Wanted: Motorcycle battery advice

5 04 2012

I’m posting this in the off chance that anyone stumbling though might have some experience with motorcycle batteries.

For reasons unbeknownst to me, motorcycle electrical systems seem to majorly suck. My battery went dead a few hours ago, leaving me stranded on the outskirts of the desolate wasteland that is UM’s North Campus.

This wouldn’t have been a problem except that my old Honda doesn’t have a kick-start. It’s also a bit too heavy to bump-start. The only solution I could think of was to ditch it in a Kroger lot sans battery, then return later after a few hours of charge.

Aww, poor battery

This is only the second time I’ve had a dead battery problem (the first was because I left my lights on). But  as far as I’m concerned, that’s two times too many.

Now, motorcycle harnesses are way more straightforward than vehicle harnesses. Yet I can’t remember the last time I had a dead car battery – even after I rewired my Packard. I don’t think I’ve got any “phantom drains” on the Honda’s system, but batteries lose charge over time. The cold doesn’t help either. If I had the ability to trickle charge nightly this probably wouldn’t be an issue, but that’s not feasible here.

Are my battery problems due to the terrible quality of the wet cell batteries often found in motorcycles? Would switching to a sealed battery help? Any advice is welcome…I’d rather not have to deal with this again.




5 responses

6 04 2012

Motorcycle batteries, like dogs, reflect the mood or state of their owners. You were burned out and your bike battery acted accordingly.

9 04 2012
James Art Ville

A sealed battery would definitely help. If you ride at least once a week, that should be fine. If not, 30 days re-charging is recommended if you can’t trickle charge it regularly. Extreme heat or cold has statistically shown to cut battery life. If you park your bike in a garage or shed, that’s best.

If you’re having new batteries fail on you, maybe they’re improperly sized to your bike. A good battery will last 3-5 years. Any less and it’s usually due to poor maintenance or poor construction at the factory level. It’s hard to tell without knowing more information.

You might find this FAQ useful. It answers common motorcycle battery questions, and it’s easy to understand.


10 04 2012
Graham Kozak

Thanks for the pointers, I’m still new to this. I’m definitely going to set up a trickle charger regardless once I have a garage, and I’ll look into the sealed batteries if the current one gives me any more trouble.

16 04 2012

Hey, the battery could just be worn out. It might be your charging system. You will probably need to get a voltmeter and do some quick test. If all else fails,check out our batteries http://www.shoraipower.com . They are Lithium Iron Motorcycle batteries. The batteries are sealed and have no liquid, they are much lighter (probably a few pounds) and have more cranking amps in an equivalent size. If you have questions shoot me an email or call the shop, I hope you get your Honda running. I hate it when my battery dies, but luckily my KTM has a kickstarter. let me know.

11 05 2012
Tools Today – Tool Blog» Blog Archive » Motorcycle battery charging

[…] Alpha A55, Alpha A33 (Electronics) newly tagged "canon"motorcycle – battery chargingWanted: Motorcycle battery advice var topsy_style = 'big'; var topsy_nick = 'toolstodaycouk'; var topsy_order = […]

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