How to Fix a Motorcycle Battery

Updated February 21, 2017

A motorcycle battery is a small 12-volt battery. Proper maintenance on the battery helps to prolong its life. A good motorcycle battery will last for one to two years, and a well-maintained one will surpass that.

A fully-charged battery will read 12.60 volts to 13.0 volts. The battery is almost dead when the charge reads 12.1 or less volts. You should replace any battery that is physically damaged and leaking fluid. Fixing a battery in good physical condition with no charge or not maintaining a charge takes very little time.

Spray the battery terminals with acid cleaner, available from any auto parts retailer. The spray can damage paint so be careful while spraying. Only spray the terminals and any location showing signs of corrosion.

Scrub the metal with a wire brush to remove any corrosion. Rinse with distilled water or hose water.

Unbolt the terminals starting with the negative first. Remove the battery from the battery compartment.

Remove the chamber caps with a screwdriver. Fill each chamber with deionised or distilled water. Do not use tap water or you could damage the battery. Reinstall the chamber caps.

Charge the battery with a trickle charger. Make sure to open the vent tube on the side of the battery to allow for expansion of the air inside the battery. Monitor the battery. Disconnect the charger if the battery becomes warm to the touch. Allow the unit to cool before continuing to charge it.

Reinstall the battery on the vehicle. Make sure the vent pipe is angled down toward the bottom of the motorcycle.


Check the battery once a month. Do not allow it to sit for extended periods of time in 00 degrees Celsius or colder.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled or deionised bottled water
  • Acid cleaner
  • Wire brush
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Trickle charger
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