How To Charge A Motorcycle Battery [DIY Job]

How To Charge A Motorcycle Battery

A motorcycle is like a dear friend, or sometimes, it is like a baby to the rider. The rider cherishes it. But while the battery is dead, it’s a bolt from the blue for the rider. If you know how to charge a motorcycle battery, you don’t need to think too much if the battery gets dead. 

As a professional motorcycle mechanic, I know many different ways to charge a motorcycle battery. In today’s article, I am going to write them down one by one. So make sure you have read this whole article at least once. 

6 Different Ways To Charge A Motorcycle Battery [Apply Any One Of Them]

In 6 alternatives, 3 ways are well known while other 3 ways are a little creative. 

These are: 

  1. Hard but effective: Jump starting the battery,
  2. Using a battery charger,
  3. Tough luck – push-starting the battery,
  4. Innovation 101: Using a power-source from your old computer,
  5. Be creative: Turn your laptop charger into the battery charger,
  6. Inverter to charger: All you got at home.

Let’s see how the old book methods work:

1. Hard But Effective: Jump Starting The Battery: 

Change with the jumper cables is a neat trick. If you keep some jumper cables in your hand, they might always come in handy. Jumper cables let you use someone else’s car or motorcycle to jump-start the battery of yours

First, you need to open up your motorcycle’s battery part with a screwdriver. Then, you need to hook up your cables between both of the vehicles. First, take the Jump starting cable and put the red ones on the positive sides of each of the batteries of the vehicles.

  • Secondly, connect the black clamp on the good battery’s side to the negative terminal on it.
  • Thirdly, connect the black clamp on the bad battery’s side to an unpainted chassis on the motorcycle. 

Now, the reason is that most of the old batteries may leak some Hydrogen gas as they become unhealthy from time to time. There is a slight chance but you don’t need to take the risk. If it does leak Hydrogen, which is highly inflammable, the black clam at the chassis, even if it sparks, will be away from the battery, and won’t make a KABOOM. 

As we always say, safety first after all. Now the next step is to put your key in your motorcycle and hit the starter switch. The old method does not usually fail if any other problems are not present in your bike.

After the bike starts, disconnect the negative cables starting from the negative terminal of the good battery, then the motorcycle’s battery. Use the same format for the positive clams. 

A very important thing to remember while you use any car’s battery for the jumpstart is that it will not burst your motorcycle’s battery. Because science says only a limited amount of electricity will pass through.

New or old, all motorcycle batteries can be charged through this method. As it is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

2. Using A Battery Charger:

A battery charger is a very common step for bikers to use for charging their motorcycle’s battery. Although this is the most effective one, you need to find out the best battery charger fit for your motorcycle. Because not all the charger supports the same motorcycle battery. 

To charge the battery using the battery charger, you need to first open up the hood of your motorcycle with a screwdriver, disconnect the battery from the motorcycle and bring it out into an open space outside the house and far from any flammable materials.

That’s because Hydrogen gas is produced while charging motorcycle batteries. As they are highly inflammable, it is better to be cautious to keep the battery away from all other flammable objects.

The battery charger has two clams. You should first plug in the clams to the negative and positive side, red at the positive and other at the negative.

After making sure they are well-plugged, only after that, you may connect the electrical plug to the power source or socket.

For non-smart chargers:

A reminder of caution is that, if you are using a non-smart charger, you must keep an eye on your battery. If it is overcharged, it may cause serious problems. In that case, when you think it is charged, you must measure the voltage with a DVOM, or Multimeter. 

– Take the battery disconnecting from the charger. 

– The black lead goes to COM while the Red lead goes to the V Slot.

– Turn DVOM to 20 Volts DC. 

– Keep the motorcycle fully off. 

– Record the voltage connecting the black lead to the negative and red lead to the positive post.

– If the volt shows 12.73 or more volts, it is charged.  

– If it is 12.06 – 12.62 volts, you may still need to keep it plugged through the charger.

– Any number lower than 12.06 on DVOM is a signal that you may need professional help.

For Smart Chargers:

A smart charger is a blessing. Although it is more costly than average jump-starting cables and non-smart chargers; it gives you the benefit of easily measuring if your motorcycle battery is charged or not. 

Overcharging may lead to producing hydrogen sulfide which is very bad for you, your family, and the total environment.

3. Tough Luck – Push-Starting The Battery:

This is another old way to start a dead battery. Although effective, it may become a little dangerous sometimes. So, don’t try this if you are not completely sure. For this method, you need a steep hill or a sloppy road. 

Before trying it, make sure that your oil tank is full and the motorcycle is free from any other problems. Especially check the kickstand. Sometimes, it’s down due to some safety features, and the motorcycle won’t start.

Now, after checking, take the bike on the steep hill. Start the bike. Put it in second or third gear. Roll the bike downwards holding the clutch. Let it gather some speed on the way.

Release the clutch once it starts. If this does not work, try it again taking the motorcycle at the head of the road. Try it for a few times. If it still does not work, you must go and look for a professional. 

May the creative ones win too!

Besides the old-school methods, some new techniques might blow your mind away. These creative methods are innovated by hardcore motorcycle fans who do not want to follow the regular ways. But, rather want to create their styles and mesmerize people. The innovative ways to charge the battery are as follows.

4. Innovation 101: Using A Power Source From Your Old Computer:

If you are a lover of technology as well as a bike lover, you will just love this idea.

Using a power source to charge your motorcycle battery, what more do you want? 

Where technology meets dare! This unusual method is not quite known. We know the power sources of our PC that we use to have a high tolerance when it comes to electricity.

On the other hand, what is a charger rather than an adopter? Now, if you can make an adopter out of the power source, then HOORAH! You got a tool to charge your motorcycle battery.  Now I will tell you how you can do it step by step –  

  • Firstly, take an old power supply from your computer. Find the biggest black port wired to it which has a clip and twenty-four holes in total. 
  • Secondly, find a small electrical wire. Fold the wire, and put the two ends in the third and fourth hole of the port’s clip containing the side. It will make the holes short.
  • Thirdly, buy a four-hole white connector from your roadside computer shop or find old computer parts like a DVD drive. It has two wires – Red and Black. 

Next, take the battery, wire the red wire of the connector with the positive terminal of the battery, and join the black one with the negative terminal.

After that, find a four-hole black port from your power supply and connect the white connector with that port. Then, plug the power cable into the power supply and connect the battery to electricity.

It will take three to four hours to complete the charging. As the power supply is an analog adapter, you should measure your voltage with the Multimeter.

If a DVOM or Multimeter is not available at hand, you may try the analog way by connecting a wire from positive and finding out if it sparks or not. But we recommend the first one. And, if you want to go for the latter, do it with caution.

5. Be Creative: Turn Your Laptop Charger Into The Battery Charger:

This is another innovation of the tech lovers you may say. The tech lovers turned even laptop chargers to motorcycle battery chargers. But to run operations in this method, you may need some extra assisting tools.

You must have the following tools besides a laptop charger –

– A multimeter

– A small bulb (5V)

– Two battery clips: Positive & Negative

– Electric wires

Before doing anything else, you must check the volt of the battery as well as the volt of the laptop charger written on the body. If they are of the same volts, you may not need the bulb but should keep it for caution.

Now, let’s start the operation step by step,

  • First, connect the wires to the battery clips and join the bulb with them. As a result, you will get a bulb that can be connected to the two points of any battery to light up.
  • Second, you must cut the laptop adaptor’s charging end and split the positive and negative wires.

Third, connect the multimeter and find out how much voltage passes through the laptop charger when connected to electricity.

If the charger is passing more than the necessary electricity, it’s needed for the battery to charge which is 14.20 volts at multimeter, then you need to connect a clip of the bulb to the positive end of the battery and another end of the bulb connecting to the positive wire of the laptop. Again, the negative wire of the laptop charger will connect with the negative terminal of the battery.

As a result, excess electricity will be reduced by the battery. 

In this way, you will only need 15-20 minutes or less to fully charge the battery. After 15 minutes, measure the voltage of the battery with the multimeter keeping the battery connected to the charger.

If it is less than 14.20 Volt, wait a few seconds, or if it’s already 14.20 or more, then quickly disconnect. Because, if it is excessively charged, it is very bad for the battery and can harm in the long run.

6. Inverter To Charger: All You Got At Home:

If you have any inverter at home, you can turn this power supply inverter into a charging tool for your motorcycle battery easily. For this, you will need, 

  • Two electrical wires of 1.5 mm thick and 1.5-2 meter in length. Please don’t make the thin wires, they may burn easily.
  • A multimeter.

The method to charge the battery with the inverter is simple. Join the negative terminal of the inverter with the negative terminal of the battery with one of the electrical wires.

And, join the positive terminal of the inverter with the positive terminal of the motorcycle battery.

But before plugging it in, you must measure the voltage of the motorcycle battery with your multimeter. If it’s nearly full, just plug in for a few minutes and then disconnect. Even for low voltage, you should not charge it for more than 10-15 minutes, otherwise, you may find it overcharged.

Final Verdict: 

A motorcycle’s battery, while it stops, is really painful for the rider. It stresses the rider mentally who is accustomed to it.

So, you should always take care of your sweet ride as if too roughly used, it may not come back from the dead. 

May your journey with your ride be always full of joy.

You may also want to read:

Are Motorcycles Easy To Maintain?

How Do You Engine Brake On A Motorcycle?

Should You Use Fog Lights As DRL?

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