Motorcycles use batteries just as cars do. The charging process of motorcycles and car batteries are similar hence this might have you thinking can you charge motorcycle battery with car charger?
Yes, you can charge a motorcycle with a car charger. However, it’s not advisable that you do so because car battery chargers release more energy than motorcycle batteries can hold.
In this article, you will learn more about charging your motorcycle battery.
Charging A Motorcycle Battery With A Car Charger
Motorcycle batteries are built similar to cat batteries so it is possible to charge your motorcycle battery with a car charger. However, a car charger can supply a level of amperage than a motorcycle battery requires. This can lead to severe damage to the motorcycle battery.
Motorcycle batteries and car batteries have similar voltage, however, they have different amperage. This means that car battery chargers are designed to put out more amps than motorcycle batteries can hold.
A common risk that comes with using car battery chargers to charge motorcycles is overheating which can lead to the following.
- It will boil the electrolyte.
- Batteries may overheat.
- It can overheat the plates.
- The battery could blow up.
If you’re going to use a car battery charger on a motorcycle battery, you should keep an eye on the battery to ensure it doesn’t overcharge.
Choosing The Right Battery Charger For Your Motorcycle
To safely charge your motorcycle battery, you need to get the right charger. These are the factors you need to consider before getting a motorcycle charger.
Motorcycle batteries come in different types ranging from lithium battery to acid battery. Before choosing a charger, you have to confirm the battery type to ensure you have a compatible charger.
You need to ensure that the charger voltage matches the battery voltage. Motorcycles batteries come in either 12 volts or 6 volts so you should confirm your battery voltage from the car manual and buy the appropriate charger.
A charger with higher amps will charge a motorcycle battery faster but it can lead to severe damage. A two amp charger can cut charging time in half, but leaving it beyond the required time can weaken the battery. In serious cases, it can fry the battery thereby causing permanent damage.
Types Of Motorcycle Battery Chargers
There are two types of motorcycle battery chargers you can use.
Trickle charger state just like other regular charges for homemade appliances. A trickle charger releases a certain amount of energy until the battery is fully charged.
When you use a trickle charger, to prevent overcharging, you should keep an eye on the battery so you can unplug the charger once the battery is full.
A smart charger is an advanced type of motorcycle charger that detects the level of the battery and adjusts accordingly. Motorcycle Smart chargers self-regulate so there’s no risk of overcharging and you can leave the battery charging for longer hours.
Smart chargers are more expensive than trickle chargers. However, both are efficient so you can choose the one that fits your budget.
How To Charge A Motorcycle Battery
If you have a charger that matches the specifications of your battery, charging your motorcycle battery is easy. All you need to do is follow these steps.
Locate The Battery
First, you need to locate the battery. Most motorcycles have their batteries under the saddle, while others might be in different positions. You can check the motorcycle manual for where to find the battery.
Where To Charge The Battery
The location to charge your motorcycle battery depends on the proximity of the socket and the size of the motorcycle. If you have a socket in the garage, you can easily charge the battery there.
However, if all the power outlets are inside the house it can be difficult to charge the motorcycle inside especially if it’s a big one. You can disconnect the battery and charge it close to a power outlet.
Charging The Battery
To charge the battery, you need to first identify the positive and negative terminals. The negative terminal has the “–” symbol while the positive terminal has the “+” symbol.
Take the black wire of the charger and connect it to the negative terminal. After that connect the red wire to the positive terminal. You can then proceed to plug the charger into the socket.
If you’re using a smart charger, you don’t have to keep an eye on the battery from time to time because the charger will self-regulate. However, if you’re using a trickle charger, you need to time the charging and unplug when due to avoid overcharging.
Before disconnecting the charger, you should first remove it from the socket. Then you can disconnect the port starting with the negative.
Charging Duration For Motorcycle Battery
The duration of charging your motorcycle battery depends on the size of the battery amp. For example, a 5 amp battery will take five hours to charge fully using a 5 amp charger.
However, if you’re using a charger double the amp size of your battery, it will cut the charging time in half. For example, if you’re using a 10 amp charger to charge a 5 amp battery, instead of 5 hours it will take 2 hours and 30 minutes to fully charge the battery.
It’s important that you get the timing of charging right if you’re using a trickle charger to avoid overcharging.
Frequency Of Charging Your Motorcycle Battery
If you ride your motorcycle often, the alternative will automatically charge the battery. So you won’t have to charge the battery as the battery will always have enough power to power the bike.
However, if you leave the motorcycle without driving it for a long time, the battery can run down. When this happens, you will need to power the battery by charging it.
If you don’t ride your motorcycle more than 4 times a month, you should try to charge it at least twice monthly to stop the battery from running down.
While you can charge your motorcycle battery with a car charger, it’s not advisable. A motorcycle battery charger that matches the battery specifications remains the best option.
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