How To Charge A Dirt Bike Battery


How To Charge A Dirt Bike Battery
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I’ve never had to charge the battery on my current bikes but we did have an older bike from the ’80s that didn’t have the best battery and needed a little bit of extra juice to get started. Batteries can sometimes go dead over the winter if it’s been super cold and it can also happen if you leave the key on. Not to worry, here’s how you charge a dirt bike battery:

  1. Remove the side panel to get access to your battery.
  2. Use a smart charger and attach it to your battery.
  3. Let the battery charge for 4-6 hours.

Different bikes have their battery in different spots. On both of my bikes, it’s on the right side. Some bikes have it on the left side (I believe Honda’s do). You’ll have to unscrew the bolts in the plastic side panel to get access to the battery. Once the panel is off you should have no problems seeing the battery.

It’s probably best if you actually remove the battery from the bike but you sometimes don’t have to. Certain batteries are easy to hook up to but the important thing to remember would be disconnecting the wires before you plug it in. If you don’t you could possibly have some major issues.

Once you have access to the battery you’ll want to use a smart charger to attach to the battery terminal. I like using a smart charger because you don’t have to worry about unplugging or overcharging the battery. With a regular charger, you’d have to set a timer and manually disconnect them to avoid overcharging it. You don’t have to worry about any of that with a smart one.

With a smart charger you can leave it on for as long as you want but it should be fully charged within 4-6 hours. Be sure to charge it slowly as well. If you charge it too fast it could not hold a charge as long or it could actually damage the battery.

What’s The Best Dirt Bike Battery Charger?

If your bike doesn’t have a kickstart you’ll definitely want to get some sort of charger. There are a bunch of different ones out there but I’d highly recommend getting a smart charger. The one I have is the Ctek smart charger. Click to see it on Amazon.

It’s a bit on the expensive side but it’s a lot better than your standard charger. It’s super easy to use, charges my batteries perfectly, and it comes with all of the connections you’ll need. It comes with a clamp-style end which makes it much easier than some of the others.

I used to use your standard charger and it was always a hassle having to set a timer and have to disconnect the charger. Sometimes I wanted to charge it overnight and had to wake up a few hours later. With the smart charger, I can do that no problem because it’ll turn itself off once it’s fully charged.

You can also get an extension for the charger that attaches to your battery for easy charging. You won’t have to remove the battery this way and you can just hook it up and be on your way within a few seconds. Here is the Ctek extension on Amazon.

How Does A Dirt Bike Charge Its Battery?

The battery is used mainly to start the dirt bike. The battery is charged by a generator that’s powered by the engine. As long as the engine is running there will be juice flowing through the battery and that’s how it stays charged. I’m not a science guy so I’m not going to try to explain the ins and outs of it but if you want to learn more you can check this out.

How Long Does It Take To Charge A Dirt Bike Battery?

It takes between 4-6 hours to fully charge my dirt bike battery. You can get it done faster but it’s much better to slowly charge it. If you charge it too fast it’ll either damage the battery or not hold a charge as long. If you charge your battery at 0.8 amps you should get the best performance out of it and it should be done within 4-6 hours.

Can You Use A Car Battery Charger For A Dirt Bike?

In most cases, the answer would be yes, but you have to be careful. Some older bikes have 6v batteries and cars use a 12v. If you use a 12v charger on a 6v battery the result won’t be good. That’s the first thing to be aware of. Most new bikes use 12v batteries though and in this case, you can use a car battery. Also, some of the smart chargers out there can be switched between 6v and 12v.

A standard car charger will put out too much power for a bike battery so you won’t want to leave it on for very long (1-2 hours maybe). If you use a smart charger you can charge it at low power and you won’t have to worry about overcharging it.

How To Stop Your Battery From Dying Over The Winter?

If you have a super cold winter and don’t use your dirt bike there’s a good chance your battery will die. Batteries don’t like cold weather and if you leave a battery empty for too long it’ll actually be really tough to get it back to life. It could still work but it won’t hold a charge long.

The best thing to do would be to take your battery out of your bike and attach it to your Ctek charger over the winter. You can literally have it plugged in for months and it won’t damage the battery. When the battery gets close to being fully charged it’ll reduce the power and turn itself off when it’s fully charged.

Let me know your thoughts and any questions you have. Like this article? Feel free to give it a share!

Looking to get some new dirt bike gear? Click here to check out our recommended gear page to see the stuff we’re actually using and the cheapest place to get them.

Jon Webber

I'm Jon and welcome to Backcountry Cariboo. I'm not a fishing or outdoors "expert" but I spend a lot of time in the outdoors and my goal is to educate, entertain, and promote the outdoor lifestyle.

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