working, but can you recognize early failure signs?
If you notice any of the following happenings, it might be due to a failing battery:
- Slow engine response
- The starter doesn’t spin as fast as it normally does.
- A lower-than-ideal voltage range (constantly less than 12.5-12.6 volts)
It’s better to replace a failing battery sooner than when you’re out on the road and it’s too late.
Tips for Extending a Motorcycle Battery’s Lifespan
Here are some tips for ensuring a motorcycle battery lasts as long as it is designed to:
- Use a charge maintainer or trickle charger to help keep your motorcycle battery fresh at all times. It will help keep the battery charged to its optimal level.
- Use the right battery charger for your particular motorcycle battery.
- Don’t leave the battery unused for long periods. Even if you don’t need to go anywhere, start the motorcycle to use its battery, or take it for a short, quick ride around the block. Otherwise, disconnect the battery if you don’t need to use it for a long time.
- During battery maintenance, don’t accidentally short-circuit the positive and negative terminals.
- Keep the battery as warm as possible during the winter.
- Keep the battery’s charge topped up. Don’t let it drain completely.
If your motorcycle battery appears dead, don’t discard it immediately. It might need a longer time to start charging.
If you’re stuck somewhere with a dead battery, jump-start it with the help of a car.
Standard Wet Cell (and Flooded) Battery
Motorcycle batteries are typically sealed type and filled with an electrolyte.
They cannot be opened without using a special tool. Once opened, you must take care not to spill the acid inside.
The lifespan of a wet cell battery is usually from 2 to 4 years, but it can be less if not well maintained (1-2 years) and more (up to 5) if it is.
An AGM battery uses fiberglass between its plates to help contain the acid content.
This design makes it more flexible than a standard wet-cell battery. Although not as spill-proof as gel-type batteries, they can still be mounted more flexibly.
This type of motorcycle battery is more popular than wet cell batteries for three main reasons:
- They usually last longer (3-5 years, as opposed to 2-4 years).
- They can be mounted more flexibly due to a lower risk of spilling.
- They are considered to be relatively safer.
Gel batteries are another great alternative.
They are safer and more flexible than AGM batteries and usually provide more time between charges. You can fully discharge up to 90% and enjoy a long cycle life, whereas discharging an AGM battery more than that can shorten its lifecycle significantly.
But gel batteries are not as commonly used because they are far more expensive and have the disadvantage of not being able to tolerate freezing temperatures.
Also, they are not so reliable. They can fail rapidly if the charging voltage is too high, which should not exceed 14.4 volts.
Yet another option is a lithium-ion battery.
This type is more popular among bike riders because of its lighter weight and greater power.
However, like gel batteries, they are also highly expensive and less tolerant of freezing temperatures.
But if the lifespan is important, lithium batteries generally last longer. It’s because they allow more charge-discharge cycles.
Image and Video References
Red motorcycle: https://www.flickr.com/
An AGM battery: https://www.ebay.com/
Standard wet cell battery: https://www.daraz.pk
TPE Lithium ion Motorcycle battery sport: https://www.amazon.com/
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