Tips for Choosing the Best Type of Motorcycle Battery
For someone other than a gearhead, choosing a motorcycle battery by material can be a daunting task. While most bikers will happily settle for the very best lithium motorcycle battery that they can find and afford, there are other alternatives available today that might be worthy of your attention. Let us review the most exciting options presented on the market and see what their key benefits are.
Top-4 Most Popular Types of Motorcycle Batteries
If chosen well, a good motorcycle battery ensures the stable and unfaulty performance of your bike, enabling the engine to operate smoothly under various weather conditions. Below are the four most common types of materials used in motorcycle batteries:
- Wet-cell lead-acid batteries
Wet-cell lead-acid batteries consist of lead and lead oxide plates immersed in sulfuric acid and distilled water. The water in these unsealed batteries sometimes evaporates, which makes their occasional topping up necessary. While affordable and reliable, wet lead-acid batteries are heavy, eco-unfriendly, and demanding when it comes to maintenance as they need to be installed at a certain angle.
- Gel-cell lead-acid batteries
Sealed gel-cell lead-acid batteries are easy to install and maintain. The jellylike electrolyte made of sulfuric acid and fumed silica is static and not subject to evaporation or leakage. These batteries can resist vibration, shock, and temperature fluctuations more effectively than their wet-cell counterparts. However, when experiencing high amperage, the gel inside may get scarred, opening the plates to corrosion.
- AGM batteries
AGM units are the most popular type of motorcycle batteries today. The electrolyte in them is placed between fiberglass mats that serve as sponges designed to control the movement of the acid and keep it directly in touch with the lead plates. AGMs are more robust than gel batteries and are highly resistant to vibration and heat.
- Lithium batteries
High-performance and super-light lithium batteries are becoming an increasingly more competitive choice among bikers. Lithium-iron-phosphate batteries are chemically stable units that work well in cold-to-freezing temperatures if warmed up properly. While expensive, they are safer, more durable, and their self-discharge rates are the lowest.
Motorcycle Battery Buying Tips
When buying a battery for your steel horse, mind its power rating. Smaller motorbikes work well on low-voltage units, but you can opt for extra volts if you want a performance boost. Just make sure it is a compatible model. Other essential parameters include the promised battery life, CCA rating, ease of installation/maintenance.
What battery does your motorcycle have? Does it need replacing often? Let us know what you think in the comments below!