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Motorcycle and scooter battery: standard, maintenance-free, lithium or gel, which one to choose?

Motorcycle or scooter battery empty. How many times have you got on the saddle with a great desire to leave, only to have to give up because the charge did not hold? In this guide we will talk about standard batteries, maintenance-free, lithium and gel batteries, trying to understand which type is best suited to your needs.

Standard Motorcycle Batteries

We start with the least expensive type of battery and, consequently, also the one with the lowest performance. What will you find inside the box? In addition to the battery itself, inside the packaging you will find some acid that you have to insert inside the battery by means of special nozzles. This type of battery can be mounted in a single position, vertically, and requires more frequent maintenance than the more advanced batteries we will talk about later. For example, to avoid the deterioration, sometimes irreversible, of standard motorcycle batteries, the acid level must be checked regularly and, if necessary, topped up with distilled water.

Pros

  • low purchase cost.

Cons

  • low yield;
  • high maintenance;
  • vertical positioning only.

Maintenance-free motorcycle batteries

Compared to standard batteries, maintenance-free batteries are an evolution, requiring only an initial injection of acid into the battery, without requiring any maintenance throughout its life. Another strong point compared to standard batteries is the position of use which, although in principle must remain vertical, allows a certain tolerance in case of inclination.

Pros

  • affordable price;
  • positioning that allows tilting;
  • no maintenance.

Cons

  • not optimal yield.

Gel Motorcycle Batteries

A further evolution compared to maintenance-free batteries, is the gel battery, more evolved than the previous ones, but with lower technical characteristics than lithium, as we will see later.
Gel batteries for motorcycles, do not require any kind of maintenance during their life cycle and, unlike the types discussed above, can be used in many different positions, even upside down, without the risk of acid coming out.

The motivation is enclosed in the fact that the presence of the gel manages to trap and block the acid between the electrodes, thus preventing the acid from escaping, not even in case of breakage. Moreover, the gel, thanks to the recombination of the gases, guarantees a lower self-discharge, thus increasing the duration of the charge during periods of inactivity, eliminating the emission of acid vapors.
The quality level of gel batteries, therefore, is higher than the two described above, guaranteeing better performance when energy is required in cold starts and ensuring greater resistance to short circuits.

Pros

  • superior performance;
  • advanced technology;
  • possibility of mounting in any position.

Cons

  • price;
  • dedicated charger.

Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are the best that the market offers today in terms of performance, weight and technology. Arrived on the market about three years ago, lithium batteries for motorcycles, having no heavy metals such as lead, weigh up to 60% less than traditional and are much more compact, saving several kilos and space. In addition to weight savings, lithium batteries guarantee significantly shorter charging times and a life cycle about five times longer than traditional batteries. A further positive aspect about the lithium batteries in our motorcycles is that they do not have the “memory” effect that prevents conventional batteries from recharging fully. As there are no acids inside, they can be positioned in any way without fear of damaging the bike.

Obviously a lot of technology is expensive compared to the more basic alternatives but, once tried, it will be difficult to go back.

Pros

  • performance;
  • weight;
  • duration.

Cons

  • high price.

After having studied the different types of batteries, it is up to you to decide which one is best suited to the use you make of your motorcycle. When choosing a battery, in addition to your budget, you must in fact take into account the number of times you use the bike within the season and the bike on which it is used. Obviously a battery like the lithium battery could find its use mounted on a sports bike or that is used on the track, saving significantly on weight but, in all probability, would be wasted on a vintage motorcycle or on less performing bikes. The choice is up to you!

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