- Overloading the battery
Having a lot of accessories and gadgets on your motorbike can greatly reduce the lifespan of even the best motorcycle battery. Motorcycle batteries are built to last for around two years but quite often you will get less then that. Adding gadgets and accessories can often compound this issue.
To see if this is happening on your battery, we recommend checking the voltage of the battery with all the accessories and gadgets on. If it reads less then 13.8 volts then you may have a gadget too many.
- Faulty voltage regulator
This is a common problem with bikes that experience a high mileage. Sometimes it is also known as a rectifier, the regulator works with the alternator to charge the battery. Any issues faced with these two parts of your motorcycles electric system will cause your battery to drain.
The regulators and alternators that come with most motorcycles do not have a long life-cycle so we recommend checking them often to ensure they are working properly
- Poor ground connection
Another common problem that can cause your battery to go flat is poor grounding to your battery from your bike. It can stop the battery from being charged correctly. It is important to check all the connections between the frame and the battery.
Things to look out for are rust, corrosion and making sure the ground straps are connected properly.
- Leaky circuit
Some aftermarket accessories can cause a parasitic leak on your battery. These leaks can completely drain your battery if left unchecked. Which can cause irreversible damage to your battery. Common accessories that can cause this problem on even the best motorcycle battery are; bike alarms or high beam lights.
A way to check if you have a parasitic drain on your motorcycle battery is to remove the negative cable from the battery terminal and use a multi-meter to get a measurement. Usually, the reading should come back as zero. If the draw is over an amp your going to need to take a closer look at your electrical system
- Heat and vibration
Even when proper care and maintenance is taken to care for your battery, heat and vibration can still occur. Which in turn, can damage the internal components of the battery.
If your battery is situated in a position on your bike where it is more susceptible to these things, you can wrap you can consider wrapping the battery in a thermal heat shield to help counteract these issues.
- Corroded connections
Corrosion can occur in any electrical system; your motorbikes electrical system is no different and It can cause a lot of issues on a motorcycle. The newer your bike is, the more wiring that can be corroded.
If a battery terminal is corroded, it is likely a symptom of a much larger problem. It could mean anything from overcharging to a hydrogen gas leak.
A regular clean is required to ensure this doesn’t happen. Please remember to take care, disconnect your battery and make sure you are properly equipped.
- Battery in weak condition
Sometimes your battery is just in a bad way. This can be caused by the damage from heat and vibration listed above, or from being fully discharged. Acid based batteries are designed to be continuously charged by your vehicles alternator so a full discharge can cause permanent damage.
A damaged battery is more likely to drain in extreme temperatures.
- Short infrequent rides
As mentioned in the previous point, your motorcycle battery is designed to be continuously topped up by your alternator and regulator. Short and infrequent rides increase the possibility that your battery fully discharges as your not riding it enough to keep the battery charged.
- Your battery has been poorly maintained
Sometimes a little T.L.C can go a long way. It doesn’t take much, but a small bit of maintenance here or there can make a big difference.
Check electrolyte levels regularly, to make sure the liquid in your battery is at the right level is not drying out.
Check the caps on the battery to ensure they are clean and secure.
If you are planning on not using your motorbike for an extended period of time, perhaps consider removing the battery entirely.
- Battery is old
Sometimes your battery has reached the end of its life and there is not much you can do. As mentioned at the top of this blogpost – they are only meant to last around two years, so anything more then that is a bonus. When no-amount of hooking it up to a machine is bringing it back to life, consider purchasing a new battery. Our helpful battery boffins here at The Battery Guys will always help you determine which you need.