You are not sure what voltage specification your motorcycle has. And you are confused whether the battery is of 6 Volts or 12 Volts. Or even 24 Volts.
Modern motorcycles have uniform battery voltage specification across different manufactures and models.
So, what voltage does a motorcycle battery has?
Most modern motorcycles will have their battery voltage as 12 Volts. Rarely you will find a 6 Volt battery in a motorcycle. Only exception where the battery will be of 6 Volts will be in old vintage motorcycles and in dirt bikes.
Let us dig in and deep dive into motorcycle battery voltages.
What Voltage Is A Motorcycle Battery
Almost invariably, all modern motorcycles have 12 Volt batteries.
Although the battery capacities – the amp-hour rating of the battery will vary across motorcycle manufacturers and the models, the voltage specification will be the same at 12 Volts.
6 Volt batteries are a thing of past. The modern electrical accessories and the circuits operate on 12 Volt batteries in the motorcycles.
You can find 6 Volt batteries only in old vintage motorcycles and dirt bikes.
Old motorcycles have primitive electric systems and hence, do not require 12 Volt batteries for operation. A 6 Volt battery was the norm back then.
Dirt bikes, on the other hand, do not have much electric accessories and circuits in them when compared to motorcycles and as a result, operate on 6 Volt batteries.
So, a motorcycle battery will typically have a 12 Voltage specification.
Motorcycle Battery Voltage Examples
Here are some of the battery specifications used in different motorcycle make and models.
As you will see, all these bike models invariably use a 12 Volts battery in them.
The battery capacity (amp-hour rating) may vary, but the voltage specification is same across all these motorcycles.
- Harley Davidson – Sportster XLH 883: Battery 12 V – 18 Ah
- Honda – Monkey 125/A: Battery 12 V – 3.5 Ah
- Yamaha – YZF models: Battery 12 V – 6 Ah
- Kawasaki – Ninja H2: Battery 12 V – 8.6 Ah
- Triumph – Thunderbird: Battery 12 V – 18 Ah
Here are the battery specifications in the owner manuals of these motorcycle models.
Harley Davidson – Sportster XLH 883: Battery 12 V – 18 Ah
Honda – Monkey 125/A: Battery 12 V – 3.5 Ah
Yamaha – YZF models: Battery 12 V – 6 Ah
Kawasaki – Ninja H2: Battery 12 V – 8.6 Ah
Triumph – Thunderbird: Battery 12 V – 18 Ah
Can We Use 6V Battery In Place Of A 12V Battery?
Since modern motorcycles use 12 Volt batteries in them, using a 6 Volt battery in place of a 12 Volt battery is not advisable.
A 6 Volt battery should not be used in a 12 Volt motorcycle.
Using a 6 Volt battery in place of a 12 Volt battery in a motorcycle will not power the electric accessories and circuits enough. As a result, the motorcycle will be underpowered and might not run at all.
So, do not ever use a 6 Volt battery in place of 2 Volts in your motorcycle.
How Long Does It Take To Charge A 12V Battery?
Typically, a 12V motorcycle battery can take anywhere between 4 hours to 24 hours to get charged completely.
The charging time entirely depends on:
- type of battery
- type of charger
- battery specifications
- battery age and condition
For a more detailed description, check out our post on battery charging time here.
A lithium-ion battery and an AGM battery will charge at a much faster rate. A lead acid battery will charge at a medium pace, whereas a gel battery will charge at a much slower pace and takes more time to charge.
Similarly, the type of charger and the current at which you are charging matters as well.
A trickle charger will take too many hours to charge the battery. On the other hand, a float or a smart charger will charge a battery much more quickly and takes far less time.
Charging a battery at a higher current will charge faster and takes less time, whereas charging at a lower ampere will take more time.
Lastly, a new battery will charge much faster and at lower time than an old and poorly maintained battery.
On an average, a motorcycle battery should take anywhere between 4 to 24 hours to charge completely.
How To Tell Your Motorcycle Battery Is A 6V Or 12V
Now, how do you tell whether your motorcycle has a 6 Volt battery or a 12 Volt battery?
There are mainly two ways to check the battery voltage.
- Open the bike seat and read the battery specification
- Check the bike owner’s manual
To manually check the battery specifications of your bike, you need to remove the bike seat first.
Before that, turn the ignition switch to the OFF position in your motorcycle.
Next, you have to remove the bike seat. You need to start by removing the bolts and then pull the seat up and backward to take out the seat from motorcycle.
Once you have removed the seat out, you can now see the batter Look out for its specifications where the voltage and amp-hour rating will be mentioned.
In some motorcycles, you won’t be able to see the specifications easily, you might have to remove the battery from the bike to read it.
This is a laborious process. The second alternative is much easier.
All you need to do is check your bike owner’s manual.
Within the owner’s manual, look into the Specifications section and you will easily find the battery voltage specification after some scrolling.
Can Your Motorcycle Run Without A Battery?
Most modern motorcycles cannot run without a battery. If the battery is at marginal health and some life still left in it, motorcycle can be started with a push/bump start.
The only exception where battery is not needed to run are motorcycles with magneto ignition, which can be seen in old motorcycles, small dirt bikes and scooters.
For a detailed description, check out our post here.
Will A Motorcycle Charger Charge A Car Battery?
Usually, you can use a motorcycle charger to charge a car battery since both the charger and the car battery’s voltage specification will be around 12V.
However, it is better to check whether your car battery amp-hour rating falls within the specified capacity range of the charger before you start charging.