The 10 Best Motorcycle Batteries

Updated November 01, 2017 by Chase Brush

10 Best Motorcycle Batteries
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. While many different factors can affect the life of a motorcycle battery, it's almost guaranteed that, at some point over the course of your bike ownership, the part is going to need replacing. That's where these units come in, which, from lithium to basic acid models, represent some of the best options on the market for restoring power to your beloved machine and getting back on the open road. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best motorcycle battery on Amazon.

10. Yuasa YTX14-BS

Made by one of the most renowned names in the business, the Yuasa YTX14-BS is a 12-volt lead battery that offers extreme reliability at a fairly reasonable price. Once properly installed it needs no care, but you will have to put the included acid into the unit yourself.
  • 200 cold crank amps
  • backed by 1-year warranty
  • may need periodic charging
Brand Yuasa
Weight 10.7 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Mighty Max YTX4L-BS

The Mighty Max YTX4L-BS is an inexpensive option for anyone wanting to avoid the hassle that can come with higher-end batteries. It's rechargeable and can be mounted in any position, though serious cycle buffs may want to invest in something more powerful.
  • lead acid design
  • includes 1-year warranty
  • not very durable
Brand Mighty Max Battery
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. ThrottleX HDX30L

Harley Davidson owners will appreciate the ThrottleX HDX30L, which is a custom-made, OEM quality unit meant to replace or back up your stock model without sacrificing performance. It comes ready to install and, like your bike, it's also made in America.
  • appropriate for most hd models
  • supported by 18-month warranty
  • features heat sealed cover
Brand ThrottleX Batteries
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. ACDelco ATX14BS

The ACDelco ATX14BS is a long-lasting option that features an absorbent fiberglass mat that prevents spillage and water loss. It does need to be fully charged before initial use, but is likely to require fewer charges than cheaper batteries over the life of the unit.
  • comes with acid pack
  • good for use on atvs and snowmobiles
  • more expensive than similar models
Brand ACDelco
Model ATX14BS
Weight 10.5 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Powersonic PTZ12S

A well-built option that is also decently priced, the Powersonic PTZ12S is a good value for the recreational rider who isn't fussy about what goes under the seat. It comes fully activated and charged from the factory, so all you have to do is throw it in and let it rip.
  • 140 cold crank amps
  • basic functional design
  • terminals could be better quality
Brand Powersonic
Model PTZ12S
Weight 8.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

5. Chrome YTX12-BS High Performance

Like all sealed AGM-style batteries, the Chrome YTX12-BS High Performance is built to protect against the kind of damage conventional ones often suffer from, which includes leaks and corrosion. The 120-watt unit is maintenance free and also features heavy duty terminals.
  • includes 60-day money-back guarantee
  • vibration resistant
  • comes fully charged
Brand Chrome Battery
Model pending
Weight 8.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Shorai LFX09L2-BS12

The Shorai LFX09L2-BS12 is a compact option that will power even the largest and fastest muscle bikes. The unit ships with foam padding for help with installation in your current battery box -- which is good, because it's sure to be smaller than the one it's replacing.
  • fits many makes and models
  • no messy lead acid
  • carbon composite casing
Brand Shorai
Model pending
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. Western Power Sports Featherweight

As the name implies, the Western Power Sports Featherweight is an extremely light unit guaranteed to shed a few pounds off your machine. It's ideal for use on high performance sport bikes, as it also offers greater cranking amps than other battery types.
  • built-in led test gauge
  • features faster recharge
  • nonexplosive and noncombustible
Brand WPS Western Power Sport
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Battery Tender BTL09A120C

Lithium ion batteries tend to be lighter, safer, and more compact than their standard counterparts, and the Battery Tender BTL09A120C is a good example of that. The unit is 80 percent less heavy than lead acid equivalents, and is also rated to last up to five times longer.
  • has four terminals for easy setup
  • includes foam spacers
  • compatible with bt chargers
Brand Battery Tender
Model BTL09A120C
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Yuasa YUAM6RH4H High Performance

Offering more cranking power than the company's other models, the Yuasa YUAM6RH4H High Performance is equipped to run even the most powerful motors. Also, you don't have to worry about needing a new one any time soon, as it's meant to last between six and eight years.
  • comes with acid pack
  • made with lead-calcium technology
  • use with yuasa chargers
Brand Yuasa
Weight 11.6 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Getting To Know Your Battery

The sun is finally out and you're ready to take your shiny new sportster for a spin. You go down to the garage, pull it out into the driveway, and turn the key, expecting to hear that V-twin engine come alive in all its two-cylinder glory. Instead, what you get in response is a dreadful clicking sound — your battery is dead.

It's a common, not to mention headache-inducing, scenario, and one that any motorcycle enthusiast has likely dealt with at least once or twice over the course of his or her ownership. As two-wheeled technology has evolved to include larger engines and a whole host of other electronic components, batteries have become an integral part of the modern motorcycle, but they're still one of the most common parts to fail or fall into disrepair.

Motorcycle batteries today fall into one of a few broad categories, and it's important to consider the pros and cons of each before setting out to invest in a new one. Lead-acid batteries, including conventional wet cell and maintenance-free, are still the most common kind on the market, but they can differ significantly in terms of cost, quality, and convenience. The former are often more affordable than their competition, but are also prone to leaking and other drawbacks; the latter are lighter and more efficient, but are also usually more expensive. Lithium-ion batteries, which have gained in popularity as an aftermarket alternative to the lead-acid variety in recent years, are even more compact and energy-efficient, though those benefits are, again, usually negated by their higher cost.

Of course, type isn't the only aspect to take into account. Cold cranking amps are a measure of the battery's power at zero degrees Fahrenheit, while its amp-hour rating represents the battery’s ability to provide current for an extended period of time. If you frequently ride in the cold, a higher CCA will make your bike easier to start, whereas if you have a cruiser with a lot of electrical accessories, a higher amp-hour rating will help keep things running while at idle.

The Science Of Motorcycle Batteries

The means through which such an unassuming box produces enough energy to sustain your bike and all its gadgets may seem murky, but it's really just a matter of basic science. Simply put, a battery is device that can produce a direct current by converting chemical energy into electrical energy. The concept was first lit upon in the early 1800s, when John Frederic Daniell, a British chemist, created what is now known as the Daniell cell — an electrochemical cell consisting of a copper pot filled with a copper sulfate solution.

Today's car and motorcycle batteries have evolved since those initial inventions, but they still make use of the same general processes. A modern battery will consist of one or more cells, with each cell containing of a number of plates, or electrodes, submerged in an electrolyte. When charging or discharging, ions, or atoms with a positive or negative charge, react with the electrolyte and the electrodes to create electrons, which transfer through an external circuit to create an electrical current.

In a lead-acid battery specifically, the electrode is a spongy lead plate, and the electrolyte a mixture of distilled water and sulfuric acid. As the battery discharges, these parts undergo chemical changes — the acid degrades into water, and the lead plates become coated with lead sulfate, which eventually causes the battery to go dead. The process can be reversed and the battery recharged by hooking the unit up to a higher voltage source, but overtime — three to four years according to most manufacturers — the battery will have to be replaced.

Maintenance-free batteries, including AGM and gel models, embody only a slightly different take to this system, since in the former the electrolyte is trapped in thin fiberglass sheets between the plates, and in the latter it comes in the form of a jelly-like substance. Lithium-ion batteries use altogether different materials, making them less prone to degradation.

How To Care For Your Battery

Despite the name, no battery is really completely maintenance-free — there are a few basic pointers for all types that should be followed to help ensure their proper functioning and to get the most of their life cycles. Keeping the terminals tight and clean to help create good contact is something you should do no matter what kind of battery you buy, as is making sure the case and its surrounding seat is clear of debris.

Other tips may depend on what type of battery you have, as well as how often you ride. Conventional wet cell batteries must be topped off with water every now and again, since some of it will evaporate as a result of the chemical reaction taking place inside. It's also important to avoid storing them in cold temperatures while they're in a discharged state, as that water is also liable to freeze and crack the casing. AGM and gel batteries come in sealed cases that don't need refilling, resist freezing at low temperatures, and can hold their charge for longer periods — though that doesn't mean these should be left dead or discharged, either.

It's recommended that most batteries be hooked up to a trickle charger when not in use for more than a few weeks. These are specially designed devices that produce a very small current to keep your battery active over a long period, preventing it from self-discharging and running into the aforementioned problems. There is a wide range of affordable trickle chargers on the market today, including smart chargers that will quickly charge a fully depleted battery and then maintain it at a constant voltage.

Of course, the more you ride your bike, the more your battery will be kept active, and the healthier it will stay — at the end of the day, this might be the simplest way to care for your investment.

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Last updated on November 01, 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.

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