How Long Does A Motorcycle Battery Take To Charge – What do you say, Bunkie? You need to charge your motorcycle battery, but there’s only a standard car-type slow charger available, and you’re afraid that using it will send your juice box straight into battery heaven. I hear and agree: very often even the smallest charger draws far more current than the battery needs or can handle, especially if you plan to leave it in the charger for extended periods of time.
There is a right way and a wrong way to charge a battery. The wrong way will send you to battery heaven. Photography by Mark Zimmerman
How Long Does A Motorcycle Battery Take To Charge
A general rule of thumb is that you should never charge a battery to more than one-tenth of its amp-hour. Which means that a 20 amp battery should not charge more than 2 amps in 10 hours. Overcharging a battery can lead to all kinds of problems: the electrolyte can boil, the battery can overheat and bend the plates, and in extreme cases the battery can even explode, especially if excess hydrogen is released and a spark is close at hand.
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Large car type battery chargers designed to charge a good sized car or truck battery can easily overcharge a small motorcycle battery if not taken care of. Unfortunately, in some cases this may be the only type of charger available. Here’s the solution: insert a test light made from a regular or even a taillight bulb between the positive side of the charger and the battery. Typically a test light, turn signal or brake light bulb will draw about 2.25 amps. (If you are unsure of the amperage or wattage of the bulb, connect an ammeter in series to measure the current.)
If you have something like a 6 amp charger that you want to use with your 20 amp battery, you need to connect two bulbs in parallel. Yes, it’s crappy, but it beats baking your battery. What do you mean you don’t have test bulbs? I assume you didn’t read the technical advice on building a test lamp. If you are reading this article, your bike won’t start and you won’t be able to ride for at least a few hours and that makes me sad. for you. Hopefully we can get it up and running soon though. Charging a motorcycle battery isn’t difficult, but there are a few things you can do to ensure success. Let’s get to work!
How to charge a battery Understand that not all batteries can withstand charging. Determine the type of battery construction Choose the appropriate charger Remove the battery Charge it! Reinstall the battery Test the electrical system to determine the cause of the battery failure. Step 1. Change your expectations
He does not like to be released and left alone for a while. Batteries can sometimes kill themselves, but even if the drain and subsequent flash charge has caused recoverable, permanent, and irreparable damage, you’ll probably want to give it a try. Expect to buy a new battery, and if yours is salvageable, consider it just in case.
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Here you can see the internal parts of a lead acid battery. The lead plates on the front are separated by spacers. The entire chamber is flooded with acid and the resulting chemical energy is converted into electrical energy. Pro tip: Don’t cut the battery apart to see what your build type is. Photo.
Lead acid, absorbent fiberglass (AGM) and gel batteries can be charged normally. Lithium batteries (lithium ion, lithium iron, lithium phosphate, etc.) require special chargers depending on the manufacturer, which brings us to the next step.
There are several types of battery chargers. The simplest type is a trickle charger, which converts AC from the wall to DC and blindly pumps it into the battery until it shuts down. Please note that this type of charger must be monitored throughout the charging process. The phrase has fallen out of fashion a bit, which is why you may also see them referred to as “all manual loaders”.
This Battery Tender is attached to the COO motorcycle. If he has one, maybe you need one too. Photo.
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“Floating chargers” are the following types of chargers. Modern floating chargers charge the battery and then automatically switch on and off to keep the battery charging rate at an optimal level. (If you don’t have one of these and you’re using one, it’s probably a big part of your battery drain. A Battery Tender Junior is a lot cheaper than a new battery in most cases. Just saying.)
On the left is the float charger, which has a circuit that checks the battery’s state of charge. You may hear a regular charger also called a dummy charger because they do not include an automatic desulfation mode. Despite the derogatory name, these are excellent chargers for most battery designs. On the right is my vintage trickle charger. Instead of relying on circuits, security is here with the watchful eye of the user. Each type has its place (although a slow loader isn’t necessary if you have a float loader and use it!) Photo credit: Lemmy.
The last type of charger is a smart charger that monitors the charging progress of the battery. It usually charges at different rates to minimize battery damage. They often have what is called a “desulphation” mode, which is usually used to remove sulfur from the lead plates inside the battery. It usually does this with various voltages and electrical “pulses”.
Often these smart chargers cannot be used with lithium batteries. The problem is that lithium batteries are chemically different from their lead-acid counterparts, and most have a built-in control system that can’t handle pulsation. Check with your battery manufacturer for guidance on this type of battery as not all brands may be treated the same.
How To Charge A Motorcycle Battery
Chargers generally have several different wire styles. Some are designed to be permanently attached to the bike, such as the left strap. I use one of these on each of my motorcycles, but I also keep clip-on cables handy for charging motorcycle batteries. It’s also useful for friends who need to borrow a charger. Photo.
All these chargers are available with different charging capacities. Charging at a higher amperage is faster, but more taxing on the battery and ultimately detrimental to its future longevity.
Also note that many types of chargers have built-in circuitry that prevents the charger from applying current to anything other than the battery, so if the battery is very low on current, a floating or smart charger may not be able to charge the battery. In such cases it may help to start charging with a normal dummy charger until the battery voltage is high enough for the floating charger to “see” the battery voltage. Please note that two chargers should never be connected at the same time. While a float charger is best for most people to prevent anything from happening to the battery first, slow chargers still have their place in the motorcycle world.
It is a pain to remove the battery from the bike. You see a lot of people hooking up a battery charger to their bike battery, but I don’t recommend it for a number of reasons.
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First, by removing the battery, you isolate your electrical system. A bad battery is less of a problem. There is no blown fuse, melted wiring, or blown ECU. All it takes is a good electrical spike to make it a reality. If the battery is outside the bike, it will not be affected by flickering in the mains.
Take out that battery to charge! While not absolutely necessary, it is a good precaution when charging a battery that may be dead. Photo.
Removing the battery is also a good idea because the temperature of the battery changes when charging. A chemical reaction takes place inside the battery, and this reaction is exothermic: it releases heat! The solution inside the battery can even boil and melt the battery cases in extreme situations. The splashing acid destroys paint, metal and rubber; sulfuric acid can seriously damage almost anything on a motorcycle. With the battery off the bike and inside the base, the bike will stay intact even if the battery melts completely during charging.
If you’re considering the floating charger we talked about earlier, the situation is different. The amount of electricity required to maintain a battery is much less than the amount required to charge it when it is discharged. In such cases, using a floating charger charging cable while cycling is perfectly fine.
How To Maintain And Properly Charge Your Motorcycle Battery
If you’re not sure how to remove the battery, we have an article to help you do it safely.
If your bike is in the garage, move it outside or ventilate your work area. Battery charging radiates
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