motorcycle 101 guides

Dead Motorcycle Battery: Recharge It or Replace It?

Dead Motorcycle Battery: Recharge It or Replace It?

A dead motorcycle battery does not mean it is unusable. It can just mean that the battery is drained and must recharge before it is ready to use again. A well-kept motorcycle battery can last a decade. However, a motorcycle battery cannot last forever. If you do not want to end up stranded on the side of the road because of a dead battery, it is better to replace your older battery with a new one. Read this article to learn whether to recharge or replace a dead motorcycle battery.


1. How to Decide Whether to Recharge or Replace a Dead Motorcycle Battery

It is best to determine if a dead motorcycle battery only needs recharging since it is less expensive than buying a new battery. To check if a dead battery still has life left, you will need to perform a test. Based on the test results, you can decide whether to recharge or replace it.

2. How to Test a Dead Motorcycle Battery

To test a dead motorcycle battery, it needs to be fully charged first and then tested to see if it can maintain the charge or not. After charging the battery, wait for at least half an hour to let the charge settle or else it will give you the wrong voltage reading.

2.1 Charge the Battery

Charge the Battery

Different ways to charge a motorcycle battery include:

  • Using a battery charger
  • Jump-starting the battery
  • Push-starting

Click the link to the article below to learn how to charge a motorcycle battery using the methods listed above in detail.


2.2 How Long Does it Take to Charge a Motorcycle Battery Using a Battery Charger?

The time it takes to charge the battery depends on the type of battery charger you use. On average, a motorcycle battery can become fully charged in about 6-24 hours depending on the amp hour rating of the charger. The charging is usually non-linear, meaning that the battery can charge the first 50% quickly but can take time to charge the remaining 50%.

2.3 Check the Battery’s Voltage with a Multimeter

Check the Battery’s Voltage with a Multimeter


Before you test your motorcycle battery, make sure to follow these safety precautions:

  • Make sure your hands and workplace are dry.
  • Make sure to attach the right terminals.
  • If you are unsure about how to do this safely, get help from a professional

Equipment Required:

  • Motorcycle battery
  • Multimeter


If you can access your motorcycle’s battery and connect the multimeter to it, there is no need to remove the battery from the motorcycle. Most motorcycles have their batteries installed under the seat. However, old motorcycles have their battery placed in a separate battery compartment under a battery cover beside the engine.

  • Connect the positive terminal of the multimeter to the positive terminal of the battery.
  • Connect the negative terminal of the multimeter to the negative terminal of the battery.
  • To check the DC voltage of the battery, turn on the multimeter by turning the knob to the DCV setting. The V in the DCV has a straight and dotted line above it.


Source: Moto Travel USA

  • Now you will be able to see the battery voltage. It gives a reading of 12.7-13.3 V if the battery is fully charged. If the reading is below 12 V, it means the battery is not completely charged.


Source: Moto Travel USA

2.4 Load Test

  • To apply the load test, make sure the motorcycle battery is fully charged and connected to the motorcycle and multimeter.

Load Test

Source:Moto Travel USA

  • Start the motorcycle and check the motorcycle battery’s current voltage. If it falls below 9.5 V, it means your battery is no longer in working condition and will need to be replaced.

3. Recap

  • Charge the dead motorcycle battery with a battery charger
  • Wait at least half an hour for the charge to settle
  • After the battery is fully charged, check the voltage level using a multimeter
  • If it is fully charged, it will give a voltage reading of 12.7 and above
  • Make sure that the battery is connected to the motorcycle and the multimeter
  • Start the motorcycle and check the voltage reading on the multimeter
  • If the voltage drops below 9.5 V, it means the battery is weak and should be replaced

4. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

4.1 How to Make Your Battery Last Longer

  • If you want your motorcycle battery to last longer, do not let your battery die completely.
  • If the motorcycle is not in use for a more extended period, make sure to keep testing and recharging the battery if the voltage drops.

4.2 Can a Completely Dead Motorcycle Battery Be Recharged?

Yes, a dead motorcycle battery can be recharged if it is not expired. A good-quality motorcycle battery can be recharged several times. However, if a dead motorcycle battery has gone past its expected lifespan, it will discharge shortly after being charged.


4.3 How Often Should You Charge the Motorcycle Battery?

A motorcycle battery should be charged at least once a month. If you are not using your motorcycle for a long time, the battery will fully discharge itself. Therefore, it is recommended you charge your motorcycle’s battery even if the motorcycle is parked in the garage for a long time.

5. Final Words

A working motorcycle battery is essential for good motorcycle performance. You will not be able to start your motorbike if the battery is completely dead. It is completely normal if your battery gets completely discharged, especially if you do not use your motorcycle for a long period. However, a motorcycle battery has an expected lifespan after which it will no longer be able to store power. If you have a dead motorcycle battery, you can perform the tests covered in this article to check if your battery still has life left.

Keeping your motorcycle in good condition can help it last longer. If you want to make your motorcycle more comfortable, safer, and better looking, Viking Bags has several aftermarket parts available at its online store. These include sissy bars, crash bars, handlebars, backrests, fairings, and seats. You can also find good-quality luggage options at Viking Bags, including saddlebags, sissy bar bags, tank bags, and handlebar bags.

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