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Motorcycle Battery Charging Information


Charging your battery? Make sure you have a Motorcycle Battery Charger!


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Conventional/Lead acid battery charging | Sealed/Maintenance free battery charging

Gel Filled battery charging | Battery charging points | Printer friendly version


Other battery pages:
-Motorcycle battery FAQ'S.....


-Motorcycle battery specs and sizes.....


Conventional or Lead Acid Motorcycle Batteries


Lead Acid or Conventional type batteries


For conventional/lead acid type batteries the battery number usually starts with the prefix YB, CB, GB or 12N or 6N (e.g. YB14L-A2, 12N7-3B or 6N4-2A).


These batteries normally have a light grey/opaque casing, black top and a row of either 3 or 6 stoppers in the top (3 stoppers for 6 volt batteries and 6 stoppers for 12 volt batteries).


Charging a lead acid or conventional battery:


1) Remove the packing and yellow stoppers from the top of the battery. Remove the cap from the end of the breather nipple located at the top on the side of the battery.


2) Fill each of the holes in the top of the battery with battery acid up to the upper level mark on the front of the battery (do not replace the yellow stoppers yet).


3) Charge the battery for 4 to 24 hours (depending on the size of the battery, bigger batteries with a larger capacity, e.g. Y50-N18L-A2 or YB16Al-A2, will take much longer to charge than smaller batteries e.g. YB4L-B or YB2.5L-C) with a Motorcycle Battery Charger.


4) After charging, disconnect the battery from the charger and leave to settle for 1 hour.


5) Re check the battery acid level (make sure it is up to the upper level mark) and top up the acid levels if required.


6) Securely replace the yellow stoppers into the holes in the top of the battery.


7) The battery is now filled and charged and ready for use (when connecting to a motorbike/scooter, always connect the positive (+) terminal first).


The level of battery acid will need to be occasionally checked and topped up on these types of batteries (check the battery acid level around once a month and use DISTILLED WATER, not battery acid to top up the battery to the upper fill level as required).


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Maintenance Free Motorbike Batteries


Maintenance free or Sealed type batteries


For sealed or maintenance free type batteries the battery number usually starts with the prefix YTX, CTX or GTX (e.g. YTX12-BS).


These batteries normally have a black casing, black top and a foil strip covering 6 holes in the top of the battery. They also come with a plastic strip that is used to seal the holes in the top of the battery once it's been filled.
Once the battery has been filled and the black strip has been pushed firmly in place, the battery is then 'sealed' for life (or maintenance free) and you shouldn't need to remove the strip or top the battery up.


Charging a maintenance free or sealed battery:


1) Remove the packing and remove the tin foil strip from the top of the battery. Remove the battery acid pack(s) from the plastic bag but DO NOT remove the foil from the top of the acid packs.


2) Invert the acid pack into the top of the battery so the foil covered tops of the acid packs are covering the holes in the top of the battery. Press the acid pack down firmly into the holes in the battery (a series of spikes inside the battery holes will pierce the foil and let the acid out). Gently tap the acid packs until all the acid has gone into the battery. Sealed batteries come with 1 or 2 acid packs, use all the acid that comes with the battery as this provides the required amount to fill the battery.


3) Leave the battery to settle for 1 hour.


4) Charge the battery for 4 to 24 hours (depending on the size of the battery, bigger batteries with a larger capacity, e.g. YTX20L-BS, will take much longer to charge than smaller batteries e.g. YTX5L-BS) with a Motorcycle Battery Charger.


5) Disconnect the battery from the battery charger.


6) Place the plastic strip into the holes on the top of the battery and press firmly into place until the plastic strip fits flush with the top of the battery.


Please Note: You can place the black strip in the top of the battery before charging, but, while the battery is having it's initial charge it can give of gases and the pressure that builds up in the battery can force the strip to come out of the holes.

This pressure only occurs during the initial charge, the cap doesn't have to be removed for a maintaining or top up charge.


7) The battery is now filled and charged and ready for use (when connecting to a motorbike/scooter, always connect the positive (+) terminal first).


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Gel Filled Motorcycle Batteries


Gel filled batteries

 

For gel acid, fully sealed or gel filled type batteries the battery number usually starts with the prefix YT, CT, GT or YTZ, CTZ or GTZ (e.g. YT9B-4 or YTZ10-S).


These batteries normally have a black, blue or grey casing and a black, blue or grey top.
These type of batteries are filled with a gel state acid and sealed when they are made and don't have to be sealed by us or the customer and don't require any topping up.
Gel acid batteries are often used in bikes where the battery has to lie at an angle or on it's side (due to the gel acid not moving around).


Charging a gel filled battery:


1)
Remove the battery from its packing.


2) Charge the battery for 4 to 24 hours (depending on the size of the battery, bigger batteries with a larger capacity, e.g. YT14B-4, will take much longer to charge than smaller batteries e.g. YT7B-4) with Motorcycle Battery Charger.


3) Disconnect the battery from the battery charger


4) The battery is now charged and ready for use (when connecting to a motorbike/scooter, always connect the positive (+) terminal first)


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Important points to note when charging your motorbike battery.....


    • DON'T use a car or general automotive battery charger to charge a motorcycle battery. Use a Motorcycle Battery Charger (or a charger that charges around 1 tenth of the batteries amp/hour rating or 1.4 amps per hour).
    • Charge your new battery for at least 6 hours before it's 1st use with a motorbike battery charger (don't try and charge it on the bike!)
      Motorcycle batteries are only about 80% charged when new and require an initial 'top off charge' before the 1st use (in the long run, this means your battery will last longer and perform better!)
    • If you have a maintenance free (YTX, GTX or CTX) battery.......
      Don't try and take the top off once it's sealed, these batteries don't need any acid level topping up or monitoring once sealed.
    • If you have a gel filled battery (YT, GT, CT, YTZ, CTZ or GTZ)........
      These batteries are filled and sealed when they are made and the cap should NOT be removed from them.
    • DON'T try and give your new battery it's initial charge by putting it straight on the bike and using it........
      Contrary to popular motorcycle beliefs, this method of charging a new battery can actually cause more harm than good.
      Unlike the way a battery charger normally operates, the motorbike will use part of the batteries power for starting and, on some bikes, running odd relays etc. Charging the battery on the bike normally means the battery will only ever be 80% efficient and can damage the lead plates in a new battery.
    • DON'T Give the battery a 'top up charge' by starting the bike and letting it tick over, take it out of the shed and ride the d*mn thing........
      Motorbikes are meant to be used (not sat in a shed for months on end!). The best way to maintain a healthy battery is to use the bike regularly.

      It is NOT advisable to try and maintain your battery by starting the bike up once a month and letting it tick over for 5-10 mins. This method actually uses more power to start the bike than the charging system will put back in at tickover and will, over time, flatten the battery.

      When a bike is ticking over, the charging system is normally only putting a minimum voltage level (around 12 to 12.5 volts) through the system. This isn't enough to charge a motorbike battery.
      As the rev's increase (e.g. when the bike is being ridden), the voltage level being put back into the motorcycle battery increases to around 13.5 to 14.5 volts and it's the extra power being produced when the bike is being ridden that charges the battery.

      A discharged battery can sometimes be brought back to life by taking the bike out for a long run and really using the gears and the rev range.



Lastly, please DON'T USE A CAR CHARGER TO CHARGE A MOTORCYCLE BATTERY!!!!


Other battery pages:
-Motorbike battery FAQ'S.....


-Motorbike battery specs and sizes.....


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