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Charging Motorcycle Batteries
A fully-charged 12-volt battery should measure about 12.6 – 13.5 volts between terminals depending upon its chemistry.
12-volt batteries motorcycle batteries supply useful energy only through a limited range — from over 14 volts (when fully charged and unrested) down to 10.5 volts in use/under load (when lights dim, your motorcycle is hard to start). No 12-volt battery will remain at over 14 volts for more than seconds unless it’s being charged. The lowest limit is 10.5 volts (used in testing) and obviously unsatisfactory in practical use.
If your battery is a flooded lead acid (with caps) check the fluid levels on each cell before charging. If any cell is low, carefully fill it to the minimum level using distilled water. Use only distilled water.
When charging conventional flooded lead acid batteries, loosen vent caps and ventilate charging area. A buildup of hydrogen and oxygen in the battery or in the charging area can create an explosion hazard.
If the battery feels hot to the touch during charging, STOP. Allow the battery to cool before charging again. Heat damages the plates, and a battery that is too hot can explode.

Properly connect the charger to the battery: positive (RED) charger lead to positive battery post and negative (BLACK) charger lead to negative battery post. Unplug the charger or turn it off before you disconnect the leads, which will cut down on the chance of the clamps arcing on the terminals.
ALWAYS use a Motorcycle/Trickle Charger when charging Motorcycle Batteries. A Motorcycle charger supplies NO MORE than 7.5 Amps during the charging process. Make sure your charger is the same voltage (6 Volt or 12 Volt) as the battery you are charging.

Charge for a full 8-12 hours.

NOTE: If your battery is HOT – STOP. You’re doing it wrong or your battery is damaged.
If your battery SWELLS – STOP. You’re doing it wrong or your battery is damaged.
If your battery is SMOKING – STOP. You’re doing it wrong.

If you need more help. Contact the folks at POWERSTRIDE at 877-576-9379 for tips.
By the way, when you buy a motorcycle battery at www.Powerstridebattery.com, MOST of them come with FREE chargers! Awwwwwwwwwwwwwww yeah!


  1. Johnie Lewis Thomas Jr /

    Received a free charge at O’Reilly’s and when I picked it up it felt hot. Before I got to the door the bottom of the battery was almost too hot to touch. I got it to my cycle and still my bike wouldnt turn over, so I think it to be a starter problem. Now,at home with the battery, it is cool to the touch. Could it have exploded earlier? And shouldnt the tech know about hot batteries and advise customers to that effect?

  2. The Battery Genius /

    A motorcycle battery should NEVER be charged on an Automotive charger… my guess is, that’s what he used.
    Batteries, however, do get warm during charge… it just part of the process.

  3. Thanks for sharing a good source of information!

  4. Bob Morrison /

    Can you use a 5 amp hour battery charger on a motorcycle battery

  5. David Pidgeon /

    Can I leave a trickle charger hooked up when bike sits for a week or so not being used?

  6. I agree with Bob that you can use an automobile battery charger on a motorcycle you just can’t overcharge it and it sounds like the guy at the automotive store didn’t know that and fried the battery. The right thing to do is for the automotive store to replace the battery and inform the technician about volts and amps.

  7. The Battery Genius /

    Fair enough. I would just recommend paying close attention to the capcities of the charger to make sure from a voltage, battery chemisty type and amp rate stand point that you are in safe bounds and do not damage your battery. Many chargers have smart chargering features and have the ability to shut adjust when a battery if fully charged and then go into a float mode. They are also known as three stage chargers. Thanks!

  8. The Battery Genius /

    Yes, David, a true trickle charger would not over charge your battery as it is designed to merely keep it at a full charge. It will compensate for the 3% natural discharge of a battery per month. Esentially the trickle will keep replacing that 3% loss. Thanks!

  9. My Deltran Battery-Tender says to clip the negative lead to the frame of the bike. Just like if you’re jumping a car or bike.

  10. The Battery Genius /

    I would check that with the Deltran Battery tender technical support team to get their expertise on that. 🙂

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