Informational Guide

How Long Does A Motorcycle Battery Last?

In this guide, we answer how long a motorcycle battery lasts on average and tips to increase its lifespan.

If you are looking to enjoy an afternoon on the back of your bike, you want to know more about the vital parts. For example, how long does a motorcycle battery last?  

This article discusses the average lifespan of a motorcycle battery along with how to charge and bring a motorcycle battery back to life. 

Wet Cell Batteries 

Lead-acid batteries are also known as flooded cell batteries. These are traditional batteries that produce hydrogen gas that can be explosive or toxic. You will need to top off these batteries occasionally with distilled water to ensure the electrolyte level is where it belongs.  

Gel Cell Batteries 

The gel-filled battery is perfect for designs that require the battery to lie on an angle or on its side. You won't have to top off the battery, and the inside is filled with a gel liquid instead of electrolyte. You cannot open these batteries or refill them.  

AGM Batteries  

Maintenance-free batteries don’t require users to do anything. Once the battery is filled, it is sealed and cannot be opened. Because these operate under pressure, the hydrogen and oxygen produced are recombined back into the water.  

person in black riding a motorcycle

Factors That Affect The Longevity Of Motorcycle Batteries

Battery Type 

How long does a motorcycle battery last without charging? It depends on what type you are using. The AGM motorcycle battery life expectancy is going to be far less than the lithium motorcycle battery life. 

Weather Conditions 

Batteries have a hard time operating and lasting when the weather turns cold. That’s because the maximum battery capacity becomes smaller in the cold temperatures. If a battery is weak going into the winter, there’s a higher chance it will fail.  

Usage of the Battery 

The way you ride your bike dramatically affects the average life of a motorcycle battery. The longer your rides are, the more charge the battery gets, which keeps it running its best.

If you only take short rides, you aren’t giving the battery the charge it needs to keep working. Plus, keeping the bike in storage for long periods can further damage the life of the battery.  

Battery Charging 

Aside from charging the battery while you are riding, you can also use an external power source to keep it topped off. A trickle charger is a great way to improve overall motorcycle battery shelf life. 

You can check out our favorite motorcycle battery chargers in this detailed guide.


How Long Does A Motorcycle Battery Last? (Average Life Expectancy) 

The average motorcycle battery life ranges from two to four years. In general, you should be able to get three years out of your motorcycle battery, as long as you take care of it. If the battery is maintained and charged properly, it will last as long as possible.

Keep in mind the amount of time the battery already sat on the shelf before you bought it, which will also affect how much longer it lasts. Reading battery date codes is essential if you want it to last longer.  

If you plan to put your bike in storage, the battery will only last two to four months without a charge. That’s why it’s important to attach a trickle charger or battery maintainer during this time. If you can run the bike at least once a week, you can help the system charge the battery to keep it in good working order.  

The electric motorcycle battery life is going to be far more than a typical automotive battery. In fact, the Zero motorcycle battery life is rated for 200,000 miles while retaining an 80% charge. Of course, these batteries cost more to make, but the efficiency makes them a great value overall.  

To extend the life of any motorcycle battery, it’s important to care for it. You also want to replace it at the first sign of trouble, so you aren’t left stranded without a way to start your bike.  

matte black harley davidson motorcycle

Signs Of A Bad Motorcycle Battery (When To Replace It)

  • Starting Problems  
    The battery is needed to start the bike engine. If you are having trouble getting the bike started or it is taking longer, you may want to replace the battery.  
  • Headlights And Horn  
    If the headlight is dim or the horn isn’t as loud as it once was, the battery might be to blame. The battery is used to run both of these motorcycle accessories.  
  • Inconsistent Multimeter Readings  
    You can test a battery with a multimeter to check its health. You read the voltage by touching the red lead to the positive terminal and the black lead to the negative terminal. The ideal reading will be 12.6 volts or higher. Anything less than that might require a new motorcycle battery, especially if charging it doesn’t resolve the situation.  
  • Electronic Failure  
    All of the electronic systems run off of the battery. If you are noticing inconsistencies with the bike’s electronic equipment, the battery might be the problem.  

How To Extend The Life Of Your Motorcycle Battery 

With a little work, you can extend the life of a battery in a motorcycle. Here are some tips to follow. 

  • Don’t allow the battery to drain. It’s important to keep the motorcycle battery charged at all times. 
  • Ride the bike more often to keep the battery charged. 
  • If you are storing the bike, use a maintainer or battery tender. 
  • Check the water levels in your lead-acid battery. Top it off when necessary.  
  • If the motorcycle battery life seems to be diminished, consider reconditioning the battery instead of replacing it.  

However, if the battery cannot be reconditioned, you want to replace it and start over. Follow these steps from the beginning of installing the new battery to ensure the maximum motorcycle battery life expectancy. 


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Can a completely dead motorcycle battery be recharged? 

If the battery is still able to be recharged, a battery charger will do the trick. However, if the battery is dead and has no life left in it, you will not be able to recharge it.  

How do you reset a dead motorcycle battery? 

If the bike battery is completely dead, you can try reconditioning it with some fresh electrolyte solution. Once you have reconditioned it, you want to recharge it and try again.  

Can a motorcycle run without a battery? 

The battery is used not only to start the bike’s engine but also to run many of the electronics. You aren’t going to want to run a bike without a battery installed.  

Can you push start a motorcycle with a dead battery? 

Push starting or bump starting the bike is a reliable way to start a bike that either has a dead battery or a bad starter. To pop start the bike, you don’t even need jumper cables.  


Conclusion

What is the average life of a motorcycle battery? If you take good care of it, the battery will last two to four years. So keep the battery charged and ride your bike often for the best results.  

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