All batteries, regardless of the type, function the same. They contain electrodes that convert chemical energy from the electrolyte into electric energy. Modern bikes need more electric energy than older models, so batteries had to keep up in order to satisfy increased consumption.
Top Choices for 2021
Check out which are the best motorcycle batteries on today’s market and find the one that suits your machine.
1. MX30L – Motorcycle Battery – 600+ CCA
Type: AGM (absorbed glass mat)
The MX30L motorcycle battery is manufactured by a respected Throttle X company. Its budget price makes it a very popular choice. This AGM battery is heat-sealed, so there is no danger of spills. It is also a maintenance-free model. This makes it a great option for people who want an affordable, hustle-free battery. All you have to do once you buy it is connect it since it comes fully charged. Despite its low price, it comes with a cold cranking amp (CCA) of 600, enough even for coldest days. Dimensions are 6 5/8” x 5 3/16” x 6 7/8”, with a weight of 22.5 lbs. Throttle X offers an 18-months warranty on this model.
2. Chrome Battery YTX14-BS AGM Motorcycle Battery
Type: AGM (absorbed glass mat)
With dimensions of 5.8 x 3.3 x 5.7 inches and a weight of 9.9 lbs, Chrome Battery YTX14-BS is one of the smaller models on our list. It is very popular with motorcycle and ATV owners alike, due to its small size. It is resistant to vibrations, making it ideal for off-road rides. It is also sealed against any leaks.
3. Mighty Max Battery YTX14-BS Replacement for ATV HONDA TRX 500 Rubicon Foreman Rancher
Type: SLA / AGM
This 12v 12 Ah battery is designed for long service life and a wide range of operating temperatures. With 200 Cold Cranking Amps (CCA), it won’t serve you well in the dead of winter, but for everything else, it should be just fine.
4. YTX12-BS High Performance Motorcycle Battery
Type: Gel battery
The YTX12-BS is a high-performance gel battery designed for most demanding users. It has a very high resistance to vibrations and the construction is very sturdy. It also comes with a LED display, allowing you to see the voltage and recharge it if necessary.
5. EarthX ETX48E Eco-Friendly Lithium Motorcycle Battery
Type: Lithium battery
This is one of the best motorcycle batteries on the market today. Unfortunately, its price tag of $370 means that not many bikers can afford it. It comes with discharger protection and a two-year warranty.
Apart from running all the electronics, you have installed on your motorcycle; the battery provides one other important function. It is used to start the engine. Once the engine starts running, it will produce enough electric power to recharge the battery and keep it topped off. However, not all batteries are made equal. Here is a breakdown that will help you understand the major differences between the most popular types on the market today.
Also called flooded cell batteries, this is the most common type in use. They have been invented in 1859 by French physicist Gaston Planté. Lately, we have seen some changes and improvements in the design, but the basic principle is the same as it was in the 19th century. They use a combination of lead plates, sulfuric acid, and plate separators to generate electricity. The side product of this reaction are gases, which are vented directly into the air. Unfortunately, these vents make it possible for acid to spill if the battery is turned upside down.
The acid is depleted over time, so periodically water has to be added. This is why these batteries are not maintenance-free. If the level of acid drops below a certain level, lead plates will be exposed to air and will start to corrode. One advantage they have over all other types is that they are fairly cheap and offer excellent rates of charge for the price. They do require more work to keep them operating and have high internal resistance.
The basic principle behind gel batteries is the same as with flooded cell batteries. The important distinction is that they use silica to turn sulfuric acid into a gel, which is then used as the electrolyte. This allows them to be sealed, eliminating the risk of spillage. One downside of gel batteries is that they should under no circumstance be used for fast charging or discharging, which can create a high amperage situation. This will cause pockets in the gel. Through these pockets, air will reach lead plates and corrode them significantly lowering their life cycle.
AGM – Absorbed Glass Mat battery
AGM batteries have a glass matt separator. It wicks the electrolyte solution between the electrodes. That way, electrolyte remains suspended in a dry state, preventing any leaks. This also makes AGM batteries maintenance-free, since they don’t require any water to be added periodically, like with traditional lead batteries. This technology also has other advantages. Since it has low resistance, it can work in higher temperatures. And the self-discharge rate is only 3% monthly. That means you can safely store your bike in winter storage and the battery will be ready when you come back for it in the spring.
Lithium-Ion batteries (or lithium-iron-phosphate, to be precise) are a new type of batteries that don’t contain any liquid or gel solution. Instead, it produces electricity from dry lithium cells. Batteries are very light and compact, making them ideal for powering small devices like phones and tablets. Their high price kept them from application in vehicles, but as it drops, we are seeing more and more lithium batteries for motorcycles on the market.
They have a longer life cycle and are more stable at higher temperatures. AGM batteries, for instance, will lose half of its capacity at 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Lithium ones, on the other hand, can operate unhindered until the temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Performance-wise, lithium batteries are on top of the food chain, but they are still too expensive for most riders.