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How To Charge a Motorcycle Battery

How To Charge a Motorcycle Battery

So you’ve entered your garage, leather jacket and helmet on, only to find your Motorcycle battery is dead. What now? Dead batteries don’t always need replacing, as they can be recharged, as well, so it’s important to determine the next course of action. Here, we’ll detail exactly how to charge a motorcycle battery.

A motorcycle battery isn’t too different from a car battery. It’s just a little smaller and doesn’t have to produce the same electrical load as a car battery. That said, the charging processes are similar. In both cases, we use some form of charger, or a secondary electrical system like another motorcycle, to funnel electricity back into the dead battery. 

 

If you’ve never charged a car or motorcycle, don’t fret, as The Lookwhosauto crack How-To team is here to get you back out on the open road with the wind whistling in your hair and bugs splattering on your teeth or helmet. 

Let’s get charging!

Motorcycle Battery

How To Charge a Motorcycle Battery Basics

Time Needed: A few minutes

Skill Level: Beginner

Vehicle System: Electrical

Motorcycle Battery Safety

Although charging your motorcycle is straightforward, it’s important to remember it can be dangerous. Electricity can stop your heart, and batteries can emit harmful vapors. You should never attempt to charge a damaged or oozing battery, which can explode. Taking safety precautions will help you minimize the risk. Here’s what you’ll need and need to do to ensure you stay safe.

  • Non-conductive mechanic gloves.
  • Turn the ignition off.
  • Attaching cable clamps to the battery terminals in a single motion will avoid sparks.
  • Clean any oil or gasoline spills near the battery.
Motorcycle Battery

Everything You’ll Need To Charge Your Motorcycle Battery

We’re not psychic, nor are we snooping through your toolbox or garage, so here’s what you’ll need to get the job done. 

Tool List

  • Set of jumper cables. 
  • Dead-battery car.
  • Live-battery car with the same-voltage battery, or a motorcycle jump starter.

Organizing your tools and gear so everything is easily reachable will save precious minutes waiting for your handy-dandy child or four-legged helper to bring you the sandpaper or blowtorch. (You won’t need a blowtorch for this job. Please don’t have your kid hand you a blowtorch—Tony.)

You’ll also need a flat surface, such as a garage floor, driveway, or street parking, though check your local laws to make sure you’re not violating any codes when using the street because we ain’t getting your car out of the clink.

Motorcycle Battery

Here’s How To Charge A Motorcycle Battery

We’re going to provide three different methods of charging a motorcycle battery: using a jump-starter, using a trickle charger, and jump-starting the motorcycle with another motorcycle.

Let’s do this!

 

Charging the Motorcycle with a Jump-Starter

  1. Remove the motorcycle’s seat to access the battery.
  2. Make sure your jump-starter is plugged in or fully charged.
  3. Most new jump-starters will come with integral cables, but if not, connect the jumper cables to the proper (positive and negative) posts on the jump starter. 
  4. Connect the red clamp to the positive post of the dead battery. It will have a “+” symbol (and possibly a red cover).
  5. Connect the black clamp to an unpainted, grounded metal surface somewhere on the motorcycle’s frame. 
  6. Once everything is connected, turn on the jump-starter.
  7. After a minute or two, start the motorcycle. 
  8. If the engine doesn’t start, try again after a few more minutes of charging.
  9. Turn off the jump starter.
  10. Remove the clamps in reverse order; black clamp from the grounded surface, red clamp from the dead battery. 

It’s a good idea to recharge the jump starter in preparation for the next time you need to jump-start the battery.

Charging the Motorcycle with a Trickle-Charger

Using a trickle charger is similar to using a jump-starter, it just takes a little longer for the charge to rebuild.

  1. Remove the motorcycle’s seat to access the battery.
  2. Make sure your trickle-charger isn’t plugged into the outlet. 
  3. Connect the red clamp to the positive post of the dead battery. It will have a “+” symbol (and possibly a red cover).
  4. Connect the black clamp to an unpainted, grounded metal surface somewhere on the motorcycle’s frame. 
  5. Once everything is connected, plug the trickle charger into the outlet.
  6. In an effort to prevent overloading the dead battery, rickle chargers take a few hours to a full day to charge. Wait for the recommended period of time on the box. 
  7. Remove the clamps in reverse order; black clamp from the grounded surface, red clamp from the dead battery, then start the motorcycle.
  8. If the engine doesn’t start, reattach the cables and try charging again.
  9. If it does, you’re done!

 

Jumping with a Second Motorcycle

  1. Remove the motorcycle’s seat to access the battery.
  2. Make sure the motorcycle with the live battery is NOT running.
  3. Connect the red clamp of your jumper cable to the positive terminal of the dead motorcycle’s battery. It will have a red cover or a “+” symbol on it.
  4. Attach the opposite red clamp to the live motorcycle’s battery’s positive terminal.
  5. Connect the black clamp to the negative terminal of the live motorcycle’s battery. It will have a black cover or a “-” symbol on it.
  6. On the dead-battery motorcycle, connect the other black clamp to an unpainted, grounded-metal part or surface on the dead motorcycle, like its frame. 
  7. Start the live-battery motorcycle.
  8. Let it run for a few minutes, as this will start to recharge the dead battery.
  9. Start the dead-battery motorcycle. 
  10. If the engine doesn’t start, keep the other motorcycle running for a few more minutes and try again.
  11. Remove the clamps in reverse order; black clamp from the grounded surface, black clamp from the good battery’s negative post, red clamp from the dead battery, red clamp from the good battery.
Motorcycle Battery

Get Help With Charging a Motorcycle Battery From a Mechanic On JustAnswer

Lookwhosauto recognizes that while our How-To guides are detailed and easily followed, a rusty bolt, an engine component not in the correct position, or oil leaking everywhere can derail a project. That’s why we’ve partnered with JustAnswer, which connects you to certified mechanics around the globe, to get you through even the toughest jobs. 

So if you have a question or are stuck, click here and talk to a mechanic near you.

How To Charge a Motorcycle Battery Pro Tips

Over the years, Lookwhosauto editors have jump-started, push-started, and trickle-charged all manner of cars and motorcycles. Here are a few pro tips we’ve learned along the way.  

  • If the dead-battery motorcycle doesn’t start after a few attempts, try reconnecting the battery cables, as they may just be loose.
  • Also, if the dead-battery car doesn’t start after a few attempts, inspect your cables for splits and cuts.
  • If the dead-battery motorcycle doesn’t start even after all of those, it’s time for a new battery.

 

How Often Do You Need To Charge a Motorcycle Battery?

Keeping your motorcycle charged will come down to how often you use it. For those who ride on a daily or even weekly basis, your motorcycle’s battery should stay charged until its manufacturer-detailed lifespan ends. 

For those riders who don’t get out onto the open road as much as others, you may need to charge it every other month to ensure it’s rideable the next time you feel the urge to head out into the great unknown. Keeping your motorcycle on a trickle-charger is a great way to ensure it remains charged.

Motorcycle Battery

How Much Does It Cost To Charge a Motorcycle Battery

If you have another motorcycle or jump-starter, then little to nothing. If you don’t have either and don’t have a trickle charger, you may pay up to $100, plus electricity cost. 

Life Hacks To Charge a Motorcycle Battery

Since you may not have access to the right tools or a friend you can bum a wrench off of, we also compiled a list of our best hacks to make your life easier and drain your pocket less.

  • You can bump-start the motorcycle by having a few strapping friends push you while the ignition is on and you pop the clutch as it begins to move. The engine should kick over.

Featured Motorcycle Charging Products

Nekteck Car Jump Starter Automotive Battery Booster

Weego 22s Jump Starter

NOCO Boost Plus 1000 Amp 12-Volt UltraSafe Portable Lithium Car Battery Jump Starter

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The post How To Charge a Motorcycle Battery appeared first on LookWhosAuto.



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