Your motorcycle’s battery is one of its most important components. Your motorcycle will not run if it has not been charged properly while overcharging could cause damage to your battery. This guide will help break down exactly how long you should charge your motorcycle battery.
You should charge your motorcycle battery for at least four to twelve hours before making any significant trips on your bike. The exact charging time will depend on several factors including the battery type, age, and condition.
This guide will break down many of the common questions people have regarding motorcycle battery charge times as well as the factors that influence them.
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Things That Affect Motorcycle Charging Time
The main factors that influence your overall motorcycle charging time are the type of battery, type of charger, battery and charger specifications, and the age and condition of the battery. These factors will be discussed more in detail below.
The most significant factor that will affect your overall charging time is the type of battery your motorcycle has installed. The most common batteries found in motorcycles are lead-acid, gel, AGM, and lithium-ion.
Depending on which one you use, you could experience significantly more or less charge time. Additional information regarding the different battery types listed above can be found later in this article.
The type of charger you use to charge your motorcycle will also play a key role in determining your overall charging time. The two main types of chargers are trickle chargers and float chargers.
Float chargers are known to charge significantly faster than trickle chargers but might not be suitable for your battery. Additional information regarding float and trickle chargers can be found later in this guide.
If your battery has a high capacity, it will take longer to charge than lower capacity batteries. This also applies to the capacity of your charger. The standard motorcycle battery is 12V, but you should check your bike’s manual to be sure of the exact specifications.
You should only use chargers that match your motorcycle battery specifications. This can help you avoid overcharging and potential damage to your battery.
Battery Age And Condition
The newer your battery is, the less time it will take to charge. You will also notice a significant difference in charging times between a battery that has been well maintained and one that has not.
The better you care for your battery, the less time it will take to charge. That being said, even the most well-maintained batteries will eventually reach the end of their lifespan. When this happens it will take longer and longer to charge your battery and eventually, it will no longer hold a charge at all.
How Long To Charge A Motorcycle By Battery Type
The type of battery that you use is the most significant factor that will determine how long your motorcycle takes to charge. The four different types of motorcycle batteries are lithium-ion, gel, lead-acid, and AGM.
The lithium-ion is the most popular battery type and is also the fastest charging. The second fastest charging motorcycle battery is the AGM battery. The lead-acid battery is typically found in older model motorcycles and takes a significantly longer time to charge than newer batteries.
The gel battery is by far the slowest charging battery. That being said, gel batteries have their strengths. They do not call for any liquid additives like lead-acid batteries and do not give off hydrogen gas when charging.
The table below contains a comparison of the approximate charging times that you can expect when using the batteries mentioned above. Keep in mind that your charging times using these batteries may vary depending on the age of your battery and the manner in which you are charging your bike.
How Long To Charge A Motorcycle Battery By Amps
The amps that your charger is capable of outputting refer to the output current of the charging device. Lower amp charging is typically done with a trickle charger and can take up to 24 hours to fully charge a motorcycle battery.
The most common amp value to charge a motorcycle is 2 amps. At 2 amp, you can expect your motorcycle to charge up fully within 4 hours. Using higher amp chargers can help cut down on charge time but you risk damaging your battery.
It is recommended that you only use an amp value that is one-tenth of the total voltage of your battery. Almost all motorcycle batteries are ranked below 21 volts, so the use of an amp higher than 3 or 4 could be excessive.
The table below contains all of the amp data so that you can compare the charge times and pick which one is best for you.
Charging A Dead Motorcycle Battery
You should charge a dead motorcycle battery for at least 12 hours to ensure that it has time to charge up all the way. It is healthier for your battery to charge up to 100 percent after dying all the way.
This can help increase your battery’s longevity and decrease your chances of encountering charging issues in the future. In some cases, depending on the charging method and age and condition of the battery, you may find that you need to charge your motorcycle battery for a full 24 hours to achieve a full charge.
Charging A New Motorcycle Battery
You should charge a new motorcycle battery for 4 hours before riding it. New batteries require significantly less charging time than older and potentially worn batteries. Because of this, you can expect your new battery to finish charging completely within 4 hours.
Keep in mind that this time can be influenced by your charging method significantly. You should charge your new motorcycle battery with the appropriate charging amps to ensure the continued health of your battery.
Charging Times Vary Based On Charger Type
Charging Time Using A Smart Charger
A smart charger can charge your motorcycle battery within 4 hours. Smart chargers are regarded as the safest and most efficient way to charge your motorcycle battery. Because of the built-in shut-off feature that prevents overcharging, a smart charger can be a great addition to your motorcycle accessories.
You can purchase a smart charger for your motorcycle battery for an average price of $24. The table below contains some popular vendors and their smart charger prices. All prices have been rounded up to the nearest dollar.
|Avg. Smart Charger Cost
|Advanced Auto Parts
Charging Time Using A Trickle Charger
A trickle charger will typically charge your motorcycle battery in 24 hours. Trickle chargers deliver a constant supply of low amp power to your bike’s battery. This can help maintain the health of your battery and avoid overcharging but comes at a significantly increased charging time.
Charging Time With Float Charger
A float charger will charge your motorcycle battery in around 6 hours. Float chargers are good for maintaining the proper voltage and avoiding overcharging that could damage your battery. They can be left connected to your motorcycle to maintain a constant charge without the risk of overcharging.
Fastest Way To Charge A Motorcycle
The fastest way to charge a motorcycle is by using a Smart Charger. Smart Chargers deliver a full charge to most motorcycle batteries in as little as 4 hours. They are also the most secure way to prevent overcharging issues.
You can find detailed Smart Charger price comparisons earlier in this guide. You can use the information listed in the tables to help you pick the right Smart Charger for you.
This guide has provided you with all of the information you need to accurately determine how long you should expect to charge your motorcycle battery. You can expect to charge your motorcycle for 4 to 12 hours, depending on the conditions of your battery, charging method, and battery type.
If you wish to have the fastest battery charging speed that you can get, you should consider using a Smart Charger. A Smart Charger is the most efficient and safe way to charge your motorcycle battery. Detailed information regarding Smart Chargers and their costs can be found earlier in this guide.
It is important to properly charge your motorcycle battery to ensure the longevity of your battery, as well as your safety on the road. It is never good to run the risk of your battery dying while you are out riding. Using this guide, you can lower your chances of encountering these types of issues in the future.
I’m Anthony King, a systems integration, automobile technician & automotive expert who earned his bachelor’s and master’s in mechanical engineering and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I worked on pioneering technologies from the beginning of his career.