Motorcycles are the perfect solution during short trips around the town since you can weave in and weave out of heavy traffic when necessary. The maintenance is also cheaper than a car, so what more could you ask for?
Unfortunately, these conveniences sometimes become a hassle when you don’t properly care for your motorbike. And sometimes, there are incidents where a tricky situation hits you, like running out of battery.
To prevent this from happening and avoid potential danger for you and your bike, you must learn different ways of charging a motorcycle battery. So let’s answer, “How to charge a motorcycle battery without a charger?”
Table of Contents
Ways to Charge Motorcycle Battery Without Charger
1. Precaution steps
First things first, when doing any tinkering with your motorcycle, here is a list of safety gear or safety precautions you might need at home:
- Use non-conductive mechanic gloves: These rubber-insulating gloves protect workers from electric hazards and burns when working with live electrical circuits or equipment. It can also save you from scratches, tears, and other minor injuries.
- Ensure you turn off the ignition: Attempting to handle the motorcycle battery while the engine is on is never a good idea. It can create high-voltage outbursts, which can damage your motorcycle and hurt you.
- Clean the battery of any liquid spills, such as oil and gas.
2. With a Battery Jump Starter
It is always handy to have a portable battery jump starter, so if you have one, you’re good to go.
Step 1. Locate the Motorcycle Battery.
To jump-start a motorcycle battery, you can charge without removing the battery, so search under the bike seat.
Once you find it, locate the negative and positive terminals. As a universal rule, the positive is always marked “+,” negative is “-.”
Step 2. Connect the clamps properly.
This part is straightforward. To avoid confusion, the positive is always paired with the positive. The same goes for the negative clamp. If you’re unsure, find the indicators in the clamps marked “+” for positive and “-” for negative.
Step 3. Turn on the jump starter.
A quick reminder, make sure that the portable battery is full and don’t turn on the jump starter before placing the clamps properly in their places. Now, allow your battery to charge.
Once you fully charge the motorcycle battery, disconnect the jumper clamps and start the engine to ensure it is full.
3. With Jumper Cables
The trick with the jumper cables is almost identical to what you’re doing with a portable battery jump starter. However, you need to find another vehicle or motorcycle with a working battery for this method to work.
Step 1. Position the motorcycle and the vehicle close to each other’s batteries.
If you’re jumping with a car, ensure you are in a wide enough area because you need to position the car engine beside the motorcycle’s battery. Jumper cables are usually short, so make sure the clamps reach both ends comfortably.
Step 2. Connect the clamps, the positive first and then the negative.
Clamp the positive cable to the same terminal on the used battery. This clamp is usually indicated by a “+” sign and painted red. Next is to connect the other positive clamp to the charged battery.
After that, clamp the negative cable to the charged battery. To also avoid confusion, you should know that these clamps are with a “-” sign and are painted black. And then connect the other negative clamp to a clean metal surface.
Step 3. Turn on your vehicle with the charged battery
While connected, turn the engine on for 15 – 300 minutes. The power from the charged battery will flow to the empty battery. Start the engine of the motorcycle to test if the method worked. Try a few more minutes of charging if it doesn’t start yet.
Unclamp the jump cables after.
4. With a Trickle Charger
A trickle charger is a straightforward way of charging a bike battery. It has an AC adapter built with positive and negative clamps, similar to a jumper cable. That said, use this the same way as the other charging methods.
Keep in mind that there are specific trickle chargers designed for cars and motorcycles, so make sure you pick the correct one.
- Once you’ve plugged the terminals in their correct places (remember “+” to the same terminal marked “+,” same with “-”), connect the trickle charger to an outlet.
- This type of charger is slow, so it will usually charge a dead motorcycle battery for at least 24 hours or more. Be sure to monitor the charging and know what amp to charge the motorcycle battery, as sensitive batteries are prone to damage when overcharged.
5. With a Laptop Charger
Charging with a laptop charger or with a mobile charger is also one method of recharging a motorcycle battery. However, this method is recommended only when you are out of better options for charging since it can be dangerous when tweaking chargers for the inexperienced.
If you want to learn how to charge a 12v battery with one, here is a detailed video explaining to you how to do so:
How to Charge 12volt Bike Battery with 5volt Mobile Phone Charger
Other Pro Tips to Charge Motorcycle Battery
To keep yourself from charging every time, here are some handy tips you can follow to maintain the motorcycle’s battery in good shape:
- Avoid overcharging the bike battery: Especially when using the methods mentioned above, like a laptop charger or a phone charger, it is best to monitor the charging to avoid any damage to your battery.
- Use the motorcycle regularly: Whether manual or automatic, this keeps the battery flowing and will recharge it when you start the engine now and then.
- Monitor the battery terminals: Maintenance is an integral part when having any type of vehicle, and motorcycles are no exception. So, check the installed battery regularly for any corrosion, and always clean it to avoid discharges while riding.
Things to Consider When Charging Motorcycle Battery Without a Charger
- Know what kind of motorcycle battery you have
Lithium-based batteries need a special charger, depending on the manufacturer, so it’s best to check the manual. Otherwise, you can charge lead batteries using the normal way.
- Expect that not every kind of charger will work
If a motorcycle battery is discharged, there’s a high chance it will not charge properly if left for a long time due to sulfation. At the same time, check the capacity of your battery because rapid charging can also cause some damage.
How often do you charge the motorcycle battery?
You must charge a motorcycle battery, especially if it is lead, regularly to prevent it from getting any damage. If you can, charge the battery once a month.
At the same time, it is also a good habit to always start the motorcycle engine once a week, if not used. This method keeps the battery in good condition and avoids degradation.
Cost to charge a motorcycle battery without a charger?
It depends on what kind of method you choose to charge the battery.
If you use a jumper cable, it could cost you from $15 to as high as $120, depending on the quality and length of the cables. Choosing a battery jump starter costs about $25 to $50. While trickle chargers cost around $20 to $60.
How long does it take to charge a motorcycle battery without a charger?
The exact time it takes for motorcycle batteries to charge depends on their type. There are gel batteries, lead-acid batteries, AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) batteries (like Power Source motorcycle batteries), or Lithium-ion batteries.
Lead-acid, AGM, and Lithium-ion ones charge quite quickly, but the gel batteries charge slower. So it’s best to know what type of motorcycle battery that you have.
For the types of chargers, if you are using a smart or automatic charger, they charge for 10-24 hours on average. If you want to trickle charge a motorcycle battery, the average time varies as it is a slow charger, leading up to 24 hours to a week.
So, here’s how to charge a motorcycle battery without a charger.
There are a lot of alternative options if you’re in a tricky situation with the battery. The key takeaway is to always prepare and be careful when you deal with motorcycle parts, especially when it involves electricity.
We are optimistic that this has been very informative for you so you know what you need to prepare when the time comes.