Conventional vs. Lithium-Ion Batteries in Motorcycles– Choosing the Better Option for You and Your Bike

3,641 Published by BSLBATT Oct 09,2019


The future of motorcycling is always hazy. New inventions and tweaks on older technologies come along at a rapid pace. It is impossible to know which ones will take hold and which will be swept into the dustbin. The recent influx of battery types to the market is a perfect case in point. New battery technologies are inundating the market, but which ones will take root, and can any threaten the supremacy of the classic, conventional motorcycle battery?

Until today the debate on which is the better motorcycle battery is still ongoing and there are a lot of arguments from both sides. The truth is, determining which is the better battery depends on your preferences, so it’s really difficult to make a claim. One thing is for sure though, regardless of the battery type people use, the motorcycle industry will continue its pursuit of product improvement and development.

In this post, we are going to compare the types of batteries mentioned above. To enlighten us on what both of them can offer bikers their motorcycles. We are going to compare Lithium-Ion vs Lead-Acid motorcycle batteries to help us come up with a smart decision and choose which battery is more suitable and ideal to satisfy various needs.

Understanding How A Motorcycle Battery Works

Before we can proceed to the comparison of these two types of battery chemistry used for motorcycles. We first have to understand how a motorcycle or any other batteries work. Regardless of the type of chemical structure, all batteries generate power converting chemical energy into electricity. The chemical energy is produced by the chemical reactions within the batteries to allow movement or flow of electrons from one electrode to the other.

Batteries are consist of one or more power cells that act as compartments with a positive electrode, negative electrode, and electrolyte. On a discharging state, the chemical reaction forces the electrons to move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode. This flow of electrons then generates a charge that flows towards the exterior connection as electricity. Providing the load the power that it needs to run.

On the other hand, when a battery is on the charging state, the chemical reaction forces the electrons to oppositely. The flow is now from the positive side going to the negative side, allowing the battery to take in the electricity and store it as the charge. Regardless of what type of battery, this is the way it will operate despite the difference in the materials used for the three major components.

Comparing the Lead-Acid Battery and the Lithium Ion Battery

Now that you understand how batteries work. We can compare a lithium ion battery against a lead-acid battery. Allowing us to see what each of them has to offer. By referring to the prepared comparison below. You will learn how the lead-acid battery is different from the lithium ion battery. You learn the advantages and disadvantages both of them will bring to you and your motorcycle allowing you to choose which is better for your needs.

Considered as the conventional type of battery for vehicles, lead-acid batteries are the most used kind of battery until today. The cost of these batteries a lower compared to other types of battery that makes them easy to acquire. A lead-acid battery has liquid electrolyte which commonly consists of sulfuric acid. This makes it risky since the possibility of having the battery leak may cause injury or damage. This battery also requires a lot of attention because the electrolyte of the battery evaporates as it operates.

Pros of Lead-Acid Batteries

● This type of battery is very easy to find and very affordable. Acquiring them won’t be that difficult since they are almost available everywhere.

● Highly reliable and proven and tested to run any type of vehicle. Also designed to be durable and tough to withstand the wear and tear.

● More convenient to use since they don’t require complicated steps or requirements when installed.

Cons of Lead-Acid Batteries

● Bulky and heavy, the installation of these batteries may require a lot of effort. They also have lesser capacity despite being heavier and bigger.

● The risk of having a leaking battery fluid can be dangerous to people and the environment as well.

● They may have a greatly reduced lifespan due to the many factors that affect their service life.

Lithium Ion Motorcycle Battery

Lithium-Ion Motorcycle Battery

As the latest innovation in the world of batteries. Lithium batteries consist of battery components that are made of more advanced materials. This allows them to have far better qualities such as higher energy density, longer-lasting battery life, faster-charging rate, and smaller casings as well as lighter weight. However, the cost of this battery is greater compared to its lead-acid counterpart.

List of the Pros of Lithium Motorcycle Batteries

● It is an energy-efficient technology.

● You will reduce emissions with this technology.

● It is a high-performance option that requires little maintenance.

● There are no leakage problems to worry about with lithium batteries.

● You can use lithium motorcycle batteries for high-speed bikes.

● Lithium batteries come with an extensive warranty.

List of the Cons of Lithium Motorcycle Batteries

● Lithium motorcycle batteries require protection.

● These batteries are a consumable product.

● You cannot travel as far as a trip with a lithium motorcycle battery.

● You will pay more for this technology when you purchase a motorcycle.

● It can take a lot of time to recharge lithium motorcycle batteries.

● Some lithium batteries do not come with a warranty.

● It may not start well in winter.

● There are fire hazard concerns that you’ll need to think about with this battery.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this comparison of lithium-ion vs lead-acid motorcycle battery enlightened you about the good and bad qualities of the two battery types. But if you are going to look at it closer, the choice which is the better battery will really depend on the biker and the needs to be satisfied. There situations where lead-acid is more ideal to use and there are also situations where lithium batteries are the better choice. So, choose according to your needs.

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