Maintenance Free Motorcycle Battery or Conventional?

There are two main types of motorcycle batteries ” conventional and maintenance free.


Conventional batteries require you to regularly check the electrolyte levels. You can usually see a minimum level line and a maximum level line. You must add distilled water to keep your conventional batteries levels are between these lines. You have easy access to the cell compartments with this type of battery so that you can maintain it easily. Flooded electrolyte is the other main component to the conventional battery, and safety precautions need to be taken when topping this up. If these levels get too low, the plates are exposed to the air and the battery will get damaged.The conventional battery costs less than the maintenance free battery.

Maintenance Free

These are more expensive than conventional motorcycle batteries and are being pushed by the big brands, and for good reason. Maintenance free batteries mean that water loss is eliminated. Once the battery is filled with acid it is permanently sealed – so you’ll never need to fill it with water or check the acid level. Its totally sealed and all of the acid is absorbed in the special plates and separators, so there is no need to worry about acid leaks on valuable vehicle parts and accessories.

Also, the amount of free-standing electrolyte above the plates is designed to be much higher in a new maintenance-free battery. This means that there is enough electrolyte to keep the plates covered even after a few seasons of normal use. So, during the batteries normal service life there should be no need to add water. Any abnormal electrical system condition or high ambient temperatures may boil off more than the normal amount of water, however. Even though this is the more expensive type, when buying motorcycle batteries this is the only type I would purchase. Not worrying about acid leaks is a big plus!

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This post was written by Motorbike Mike on March 22, 2009

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