|Best Overall||NOCO Genius 1||CHECK LATEST PRICE||
It does everything you could ask of a motorcycle battery maintainer and then some.
|Best Value||Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger||CHECK LATEST PRICE||
Fulfills the basic requirements of a battery maintainer but has some limitations.
|Honorable Mention||Deltran Battery Tender Junior||CHECK LATEST PRICE||
A trusted model from a well-known brand that does all the fundamentals perfectly.
You gear up after a long stint away from riding, head to the garage to take your bike out of storage, and hit the ignition switch only to be met with the click of death. Anyone who’s experienced this understands the gut-wrenching feeling that follows. Had you used a battery maintainer before putting your bike into hibernation, you’d be grinning from ear to ear within seconds of hitting the ignition. A battery maintainer won’t get you out of a tight spot in a hurry, but if you use one, you’ll avoid that situation altogether. These units keep your bike’s battery at an ideal voltage while it’s not in use, so when you’re ready to ride, your bike is too. To help you understand what to look for in a battery maintainer, I’ve created this buying guide. I’ve also made a list of all the best motorcycle battery maintainers on the market and ranked them under a variety of categories.
To find the best motorcycle battery maintainers on the market, I evaluated dozens of them before choosing the top contenders. Although I haven’t personally tested these products, my selection is informed by consumer testimonials, expert reviews, discussions on relevant online forums, and my institutional knowledge of the automotive industry.
I visited Revzilla to see what experts had to say, and the Motorcycles subreddit to see what motorcyclists felt about maintainers. Some brands are already well-established in this niche, and priority was given to those products. Lesser-known brands were also evaluated. The main features taken into consideration were charging current, protection systems, versatility, charging capabilities, restoration features, durability, warranty, and price. Maintainers were disqualified from consideration if I found that they were known to cause damage to batteries.
- Best Overall: NOCO Genius1
- Best Value: Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger
- Honorable Mention: Deltran Battery Tender Junior
- Best for Two Bikes: NOCO Genius2X2
- Best Solar: Eco-Worthy 10-Watt Solar Battery Maintainer
Best Motorcycle Battery Maintainers Reviews & Recommendations
The best overall motorcycle battery maintainer is the NOCO Genius1, and this selection was a bit of a no-brainer. This model often goes on sale, and when it does, it’s a fantastic value. It does everything you could ask from a battery maintainer and comes with a three-year limited warranty, so you know it’s built to last. It’s 35 percent smaller and 35 percent more powerful than the previous generation, delivering a charging current of one amp. You can use this maintainer year-round thanks to its integrated thermal sensor, which automatically monitors and adjusts the charging cycle based on the ambient temperature. It won’t overcharge your battery at any point either, thanks to the zero-overcharge feature.
This model does more than maintain your battery, it restores it and extends its life by automatically detecting sulfation and acid stratification and reversing the damage. Even if your battery is as low as one volt, this maintainer can bring it back to full capacity given enough time. The all-new force mode can even charge batteries that have fallen to zero volts. It’s compatible with six-volt and 12-volt lead-acid, AGM, and lithium-ion. The clamps have integrated 6-mm eyelets, so you can directly attach them to your bike’s battery. It would be nice, however, to see an LCD screen showing the battery’s status, but the built-in LED does a fine job.
- Brand: NOCO
- Model: Genius1
- Charging current: 1 amp
Plenty of safety features
Maintains a wide range of batteries
Can recharge totally dead batteries
Battery restoration feature
The Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger will keep your motorcycle’s battery healthy without breaking the bank. This model puts out a charging current of 1 amp and runs through a four-step charging program: initialization, bulk charge, absorption mode, and float mode. Since this model has a float mode, you can connect it and forget about it because it won’t overcharge your battery. It works with all 12-volt lead-acid, flooded, and sealed batteries, but it’s not compatible with six-volt batteries.
There are plenty of safety features, including reverse polarity, short circuit, overcurrent, and overvoltage protection. These features don’t just protect you, they protect your battery too. When this unit is in maintenance mode, LED indicators relay diagnostic information, although the information is somewhat limited.
- Brand: Foval
- Model: BC01B-1
- Charging current: 1 amp
Great value for money
One amp charging current
Not for lithium-ion batteries
Not for six-volt batteries
The Deltran Battery Tender Junior is somewhat limited in its capabilities compared to the best overall pick, but it’s the top dog in terms of reliability. This model comes with an industry-leading five-year limited warranty, so you know you won’t need to search for another maintainer for years to come. It has an 800 mA charging/maintaining capacity, which is slightly on the low side when compared to the competition but fine for anyone who only wants to maintain a healthy battery. It’s suitable for 12-volt lead-acid, AGM, and lithium-ion batteries, and you can select your battery type via the button on the front of the unit. Unfortunately, this model isn’t suitable for use with six-volt batteries.
There are a few safety features on offer to keep you and your battery safe, including reverse polarity protection and spark-proof technology. Once the maintainer is hooked up to the battery, it will run through the four stages of maintenance: initialization, bulk charge, absorption mode, and float/maintenance mode. You don’t need to worry about disconnecting it until you’re ready to ride because it won’t overcharge your battery. Included in the sale are ring terminals and alligator clips.
- Brand: Deltran
- Model: 022-0199-DL-WH
- Charging current: 800 mA
Works with many battery types
Plenty of safety features
Fewer features for more money
If your garage is home to more than one motorcycle, the NOCO Genius 2X2 could be the best maintainer for you. This two-bank battery maintainer produces a total of four amps, which is divided between the two banks. Even though this model’s power is divided between two banks, at 2 amps per bank, it still has the highest charging current on this list. The maintainer works with six-volt and 12-volt lead-acid, AGM, and lithium-ion batteries, making it the most versatile model on the list.
Even if you’re maintaining two bikes at once, you can do so with peace of mind thanks to this model’s safety features. It has high-voltage, short-circuit, and reverse-polarity protection. If the battery’s internal temperature or the external temperature gets too high, all four of this model’s LEDs will flash red, and it will stop charging until it’s safe to resume. This unit is useful for anyone who needs to maintain two motorcycles simultaneously, but it’s also sold at a high price point since it has a high charging current.
- Brand: NOCO
- Model: Genius2x2
- Charging current: 2 amps
Maintain two batteries at once
2-amp charging current
Battery restoration features
Works with wide variety of batteries
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly battery maintainer, then you’ll find it in the Eco-Worthy 10-Watt Solar Battery Maintainer. This model harnesses the power of the sun to maintain your battery, so the charging current it generates is weather dependent. If the weather is relatively sunny, it should be good enough to keep your battery maintained, but anyone hoping to charge a very low battery back to life might need to look elsewhere. If cloudy weather sets in, you won’t need to worry about your battery reverse discharging as this model has a built-in blocking diode.
Included in the sale are a pair of battery clips, a cigarette lighter adapter, and four PVC suckers. The battery clips are designed to prevent short-circuiting, but this model doesn’t have the same level of battery regeneration or protection features as some other maintainers on the list. The biggest issue with this product is that it’s not waterproof, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the weather if you leave it outside.
- Brand: Eco-Worthy
- Model: L02EP10BB18V-1
- Charging current: N/A
Good value for money
Built-in diode prevents reverse discharge
No ring eyelets included
I’ve chosen the NOCO Genius1 as the best overall motorcycle battery maintainer. This model does everything you need a trickle charger to do and then some. It’s reliable, good value for money, and restores the health of your battery. If you can’t stretch to the Genius1’s price point, check out the value option, the Foval Automatic Trickle Battery Charger.
What to Consider When Buying Motorcycle Battery Maintainers
There are tons of motorcycle battery maintainers on the market, and unless you know what you’re looking for, it can be hard to know why some cost so much more than others. I’ve put together a buying guide to help you understand what features are important to you and what you can expect at different price points.
Motorcycle Battery Maintainers Key Features
Battery maintainers are supposed to be hooked up and forgotten about, but this is impossible if you don’t trust a unit not to start a fire or fry your battery. The thing that lets you sleep soundly and keep a maintainer running are its safety features. Look for these main safety features: reverse-polarity protection, overload protection, overcurrent protection, overvoltage protection, and short-circuit protection. Reverse-polarity protection is particularly useful because it stops current from passing through to your battery if the clamps aren’t correctly positioned.
Two more important safety features to look out for are overheating and overcharging protection. Most maintainers will have a float feature, which stops charging when the battery is full and starts charging again once the power drops.
In a way, the charging process acts as another safety feature. Most battery maintainers will have a four-stage charging process that includes: initialization, bulk charge, absorption mode, and float mode. This charging process ensures that the maintainer won’t start charging your battery until it drops below its ideal voltage and that it’ll stop charging once the battery reaches the ideal voltage. This is what differentiates a battery maintainer from a trickle charger, as trickle chargers can keep charging a battery until you disconnect them, which can overcharge your battery.
Since these car battery maintainers, as opposed to battery chargers or boosters, the charging current isn’t an extremely important feature, but it’s still worth noting. The most important thing to remember is not to pay too much for a maintainer with a high charging current if you won’t need such a high current to maintain your battery. If you’re putting your bike into storage for winter, for example, then an 800-mA maintainer will keep it healthy and ready for spring. But if you can get a high-quality one-amp maintainer for the same price, and it has the same features, it’s a better option because it will bring your motorcycle’s battery up to ideal capacity slightly faster when needed.
Not all battery maintainers work with all batteries, so it’s important to make sure the model you want works with the battery in your bike and possibly future-proof yourself by getting a maintainer that works with multiple battery types. Try to get a maintainer that works with lead-acid, AGM, and lithium-ion batteries. If you’re maintaining a battery on an old motorcycle or a small battery for an off-road bike, then you might need a maintainer that works with six-volt batteries, which costs slightly more than battery maintainers that are only designed to work with 12-volt batteries.
Chances are that your battery maintainer is going to get the most use when weather conditions are poor. You need to find a durable model that’s resistant to the elements, and the best way to do that is to get one with an IP rating. Although it’s possible to find a battery maintainer with an IP67 rating, the maximum rating you’ll usually find is IP65. An IP65 rating ensures that the product is protected against low-pressure water jets, condensation, and water spray, but you shouldn’t ever submerge something with this rating.
Some battery maintainers have extra features, which can help your battery have a longer and healthier life. Look for a restoration feature that automatically detects sulfation and acid stratification and automatically repairs and reverses damage to the battery. Another useful feature is an integrated thermal sensor, which adjusts the charging cycle based on fluctuations in the ambient temperature. This sensor means the charger won’t overcharge the battery in hot weather or undercharge it when temperatures drop to less than 4 below zero Fahrenheit. All battery maintainers should have an indicator to let you know what the maintainer is doing and display the health of your battery. An LCD screen is great, but if that’s not an option, look for something that uses LEDs that change color to indicate battery health.
You’ll find many motorcycle battery maintainers for less than $25. Maintainers in this price range will fulfill all your basic needs, have safety features, and run through the standard four-stage charging process. But some of these maintainers won’t be suitable for use with lithium-ion batteries and won’t work with six-volt batteries. Battery maintainers sold for less than $25 also are unlikely to have any of these extra features.
If you’re looking for a battery maintainer that’s built to last and loaded with modern features, you’ll need to spend between $30 and $50. In this price range, maintainers can usually work with many types of batteries for motorcycles and have the option to be used with six-volt batteries. Maintainers in this price range could have battery restoration features, sensors that detect changes in the ambient temperature, and long warranties. If you want a dual-output battery maintainer, then you’ll need to spend $50-$125.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: When should I use a motorcycle battery maintainer?
A: Depending on the type of battery your motorcycle uses, how old it is, and what condition it’s in, it will die after about one to four months of not running the bike. If you know you won’t be riding for at least a month, you should hook up your battery to a maintainer.
Q: How do I hook up a motorcycle battery maintainer?
A: Step one: Make sure your bike is switched off and then disconnect the negative (black) terminal before disconnecting the positive (red) terminal. Step two: Attach the positive cable coming from the maintainer to your battery’s positive terminal before attaching the negative cable from the maintainer. Step three: Turn on the trickle charger.
Q: How long can you leave a battery hooked up to a maintainer?
A: If your maintainer has the safety features listed in this article and features a four-stage charging process, then in theory, you can leave it hooked up to your motorcycle battery indefinitely.
- Automotive Battery – Wikipedia