The Costs of Maintaining Motorcycle Batteries
Just like any vehicle, motorcycles have certain costs associated with owning them. While you may take your car in for an oil change every 10,000 miles or six months, a motorcycle has its own quirks to keep track of. One such task is motorcycle battery maintenance, which keeps your bike running. While motorcycle batteries typically last two to four years, properly maintaining your battery can help extend its life. There’s a bit of controversy about how much it costs to maintain a motorcycle battery — here’s what you should keep in mind.
Understanding the different types of motorcycle batteries
Before you start calculating how much it’s going to cost to maintain your motorcycle battery, it’s best to analyze the pros and cons of each type of battery. The most common types of motorcycle batteries are conventional batteries, lithium batteries, and maintenance-free batteries. Some types of batteries are only used for vintage motorcycles, while others are for more modern bikes. In an older style battery, also known as conventional batteries, the electrolytes that help power the batteries need to be refilled. Often, when you purchase a conventional battery, you’ll receive a premeasured amount of battery acid so that all you have to do is pour it in when the battery is running low and charge it.
More modern maintenance-free batteries offer a different kind of convenience by eliminating the need to refill the motorcycle’s battery. These have become a bit more standard in recent years and are compatible with gas-powered motorcycles. Instead of being unsealed like conventional batteries, a maintenance-free battery is sealed up and won’t spill, which also can prevent the power terminals in your bike from corroding. In turn, you’ll need to replace the battery when it comes to the end of its life or invests in a battery charger to keep your bike’s battery fully charged.
Lithium batteries are light and are great for high-performance. Rather than using a liquid acid, they use dried solid lithium to conduct power. While they are an excellent option for motorcyclists who love speed, lithium motorcycle batteries tend to be expensive. They may also perform less optimally in cold weather, so it’s a good idea to factor in your location when deciding whether or not to choose a lithium battery.
The cost of maintaining your motorcycle battery
Depending on the brand and style of battery you are shopping for, new motorcycle batteries can run anywhere from $30 to $150. Some conventional batteries will trend towards even lower prices without any electrolytes included, while maintenance-free batteries tend to cost a bit more. On its own, an electrolyte pack may run you as much as $6, which could affect overall costs depending on how often you ride your bike.
Ultimately, the cost of maintaining your motorcycle battery depends on which type of battery you prefer and which kind your motorcycle runs on. If you don’t mind performing the maintenance yourself, make sure to at least purchase a battery that includes a battery acid kit with it. This can help you budget for the total cost of the battery rather than leaving how much you will spend on an electrolyte uncertain. Some riders prefer to just buy a new maintenance-free battery each time their old one dies, rather than try to keep the same battery running year after year. It may be worth calculating how much use you will be able to get from a rechargeable battery and then investing in a battery charger. The best way to determine the true cost of motorcycle battery maintenance is to analyze what your motorcycle needs and figure out what fits your finances; only then will you know the answer that applies to your situation.