How long does it take to charge motorcycle battery? Just like any vehicle, every minute you spend riding your motorcycle means your battery is getting that much older. The battery constantly charges and loses charge if the chemistry is incorrect. If you maintain it, the battery will last until it can no longer take charge effectively.
How Long Does It Take To Charge Motorcycle Battery?
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.
The charging time entirely depends on:
- The type of battery
- Charger type
- Battery specifications (capacity, voltage etc.)
- Battery age and condition
Most batteries that are in good condition and regularly used in a motorcycle will need 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 usually intelligently recharge your battery. It won’t 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 you 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 smart motorcycle charger can also help you determine if it is able to hold a charge, and a multimeter can show you how many volts are available.
If you don’t own a smart motorcycle charger, you may opt to use 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 been 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, 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?
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 talking about? Kickstart 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 altogether, it might be possible with a capacitor, but it might also create some electrical problems with your bike.
In fact, Harley Davidson has released 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 a 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 motorcycles handle the same as normal motorcycles. Their fast acceleration without shifting is what really makes them stand out from the crowd.
Factors Affecting The Battery Charging Time
As discussed in the previous sections, the charging time of a motorcycle battery depends on various factors.
Type Of Battery
The battery charging time is most sensitive to the type of battery in the motorcycle.
The main types of batteries used in motorcycles are:
- Lead acid battery
- Gel battery
- AGM battery
- Lithium-ion battery
Lead acid battery is the widely used and old type battery found in most motorcycles.
However, they require additional maintenance since you need to top the battery off with distilled water – every once in a while, when the cell is low on fluid.
Gel and AGM batteries are the popular battery types in the recent years since they are maintenance free. They do not require any filling up of distilled water.
Lithium-ion battery is the new technology battery with low weight and requires less maintenance.
Of these four types of batteries, a lithium-ion battery and an AGM battery will charge at a much faster rate and takes less time to completely charge.
A lead acid battery will charge at a medium pace, whereas a gel battery will charge at a much slower pace and takes more time to charge.
Type Of Charger
There are mainly two types of chargers:
- Trickle chargers
- Float chargers
We also have smart chargers which is an improved version of float chargers.
A trickle charger charges the battery continuously but at lower current supply. As a result, it takes longer for trickle charger to charge a battery, typically around 24 hours.
The float charger on the other hand, charges at a much faster rate and takes less time to charge completely. In addition, it has smart features to recognize the battery charge levels and charges accordingly.
The current levels at which the charges is charging the battery matters as well in deciding how long it takes for the battery to charge.
Higher ampere current will charge the battery at a much faster rate than the lower ampere current. A charger charging at 2 amperes will take less time than the one charging at 1 ampere to charge the battery completely.
Another major factor that impacts how long will it take for the motorcycle battery to charge completely is the battery capacity and voltage.
Typically, motorcycle batteries have a specified voltage of 12V. But their capacities vary from one model to another. Higher the battery capacity, longer the time it will to charge.
Since higher capacity batteries will be storing higher amounts of charge, charging them will take ore time as opposed to low capacity batteries which will get charged faster since they have low charge storage.
As a result, a battery with 40Ah capacity will take longer time to charge than a battery with 20Ah capacity.
Battery Age And Condition
Another factor that influences the time taken to charge the battery is the battery age and its condition. A new and well-maintained battery will charge faster than an old and poorly maintained battery. You can even observe with your own motorcycle battery. As years pass the time taken to charge will slowly increase overtime.
Initially, when the battery is new it charges faster and takes less time. Once it ages and becomes old, the charging time increases. The battery takes longer time now to charge fully.
How Long Should Your Motorcycle Battery Last?
That is all dependent on you, my friend! While most batteries can be expected to live approximately three years if properly cared for, there is a lot you can do to change that. Depending on how you treat your battery, you can pamper your battery and get 5 to 6 years out of it, or you can destroy it before it even reaches its first birthday.
The most frequent way for riders to destroy a battery is to frequently let it die entirely, which is an excellent reason why trying to charge your flat (or dead) battery while riding wouldn’t be the best way to deal with it.
A lead-acid battery’s nature is permanently damaged every time it runs down and loses a portion of its charging capacity. It can only happen a few times before the battery is completely dead.
How Do I Charge a Battery?
The easiest way is with a smart charger. These are clever enough to recognise what type of battery they’re plugged into and what state it’s in, then modify their charging regime to suit. So, for example, if you’ve got an old battery that’s nearly flat, the smart charger will test it and use the most effective charging technique to bring it back – often using pulses of current.
It then keeps the battery at peak charge without overcharging (this causes damage). Some smart chargers can even desulphate your battery, effectively raising it from the dead. A standard trickle charger will just fire out a certain number of amps and keep doing that – even if it’s frying the battery. There’s an excellent in depth review of an Optimate smart charger here.
How Do I Use a Battery Charger?
Most batteries are under the saddle, though plenty aren’t – some KTM or Yamaha batteries are under the tank, the new Africa Twin’s is behind the cylinders and the Royal Enfield Interceptor’s is accessed via a side panel.
If in doubt, consult the owner’s manual. With the battery located, you have two choices: i) attach the charger with the battery in the bike, or ii) remove the battery and charge it elsewhere.
What you do depends on whether you have power where the bike is parked, and how kaput the battery is – if it’s stone dead, Optimate recommend removing the battery while its desulphation process takes place. If you’re using a smart charger, you can just connect and forget.
If you’re disconnecting the battery, always remove the negative (black) first to prevent any potential sparks to earth as you undo the positive. If you’ve got a basic trickle charger without an auto-stop facility, check every few hours to see if it’s charged the battery – you don’t want it to overcharge.
How long does it take to fully charge a 12V motorcycle battery?
A Motorcycle charger supplies NO MORE than 7.5 Amps during the charging process. Make sure your charger is the same voltage (6 Volt or 12 Volt) as the battery you are charging. Charge for a full 8-12 hours. NOTE: If your battery is HOT – STOP.
How do I know when my motorcycle battery is fully charged?
A fully charged battery should read approximately 12.6VDC. If it reads at or below 12VDC, recharge the battery. Allow battery to rest and test again.
How long should a motorbike battery be on charge for?
How long a battery will take to charge will depend on the amp hour of the charger – the higher the amp hour, the quicker it’ll charge. For example: 10 amp hour battery = 10 amp charge per hour = 4 hours to charge 40 amp battery. 2 amp hour battery = 2 amp charge per hour = 20 hours to charge 40 amp battery.
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