The problem with riding a seasonal vehicle, such as a motorcycle or snowmobile, is that it’s bound to be left sitting for an extended period of time. Thankfully, while your motorcycle sits through the winter, there isn’t much to worry about.
As long as you followed some basic winter motorcycle maintenance, you shouldn’t run into any problems when you go to start the bike in the spring. However, if you turn the bike off and let it sit for a few months, there’s a good chance the battery is going to be dead.
Using a good battery maintainer will keep the battery charged throughout the winter or whenever you’re not riding for an extended period of time. This keeps the battery healthy and makes your bike ready to use the next time it’s time to go for a ride.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the best motorcycle battery maintainers that you can use to maintain your motorcycle battery. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom for some helpful tips, a buyer’s guide, and FAQ.
Let’s jump right into it!
The Best Motorcycle Battery Maintainer
Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer (Best Motorcycle Battery Maintainer Overall)
The Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer is our recommendation as the best battery charger for motorcycle batteries for most riders. This is a highly versatile smart charger that gives you plenty of flexibility and features for charging your motorcycle battery.
The Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer works by charging the battery fully and then automatically adjusting the voltage to maintain the battery. It actually implements four separate steps for keeping your battery healthy and maintained.
These steps are initialization, bulk charge, absorption mode, and float mode. Through these different modes the battery is sent the correct level of power at all times, keeping it healthy and ready to use when you need it.
It’s also worth mentioning that this is a portable motorcycle battery charger. With its lightweight design it’s easy to use the Battery Tender Plus anywhere with your motorcycle battery.
Other features include reverse polarity protection and a temperature monitor that adjusts the charging output based on the battery’s health. These features further help to protect the battery and keep the charger working efficiently.
The main drawback is that this is a relatively low powered charger, with an output of just 1.25 amps. It’s also equipped with a rather basic notification setup and a lack of controls for turning the device on or off.
Overall, the Battery Tender Plus Charger and Maintainer remains our top recommendation as the best battery charger for motorcycle batteries. It’s easy to use, affordably priced, and ideal for keeping your battery stopped up and maintained when you’re not writing.
NOCO Genius G750 Maintainer
Our next recommendation is the NOCO Genius G750 Maintainer. This is a great choice if you’re looking for a cheap motorcycle battery charger that’s reliable and easy-to-use.
The NOCO Genius G750 Maintainer is an automatic and portable battery charger and maintainer. It comes with two charge modes that won’t ever overcharge your battery and can be used for recovering batteries that are worn out.
This is a great tool for keeping the battery fully charged without overcharging it. Thanks to the optimization settings, the internal battery chemistry is stabilized which results in increased performance and longevity.
It even comes with an energy save feature. This minimizes energy consumption when the battery is charged and full power isn’t needed.
Other features worth mentioning include the spark proof technology, reverse polarity protection, and 5-year warranty. Using this charger is simple, once connected to the battery, plug it in and let the battery charge or stay maintained when you’re not riding.
Overall, the NOCO Genius G750 Maintainer is a great choice if you’re on a budget and looking for an affordable motorcycle battery maintainer. This one comes with some basic features, it’s easy to use, and there’s a surprising amount of accessories available as well.
BLACK+DECKER BM3B Charger/Maintainer
The BLACK+DECKER BM3B Charger/Maintainer is another low priced yet practical way for charging or maintaining your motorcycle battery. With two ways to connect and automatic charging, it’s hard to go wrong with this motorcycle battery charger.
The BLACK+DECKER BM3B Charger/Maintainer is a trickle charger that can be used on both 6-volt and 12-volt batteries. It comes with two LED indicators, a green one to show charge status and a red one that notifies of any faults.
Connecting to the motorcycle battery is simple thanks to the two different connection options. It’s possible to choose between the basic battery clips or O-ring terminals depending on your preferences.
The charger plugs directly into the wall and stops charging automatically when the battery is full or topped off. At this point it switches to float mode, where it monitors the battery levels continuously.
For the price, it’s surprising that this maintainer comes with built-in circuit protection, reverse polarity protection, and short circuit protection. It even has a mounting bracket that’s built into the charger for convenient installation.
Overall, the BLACK+DECKER BM3B Charger/Maintainer is a great choice if you’re looking for a motorcycle battery charger that’s simple to use and reasonably priced. While it’s not loaded with features, it comes with everything you need maintain your motorbike battery when you’re not riding.
Battery Tender 2-Bank Charger
The Battery Tender 2-Bank Charger is a great choice for those of you with two motorcycles. This is a smart battery charger that can be used to maintain up to two different motorcycle batteries at the same time.
The Battery Tender 2-Bank Charger is equipped with a complete 3-step charging program, with the initialization, bulk charge, and float mode. This allows for the charger to optimize the battery power, without any overcharging or overheating.
Inside the maintainer are two independent charging stations, each of which provides 12-volts charging power. There is a temperature compensation that ensures optimum charge voltage according to the ambient temperature and charging conditions.
Other features include the LED indicator, spark proof protection, and reversed polarity protection. There’s even a 2 year limited warranty that helps you out if you run into any issues with this motorcycle battery charger.
Overall, if you’re looking to keep 2 motorcycle batteries charged, it’s the Battery Tender 2-Bank Charger that we’d recommend. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy an entire second charger and maintainer, which takes up more space and is more to keep track of when you’re not riding.
The Benefit of Motorcycle Battery Chargers
Keeping your motorcycle battery on the charger can damage it if it’s left unattended for months. Overcharging the battery can shorten its life and make it hard for it to maintain a charge.
Using a battery charger keeps the battery healthy and prevents it from becoming damaged. This helps to extend the lifespan of your battery and lets you get more seasons out of it.
Once the battery runs flat or is damaged from overcharging, it’s time to replace it.
With a battery maintainer you won’t have to replace the battery as often and can enjoy the same one for a longer period of time.
Using a regular charger and leaving the battery plugged in for weeks or months is a fire risk. This is something that should be avoided, especially if you’re leaving it unattended in the garage.
Using a battery maintainer helps to minimize the risk by monitoring the temperature and providing a decreased power output. This gives you the peace of mind you need so you don’t have to worry about the battery catching on fire or exploding.
Save Money and Energy
Rather than continually charging the battery, a maintainer will keep the same charge. This means there is less power being supplied to the battery and you’re not wasting any money on electricity.
Using one of these motorcycle battery float chargers saves you from having to buy a new battery and keeps more money in your pocket in the long run. Plug it in and when spring rolls around you’ll be able to ride without any issues.
Types of Motorcycle Battery Chargers
Most of you are probably familiar with how a regular motorcycle battery charger works. Essentially, it continually charges at the same rate until it’s unplugged.
The problem with this method of charging is that it continually charges the battery if it’s plugged in for an extended period of time. It’s a waste of power and it can even be a fire hazard in certain scenarios.
Trickle chargers are regularly used for maintaining motorcycle batteries. This type uses an advanced technology to keep the battery charged by monitoring the charge level.
Using this type reduces unnecessary power waste and doesn’t pose as much of a fire risk. It keeps the battery charged by supplying power whenever the power level drops beyond a certain level.
Compared to a floating charger, you know the battery will be fully charged when you unplug it. All that’s needed afterwards is to put it back in your bike and head out on your ride.
A motorcycle battery maintainer, battery charger, and floating charger are all the same device. It’s a type of charger that charges the battery fully, shuts off, then allows the battery to drain to a predetermined level.
When the battery reaches this level, the float charger turns back on and repeats the process. This saves more power and reduces the fire risk compared to continuous charging.
The main issue with this type of charging is that depending on when you disconnect the battery it may not be at full charge. This can be avoided by letting it charge fully before disconnecting.
Motorcycle Battery Charger Pricing: How Much Does a Motorcycle Battery Maintainer Cost?
Surprisingly, you can find some of the best battery chargers for around $20 or less. These are reliable and easy-to-use, though they won’t come with as many options or features.
If you’re looking for connectors or displays you’ll want to go for a higher-priced option. Otherwise, there are some great choices in this price range, which is ideal if you’re on a budget.
There are a lot more options and features available on the higher-priced 12-volt motorcycle battery chargers. Some of these features include LED displays, indicator lights, and the ability to generate more amps.
Obviously you want to get a battery charger that has multiple charging modes. When you’re in the market for a new charger or maintainer, it’s important that it has features that make it worth your while.
Some of the lower quality, less expensive models will have one setting and will only be able to charge. Having the trickle charge setting is a great feature because it reduces the overall power being supplied to your battery once it’s fully charged.
Another great feature is the maintain charge setting. This shuts down the charging for periods of time, while the battery depletes, then charges it back up again.
When you’re looking at different chargers, the best and most advanced battery maintainers will offer more features than a basic regular charge mode. These are great to have, especially if you’re using a higher-end motorcycle battery.
If the battery charger is incompatible with your battery it’s not going to help you out too much. Pay attention to the different types of terminals to make sure the charger can be attached to your specific battery.
Also, consider the options you have in your home or motorcycle garage. Some battery chargers come with shorter cords and could be difficult to use in certain locations.
Reverse Polarity Protection
Having reverse polarity protection can save you from damaging your motorcycle battery severely. The last thing you want to do is connect the cables to the wrong terminals, which can permanently damage the battery.
With reverse polarity protection you’ll be alerted if the connection is incorrect. This is a great way to keep your power supply and electrical circuits safe from the battery’s power.
Amps and Volts
When you’re looking at different chargers, the volts should match the volts of your battery. For example, a 12V battery needs a 12V charger for it to work properly.
The amps are the amount of power that’s being supplied to your battery. Look for a charger that can charge fast and reduce power.
Some battery chargers come with a temperature monitor, which is an incredibly useful feature. This is a monitor that indicates when the battery is overcharging or if there are high temperatures indicated.
One of these monitors makes it easy to avoid damaging or overcharging the battery. Look for this feature, which is especially prevalent on higher-end models.
The final feature worth mentioning is the notifications, or how different information is represented on the charger. Some of the better quality chargers come equipped with an LED screen that provides you with relevant information.
Less expensive and lower quality chargers typically use indicator lights. This is a feature based on personal preference, although having the LED screen is useful for properly maintaining your motorcycle battery.
- Before you start looking for a motorcycle battery maintainer, check what type of battery you have for your motorcycle. This affects the chargers you can buy, although some of the best battery chargers can be used with both lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries.
- It might not be possible to charge a completely dead battery depending on the amperage your charger puts out. Most trickle chargers only work with batteries that are at least half full.
- Think about how long you’re planning to leave the battery attached to a charging device. If it will be sitting for more than a few weeks, a lower-powered float charger would be ideal. You’ll want a stronger charger if there are shorter breaks between when the battery is being used.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Best Battery Charger for a Motorcycle?
Choosing the best motorcycle battery charger depends on your budget and specific requirements. While some are better than others, there isn’t a single best option for most riders.
Those of you storing your motorcycle for a long period of time will want to consider using a trickle charger or float charger. These save power, won’t hurt your battery, and are the best for long-term motorcycle storage.
What Sized Battery Charger Should You Buy?
It’s important that the charger voltage matches the battery voltage. For example, a 12-volt battery requires a 12-volt charger.
These guidelines keep things running smoothly and prevent any damage to the battery. It also prevents the maintainer from working too hard and possibly overheating.
How Do You Use a Motorcycle Battery Charger?
Using a motorcycle battery charger is easy. Start by disconnecting the battery from your motorcycle, starting with the ground or negative.
Next, attach the trickle charger starting with the positive end. Then turn on the charger and let it maintain the battery.
When you’re finished, disconnect the charger and reconnect the battery to your motorcycle. Most maintainers come with instructions that you can follow to make sure you’re doing everything right.
Is it Possible to Overcharge a Battery Using a Trickle Charger?
Yes, it’s possible to overcharge the battery, even if you’re using a trickle charger. While they reduce the risk of overcharging, it’s still a good idea to check a trickle charger and float charger once in a while.
Set a reminder to double-check your charging system every so often. This way you’ll be able to catch any issues before they develop into a serious problem.