All batteries, especially motorcycle battery are vulnerable to high or low temperature, short circuits, and overcharging. Either you just bought a new motorcycle with all new parts, including the battery, or the old battery of your current bike is just replaced with a new one.
Whatever the case, charging correctly before using it for the first time is essential. With these simple steps and instructions on how to charge your motorcycle battery for the first time, you will be able to get back out there on your bike in no time.
Should You Wait Before First Battery Charge?
Well, many people out there feel that it is best not to charge new motorcycle batteries for about 3-5 days after purchase. We are neutral at this point – yes, you can wait 3-5 days, or even you can put it in charge just after purchase.
The path you follow is not our concern; the instruction we have is that you must charge the battery correctly before using it for the first time. Remember, an improper first charge can turn the battery into a less performer for the rest of its lifespan, regardless of being a top-notch battery.
Should You Charge Every Type of Battery Before First Use?
It’s an essential point to understand. There are mainly three types of motorcycle batteries – AGM, Lithium-ion and Lead-acid. Do each of them requires charging before first use?
Lithium-Ion Batteries: These batteries are more suitable for larger bikes and perform great in all extreme weathers. The best thing about the modern-tech battery is that you don’t have to charge it before first use. And, amazingly, there is also no harm if you load it before initial use!
AGM Batteries: They come in about 75% -80% charged when you buy and need charge for the remaining 20% -25% before first use. 4 to 6 hours is enough to charge that following the method described below.
Lead-Acid Batteries: Usually, they require 100% charging before initial use. Whether it’s coming installed in your new bike or bought as an aftermarket battery, it needs a full charge. The following guide is written mainly based on this type of battery.
Step by Step Charging Guide:
Check the Position of the Battery in Your Motorcycle
The first step in charging the battery is to identify its position. The motorcycle battery can always be located on either side of the bike, usually behind the seat.
Disconnect the Battery from the Motorcycle
For starters, you need to make sure the battery is off. If it’s not already disconnected from your bike, use a socket wrench or ratchet and disconnect the negative terminal first before removing the positive terminal.
Begin Charging the Battery
Fill your new battery with acid before proceeding by using either distilled or regular tap water mixed with baking soda. This ensures that there are no dangerous levels of electrolytes inside the battery.
The next step is to connect the charger. With your leads connected to the correct terminals, please turn on your charger and check visually to see that it is putting out a clean DC (Direct Current).
Charge your battery for at least 20-24 hours using a good-quality charger. Start charging at a low current of 12 amps and then move up to 15, 20, and 25 until you reach 30 amps on your charger. Be sure to monitor the temperature closely.
If it exceeds 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 Celsius), stop adding charge because this can lead to an explosion! Keep water levels steady during operation.
Disconnect the Charger
Continue to charge for a few more hours, then disconnect the battery entirely from any power source to allow it to cool down. (Batteries discharge when at high temperature or when left for a long time).
Do a final check of all your wiring and make sure there are no short circuits or loose connections. You now know how to charge a motorcycle battery the first time!