The basic needs most people have in a battery are simple. You want something you can count on to start your motorcycle or ATV every time you want to ride it. By this logic, the most reliable motorcycle battery is the best one.
In reality, things are a bit more complicated. Durability and power are two major factors to consider, but you also need to make sure you get one that fits your ride, both in its dimensions and its power output. The average temperature you’ll be riding in and how often you use your motorcycle can also have an impact on which battery is right for you.
There are a lot of batteries out there and that can make it hard to tell which ones to trust. We’ve rounded up our 10 favorite motorcycle batteries. Read on to see full reviews and learn more about how to choose between them.
Top 3 Best Motorcycle Batteries – Comparison Chart
ExpertPower 12v Replacement ATV/ Motorcycle Battery
Yuasa 12v Sealed lead acid motorcycle Battery
Chrome Pro 12v Motorcycle Battery
|Dimensions||5.9 x 3.3 x 4.2 inches||6.89 x 3.43 x 6.1 inches||4.45 x 2.76 x 5.12 inches|
|Weight||6.04 pounds||13.86 pounds||4.73 pounds|
Are you new to motorcycle batteries?
Before you can choose which battery is right, it’s a good idea to know how they work and what makes one different from another. If you’re a motorcycle battery pro you can skip to the next section. For beginners, though, let’s take a second to walk through the basics of how a battery works.
Inside a motorcycle battery there are a series of cells. In a traditional lead acid battery, each cell consists of metal plates submerged in an electrolyte fluid. When you use the battery, a charge causes the plates to interact with the solution, releasing the stored energy and turning into power to start your motorcycle engine.
There are different combinations of metals and electrolytes used for different batteries. This is known as the battery’s chemistry. An AGM or gel battery, for example, replaces the liquid electrolyte with a gel. This limits evaporation and allows the battery to work for longer without maintenance.
Some motorcycle batteries arrive pre-filled and ready to install straight from the box. Others are shipped dry, which means they don’t contain any electrolytes and must be filled and sealed prior to use. A dry battery will last longer in storage but is less convenient, especially if you’re not confident in your ability to fill the battery safely. A pre-filled battery is usually the better choice for beginners for this reason.
What do you expect out of your battery?
While the make and model of your motorcycle is important when choosing a battery, you should also think about how you ride. If you don’t ride every day, you’ll want to look for a battery with a low self-discharge rate. This is the rate at which it loses capacity when sitting unused. Self-discharge while in storage is one of the main causes of over-discharges, which reduce the long-term lifespan and capacity of the battery.
Batteries are also affected by extreme temperatures. They work more efficiently in hot weather, which can be a bad thing for motorcycles in storage, speeding up the self-discharge rate. Extreme cold makes it more difficult for the battery to produce energy, so it will take more amps to produce the same power. All-weather batteries are built to withstand extreme conditions and are great choices for recreation vehicles like snowmobiles.
How long do motorcycle batteries last?
The average lifespan of a motorcycle battery is lower than that of a car battery. You can expect most motorcycle batteries to last 2-3 years in the ideal use conditions. There are exceptions to this, and some well-made batteries can last as long as 8-10 years with proper use and maintenance.
Keep in mind this is the lifespan of a filled battery. The plates inside don’t start to deteriorate until the electrolyte solution is added. This means dry batteries can last almost indefinitely in storage before they’re filled.
Talking Power: Do you need the best performance?
The larger your engine, the more power it takes to start it. Since motorcycles and ATVs come in a wide range of speeds and sizes, you’ll find an equally diverse selection of power options.
More powerful batteries are more expensive. You won’t get any benefit from using a larger battery than you need, so you can save yourself some money by knowing exactly how much power your motorcycle or ATV needs.
Your vehicle’s user manual will tell you what battery capacity is recommended. Alternatively, you can check the label of the battery that’s currently installed and buy a new battery that has similar specs.
Best motorcycle batteries review
1. ExpertPower 12v Replacement Motorcycle Battery
Power Sport batteries from ExpertPower are a no-frills option for affordable performance. This battery is a great value at less than thirty bucks. It gives you 10 hours of continuous use per charge. It can give you that same power in cold weather, too, making it a great all-year battery.
At a slim 6 pounds, this lightweight AGM battery is easy to take with you anywhere. It functions best in float uses compared to deep discharges and recharges. The cold weather performance is high, too. You’ll reliably start all your vehicles even when it’s 20 below using the ExpertPower ETX9-BS.
Durability is a big concern for ATV batteries. This battery won’t be damaged by vibration and you can mount it any way you’d like. In the right conditions, it can last you up to 5 years. This makes it both versatile and reliable for all types of vehicles.
- Good weight to power ratio
- Certified safe by all major metrics
- Lifespan of up to 5 years in float applications
- Works in temperatures as low as -22°F
- Up to 10 hours of use per charge
- Versatile mounting options
- Doesn’t hold its charge as well in storage
- Won’t withstand as many deep discharges as other models
2. Yuasa 12v Sealed Lead Acid Motorcycle Battery
Yuasa is a leading name in high-end motorcycle batteries. Their batteries aren’t cheap, but the expense is worth it if you want reliable power. For larger bikes with bigger motors, this is the 12v rechargeable battery you want.
These Yuasa batteries are shipped dry. The plus of that is you’ll know the plates are brand new – no worrying it’ll be DOA. The disadvantage is you’ll need to fill and charge the battery before you can use it. It’s easy to fill and charges fairly quickly, so this won’t be a problem for most people.
For consistency and power, it can’ t be beaten.
- Recharges quickly
- High capacity for use on high-performance motors
- Provides 30% more cranking amps than most batteries of the size
- Advanced lead-calcium plates resist sulfation
- Can be kept indefinitely in storage before filling
- Seals completely after filling
- On the pricier side
- Requires set-up before use (not ready to go out of the box)
3. Chrome Pro 12v Motorcycle Battery
Here’s another pocket-sized rechargeable battery that packs a lot of punch. It’s about half the size and power of the Chrome YTX14 above (and about half the price, too). If you want the performance Chrome Pro but don’t need that much power, this is your perfect battery.
This battery is durable in terms of withstanding the rigors of the road. It’s resistant to vibration damage, weather damage – pretty much anything a bike or ATV battery will face. It doesn’t stack up quite so well in the long term. Even in ideal conditions, you’ll be lucky to get 3 years of use out of this battery.
The Chrome YTX7L has a lot of power for its size. It won’t start a massive Harley in the middle of winter, but for smaller bikes, it’s consistently reliable in every season. Extras like the on-battery voltage display are a nice touch, too.
- LED display shows voltage right on the battery
- Weighs less than 5 pounds
- Extensively tested for reliability
- Fits perfectly into Honda and similar engines
- Can be stored for a few months without serious discharge
- Good all-weather option
- Maximum lifespan is only 2-3 years
- Not enough cranking amps for larger engines
4. Mighty Max YTX14-BS Motorcycle/ATV battery
Batteries can be heavy and expensive – and that’s where Mighty Max comes in. At right around twenty bucks, it’s definitely affordable. It also has very compact dimensions and weighs less than 5 pounds. This makes it one of the most portable 12V batteries on the market.
The only downside to this low weight is that it’s correspondingly low-powered. It has the lowest capacity of any battery reviewed here (3 Ah). This means it won’t last as long between charges as most of the batteries here.
Having said that, it can reliably start and run engines up to 120cc’s without issue. It also works just as well in small watercraft like jet skis as it does in bikes and ATVs. If you don’t need anything super-powered, this little battery might be just what you’re looking for.
- Extremely lightweight and portable
- Great performance in both hot and cold weather
- Good value
- Arrives sealed and pre-charged
- Works in small watercraft as well as land vehicles
- Low CCA rating
- Relatively small capacity
5. UpStart AGM 12v Replacement Motorcycle Battery
Budget-minded buyers will definitely want to look at this lead-acid battery from UpStart. Firstly because it’s the most affordable option on the list. It’s also a great choice because it performs better than batteries that cost twice the price.
Our only complaint is about its long-term durability. It won’t take as many charges as more expensive batteries. The terminals also don’t feel as solid, especially for users whose batteries take some abuse.
Without a doubt, this is the best motorcycle and ATV battery in the budget price range. You can use it on motors as high as 750CC. It fits well into most Japanese motorcycle engines and performs even better than we expected in cold weather. As a completely sealed unit, it’s also convenient and easy to install.
- Ideal for Suzuki and Kawasaki motorcycles
- Most affordable option
- Can be installed straight from the box
- High CCA rating
- Starts well in cold weather
- Good recovery from accidental drains
- Doesn’t last as long as more expensive batteries
- Terminals don’t feel completely secure
6. Pirate AGM Motorcycle Replacement Battery
Finally, here’s one to file under hidden gems. You might not expect much from a brand called Pirate Battery—and you’d be mistaken. This is a well-built AGM battery with high material quality and good power for the money.
The build is what impressed us about this model. It uses a lead-calcium alloy construction with copper terminals. Ultrasonic metal welding is used in the case to increase its resistance to shocks, heat, and movement.
This isn’t a great option for long-term storage. The self-discharge rate is a bit higher than we’d like – it’s best for vehicles you’ll be using often. With that minor caveat, it’s definitely an excellent value.
- Fits in a lot of vehicles from ATVs to jet skis
- Can take over 1,000 charges before failure
- Heavy-duty copper terminals
- Fiberglass mat separators extend battery life
- Ultra-sonic welding for more durable case
- Amp hours and wattage on the low side
- Drains somewhat quickly in storage
7. ACDelco AGM Motorcycle Battery
This ACDelco battery is another of the more powerful options on the list. Not only does it have a capacity of 18Ah, but it’s also designed to withstand extreme temperatures. That makes it one of the best options for high-powered snowmobiles and other cold-weather vehicles.
ACDelco ships the ATX20LBS dry, so it’s not one you can instantly install. This is another point in its favor for winter warriors, though. You can buy it in summer and store it until winter without any capacity loss or risk of sulfation.
Our only qualm with this battery has to do with the design of the terminals. They’re unthreaded and the positioning makes them tricky to work with. This is especially true if your battery’s in a tricky spot, like under the seat. Aside from this small issue, though, this is a solid battery all around.
- Best choice for snowmobiles and ATVs
- Shipped dry to extend shelf life
- Sealed and spill-proof after filling
- Engineered to OE standards of fit and performance
- Reasonably priced considering the brand and capacity
- Does require initial filling (can’t install straight out of box)
- Battery terminals are unthreaded and tricky to work with
8. EverLast AGM Motorcycle Battery
Smaller recreational vehicles don’t need all the power you’ll get from most 12v batteries. This EverLast battery makes a great replacement for those vehicles. This includes scooters and ATVs, and even some motorcycles and personal marine craft.
As a dry-shipped battery, this EverLast can be stored for a long time before you start to use it. Once you fill it, it holds its charge quite well. Just because this isn’t as powerful don’t think it’s made cheaply. The lifespan of this battery can be over five years, on par with much costlier options.
EverLast batteries are aptly named. It will start every time even if you don’t use it every day. Don’t expect it to start a hog, but for smaller vehicles, it’s just about perfect.
- Compact and lightweight
- Versatile across vehicle types and styles
- Exact fill acid bottle means no messy disposal
- No ongoing maintenance required to operate
- High-density plates are built to last
- Needs to be filled before use
- Cranking amps are fairly low
9. ThrottleX 12v AGM Motorcycle Battery
Sometimes only a premium battery will do. If you need the maximum motorcycle battery voltage, you’ll find it here. Now we’ll admit it: premium does mean expensive, but it also means powerful. For big bikes like Harleys, few other batteries can cut it like ThrottleX.
The construction and material quality are absolutely top-shelf here. It has reinforced terminals and the cover is heat-sealed to prevent operational damage. Inside, the glass mats have full-frame plates to protect them, reducing the discharge rate.
- Most powerful battery on the list
- Low discharge rate thanks to full-frame plates
- No risk of corrosion or leaks
- Long potential lifespan when well-maintained (10+ years)
- Most expensive option
- Included instructions are hard to understand
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of different factors at play when it comes to choosing the best battery. What type of vehicle you’re powering and how you plan to use it are both important questions. Not everyone’s power needs are the same, and your choice of batteries should reflect that.
Generally speaking, sealed batteries (like the ones reviewed here) will be the preferred type for most users. They’re easy to install and don’t need on-going maintenance. Since they can’t spill or leak, they’re also safer to use and store.
If pressed to pick just one, the ThrottleX MX30L would be our choice for the best motorcycle/ATV battery. It’s a powerful and reliable battery for any motorcycle or sporting engine. Its only flaw really is that it costs more than some people want to spend.
Hopefully, this has told you everything you need to know about motorcycle batteries. Now it’s time to choose your top pick and get out on the road.
What kind of batteries do motorcycles use?
There are a few styles of battery that you can use in a motorcycle. A lead-acid battery or wet cell battery is the most convenient option. These batteries will need to be topped off with distilled water from time to time to maintain the electrolyte balance.
A dry cell battery or sealed lead acid battery (SLA) is another common style. These are popular because they don’t require maintenance. In fact, they’re completely sealed, and you shouldn’t take off the cover to check the acid level.
Absorbed Glass Mat or AGM batteries are a type of dry cell battery. They use fiberglass mats soaked in battery acid to provide the charge. Along with being maintenance-free, they’re more powerful and are capable of deep cycling.
There are other types of motorcycle batteries, as well. Gel acid batteries are similar to dry cell batteries in that they don’t require maintenance. You can even get a lithium motorcycle battery, which can be a lightweight alternative to more conventional types.
Does a motorcycle battery charge while riding?
Yes, it does, The battery in a motorcycle function in basically the same way as a battery in a car. Its primary purpose is to start the engine. While it may also provide some extra power along the way, the engine does most of the work.
While you’re riding, the battery will be charged by the alternator. The alternator’s output increases with the engine’s RPMs. This is why idling drains the battery while riding charges it.
How many volts is a typical motorcycle battery?
All motorcycles use a 12v battery, but this is more a description of the style of a battery than it is a definitive voltage. Like with any battery, the actual voltage will fluctuate with use and over the life of the battery.
At rest, a well-functioning 12v battery can register anywhere from 12.5v-13.5v. If it drops under this, you may have some difficulty starting your engine. Once the voltage drops below 12v, the battery is functionally dead.
How long does it take to charge a motorcycle battery?
Recharging a depleted battery can take anywhere from 4 to 24 hours. The exact answer depends on the size of the battery and the type of charger that you’re using. When you first fill a battery for installation, it’s a good idea to attach it to a battery tender overnight to top it off.
How can I extend the lifespan of my battery?
Deep discharges are the main things that reduce a battery’s lifespan, so avoiding them is key in increasing the longevity. Use a battery tender to keep the charge high if you know you won’t be using your motorcycle for a little while.
Remember that heat and cold affect battery performance. Moisture can also be a problem, leading to corrosion on the terminals that reduces performance. When storing batteries, keep them in a cool, dry place to avoid both of these issues.
Some deterioration of the battery over time is natural. Many battery chargers have a recovery function that restores the plates and corrects separation issues in the electrolyte solution. Using one of these chargers can greatly extend the maximum lifespan of your battery and can help undo the effects of damaging deep discharges.
Are all motorcycle batteries the same size and shape?
No. Unlike car batteries, the exact dimensions of motorcycle batteries aren’t standardized across manufacturers and models. You’ll want to make sure you check the dimensions in your vehicle manual before you start shopping to get one that fits.
What are the pros and cons of AGM batteries?
AGM batteries hold their charge better in storage than other types of lead-acid battery. This makes them a popular choice for motorcycles that aren’t ridden on a daily basis. They’re also able to deliver more power per cell and are on the whole more reliable and consistent. The main disadvantage of AGM batteries is their cost, as they tend to be priced higher than other lead-acid batteries with a similar capacity.
How do I fill a battery that’s shipped dry?
Start by removing the vent caps. Fill each cell about halfway with battery-grade electrolyte. If no electrolyte comes with the battery, check the user manual for the recommended specs.
The most important thing is not to overfill the battery. The acid will expand during use, so if it’s too full from the start it will spill out of the top.
Once the cells are filled, put the caps back on then allow the battery to sit for at least 90 minutes to give the plates time to saturate. After that, put the battery on a tender to top off the charge, keeping a close eye on the temperature to make sure it’s staying below 115°F.