Lithium motorcycle battery dead. How to Recondition a Flooded Lead Acid Motorcycle Battery?

How To Tell If Your Dead Motorcycle Battery is Still OK

You turn the key, the lights go on, but when you hit the starter – an abrupt clicking sound – silence. Your battery is too weak to power up your motorcycle. You get a five-star motorcycle towing company to deliver your bike home. Now what? Can a dead motorcycle battery be recharged?! It sure can! But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s still usable. Here’s how tell if your dead motorcycle battery is still OK.

Ladies and gents, in this video, I’m gonna show you how to tell if a motorcycle battery needs to be replaced, or if you can just recharge it. Recharging it would save you a few bucks, but you could end up just being stranded again. But replacing it might cost you money you don’t need to spend. So how do you know what to do you?

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There are lot of reasons why your motorcycle battery could die, such as neglecting it for a few weeks, or simply forgetting in the ignition and leaving the lights on.

Sometimes you might even think that your battery is the problem, but you could have a whole other issue, like a wiring issue or a problem with your charging system. Replacing your battery isn’t going to solve anything, and you might be wasting money and time for nothing.

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Look, we all mistakes, but we don’t always have to pay for them. I don’t want you spending your money unless you’re gonna benefit from it, so let’s get into it.

Can a dead motorcycle battery be recharged?

Yes. A dead motorcycle battery, especially a high-quality motorcycle battery, can be recharged several times over. However, your motorcycle battery won’t last forever, and letting it drain too much will lead to a premature end of it’s serviceable lifespan.

If you choose to recharge your motorcycle battery, you don’t want to discover once you’ve left for a ride that the battery can no longer hold a charge, and end up left stranded. At the same time, you don’t want to replace a battery that might still be good. That’s why you should follow these tips.

How to Revive a Dead Motorcycle Battery?

The reconditioning of the motorcycle battery required basic tools and a multimeter to measure the voltage of the battery. The most important are the gloves and goggles as the liquid in the battery is sulphuric acid, and it can burn your eyes and hands.

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You can revive a dead battery by draining the electrolyte solution and replacing it with Epsom salt. If your dead battery is not taking charge, that means that there is sulfation in the battery, which happens when the sulphuric acid begins to break down.

So here we will discuss the safety equipment you need to have access to and the steps you need to follow and learn before doing or starting the reconditioning of your dead motorcycle battery.

What Are the Different Types Of 12v Motorcycle Battery?

You will find two types of 12V batteries in your motorcycle, and the most common is Flooded Lead Acid Batteries. These batteries can be seen either with open access to the cells for maintenance and topping up or might be sealed, which is known as Sealed Lead Acid.

These batteries are considered to be maintenance-free but can be accessed to the cell caps or cells by removing the cover on top of the battery.

The other main types of motorcycle batteries are AGM or GEL-type batteries, and these batteries are known as maintenance-free batteries. These types of batteries are not engulfed with electrolytes but filled with fiberglass mesh or a silica dust gel substance.

Reconditioning of motorcycle battery is an easy task if you follow the steps correctly and remember the difference between a sealed Flooded Lead Acid Battery or an open battery.

These batteries can be easily reconditioned by replacing the electrolyte in the battery. AGM and GEL style batteries need to be rebuilt, and the task is time-consuming and expensive.

Required Tools to Recondition A Dead Motorcycle Battery

Safety Equipment

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  • Chemical resistant gloves or neoprene.
  • Safety glasses or goggles.
  • Chemical-resistant apron.

Motorcycle Battery Reconditioning Tools

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  • Flathead/Philips screwdrivers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Digital Multimeter
  • Plastic Bucket
  • Baking Soda (16oz)
  • Warm Distilled water 1L
  • Epsom salt 0.5 (16oz)
  • Mixing bottle/Flask or Pan 2L
  • Plastic Funnel or syringe
  • Battery Charger (Smart chargers are best)
  • Battery load tester
  • Battery hydrometer

How to Fix Your Electric Bike Battery if it Dies

If you want to fix your battery issues, you can either take it to your local dealer and have it fixed for a price, or you can take a little DIY time and fix it yourself.

  • Cooled down: Make sure the battery and bike have cooled down. If you have asked a lot from your battery in a hot environment, the battery and the Battery Management System can get very hot and even shut down.
  • Remove the battery and try to charge the battery properly. You can also double-check the battery charging procedure in your manual and then plug the charger into your battery.
  • Turn the pack off: If the battery pack has an on/off switch, turn the pack off. Wait for several minutes and turn the pack on again, and check if it works.
  • Check the age of the battery, it can be that your battery is just too old and does not have enough capacity left. Normally you will notice this, similar to your phone battery, as it will last less and less. But there can be cases where you do not really notice this until you use it under different circumstances (like colder weather or different terrain). Batteries can only be changed for a finite amount of time.
  • Spare battery: If you have a spare battery, try if that battery works (make sure it is charged). If your bike does not run, there is probably something wrong with the electrical system on your bike. If the bike runs, your battery or the Battery Management System is probably broken or faulty. As lithium-ion and lithium-polymer batteries are really dangerous, it is advisable to replace it. Don’t forget to check your manual if this can be done under warranty.

There are certain battery packs that can be full and still do not work. A spark can cause the Battery Management System to shut down the battery pack and enter a sort of fault mode. If this is the case, there is a trick to jump-start the pack.

How to Jump-Start your battery pack

Before continuing: jumpstarting a battery pack is dangerous and should only be done by somebody that knows what he is doing. If something goes wrong, your battery can explode.

Take Home

We hope that this guide has been helpful in fixing the basic problems you tend to encounter with your electric mountain bike battery.

Step 1: Assess the Situation

When your electric mountain bike (eMTB) battery dies mid-ride, you should first carefully assess the situation. Consider factors such as your location, how far you are from your starting point, and if you have access to any potential charging stations.

Based on this assessment, you can determine the best course of action to handle the dead battery.

Step 2: Switch to Manual Mode

If your eMTB no longer has any battery power, don’t panic. You can still ride your bike in the manual mode. This means that you’ll have to rely on your strength and stamina to pedal the bike, as there will be no electrical assistance.

Although your eMTB will now be heavier than a non-electric mountain bike, it’s still a viable option to get back to your starting point.

Step 3: Find the Nearest Charging Station (If Possible)

If you’re lucky enough to be close to a charging station, you might have the option of recharging your battery partially or fully. Seek out nearby parks, sports centers, or even cafes with available charging points. To find charging stations in your area, you can use websites or apps like PlugShare or Open Charge Map.

Step 4: Carry a Spare Battery or Power Bank

If you frequently encounter dead eMTB batteries, consider investing in a spare battery or a power bank to extend your bike’s range. Spare batteries can be purchased from your eMTB’s manufacturer or other reputable retailers. On the other hand, power banks generally provide enough power for a partial recharge in emergency cases.

Having a spare battery or power bank available also allows you to ride further without the fear of running out of battery power. Always check and make sure you are using compatible and approved batteries for your specific eMTB model to avoid any potential issues or hazards.

Step 5: Plan Your Route Wisely

Plan your routes ahead of your ride to avoid battery depletion on your eMTB. This includes considering the terrain, elevation changes, and distance, as all these factors can influence the battery’s lifespan.

Additionally, be aware of your bike’s average range and adjust your route accordingly to make sure you’ll have enough battery power to complete your ride.

over, when planning your route, account for potential charging stations, especially when riding on longer trails. Furthermore, utilize your eMTB’s Eco mode or lower assistance levels for preserving battery life, gradually increasing the assistance level only when necessary.

Step 6: Maintain Your eMTB Battery

Proper maintenance of your eMTB battery is essential to prolong its lifespan and minimize the chances of it dying unexpectedly. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for taking care of your battery, which may include:

  • Regular cleaning and checking for damages.
  • Charging the battery fully after each use.
  • Storing the battery in appropriate temperature-controlled environments.
  • Avoiding overcharging and only using compatible chargers.

By keeping your eMTB battery well-maintained, you’ll reduce the risk of a dead battery while enjoying your rides in outdoors.

Step 7: Know When to Replace Your eMTB Battery

All eMTB batteries have a limited lifespan, so it’s crucial to be aware of when it’s time to replace them. Most eMTB batteries have a charging cycle limit ranging from 500 to 1,000 cycles. Once your battery reaches this limit, its performance and longevity may decline.

If you notice a significant decrease in your battery’s range or charging capacity, it’s likely time for a replacement. Consult your manufacturer or a knowledgeable bike retailer to determine the best replacement battery options for your eMTB.

Conclusion

An electric mountain bike offers an enhanced riding experience with the added assistance of an electric-powered motor. However, when the battery dies, knowing how to handle the situation effectively is crucial.

By assessing your surroundings, switching to manual mode, planning your routes, carrying a spare battery or power bank, maintaining your battery, and knowing when to replace it, you’ll be better equipped to manage a dead eMTB battery.

How to Maintain your Motorcycle Battery during Winter

Image by Paul Henri Degrande from Pixabay

Winter might not favor motorcycle batteries, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless to prevent their damage. With a little effort and knowledge, you can protect the batteries from the elements and make them usable once winter has passed.

Charge the Batteries Fully

We’ve established that poorly-charged batteries cannot withstand the freezing temperatures, and it would only make sense if you charge them 100% before winter to keep them functional after the season. Since a motorcycle battery requires a maximum of 8 hours to charge completely, you can do this in one night and save yourself the hustle and money of buying another one.

Keep the Motorcycle Indoors

You don’t need to park your motorcycle in the living room, as storage or garage would do. Make sure it’s far from the freezing snow, and if possible, try covering it with something to keep the cold off.

Fix any Wiring Problems

If your bike has been experiencing poor wiring, it’s time to have the problem fixed before it costs you a battery. Poor wiring might result in a short circuit, which might trigger a parasitic drain. This problem is common with older bikes, and it’s best to have your bike inspected in case of wiring problems you might not know.

Start your Bike more Often

You don’t need to go anywhere with it, but regular startups would ensure the engine remains in optimal conditions and the battery gets charged to full capacity. Make it a habit to start your bike at least once every week.

How Long Does a Motorcycle Battery Sit before it Dies?

Image by Ralphs_Fotos from Pixabay

A fully-charged new battery can sit for three months before it dies. A semi-charged older battery might go for a month before it loses the charge and dies. However, it’s critical to recharge the battery every month when it’s idle to avoid damage. Hook it to a tender or use a trickle charger to keep it in great condition.

Which is the Best Battery for Cold Weather?

Lithium batteries are perfect for cold weather compared to acid batteries as they can withstand freezing temperatures. However, they too require proper maintenance and regular recharging to keep them in working conditions.

Before buying any battery for your motorcycle, it’s best if you discuss this with your mechanic and have them recommend the best battery on the market. They’ll also share some cutting-edge maintenance tips they believe will work for the battery.

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