How to Test a Motorcycle Battery

by Ashton Daigle

Unlike car batteries, motorcycle batteries require a bit more maintenance and care. When left uncharged, the lead-acid batteries used in motorcycles go through a natural discharging process. Testing and charging your motorcycle battery on a regular basis is the best way to guarantee a long battery life. You can test your motorcycle battery easily with the use of a volt meter.

Locate your motorcycle battery. It is normally near or under the seat.

Place the volt meter on the "Voltage" setting. Put the positive lead of the volt meter on the positive battery terminal and the negative lead of the meter on the negative terminal. The resting voltage should be approximately 12.5 volts.

Shift your motorcycle into neutral.

Start the engine and check the voltage while doing so. On a good battery, the voltage will drop to around 10 to 11 volts as you start the engine. If the voltage drops below 9.5 volts while starting the engine, it means that one of the battery cells is bad and the battery will need to be replaced.

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About the Author

Ashton Daigle, a New Orleans native, graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1998 and went straight to work as a journalist. In 2005 he tackled the biggest news story of his life - Hurricane Katrina. Daigle is writing a collection of essays: What It Means to be a Saints Fan.

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