The best motorcycle batteries will give a bike the power it needs to start up instantly, regardless of what the temperature is outside. A motorcycle battery can make or break a bike, significantly improving or reducing its power and energy efficiency. As you probably already know, not all batteries are created equal, which is why, as a rider, I decided to do some digging and test out many of the top-selling models, to determine which batteries have what it takes to give your ride the juice it needs, and which ones don’t. I’ve also put together this buyer’s guide, which goes in-depth concerning battery types, important specs you need to pay attention to, and other important features that can really impact a battery’s performance.
Below, I’ve created a comparison chart that includes each battery that made its way onto my top six list, how each battery rated, and spec information that will help you quickly identify which model can improve your motorcycle’s performance.
Motorcycle Batteries Comparison Chart
|Chrome Battery YTX30L-BS||AGM||Sealed|
|MMG YTZ14S Z14S||Lithium Ion||Sealed|
|MX30L Motorcycle Battery||AGM||Sealed|
|HDX14L - Harley Davidson Battery||AGM||Sealed|
|YTX12-BS iGel Motorcycle Battery||Gel Cell||Sealed|
Chrome Battery YTX30L-BS Motorcycle Battery
This model by Chrome Battery is a rechargeable power sport battery that offers twelve volts and 360 watts. It also has a reputation for versatility and can power a wide range of vehicles, aside from a motorcycle, including jet skis and ATVs. Inside the battery, the acid is made with absorbed glass mat technology that creates a spill proof battery with low maintenance needs. The Chrome Battery patented sealed post design prevents corrosion, extending the life of the battery. This model arrives fully charged and ready to go, right out of the box, so you can install it and hit the road.
- Vehicle-specific fit
- Works for ATVs, motorcycles, and jet skis
- Patented sealed post design prevents corrosion
- Low maintenance
- Easy installation
- Difficult warranty registration process
The battery is easy to install, all you’ll have to do is connect it to the correct terminals and it’s ready to go. For some, the price may seem a little steep, but it offers that high performance that many riders are looking for, especially people who want to boost power and upgrade from a stock battery.
Energizer TX20HL AGM Motorcycle
This motorcycle battery by Energizer offers reliable, impressive power that’s designed for high performance engines. It arrives out of the box fully charged and ready to go. The battery is permanently sealed at the factory and features a maintenance free design, so you won’t have to worry about topping off the battery like you will with unsealed batteries. The spill proof design features AGM technology that allows the battery to be discharged and charged repeatedly without it affecting the battery’s performance.
- Maintenance free
- Reliable power
- Precision charged
- Permanently sealed
- Easy to install
- Ready to go right out of the box
- High performance design
- Fits select models
This latest model by Energizer is designed for high-performance engines and arrives fully charged right out of the box, so you can quickly install it and hit the streets. The battery is designed for specific models only, so be sure to check out the manufacturer’s spec sheet before you buy. The battery itself is a little pricey, but the powerful performance and no maintenance needs makes this model worth every penny.
MMG YTZ14S Z14S Lithium-Ion Sealed Motorcycle Battery
This Lithium-ion sealed battery features 2000 cycles and a maintenance free design, so you don’t have to worry about topping your battery off when you’re on a cross country trip or before you head out. This battery is also better for the environment and won’t pollute the air. This model is also free from heavy metals and acids. Additionally, it has an impressive shelf life of one year before charging is needed.
- Does not pollute the air
- Maintenance-free design
- Long lifespan of over 2000 cycles
- Less weight and volume compared to lead acid batteries
- Displays power status
- Needs charges often
This model features less weight and volume compared to your standard lead acid battery, offers over 2000 cycles, and has a maintenance-free design, which will be a huge plus for any buyer. One of the best features is the battery’s display which will read low, medium, or full, so you’ll automatically know when your battery can use a charge, so there’s no fear of overcharging.
This battery is a great choice for the rider in search of a powerful, reliable battery that’s good for the environment.
MX30L Motorcycle Battery
This is a sealed maintenance-free battery that’s ready to install and comes fully charged. It works for a wide range of motorcycles, however, you’ll still need to check if your ride is compatible with this model, before you buy.
This battery is vibration resistant, in addition to leak and spill proof. The side and top terminals offer improved strength and versatility. This design makes the battery one of the toughest types on the market. If you’re looking for a battery that offers a higher level of performance and durability, then you’ll be impressed with the better than average safety, service life, and performance, not to mention starting power, that it offers. The absorbed glass mat separators are tear resistant and protected with full frame plates that offer an extremely low discharge rate and increased cranking amps.
- Maintenance free
- Improved performance and service life
- Glass mat separators are tear resistant
- Ready to go right out of the box
- Low price
- Easy to install
- Requires a lot of CCA to turn it over
- Bolts don’t line up straight
This is an AGM battery that has rider performance in mind. MX30L outdid itself with this battery that offers a longer than average lifespan and a maintenance free, improved design that provides the type of high performance you need whether you’re riding across the country or you use your bike to commute. If you’re tired of handling battery maintenance or charging up your battery before you hit the road, then take a closer look at a model that offers impressive starting power and a more efficient performance.
HDX14L – Harley Davidson Replacement Motorcycle Battery
This Harley replacement battery arrives fully charged and ready to go. This is a fully sealed, no maintenance AGM battery that features no-spill technology. The patented solid lead threaded terminals and heat-sealed cover add to this battery’s performance and impressive lifespan. The battery is also covered by a thirty-day money back guarantee, in addition to an eighteen-month warranty that will allow you to ship the battery back and replace it for a new one, should it die or you notice a dip in performance.
- Leak and spill proof
- Battery utilizes the latest in AGM technology
- Eighteen-month warranty
- Lead threaded terminals
- Arrives fully charged
- Heat-sealed cover
- Not compatible with other types of motorcycles
This battery utilizes the latest in AGM technology, with the microfiber separators that are highly porous and designed to trap the acid, completely absorbing it and making this model totally leak and spill proof. This battery is factory fresh, so you also don’t have to worry about receiving a battery that’s sat on a shelf for years. A great buy for the Harley rider in search of a battery that offers excellent start up power, reliability, and a longer lifespan, if you’re a Harley owner, hit that buy now button.
YTX12-BS iGel Motorcycle Battery
This is one versatile battery by YTX12-BS. On the spec sheet, you’ll find several models that are compatible with this sealed gel cell battery. And the best part? This battery is available at a reasonable price. It utilizes smart technology, complete with an LED display screen that will keep you informed of the battery’s voltage and sends a warning when the battery is running low. This iGel battery is injected with gel electrolytes. This creates a battery that’s maintenance free, so you won’t have to worry about topping it off before you ride.
- Low price
- Utilizes smart technology
- Battery life indicator
- Maintenance free
- LED display screen
- Low battery life alerts
- Electronic gauge is defective
- Must be an exact fit
This battery is easy to install and arrives fully charged, so you can install it in a matter of a few minutes and hit the road. It’s also covered by a thirty-day refund policy, comes with a bright LED display that alerts you when the battery is running low, so you won’t end up stranded, and features iGel technology that delivers a low maintenance battery that’s packing some serious power.
Motorcycle Batteries Buyer’s Guide
You may have noticed recently that your bike isn’t performing the way it once did. Or maybe you decided to buy a used motorcycle, and you’re disappointed in its performance. A new, high-quality battery can change all of that. A battery can impact a bike’s acceleration, top speeds, and start up power. A fresh battery can also prevent your bike from dying on you or failing to fire up, when you’re on a cross country motorcycle trip.
If you’re looking for a new battery, or you’re uncertain whether or not a battery would make a difference in how your bike performs, take a look at the list of benefits below to learn why you should consider a serious upgrade.
Benefits of Motorcycle Batteries
There are many benefits that come from upgrading your bike’s battery, including:
- A battery will improve your bike’s power, ensuring it’s capable of operating at its optimal performance.
- If you constantly struggle to get your bike to fire up on a daily basis, then replacing your old battery with a new one can be a serious game changer.
- Many riders complain about their bikes failing to fire up during the winter months. If you have a bike that refuses to start during the winter, then it’s time for an upgrade, especially if you’ve been relying on a stock battery to fire up your bike. Most stock batteries tend to freeze in colder temperatures. Installing a premium quality option will provide your bike with more juice during cold temperatures.
Now that you know more about the benefits of upgrading your battery, take a look at the different battery options below.
Types of Motorcycle Batteries
When you’re shopping for a new battery for your motorcycle, you’ll come across four types:
- Flooded cell
- Gel cell
- Absorbed glass mat
Flood cell batteries are also referred to as conventional or wet cell. These traditional batteries have been on the market for over a hundred years. These batteries are designed with a case that contains a variety of lead plates that soak up an acid solution. The battery produces energy via a chemical change. Flooded cell models are considered very reliable and more affordable compared to other types, however, they require routine maintenance. They’re also not the safest option considering they contain a corrosive acid. Additionally, they don’t offer the same type of powerful performance that modern batteries do.
These batteries are maintenance free and sealed. They can also be installed at any angle, so they’re considered very versatile. The battery’s electrolyte is made up of sulfuric acid that’s mixed with fumed silica that creates the mass gel. This type of battery doesn’t experience any type of gel electrolyte corrosion, spillage, or evaporation problems. They also have a reputation for being resistant to extreme temperatures, shock, and vibration. Keep in mind, any type of high amp situation can damage the gel inside the battery, creating a pocket that will expose the plates to the elements, which can lead to corrosion and battery failure.
This type of battery is basically the opposite of a lead acid battery. It doesn’t use any acid or lead in its design. Instead, it contains dry metal-based cells that create power using an entirely different method. These batteries are high performance and very light. However, they don’t perform well in cold temperatures and come with a pretty steep price tag compared to gel and flooded cell models
Absorbed Glass Mat
Absorbed glass mat, or AGM for short, features a similar design to a sealed gel battery, but it contains a type of glass fiber located between a lead plate. The glass fiber ensures that the plates can rest in close proximation to each other as they control the acid movement. Because of this, you can use a smaller battery that can easily outperform batteries of a larger size. This type of battery is less prone to failure because it’s resistant to vibration and heat.
Other Important Features
As you can see, the type of battery you choose can have a big impact on how your bike performs out on the road. If you’re planning a motorcycle trip, then you want a battery that reliably fires up and won’t let you down, and a battery that can handle plenty of wear and tear on the road.
Aside from choosing the type of battery that has a reputation for high performance and more power, there are other features you’ll need to consider, before you decide on a specific type and model.
- Sealed or unsealed
- Power rating
- Battery life
- Numbers on a motorcycle battery
- Amp hours
- Cold cranking amps
- Production date
Sealed Versus Unsealed
There are many different types of batteries to choose from. In addition to choosing the right type you’ll need to determine if you want a battery that’s sealed or unsealed.
Basically, a sealed battery is ready to go from the moment you take it out of the box and don’t require any maintenance throughout their lifespan. These batteries are either AGM or gel cell.
An unsealed battery will require you to add distilled water and it will vent fumes and acid and needs ongoing maintenance.
Pay attention to a battery’s specs, including the voltage or power rating. Most models are twelve volts; however, you will also come across batteries that are low voltage and designed for smaller bikes. Using a battery that operates on a higher voltage won’t damage your ride, just as long as it’s compatible. Keep in mind, you’ll pay more for extra volts.
Take a look at a model’s battery life. Usually, the battery life is measured in cycles. Most models offer a battery life that ranges from five hundred up to twelve hundred cycles. Of course, finding one with a longer cycle life will mean that you won’t have to replace it as often, so you’ll get more bang for your buck. It also means that the battery is tough enough to last through any type of condition you expose it to.
Numbers on a Motorcycle Battery
When you’re looking at a motorcycle battery, there are a couple of important numbers to look out for.
AH is the first set of numbers and it stands for amp hours. This will tell you how many hours a battery is designed to last when it’s drawing 1A from it. Batteries that are 10 AH are able to provide one amp for ten hours or 2a for a period of five hours. Basically, this number shows you the battery’s capacity. The higher the amp hour number, the longer the battery will last.
CCA-Cold Cranking Amps
To fire up your bike, you need plenty of power, especially if your ride has a massive V-twin. The cold cranking amp number will show you the number of amps that the battery provides at eighteen degrees Celsius for half a minute, without dropping under 7.2 volts. The larger an engine, the more cold cranking amps you’ll need.
Batteries with a high cold cranking amp rating will start a bike that’s been left neglected in cold temperatures.
Not all batteries designed for motorcycles are universal. When you’re shopping for a new battery, you need to search for one that’s designed for your specific bike, otherwise, you may have electrical system and fitting issues. Pay attention to the battery’s spec sheet where you should find a list of compatible bikes.
Take a look at the battery’s production date. This should be stamped somewhere on the casing. Try to avoid purchasing a model that was produced more than six months prior.
Find a battery that has low maintenance needs. New batteries should be able to maintain their qualities throughout their service life, so you shouldn’t have to worry about charging it often. A sealed battery will require less maintenance compared to unsealed because they’re protected from leakages.
A good battery is going to be on the pricey side, but in the end, the fact that it can significantly improve your bike’s performance makes it totally worth it. Batteries that are priced under one hundred dollars usually come equipped with lead plates that are cost-efficient. These batteries tend to discharge faster and require more charging cycles compared to higher priced options. Batteries priced over one hundred dollars typically provide a better performance, more power, and have a longer lifespan. However, just because a battery comes with a higher price tag doesn’t mean that it offers the type of quality you’re looking for. Keep this in mind when you’re shopping and pay close attention to a batteries spec sheet to learn more.
Major Causes of Motorcycle Battery Damage
Some batteries will require more upkeep than others. Below, you’ll find some common reasons why a battery will stop holding a charge, can die unexpectedly, and why it can be difficult to fire up reliably.
Not Recharging Regularly
In most cases, not keeping a battery charged can impact the battery’s ability to hold or receive a charge. Failing to charge a battery regularly can cause lead-sulphate to build up, preventing the battery from functioning properly. Allowing a battery to completely die, then jump starting it from a car can end up frying it. This is especially common with lithium batteries. While these are some of the most common reasons why a battery will need to be replaced early, poor maintenance and a lack of care are ultimately to blame.
Below, you’ll find a list of the most common battery killers.
Lack of Protection in Colder Temperatures
If you live in a colder climate where the temperature drops below freezing during the winter, always remember that the electrolyte in a discharged lead acid battery is mostly made up of water. When the water freezes, it will expand by more than one hundred percent. This can crack the casing of the battery and the plates inside as well.
Another common cause of battery damage is overcharging. This is because the motorcycle has a faulty rectifier/regulator, or because the motorcyclist isn’t using the right type of charger. When a battery is overcharged it can generate excessive oxygen and hydrogen which will escape from the battery, depleting the electrolytes.
Heat is one of a battery’s biggest enemies. If your bike runs hot, exposing your battery to temperatures over 130 degrees can significantly reduce the battery’s lifespan. A battery should be stored at 75 degrees. In temperatures 95 degrees and higher, it will discharge twice as fast.
If you live in a hotter climate, search for a model that offers extended life. While you might not get an extended life out of it, it’ll be built tougher and provide a better than average service lifetime.
Rattling and shaking can severely damage a battery. Pay close attention to how your battery is held in place. Use solid mounting hardware to secure your battery. If your battery is rattling, try using some rubber cushions. This can help to absorb vibrations.
Look at your old battery closely. Do you notice any sulfate crystals? This can occur when it has low electrolyte levels or the battery discharges constantly. Excessive discharging can cause these sulfate crystals to turn into sulfation. If you do your part and stay on top of keeping your battery charged, you won’t have to worry about this problem.
When you’re installing your battery, make sure you refer to the manual. Maintenance and safety issues can arise if a battery is installed incorrectly.
Not Charging Regularly
Make sure you keep your battery charged up, at least once a week, whether you ride that week or not. If the charge is drained often, you can end up significantly shortening the life of your
Not Checking Fluid Levels
Checking the fluid levels routinely is another important thing you must do on a regular basis. The fluid levels should be sufficient at all times. Additionally, only add mineral oil to the battery. Pollutants in tap water can negatively impact how a battery performs.
Using the Wrong Type of Charger
While regular charging can ensure a longer lifespan for your battery, the type of charger and the quality of the charger also matters. Avoid using a car battery charger for your motorcycle battery. When you’re shopping around, you’ll come across some models of chargers on the market that are designed to handle both, just make sure you adjust the charger correctly for motorcycle battery use before you connect it. If you use the wrong charger for your battery, it will supply too much current, which can fry your battery.
Additionally, an intelligent or smart charger will continuously monitor a stored battery’s condition and will activate the charging mode once it’s needed. It will also prevent the battery from overcharging, even when it’s providing the correct current. Other battery chargers will need to be disconnected and connected to prevent the charger from frying the battery.
Summing Up General Care
Always keep the individual cells in the battery filled up to the correct electrolyte levels using distilled water. This type of maintenance should be done year-round. The more often you ride, the more you’ll need to check on the battery and ensure it’s filled up and ready to go.
Safe storage also involves taking extra precaution for the winter months. This involves removing the battery from the bike and storing it on a plastic or wooden surface. It should also be kept in a location that doesn’t go below thirty-two degrees.
Keep the individual cells in your battery filled to the indicated electrolyte levels with distilled water. This kind of maintenance is done throughout the riding year. The more you ride, the more frequently it should be checked.
Testing Your Motorcycle Battery
Testing your battery’s voltage is pretty simple, despite the fact that a multimeter can look somewhat intimidating.
- To test your battery, begin by shutting the ignition off, then set the multimeter to twenty-volt direct current, then you can connect it to the negative and positive terminals.
- A battery that’s in good condition will have a reading that ranges from 12 volts up to 12.9 volts. For wet cell batteries, the reading should range from 12 volts up to 12.6 volts. With an absorbed glass mat battery, the reading should be 12. 7 volts up to 12.9 volts.
- You should test a battery twelve hours after the motorcycle has been parked. If you test the battery right after a ride, the voltage will be higher than usual. However, once your bike has had time to cool down, it will drop down to its true state of charge.
- The next step is firing up the engine and revving it to three to four thousand RPMs. This indicates the voltage being put out by the alternator. Ideally, the charge range should be between 14-14.5 volts.
- Some newer models of motorcycles will come equipped with a two-stage charging system, which can reduce the charging voltage under fourteen volts once it’s returned the power used when you crank the engine. Higher charge levels are commonly seen in older models with up to 15 volts considered the max acceptable level. Anything higher and the battery will be in some serious trouble.
- Take a look at the owner’s manual for the precise upper value since anything higher can cause the battery to overheat.
- If it’s too low the alternator won’t generate a sufficient current to charge the battery.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Have Too Many CCA?
No. You can never have too much power for your bike. However, you don’t have to search for the highest CCA possible.
Do Higher CCA Batteries Last Longer?
Yes. Batteries with a higher CCA rating tend to last the longest. Keep in mind, what’s inside a battery will make a difference. Some batteries may be designed to prove max power, but it may not take long-term wear and tear into consideration.
Who Makes Yuasa Battery?
GS Yuasa. Yuasa manufactures and distributes motorcycle and automotive batteries, in addition to industrial batteries. The company originated in Japan and now distributes all over the globe. In America, the company is known as GS Yuasa. In the UK and Europe, the company is called Yuasa.
The best motorcycle batteries can be a total gamechanger, especially if you ride often or you’re looking for a way to boost your bike’s performance on your next long trip across the country. While there are many ways you can upgrade your bike, buying a new battery is one of the most affordable and most effective.
Shopping around for motorcycle batteries can be a challenge, especially if you’re a new rider. Never make your final decision based on the price of the battery alone. Take a look at the power and other specs the battery has to offer, consider what it can do for your bike and choose one that’s low or no maintenance. With this guide and my list of the six top batteries on the market, you should have no trouble finding a model that will take your bike’s performance to the next level.