Check To Make Sure You Actually Have A Mechanical Problem
Is your sidestand up? Is your clutch pulled in? Often on modern bikes there are electrical switches that will not allow a bike to start if these two conditions are not met. Is the bikes key in the ignition position? These not battery problems, but they will mimic the problems a bad battery displays.
What Is The Minimum Voltage Of A Motorcycle Battery
If you have a 12 Volt battery reading 10.5v or below, your battery is empty and dead.
11.95volts at rest after a recharge means that your battery will need to be changed soon.
Under load, your motorcycle battery should not read below 8.5volts.
If a motorcycle battery reads 0volts or close to it, it means the battery is internally defective. The other explanation is that there is a short circuit somewhere in the electrical system of the bike.
How Do I Know If My Deep Cycle Battery Is Bad
A reading of approximately 10.5V should be revealed when a deep cycle battery is fully discharged . It usually means that the battery has been left in storage for too long without a charge. Or, it could be that it was left with a load running on it that does not have an automatic cut-off.
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What Is The Amperage Of A Motorcycle Battery
The normal thing is that it is between 4Ah up to 12Ah or 14Ah, although there are motorcycles small or very large that may require more or less amperage. Physical Size: The battery It is placed in a box, with its support designed for the battery the correct size.
Test : Alternator/stator Coil
You need to figure out if your alternator/stator coil is producing enough power. You can usually see if it is by testing the output voltage.
The stator coil is a coil that sits around the rotor. The rotor is just a magnet connected to the crankshaft of the motorcycle.
When the motorcycles engine is turning i.e. when its on the rotor magnets turn. The magnets turn inside the coils of the stator. The changing magnetic field caused by the turning magnets induces current in the coils. It works the opposite way an electric motor does.
To test your stator coil, you need to test if its producing enough voltage. If it is, its usually a sign it can carry the load.
First, find the output of your stator coil. Theres usually a plug coming out of the whole area.
Dont know where the output of the stator coil is? On longitudinally mounted engines, like V-twins, you can usually find the clutch on one side of the engine and the stator on the other side. You know the clutch side because the clutch cable and actuator goes to it. You know the stator side because its the other side! On that side, you might find the plug.
On transversely mounted engines, like my BMW or many inline-four motorcycles, its not so obvious. There, its easier to find the regulator/rectifier and check the voltage there.
Once youve found the output of the stator coil, do the following tests:
Tests on the alternator/stator coil with the engine off:
Tests on the alternator/stator coil with the engine on:
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The Average Life Expectancy Of A Motorcycle Battery
Knowing the voltage of a healthy motorcycle battery plays a significant role in your batterys upkeep. Awareness of the average lifespan of the battery helps you determine the current condition of your motorcycle battery. It will help you determine if the battery issues you are experiencing are due to the age of the battery.
Generally, a motorcycle battery can last up to 48 months or 2 years. If the battery well-maintained its lifespan can be extended for several months or a year at max. By being aware of this particular information allows you to estimate how far your battery can go. Allowing you to prepare a new battery replacement when the battery dies.
When I had my motorcycle years ago, I was unaware of this information. It just surprised me one day that my battery was dead and my bike wouldnt start anymore. To make it worst, it happened when I was on a tight budget.
Leaving me with a useless motorcycle with a dead battery for months. So make sure to keep track of your batterys age.
What Is Cold Cranking And What Does It Mean
Cold-cranking amps directly related to the performance of the battery. The higher the CCA, the better the performance of the battery.
The CCA of the battery can quickly be developed for 30 seconds in 0 degrees Fahrenheit. The CA ratings are done at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are not as effective as they seem. This way, you will know the condition of your battery.
Test : Battery Voltage A With Motorcycle Off And Then On
If you are using a charger, the light will indicate the battery is charged .
Once your battery is charged, youre now ready to start testing your motorcycle charging system! Test the voltage of the battery using your multimeter.
- If your voltage is at or above 12.4V youre good.
- If your voltage is below 12.4V after a charge you need a new battery.
Before you buy a new battery if your motorcycle was acting normally and suddenly you need a new battery you have to ask yourself: Why is my battery dead?
If its just old like, the battery has literally never been changed, or its more than 5 years old then you might feel comfortable changing the battery.
But if a bad regulator/rectifier has fried it, then you will just fry a new one again, wasting time and money. Test the reg/rec well do that next.
Now do a similar set of tests with the motorbike on.
Disconnect your multimeter for a sec .
Now turn the motorcycle on, let it warm up for a bit, and check the voltage at the battery again.
- At idle, the voltage should be around 12-13V.
- At 3,000rpm, the voltage should be no more than 15V.
Is the voltage less than 12V at idle? Then something isnt producing enough current. You might have a short somewhere in the system drawing too much current, you might have a faulty alternator/stator coil, or your reg/rec may have totally failed.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Motorcycle Battery While Riding
If youre out on the open road, theres nothing quite like the feeling of freedom that comes with riding a motorcycle. But what happens when your bike breaks down? One common cause of motorcycle problems is a dead battery. Dont worry if you find yourself in this situation there are a few ways to charge your motorcycle battery while riding. The simplest option is to drive for 20-30 minutes. This should be enough to recharge your battery from a normal start. However, if youve jumpstarted your battery from being too low, flat, or dead, it may not restart from the electric starter after being turned off. In this case, youll need to use a battery charger. Using a charger is a bit more complicated than simply driving, but it will get the job done in no time.
Taking care of a motorcycle requires knowing about different parts and what needs to be done to keep them in good shape. One part that is essential to the motorcycle is the battery. Depending on the type of battery, the methods of caring for it will differ. So, it is important to know what kind of battery is in the motorcycle and how to take care of it. Motorcycle batteries are classified into three types: lead-acid, lithium-ion, and absorbent glass mat . Each battery has advantages and disadvantages therefore, determining which one is in use in the motorcycle is critical for good maintenance. Knowing your battery will help you extend its life and keep your motorcycle running smoothly.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A 12v Motorcycle Battery
Depending on the type and condition of your battery, it could range anywhere from 3-4 hours to 24 hours. Some people claim that a new battery takes longer to charge than an old one. However, Ive never seen any proof of this claim. If you dont want to wait that long, you could always swap out an old battery for a new one. Make sure the replacement battery has been fully charged first. You should also check the connector where the battery connects to the starter, especially if the original connection was loose. Loose connections can cause problems like yours. Keep in mind that even though your battery is fully charged, it still needs periodic maintenance to prevent corrosion. It only takes about 5 minutes to install a new battery. Just make sure you have a good quality battery installed before you go riding.
The biggest factor affecting how long it takes to charge depends on the age of the battery. A well-maintained battery will provide power quicker than a poorly maintained one. There are two main reasons why a battery can lose its charge so quickly: Overloading Overloading causes excessive heat inside the battery which reduces the electrolyte solution and degrades the battery pack. Charging too quickly Charging too fast causes excessive heating inside the battery which reduces its ability to hold current. Once the battery overheats, the internal resistance increases and the current drops dramatically. This causes the battery to discharge much more slowly.
Second Test Under Load Battery Test
For this test, we will find out how your battery reacts when it is Working.
You also need the battery to be connected to your motorcycle this time.
1.The same thing as before, hold the end tips of your multimeter lead and have them touching their respective colors terminals.
2.Now ask your helping friend to start up the bike or try to start it.
When the ignition button is pressed, and the electric starter starts moving, this will put the battery under load.
3.You will see a significant drop in the multimeter reading and rise back up when the motorcycle engine catches.
Suppose you saw 9.5 10.5 volts, that good. That means your battery is in decent Health.
If you saw the reading drop below 8.5volt, your battery is getting tired and does not work well under load.
In that case, You should replace it soon.
What Size Do They Have
If they don’t have 12-volt batteries, then what size do they have? Well, some smaller motorcycles and especially scooters have 6-volt batteries. This is because they don’t use as much power when driving.
Also, by having a smaller battery on the vehicle, it cuts down on weight which can help on speed. Small things such as crotch rockets you want to be lit so they can go fast. These little rides have smaller batteries to help with this.
A 6-volt battery though when healthy is more than that, just like with a bigger battery. A typical good 6-volt battery has 6.3 volts. This voltage again jumps some while the motorcycle is running. When the motorcycle is running the charge is normally around 7 volts or so when it is a new good working battery.
Perform A Cranking Voltage Test
You can perform a test with the battery under load to get an idea of the current flowing through it. Note that this isnt the right way to do this, but its another clue to help you confirm or deny your batterys health. Hook up your DVOM in the same manner you did for the standing voltage test, and have an assistant thumb the starter. While the starter is spinning, observe the voltage. The starter should be running at normal speed. A good battery should not drop below 9.6 volts over 10 seconds or so.
Can A Battery Be Bad If It Reads 12 Volts
At 12 volts your battery is not healthy. If you fully recharge the battery & it doesnt hold an open circuit voltage of 12.4+ volts then it can be considered faulty! Read the voltage as you try to start the vehicle. The voltage will drop considerably if its defective but it may read 12 volts at no load.
How Much Do Motorcycle Batteries Cost
There are several different makers and types of 12-volt batteries for motorcycles. You can get batteries from any automotive part dealer from anywhere between $30 to $400, depending on their specifications.
A lead-acid-based battery would be cheaper than a lithium battery, for example. Other types of batteries include absorbed glass mat, factory activated, gel, and even vintage for those with older bikes.
At least the good news is that replacing a bike battery doesnât have to be an expensive ordeal if you choose. Batteries all work the same way, and motorcycle batteries maintenance and tests should still be run on a monthly basis.
But above all, please use the safety precautions and equipment we discussed while doing maintenance on your bike battery, as your safety is far more critical than a replaceable motorcycle battery.
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Charge Your Motorcycle Battery
Our goal is to charge your dead motorcycle battery and then see how well the battery can or cant hold the charge. So the first thing we must do get a battery tender , and charge up the battery.
Once your motorcycle battery is fully charged, disconnect the battery from the tender and wait at least 30 minutes. We want to have the battery disconnected for a while so that we can see how much of the charge the battery was able to replace. If we test the battery too soon after a charge or a ride, it wont be in its resting state and we will get a false reading.
How To Charge A Dead Motorcycle Battery
If your motorcycle battery is just flat, there are several ways you can recharge it. The easiest way to recharge it is to purchase a motorcycle battery charger or trickle charger. Placing the motorcycle battery on a charger should get it back up to full power in only a matter of hours.
However, if you suspect that your motorcycle battery is dead because you left the headlights on or something, you also have the option to jump-start the motorcycle to get it running. Once the motorcycle is running, if it is left running or driven, the process of driving it should charge the battery up. Be careful, though. Running your battery flat too many times can shorten the lifespan of the battery and force you to seek out a replacement sooner than you would have liked.
If you find yourself without a battery charger, here are some quick steps for jumping off your motorcycle when you have a dead battery:
Its a good idea if youve jumped off your bike to take it out for a short spin around the neighborhood, but not so far that you cant get help if the bike stalls or dies. Running the motorcycle will help the battery to recharge completely.
What To Do If Your Battery Dies While Riding
One of the most aggravating things a motorcycle can do to us riders is leave us stranded because the battery wont work. Ive been there many times myself and had to get creative with how I got myself home.
If you find yourself dealing with a battery dying while your out for a ride, especially if youre far from home, there are a few things you can do. First, check all the connections to the battery and make sure everything is snug.
You also have the option of getting a jump start either from another motorcycle or from a car. Youll need to proceed with caution if you get a jump start from a car since theres a risk of ruining the motorcycle battery. Connect the positive cable to the positive terminal on the motorcycle battery and connect the negative cable to the metal frame of the bike. Then connect the positive cable to the positive terminal of the car battery then the negative cable to the negative terminal.
Do not turn the car on. You can attempt to start the motorcycle without starting the car since the battery is powerful enough to emit enough voltage to the motorcycle.
How To Find Out If Your Harley Davidson Battery Is 6 Volts Or 12 Volts
The first way to get a good idea of whether your Harley uses a 6-volt or a 12-volt battery is to consider the year it was made. Harley-Davidson motorcycles made up until 1964 used to run on a 6-volt battery. Harleys manufactured during the 1960s and onwards started to use 12-volt batteries.
Both the car and motorcycle industries started slowly switching to 12-volt systems during the early 1960s. So if your Harley is made before 1964, it is almost guaranteed that your Harley uses a 6-volt battery.
If your Harley was made during the 1960s, then you may need to do some additional research. And if your Harley was made in the last 40 to 50 years, it is probably using a 12-volt battery.
How To Load Test
Load testing is reading the voltage at the battery terminal when the motorcycle is turned on and drawing power from the battery. The moment of maximum demand on a battery is at startup.
Follow these steps when using a battery load tester:
The voltage will drop at startup before the charging system kicks in. If the voltage drops below 9.5VDC, your battery has a very low charge capacity. Replace it now before it leaves you stranded.
Doing these simple steps can save you a lot of headaches. Make it part of your new riding season checklist.
Till next time, ride safe!
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