Charging A Motorcycle Battery At 2 AMPs

A lot of people wonder if they can connect their motorcycle batteries to trickle chargers that produce two amps. The trickle chargers are designed to slowly charge a battery so most people rationalize that using this amount of a charge over an extended period of time to charge their battery will be safe.

Battery Charging Basic Rule

The basic rule in battery charging is to not charge a battery for more amp hours than the battery is rated to have. So a person who has a twelve amp battery would use a two amp charger on their battery for no longer than six hours. Six hours at two amps per hour should create twelve amps.

If you plan to use a two amp charger on your motorcycle battery find the amp hours your battery has, divide that number by two, and the resulting number is how long you can leave the battery charging on a two amp per hour cycle.

What is the Big Deal about Overcharging the Battery?

When a battery receives a greater charge than it is designed to handle the electrolytes inside the battery can reach a temperature high enough to allow them to come to a boil. The boiling electrolytes will cause the battery to overheat.

When the battery overheats then the plates in the battery can buckle. In some cases, a battery that has reached this temperature can explode.

Overheating your battery with a charger that is too big can cause your battery to stop working. It is not safe for your battery or for you.

Is lower amperage charging slower to do?

Yes, it takes longer to provide a full charge to a battery at a lower amperage setting like two amps. The good side of this slow charging is that your battery will be less likely to be damaged during the charging process.

This slower charging puts less stress on the battery and does not allow the internal temperature of the battery to reach unsafe levels.

Whenever you have the choice to charge your battery quickly using higher amperage or charge it slowly using the slower amperage, always choose slow and steady.

Get Ready and Charge

To charge your battery using a two amp charger you need to find a safe place to connect the charger so that the bike and the charger will be protected during the time it takes to charge the battery completely.

Get the Right Charger

Make sure that the two amp charger you have has safety features like automatic shutoff if the charger senses overheating is occurring.

The newer chargers have LED lights that will show you what stage of charge your battery is at, and you can easily see when your battery is full.

The newer chargers often have quick connections, and they have sensors that can tell you if the battery you are charging is a good battery, or if you need to invest in a new battery.

Make Proper Connections

When you connect the battery charger you need to make sure that the positive cable from the charger is connected to the positive terminal on your battery.

The cable leads to a positive cable is often colored red so you do not connect the wrong polarity. The battery terminal will probably have a + sign on the battery to show you which cable is positive.

The negative terminal on your battery will probably be marked with a -. The cable on the battery charger will usually be black if it is to be connected to the negative terminal.

Alston Seymour

A Harley-Davidson Motor Company certified Master Technician and avid biker, I love to write about everything and anything related to biking.

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Mario J. Fiorucci - October 9, 2022

my trickle charger has two settings 6 volts and 12 volts, which one do I use for a motorcycle battery


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