How to Know When a Motorcycle Battery Is Going Dead

Written by tallulah philange
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How to Know When a Motorcycle Battery Is Going Dead
Check your motorcycle's battery for indications that it may soon die. (motorcycle image by Goran Bogicevic from Fotolia.com)

All motorcycle batteries need recharging after use, and the constant fill and drain of the batteries wear down the units. A battery is essential to a motorcycle's operation. The battery powers an electric start system, and therefore a dead battery will prevent the rider from using the motorcycle. This could be especially worrisome if the dead battery strands the rider on a remote road. Fortunately, there are several signs that motorcycle battery maintenance is needed so that you can replace the battery well in advance.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Voltmeter

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Attach a voltmeter to the battery and test its charge. If the reading is low and does not improve after the battery is charged, it is a sign that the battery is dying.

  2. 2

    Observe how your motorcycle starts. If it is slow to start or clicks before the engine comes to life, the motorcycle battery is probably going dead.

  3. 3

    Honk the bike's horn. A weak horn is a sure sign that the battery will soon expire.

  4. 4

    Monitor the motorcycle's light functions. Dim and flickering lights both indicate the battery could soon die.

Tips and warnings

  • Many motorcycle batteries die after around three years, so take the part's age into account when judging whether the battery is dying.
  • Follow the owner's manual instructions on testing a battery's charge to avoid causing damage to the bike or harming the tester.
  • Never attempt to test a battery's charge on a motorcycle that is running or has not cooled down completely.

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