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How to know when it’s time to replace your motorcycle battery

Look out for these tell-tale signs that your battery is on its way out.

How to know when it’s time to replace your motorcycle battery

Yes, your motorcycle runs on gasoline, however, it also relies heavily on its battery in order to start it up, as well as to power other vital electronic components in its systems. A healthy motorcycle battery is essential not just in order for you to be able to start your bike up, but as well as to ensure that it performs at its peak at all times. This is especially true with today’s crop of performance-oriented big bikes that are chock full of electronic features. 

A bad battery manifests itself in many different ways. Today, we are going to talk about The many ways a bad battery lets itself be known. Here are a few telltale signs that your motorcycle's battery is in need of replacement. Be sure to look out for the signs, as not doing so could result in you being stranded in the middle of the road.

Hard starting

Have you ever experienced a hard starting issue with your motorcycle, especially in the morning? Normally, motorcycles should start up after one or two cranks of the starter motor. However, if you find yourself thumbing the starter motor three, four, or even five times before the engine starts, it could be that your battery is on its way out. This is most evident in the morning, and in colder temperatures, as it is more difficult for the starter motor to turn when it is cold. It thereby requires more cranking amps from the battery, hence the hard starting situation. If you ever find your motorcycle suffering from a hard starting issue, chances are that the battery is the culprit and that it needs to be replaced.

Low voltage

Motorcycle Battery

Another clear indication that your motorcycle's battery is on its way out is a low voltage reading. These days, most premium motorcycles come standard with a voltmeter. If yours does not, you can easily pick one up in your nearest motorcycle shop and wire it in so you have a constant reading of your motorcycle's voltage while you are riding. Otherwise, you can check your battery voltage by using a standard multimeter which you hook up to your battery.

Normally, your motorcycle's standing voltage, which means the battery voltage while the engine is off, should be at around 12.2 to 12.5V.  Anything lower than this could mean that your motorcycle battery has gone beyond its charging and depletion cycles and is due for replacement. When your engine is running, voltage should be anywhere from 13.7 to 14.5 V, depending on the number of electronic features your motorcycle comes with. While low-voltage while the engine is running is usually a sign of another electrical issue, it could also be useful in determining the overall health of your battery.

Other electrical malfunctions

With the vast amount of electrical features and accessories now found on modern day motorcycles, it is understandable that the battery is now more important than ever before. Features such as sophisticated electronic writer aids, Bluetooth smart phone pairing, mobile phone charging ports, and high powered lights all contribute to the wear and tear of your bike's electrical system. Of course, the battery is at the very heart of your motorcycle's electronics system, and needs to be in tiptop condition 100% of the time.

While other electronic malfunctions could also be signs of more serious issues than that of the battery, they could also be signs that your battery is on its way out. This is because a lot of systems rely on each other in order to work properly, and even a slight drop in voltage could trigger an error code or check engine light. Normally, a motorcycle battery, if used properly and as intended, should last anywhere from two to three years. 

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